Is Apple Stealing From Google Maps?
Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 6 update and its 200+ new features for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users is being overshadowed by one major departure from the company’s earlier mobile platforms: maps.
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Until its most recent update, available last Wednesday, Apple’s iDevices came with a pre-installed map application from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). They also came pre-installed with a YouTube app. Now both of the Google products are gone from Apple’s mobile platform, and Apple has been feeling the heat from disgruntled iOS users.
Apple replaced its Google-powered map app with one built in-house, which much to the company’s chagrin, has not been well-received. In a likely effort to quickly get the application up to snuff and placate angered iDevices users, Apple is now reportedly recruiting people with experience working on Google Maps.
According to a source cited by TechCrunch, Apple has been aggressively recruiting these people to get them to come work on its own mapping product, actually trying to lure away current Google Maps employees who work for the search giant on contract. And Apple’s attempts may prove successful, as the source tells TechCrunch many of these individuals seem eager to make the move, given the opportunity to build a new product rather than perform “tedious updates” on the mostly completed Google Maps.
According to the source, some staff had already begun looking for other opportunities before Apple’s poaching began, as attention at Google Maps turned to indoor mapping, an area that holds less interest for some. Apple is also said to be offering great competitive salaries, with some positions including full coverage of moving expenses to go to Cupertino.
If Apple successfully recruits multiple Google employees, iOS users should expect to see some map updates in the coming months — updates that could have Apple’s own app looking strikingly more like the Google app it dumped.
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