John Paczkowski on the Apple-Google Maps Negotiations and Timing

Great reporting by John Paczkowski:

Apple pushed Google hard to provide the data it needed to bring voice-guided navigation to iOS. But according to people familiar with Google’s thinking, the search giant, which had invested massive sums in creating that data and views it as a key feature of Android, wasn’t willing to simply hand it over to a competing platform.

And if there were terms under which it might have agreed to do so, Apple wasn’t offering them. Sources tell AllThingsD that Google, for example, wanted more say in the iOS maps feature set. It wasn’t happy simply providing back-end data. It asked for in-app branding. Apple declined. It suggested adding Google Latitude. Again, Apple declined. And these became major points of contention between the two companies, whose relationship was already deteriorating for a variety of other reasons, including Apple’s concern that Google was gathering too much user data from the app.

Apple wanted turn-by-turn and vector map tiles. Google wanted more control over the Maps app, more branding, and more identifiable location data. So Apple moved. I’ll have more to say on the timing of all this a little later tonight.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012