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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) argued over issues of branding, control, and software rivalry when they last discussed their maps partnership, but talks finally broke down due to a disagreement over voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions. Google has the free navigation service built into the Android operating system and Apple wanted a version of it for iOS as well, AllThingsD reported.
The search company refused, saying it wasn’t part of the initial contract between the two. But Apple felt that the unavailability of the feature on iOS put it at a clear disadvantage in the mobile space. Google also wanted more say in the iOS maps feature set instead of just providing back-end data, and also asked Apple to allow for in-app branding — all issues the iPhone maker was not willing to concede on. Apple was also beginning to get worried that Google was using iOS devices to gather a large amount of data.
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According to AllThingsD, all these issues were hurting negotiations between the two, but voice navigation finally proved to be “deal-breaker.” Apple ultimately canceled Google’s contract with a year still left on it, deciding to replace the navigation system that had been inbuilt into its mobile devices since the first iPhone in 2007 with its own home-grown app.
It had already been acquiring smaller mapping companies, but now it fast-tracked development of an in-house maps app with voice-guided navigation. However, the source says Apple probably didn’t realize that it had a lot of catching up to on Google and “felt they were farther along than they actually are,” releasing the app when it they did.
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