Are Google Maps and the Apple iPhone breaking up?

Summary:It's looking like Apple iOS 5 may ditch Google Maps in favor of an in-house mapping solution, if an oddity in the mobile operating system's legal disclaimers is any indication.

It's looking like Apple iOS 5 may ditch Google Maps in favor of an in-house mapping solution, if an oddity in the mobile operating system's legal disclaimers uncovered by Macrumors is any indication.

Reading the fine print in queston, it appears that there's a new section called "Map Data," which lists licenses from mapping companies CoreLogic, Getchee, Increment P Corp, Localeze, MapData Sciences Pty Ltd., DMTI, TomTom, Urban Mapping, and Waze. Between all of those services, Apple has enough map and local business data to make a decent showing of matching Google Maps feature-for-feature on the iPhone and iPad.

The hypothetical new Apple map app (say that ten times fast) may even go a step beyond: Urban Mapping provides information like demographics and crime statistics on map overlays, and Waze uses crowd-sourced data for traffic data.

Until any form of official announcement is made, this belongs purely in the realm of speculation. But it wouldn't come as a complete surprise, with Apple's acquisition of Poly9 last year forcing us to ask the exact same question. In fact, earlier this year, Apple was recruiting developers to work on iOS maps.

Of course, as Macrumors notes, this could just be preemptive: Google has recently renewed its agreement with Apple, so iOS 5 may well ship with Google Maps. But we're highly doubtful that this is where this story ends, and I'm very curious to see what happens when Apple and Google are no longer on such good terms.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Google, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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