Why did Apple ditich Google maps?
I like my iPhone. I like Google Maps. I don’t like the fact that they dumped my map app in iOS6 and gave me a replacement I didn’t ask for. Now, maybe I will learn to like it over time, but that has not happened yet.
Why did they do it?
I read an article this morning linked to from a facebook post The real issue about Apple maps which claims the following:
The key thing in the maps situation is what this move says about Apple and the kind of company it has become.
As Roger Kay points out on Forbes:
Does Apple care that its naked self interest is showing? Not at all, near as I can tell. Apple has always had disdain for what others think, even — no, especially — customers.
However, for a potential customer on the cusp of deciding whether to buy an Apple or an Android phone, this blatantly dishonorable move — to take away from consumers something that they liked and put in its place a home-grown but inferior substitute — is likely to push them definitively into the Google camp.
But I don’t buy that explanation. I think this “review” is pretty biased. Yes the maps issue needs to be dealt with and improved.
Sometimes companies have to make decisions that are business based, not driven by customers, it happens.
But I think this guy goes overboard and makes it sound like every decision Apple makes is that way, which I think is wrong.
I am a firm believer in the design aspects of apple and they spend a lot of effort with end users making sure the products work the way people need, and then they just work so well you don’t notice them.
I read an alternate theory as well this morning, that I gives the correct answer:
Despite having one more year to the contract, It turns out the answer is turn-by-turn voice navigation.
It wasn’t a feature in the original Apple-Google licensing agreement, so Apple went back to Google to renegotiate what has become a top-tier feature on Android.
Apple wanted it. In return, Google wanted increased branding in the maps app and Apple refused)
Or else they required Apple to integrate Lattitude (Google’s FourSquare competitor), to which Apple refused as well.
As a result Apple was forced to seek other sources in order to obtain this feature.
This sounds a lot more plausable to me, so I am picking that answer.