Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, said Apple and Google have agreed to renew the Google Maps service for iPhone. He was speaking at an All All Things D conference, and added that the partnership was expected to continue for a long time.
It has also been speculated that Apple is still working on its own maps service. The information about it was culled from job listings on the web. Apple has been using its own maps location database since last year, but for maps themselves the company still uses Google Maps.
The relationship between the two companies is complicated, as they compete in some services and collaborate in others. Competition is fierce in the mobile market, and even their app stores compete heavily with each other. In fact, the relationship is similar to that between Google and Amazon, as the former benefits from the Amazon App Store on the Android platform, but both of them fight for almost the same set of users for their cloud offerings.
While creating another maps service, the problem for Apple is Google’s detailed work in the maps field. Google has raised the standard to such a level that its competitors, including Apple, will not have to build just maps; they may have to come up with maps platforms. Take Google Street View for example, which actually almost transports users to the place they are visiting on Google Maps.
Even business listings are an integral part of Google Maps, which allow users to find what they need easily through maps. In the end, even if Apple decides to discontinue its partnership with Google Maps, the installed Google Maps cache is still huge enough to help users.