Apple taps TomTom as new iOS 6 Maps provider

By , Jun 11, 2012

While we knew that Apple was looking to knock off Google as the Maps provider for iOS, we weren’t exactly sure how it was going to do it. Was it building an in-house database? Using OpenStreetMaps?

Well as it turns out, neither of those answers were correct. According to the Acknowledgement page from inside the new iOS 6 Maps application, Apple is using mapping services from TomTom

Engadget posts the photo, which it says was sent in from an anonymous developer. As you can see, the GPS giant is mentioned on both the Maps Drop Pin page, as well as the Acknowledgement page.

Remember, Apple’s string of mapping company acquisitions involved mostly 3D/visual technology. It’s likely that it still needed help in the backend data/tiles area.

So, if you’re Apple, do you try to create an entire planet’s worth of maps from scratch? Or do you partner up with an experienced player like TomTom?

Interesting.

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  • Wael Abdo

    Ahhhhh! So there’s a navigation giant behind it after all….. Nice, about time too.

  • http://twitter.com/MattGregg97 Matt ッ

    Is this just for the navigation or is it for the pictures too

  • http://twitter.com/SubPrimeTime Javier Lopez

    With Apple’s seemingly infinite $moolah resources, one would think that they have the ability to create their own mapping solution. However its important to note that they will only engage into something that makes most sense logistically and financially as a company. The perfect example is Apple’s decision to have their devices and hardware assembled in china by Foxconn. Tim cook said that he felt like Foxconn could do just as good of a job as apple could in assembling their hardware. Which only points to there being a financially sound incentive for using TOM TOM as their mapping services.

    • http://www.3sixtydegreescouting.com/ Greg Braddock

      I think mapping is an EXTREMELY difficult thing to do. I think Apple has only been thinking about this for about 3 years…maybe 4? Google has has god knows how many years head start, it makes perfect sense that they tapped another company.

  • Jobran

    TomTom doesn’t cover Israel maps.. !?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ronn.padua Ronn Padua

      same goes for the Philippines….
      I wonder, many clients will not like this move, unless tomtom will cover as well the other countries which aren’t for the meantime

  • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

    Shoulda been Garmin..

    • http://www.grischke.net/ Maciek

      Garmin’s shit. It has always been.

      • http://www.andrewcassone.tk/ NY Andrew

        Never had one problem with my Garmin GPS’ over the years compared to an old Tom Tom that was trash. Now I think we both can agree that Magellan is shit ;)

  • smtp25

    Sooooo We get voice turn-by-turn Navigation now ? (picking no as who would buy full price tomtom)

    • http://twitter.com/Alekseriator Alex Golubev

      Yes we are :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1769816470 Albion Goxhaj

    Maybe they have a year or two contract with tom tom till they are fully ready with their own mapping service.
    You know apple likes to come up with something perfectly done. Than on the other hand siri was a half ass ready :)
    Apple is slowly loosing a lot of costumers to android.
    No support for a year and half old devices they make them unuseble.
    People say that android devices take a lot of time till they get updates. I would ruther have a divice that takes time for support thaan have one out of use. Look at iphone 3g it is a 3 year old device and cant use it no more. Iphone 3gs will be a total crap and unusable with ios6.
    Cmmon apple. WTF ?

    • http://twitter.com/Alekseriator Alex Golubev

      it makes perfect sense. Your brain is just too small and stupid to comprehend it all.

    • smtp25

      Unlikely they would dump google, to only temporarily go with Tomtom to dump them again for their own maps.. maybe they will use the 3D map tech they brought to overlay again on top of TomTom maps

      3G was released June 9, 2008 (according to wiki) so you should thank apple for creating a phone that has managed to last 4 years. 3GS is 3 years old, life span of average phone/contact is 2 years

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1769816470 Albion Goxhaj

        LI mean the 3g was out 2 years ago. They managed to let the 3gs 2 years.
        This is a game for their own profit. Which comes from us.
        I am typing this from my 4s. Tried the samsung galaxy s 2 and didnt like it that much.
        Dont get me wrong. I like apple. But as a user i am smart enough to think that all they want is to rip you off

  • http://twitter.com/Mrozzy123 Ozzy h4xker

    Cool :)

  • http://www.grischke.net/ Maciek

    Apple + TomTom = 100% Guaranteed Success!

    I hope this is true! And if it is, I can’t wait to get to use TomTom HD Traffic!

  • http://twitter.com/Devin_Plebuch Devin Plebuch

    I heavily use my TomTom app. I am very, very much for this.

  • http://twitter.com/aadaam Adam Nemeth

    TomTom owns TeleAtlas, which is behind Google Maps for most of Europe.

    Therefore, for Europeans, it’s more of a frontend change, the data quality will remain.

    Other options were NAVTEQ, owned by Nokia, powering Bing Maps and Nokia Maps amongst others, and OSM. The rest is usually using a combination of these three and some of their own gathered data as well (except for local agencies, like formerly national agencies in the post-communist world)

    The problem with OSM is consistency, lack of coverage where there are less geeks and unpredictable updates.

  • http://twitter.com/aadaam Adam Nemeth

    It’s funny to see the same ugly distortions on the 3d maps which you could see at Nokia WebGL as well: http://maps.nokia.com/webgl/

  • AMB_07

    As much as I like Google’s maps service I think this will be the better option for iOS hands down. About time we get something better than the pitiful app we had in its place. No word on Youtube huh? Was hoping for something on that end too…

  • Érico Gonçalves

    I have TOMTOM BRAZIL app and I’m really happy with it. It covers almost worldwide. So, I think this new map is going to work well here.

    • rohta

      I’ve installed iOS 6 and Brazil is not covered in this new Maps app. Well, it routes, but doesn’t show the streets. Looks like that there is a basemap, but not a very detailed map.

      Well, it is still beta, so Apple has about 4 months to make it work not only in Brazil, but in others places as well.

  • Elmar Abbasov

    TomTom doesn’t cover my country…so i have to call iOS 6 a downgrade? :/

  • http://twitter.com/ampdewd Andy Pritchard

    What about meh street view!?! :0