Whoa, it looks like Apple’s brand new in-house Maps solution in iOS 6 sources some content from Microsoft’s Bing Maps.

The iPhone maker taps more than a dozen of providers for various mapping data used in iOS 6 Maps.

However, the Redmond giant is not officially included on Apple’s list of Maps acknowledgments, even if some of the images used reportedly have Microsoft attribution…

A report from TechPP (via The Next Web) points out that some of the images appear to have Microsoft attribution, as evident in code strings of Apple Maps in the latest iOS 6 Beta.

Check out the Microsoft mention in the below screenshot.

Click for larger.

In addition to Bing Maps, we also know from before that OpenStreetMap is a partner and that Cupertino is anonymously crowd-sourcing data from other iOS users about real-time traffic conditions.

And TomTom today confirmed a rumored partnership with Apple. The Amsterdam, Netherlands-headquartered company posted this morning a brief statement on its website which reads:

TomTom has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information. No further details of the agreement will be provided.

Cupertino has really gone all out with the new maps, also tapping Yelp for reviews as well as free turn-by-turn app Waze.

Executives said in yesterday’s keynote that Apple will partner on such data even with select third-party developers, where it makes sense.

Here’s the full list of acknowledgements for the new Maps app.

Strangely enough, Microsoft is not listed.

Maybe Apple is only using Bing Maps as a fallback when other services are not available due to licensing restrictions or server issues.

Another possibility: some of the listed companies could be licensing their data to Microsoft.

The list acknowledges that Apple tapped Acxiom to provide business listing data, DigitalGlobe for satellite imagery data, InterMap and LeadDog for some map data, to name a few.

All told, a total of fifteen mapping companies are listed as Apple’s partners.

So all of this indicates that Apple’s been working on own maps for awhile in an effort to create a decent replacement for Google Maps.

My hunch tells me that it won’t be too long before Cupertino attempts to displace Google Maps on the web. Curiously, maps.apple.com still redirects to Google Maps.

The one feature ostensibly missing from Apple Maps: Street View.


  • Download Google Earth and you have street view back (;

    • Google earth sucks compared to the new maps

    • pegger1

      Pretty sure Google Earth doesn’t have street view.

  • EricArmstrongg

    They should have had a slide yesterday that just said “F**k Google.”

  • i will really miss street view :'( Maybe it will still work on Safari?

  • No street view would be a definitely minus…

  • Street view for IOS 8

  • Dont need street view, the 3D mode is clear enough to remove street view entirely

    • kgelner

      I was thinking the same thing. You need street view to see what an area looks like ahead of time, which you can also get from the 3D maps…

    • SimonReidy

      Practically speaking you’re correct, but street view is great for viewing an area photographically to see exactly what it looks like. Vector maps will just give you a wireframe approximation.

      • Yeah we will have to see, apple said it Has photorealistic quality, so we will see how far the zoom levels are later on.

      • renofish

        No street view? Not for me.

  • Well.. I think Apple just wanted to get away from Google, even if they had to use data from Bing.. I’m not really bothered by there’s no street view in the new maps as I never really used it on iOS previously.

  • I was wondering when someone would credit Waze. That whole “crowd-sourced” traffic thing can only come from them.

    • kgelner

      I wonder if Apple Maps will also show the speed trap reports I enter into Waze…

    • rohta

      Waze appears in iOS 6 Maps acknowledgements:
      “Maps data © 2012 Waze.”

  • Street-view is a great feat. that gives the user the advantage of recognising upon arrival. I haven’t checked out the 3D mode Apple will be using but given the fact that its more of a birds eye view it cant compete with the “human eye level” of street-view. Another thing to consider is that Apple’s 3D mode will be available only to the iphone4S and the new upcoming iphone, whereas street-view works on any iphone, correct me if Im wrong!
    I hope this will be a move to make maps better, if not at first it most certainly will push competition/innovation further between Google, Microsoft and Apple in the MAPS field. Users are the winners!
    A few weeks left 🙂

  • kiljoy616

    What is the fixation with Street View over the years I have used it once and it was not even the same building as it showed. Just an empty lot. The human monkey sure has a hard time changing its routine.