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Thursday, August 02, 2012, 12:33 pm PT (03:33 pm ET)

Apple wants to wipe Google off the map with iOS 6


Apple takes over maps

As the curator of the iOS platform, the introduction of Apple's own new Maps app in iOS 6 will instantly replace Google on every new mobile device running iOS and for every user who upgrades. And because Apple is extending iOS 6 upgrades back to 2009-era iPhone 3GS users, that effectively means nearly all iOS users can and will upgrade.

Apple won't be supporting the original 2010 iPad in iOS 6, but that entire year's production only represents a fifth of the installed base. And by the time Apple begins offering iOS 6, it will have sold more new iPad models in just the fall quarter than it sold in all of 2010.

Apple's ability to rapidly unplug its vast iOS installed user base from their reliance upon Google Maps stands in sharp contrast to Android and other mobile platforms where new OS releases are only ever available to a small proportion of the installed base, so even those who do want to upgrade can't.

Additionally, those upgrades are often delayed by carriers and complicated by other factors to the point that many eligible users don't bother or don't even realize they can upgrade.



In addition to Apple taking over the role of supplying map data to its own iOS Maps app, all third party apps that tap into the iOS Maps APIs to create their own custom maps, plot directions or pinpoint a location will now automatically get their maps data from Apple rather than Google, thanks to the way Apple is implementing a compatible API layer in iOS 6 that accesses its own in-house mapping services. Existing apps will "just work" with Apple's maps.

Apple has already replaced some of the rudimentary GPS location mapping in iPhoto with its own in-house maps, but evidence suggests the company will soon move all of its dependence upon Google Maps in-house soon, including making its own Maps client available for OS X users.





Note that the basic OpenStreetMaps used in iPhoto to pinpoint the location of geotagged photo (above top, on an iPhone) are not anything like the detailed, easy to read maps Apple will be using in iOS 6 (above bottom, shown on a Retina Display new iPad). Google's existing map data is shown in the middle for comparison (above center, on an original iPad).

On page 3 of 3: This all happened before, Apple partners more closely with Yelp