Will Apple's new software kill Google Maps?

New in-house mapping software will come bundled with iOS 6 when it rolls out this fall, potentially dealing Google a major blow.

By TheWeek.com Jun 12, 2012 5:27PM

Credit: © 2012 Apple Inc
Caption: iPhone 4sAs many had anticipated, Apple (APPL) announced at this week's Worldwide Developer Conference that it would ditch Google Maps (GOOG) as its primary mapping software for mobile devices.

When Apple's in-house map software debuts with its new mobile operating system, iOS 6, this fall, it will be compatible with Siri and sport new 3-D features. It will also offer turn-by-turn driving directions and highlight real-time traffic congestion.

In addition, Apple is partnering with Yelp (YELP) to offer local information about more than 100 million businesses worldwide. Several automakers, including BMW, General Motors (GM), Honda (HMC), and Toyota (TM) have even signed up for a new program that will integrate a Siri button on car steering wheels and make use of Apple's new map system.

With all these innovations, will Google Maps be relegated to a thing of the past?

This hits Google hard. The move is a "major blow" for Google, "which stands to lose mobile advertising revenue and valuable insights about people's whereabouts," says Michael Liedtke and Peter Svensson at The Associated Press. Now, if users want to get to Google Maps, they'll have to find and install the app themselves. But Google destroyed its relationship with Apple when it decided to go toe-to-toe with the iPhone by releasing Android in 2008, famously causing Steve Jobs to declare "thermonuclear war" against the search giant. Consider this severance a slap in the face.

Apple's service is missing a vital Google Maps offering. Sure, Apple Maps will offer driving directions, says Emily Price at Mashable, but it "will take away one feature many city dwellers have come to know and love: public transportation directions." When it rolls out, Apple's new Maps won't have mass transit directions built into it at all. The reason is likely that most cities record public transportation data using Google software. "Apple may be reluctant to use Google's data in the app it's using to break away from Google." For people who don't drive, it's an incentive to keep Google Maps around.

The real loser is the portable GPS industry. "If it wasn't obvious before, it's crystal clear today," says Damon Lavrinc at Wired. The portable GPS is dead, and Apple and Google are the pallbearers. Consumer electronics move too fast for the slow development cycle of the automotive industry, and hardware companies like Garmin, Magellan, and TomTom will find themselves quickly dated while the Map app wars heat up. Now, "with photo integration, 3D vector-based graphics, multi-touch control, and Apple's own hyper detailed satellite imagery, it's hard for any iOS user to justify keeping a chunky piece of perpetually outdated hardware suction-cupped to the windshield." 

More from The Week

Jun 12, 2012 10:35PM
Not to mention Apple maps also lacks streetview.. So in answer to the title of your post. No the Apple maps will not kill Google Maps. 3d buildings.. pfft who cares... you can only see them from an aerial view.. What benefit does that add when trying to find your way? Look now I know what my destination looks when I am flying overhead.. Yay!

and BTW portable GPS devices are not dead.. Maps on smartphones are a great companion to a gps unit. Who wants to mount their phone in their car where its now out of reach? Get a phone call come in, the guidance is interrupted. Not to mention the battery drain from having the screen always on. No I see a place for the portable GPS for many years to come
Jun 12, 2012 6:33PM
is Apple some sort of fruit company?
Jun 13, 2012 10:46AM
LOL  give me a break, how many websites plug into Google maps?!?   Street view is awesome.   

Google owns this marked.  For all of us that don't use Apple products, long live Google in it's FREE offerings.

Jun 12, 2012 9:50PM
Guess what? Microsoft and Nokia offer public transportation directions on Windows Phoens its called Nokia Transport and it goes han in hand with Nokia Drive and Maps plus the new Nokia City Lens.
Jun 12, 2012 10:53PM
Apple is not a fruit company. They make the most expensive childrens toys in the world. Their hardware looks nice but their software is junk. Everyone will love the new Apple maps "fly over" feature. Why? Because it's Apple. Find that obscure back woods restaurant driveway with fly over. I must admit Apple fits right in. This country loves crap...look at the moronic politicians, both kinds.
Jun 13, 2012 7:59AM
It won't kill Google maps, but it will hurt Google, and that's a good thing.
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