When Apple showed the world the iPhone for the first time in early 2007, they invited Eric Schmidt on stage, who at the time was the CEO of Google, to say a few words about how both companies worked closely together to deliver an amazing experience. Fast forward five years and the world today is practically upside down. The first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, launched more than a year after the first iPhone, but today Android dominates the smartphone market. Forget about the technical and aesthetic differences between iOS and Android, the main driver of Google’s success with their mobile operating system has been its flexibility. If a company wants to make a $150 Android smartphone, then so be it. They can also make a $750 “phablet” if they want; the sky’s the limit. That, compared to Apple’s one phone every year business model, is why you see more devices running Android out there than you see iPhones.
Now Apple, looking to get back at Google for making Android, has not only taken several Android handset makers to court, but with the latest release of their software platform, iOS 6, they stripped out two key Google apps: YouTube and Maps. Google already has a YouTube app in Apple’s App Store, and it’s the number one free download, but Maps is where things get complicated and nasty.
Some people say Google has already made an iOS version of Google Maps and that it’s just waiting to be approved. Other’s say that’s not the case. Where’s not going to support either rumor, but we do want point out that Google releasing an iOS Google Maps app is all but guaranteed at this point.
Why is Google Maps important? Because the maps that Apple put it in iOS 6 are terrible. They not only look worse than Google Maps, but they’re frighteningly inaccurate. Google, being a services company that monetizes their operation using targeted advertising, will, without a shadow of doubt, release Google Maps for iOS.
The question is when? And that’s all we know about about this hullabaloo at the moment.