A new front opens up in the smartphone battle between Google and Apple this week when the search giant’s mapping technology is dropped from iPhones and iPads’ Maps app when they are upgraded to the latest version of the iOS operating system.
The move is a blow to Google: it is likely to impact advertising sales because it will not be able to show “sponsored links” on iOS’s default maps, and it will stop receiving data about how people use the software.
Until now Google has dominated mobile maps. Android and iOS jointly account for about 85% of global smartphone shipments and an even higher percentage of tablets according to research firm IDC.
It was against this backdrop that the man in charge of Google Maps, Brian McClendon, offered a rare one-on-one interview to the BBC.
He promised to lift the lid on how Google Maps worked and, as it emerged, explain why his firm’s ownership of its location data could give it the upper hand.
“I would say that any company that is based on licensed data would face the same challenges we did in 2008,” Mr McClendon says, referring to the fact that Apple’s product will rely on material from Dutch company TomTom.
“The amount of investment we are doing in creating map data as opposed to licensing it is significant, and the difference is measurable in basically every single country in the world.” Read more