Apple Reportedly Had Over a Year Left on Maps Contract with Google

Amid widespread complaints over Apple's new iOS 6 Maps app, which replaced the Google-powered application that had shipped on iOS devices since the iPhone debuted in 2007, some observers have wondered how much of the shift was due to Apple's desire to reduce its reliance upon on Google and how much might be due to other factors.


In particular, there has been some speculation that demands by Google could also have played a role in Apple's decision, with the suggestion being that Apple may have been forced to roll out its own mapping solution a bit sooner than it had planned for if its contract with Google had been running out.

The Verge now reports that such speculation is unfounded, with Apple and Google having had over a year left on their contract for Google's Maps app. Consequently, Apple could presumably have continued using Google's app in iOS 6 as it worked to improve its own mapping product for a launch with iOS 7 next year.

For its part, Apple apparently felt that the older Google Maps-powered Maps in iOS were falling behind Android — particularly since they didn't have access to turn-by-turn navigation, which Google has shipped on Android phones for several years. The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Google also wanted more prominent branding and the ability to add features like Latitude, and executives at the search giant were unhappy with Apple's renewal terms. But the existing deal between the two companies was still valid and didn't have any additional requirements, according to our sources — Apple decided to simply end it and ship the new maps with turn-by-turn.

Apple's decision apparently caught Google off-guard, as Google is reportedly still several months away from having a standalone maps app ready for submission to the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
103 months ago
I prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps. :p
Score: 122 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
103 months ago
Android phones have had far superior native maps/navigation since day 1, and I agree with the article that the gap was widening with each release. Apple made the right move. They'll get maps right eventually.
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
103 months ago
If this is true, then Apple really let us (the customer) down. As a software developer, I don't see any down side (other than cost) to taking the time needed to put out a fully baked product. As far as cost goes, Apple has $100 B in the bank. I think they can afford it.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
103 months ago
What a frigging boneheaded move. The person responsible should be questioned closely. And I daresay that Steve would never have released a new service that was worse than the old.
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
103 months ago

If this is true, then Apple really let us (the customer) down. As a software developer, I don't see any down side (other than cost) to taking the time needed to put out a fully baked product. As far as cost goes, Apple has $100 B in the bank. I think they can afford it.


Maps will be improved much faster with customer feedback than they could have been in private.

Being a software developer doesn't have anything to do with it. The software is done. It's the data that's lacking.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
103 months ago

I prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps. :p


That's good, because you don't have any choice.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame. Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...