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…
Check out the Microsoft mention in the below screenshot.
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.