The recent acquisition of a small mapping service by Apple in July left observers speculating about different things, from Apple trying to replace Google Maps on the iPhone to the once-friendly companies moving to fierce competition.
In July, Apple acquired Los Angeles-based Placebasee, which is a small deal. Placebase offers an API which allows developers to create customized features and functions not available on Google Maps.
Placebase technology has been used in a well-known product PolicyMap. Using PolicyMap you can explore geographic information through maps, tables and reports. Many organizations including The Washington Post and Wachovia are using PolicyMap.
Apple and Google Drift Apart
Apple might be thinking about displacing Google Maps as the default mapping service on the iPhone and iPod touch, or at least very preparing a backup. Even though, to years ago, interests or for both the companies seemed pretty aligned, but now Google’s interest seems to be divergent from Apple’s. But since then, both the companies are starting to compete head-to-head on several fronts. It is evident from the even, when Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board of directors in August after sitting on Apple’s board since 2006.
Apple Controls its Destiny
Apple has a history of making sure it stays in control of its own destiny. This is specially true when it comes to third-party applications. For example, Apple developed the Safari Web browser so that it can remain independent of Internet Explorer and Firefox. Apple created a high set of professional graphic and video applications to stay independent of Adobe Systems.
It would not be surprising if Apple was looking for ways to be independent from Google, spatially something like Google Maps. At present Google Maps is a default application for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Click here to read this article by Jennifer LeClaire on TopTechNews.com on Thursday, October 1st, 2009.