Apple have very quietly purchased an online mapping company, Placebase.
The news was only confirmed recently but speculation is now growing that this indicates a desire by Apple to reduce its reliance on Google services including of course Google maps.
The former Placebase CEO is now on-board with Apple in the 'Geo Team as his Linked-In profile confirms.
There are clear commercial reasons why apple would want to bring a mapping company into their portfolio. iPhoto has geotagging support using Google Maps and the iPhone/iPod Touch of course both use Google Map data.
With mapping experience in the family we may possibly see more map enabled functionality in Apple but of course, buying a small online mapping company does not give you access to world-wide map data so Apple have some way to go before we will see 'Maps by Apple' in the copyright.
Posted by SSR on Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:39 am
It will be a shame if Apple and Google fall out further, but inevitable I guess.