Apple Ditched Google Maps with Over One Year Left in Their Agreement [Update]


The Verge has the scoop from two anonymous sources about what really went down between Apple and Google over replacing the latter’s maps on iOS 6:

Apple’s decision to ship its own mapping system in the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 was made over a year before the company’s agreement to use Google Maps expired, according to two independent sources familiar with the matter. The decision, made sometime before Apple’s WWDC event in June, sent Google scrambling to develop an iOS Google Maps app — an app which both sources say is still incomplete and currently not scheduled to ship for several months.

According to the report, Apple abruptly decided to end the agreement with Google Maps as it was inferior to the version available on Android OS, as iOS did not have access to turn-by-turn directions. An earlier WSJ report noted Google wanted deeper branding and features within iOS, and did not agree with Apple’s renewal terms. Rumours of Google Maps being replaced were heard as far back as May of last year.

Just yesterday, Google Executive Chairman (and former Apple Board of Director) Eric Schmidt revealed there is no Google Maps for iOS in the making, and also relayed it was not their call when it came to Apple ditching Google Maps.

Apple Maps has come under scrutiny and criticism by iOS users for some of its inaccuracies and lack of transit routes. Apple is reportedly hiring ex-Google employees to work on iOS 6 maps, and also spoke out about Maps, saying it was only going to get better.

Back in June, we compared Google Maps to Apple Maps in iOS 6 and how it looked in Vancouver. How are you liking Apple Maps in iOS 6?

Update: The NYT is reporting Google is working on an iOS map version to be released by the end of the year. The app should come with 3D imagery like Apple Maps, and will take those images from the existing Google Earth app. The report also corroborates the story above, where two similar sources spoke to the The Verge.

Google is developing a maps application for iPhone and iPad that it is seeking to finish by the end of the year, according to people involved with the effort who declined to be named because of the nature of their work.


  • einsteinbqat

    They rushed it, and they failed. MobileMe all over again. Steve Jobs would probably yell so much and strongly over this that I suppose that windows would shatter if he was still here! LOL

  • FragilityG4

    He would? He believed in MobileMe … And Ping …

  • WJ

    I cancelled my iPhone 5 pre-order because of Apple Maps in iOS6. I might get a iPhone 5 eventually after Apple Maps “get better”.

  • KJ

    Lol the maps work great in my opinion…..havn’t steered me wrong once yet

  • bblb

    Same here, loving the new maps with Siri’s turn by turn navigation. Siri integration is great, no need to type and search, just tell Siri to take me where i want to go, and off she goes launching the maps app!

  • einsteinbqat

    Indeed, but he was none too pleased about the launch.

  • Anthony ?

    @2c5942848e7b75ef3b85c85f2d0b2952:disqus No issues with maps here (Toronto/GTA), I’ve been using iOS6 since beta 2. The turn by turn works very well. I personally find it more useful than Google Maps since there was no turn by turn support so I’m glad Apple got rid of it.

  • Anthony ?

    Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the move away from Google Maps was initiated by Steve at some point in 2011. He had a huge hate for Google once Android took off. Just because they didn’t announce it until WWDC 2012 doesn’t mean it wasn’t in the works for quite some time before that.

  • Hayman

    I agree that Siri works very well with apple maps. I have used it a couple of times and no problems. In standard 2d mode it uses very little data. Even the ETA feature was quite accurate.

  • Grace

    No complaints here in Toronto. It’s worked fine for me the few times I’ve needed to depend on it.
    People should help the cause and continue to report errors and problems so that the app can get better. Calling it a fail is harsh and inaccurate.

  • GoogleMaps_FTW

    Before downgrading to IO6 I will wait for Google Maps to come out with an app that once again has transit routes and streetview. I don’t care about 3D, that is just a useless feature. I do care about accurate directions though. It would be a nice upgrade to have voice directions, but if the directions are not accurate, I may as well have my ex screaming at me for all the good it will do, LOL.