Over the past few months, there has been frequent buzz around the native maps application on the iPhone. First it was with Google introducing advanced navigation features on the Android which is yet to be made available on the iPhone.
Then later, we also heard that Apple had acquired a Google Maps rival, Placebase back in July of this year.
If these were any indications of Apple choosing to part ways with Google and build a much more robust mapping application on their own, it has become increasingly clear today with an innocuous job posting at the Apple website.
The job post for the position of software engineer specifically emphasizes on the company’s vision for their native maps application. The posting on the company’s website reads
“We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.”
Are we reading too much into this? Possibly. But considering the recent chain of events, it is quite possible that Apple has chosen to focus on this segment. However, the bad blood with Google need not be the only reason. Location based services are turning out to become one of the most lucrative business opportunities on the mobile web today. Augmented reality application development is another area which is seeing a lot of promise. While most of the services in these areas are offered by third party app developers today, with the huge opportunity at stake, it is possible that Apple could venture into these segments themselves sometime.
Depending on a third party service for such a crucial area is not only going to hinder growth plans, but with Google as partner, Apple could be losing competitive advantage to Android as well. Parting ways on the mapping application could then mean an unbridled and competitive growth in this segment. From this perspective, it indeed could be a welcome move if Apple has chosen to go the solo route.
Do you agree? Please tell us your views.
[Apple Website via MacRumors]
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