Apple May Ditch Google Maps

Apple is typically a company that likes to control everything surrounding its products by putting everything within its own ecosystem. It’s a little strange, then, that Apple products have to rely on Google Maps for certain key functions.

For one, the iPhone's Maps app relies entirely on Google's data set and service. Without Google Maps, the iPhone Maps app from Apple is nothing. Apple also uses Google Maps for the geolocation feature for tagged photos in iPhoto.

Apple seems like it's gearing up to cut the cord, as it's now uncovered that the Cupertino computer company has purchased Placebase, a company that specialized in customized mapping. Placebase's former CEO now indicates on LinkedIn that he is part of the Geo Team at Apple. A former CTO of Placebase is also working at Apple now, according to Computerworld.

Although Google is typically the company that plays well with others, the search giant's CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from Apple's board of directors due to the two companies competing on more fronts. With Android vs. iPhone, Chrome vs. Safari, and soon Chrome OS vs. Mac OS X, there was growing overlap in what Google could do for Apple.

While we doubt that Apple will launch a web-based Google Maps-like service, it's now only natural to expect that with an in-house mapping technology, Apple will eventually transition away from Google. Only time will tell if Apple's product will be able to best Google's mapping proficiency.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • doomtomb
    More competition is better.
  • doc70
    So, on Apple Maps the center of the world will be Jobs' house? Or Apple's HQ? Dilema...
  • ssalim
    doomtombMore competition is better.
    Yes, as long as they don't air stupid & childish advertisements like M$ vs Mac.
  • tayb
    Unless their native maps application supports turn by turn directions, for free, I'm really not all that interested.
  • hellwig
    New to the iPhone 0S: Turn-by-turn directions to the nearest Apple store.

    *disclaimer: Please note, to ensure our customers receive a full, hassle free traveling experience, Apple cannot provide directions to locations not owned or operated by Apple Inc. Apple believes the Apple Store provides a rich, fulfilling shopping experience and reserves the right to restrict turn-by-turn directions to competing businesses which would duplicate, confuse, or otherwise dilute the Apple experience.
  • Uncle Meat
    and soon Chrome OS vs. Mac OS X

    If you think that Chrome OS is in any way competition for Mac OS X, then you have no idea what you are talking about.
  • dman3k
    Uncle MeatIf you think that Chrome OS is in any way competition for Mac OS X, then you have no idea what you are talking about.If you don't think Chrome OS is in any way a competition for let alone Mac OS X but also all preexisting OS, you're in denial. If the computing model doesn't go to just turn on computer, OS boot instantly-ish, immediate connection to internet, gadget/widgets grab necessary information, and woila... then you might be right. The odds of it are you won't be right. This is cloud computing.

    But fortunately, American internet connection sucks due to the monopolies sitting on their asses all day thinking about how much more blood they could suck out their customers while buying off politicians, it's going to be a while before broadband is capable of doing things the way we envision it, like in Star Trek...

    Places like Japan with their basic 100M internet connection, however, could show us cloud computing in its full glory.
  • nekatreven
    This is cloud computing.

    Hehe...300 anyone?

    THIS... IS... ...CLOUD COMPUTING!! (kicks Jobs and Balmer into a pit) (I'm not sure who would be doing the kicking, it was just a funny image)
  • climber
    Everyone who has a blackberry with GPS probably has blackberry maps installed, in Canada we have telenav service which enables the GPS on the Rogers network, but I never use blackberry maps or telenav, I use Google Maps, as it gives me a small screen version of exactly the way I look for hotels, places to travel, routes from place to place. The traffic update layers the route by route. The only thing telenav does that google maps doesn't is give me a compass, ETA and current speed which telenav does.
  • thejerk
    I can't wait for Google's upcoming hostile takeover... right after that black-market liver fails, lol.