Next week, Apple is widely expected to drop Google as the maps provider for the iPhone and iPad. Google has provided Apple’s mobile mapping system since the release of the first iPhone, but the companies aren’t friends anymore. Over the last few years, Apple has purchased three mapping startups, and it has reportedly been combining their technology into a maps application that, in the words of one Apple insider who spoke to All Things D, “will blow your head off.”
Is Google worried that Apple’s defection will substantially reduce its user base, and, consequently, the advertising revenue it gains through maps? Does the search company fear that it could lose its place as the online mapping leader, a position that has long been one of its competitive advantages? Is it concerned that Apple might build a better, more useful maps app?