We continue to receive information about the discussions between Apple and Google that ultimately resulted in Apple ditching the Google powered Maps app and launching its in-house developed Maps app, even though there was over a year to go for Google Maps contract.
It’s been known for a while that Apple wishes to eradicate the current stock Google Maps offering in place of its own version. Sources of 9to5mac have offered confirmation, while also going into some detail about the upcoming improvements.
Navigation junkies have been pining for Navigon’s latest MobileNavigator application ever since our sneak preview at CTIA, but that wait is now over — at least for iPhone constituents. To mark its arrival, the app was re-branded as Navigon 2.0, and yes, it’s a free upgrade for current users. Most notably, the software now enables individuals to selectively load maps into their iPhone on a state-by-state basis — thereby creating extra headroom for more important uses. Additionally, Navigon fans will also discover a completely re-designed user interface along with an in-app purchase function that delivers quarterly map updates. Now through November 30th, new users may purchase Navigon 2.0 for $20 off the normal price of $49.99 for the United States or Canada, and $59.99 for all of North America.
Even as the rise of free navigation apps gives most paid competitors pause (if not killing them outright), Navigon has managed to stay well ahead of the pack with a robust, oft-updated smartphone solution, despite charging over $80 for the privilege. But now, even that last bit can change. For $30, Navigon’s MyRegion gives you its premium MobileNavigator software at around one-third the price, with the simple caveat that you only get maps for one-third of the US (East, West or Central) to go with it. Should you drive out of your designated zone, Navigon will generously allow you to buy another chunk a la carte for $15; and all of Navigon’s other add-ons, including the new MyRoutes feature (customized route recommendations and alternate routes) are similarly available. It’s not quite as delectable as gratis, but we have to admit a certain admiration for Navigon turning software investment into impulse buy. Oh, and speaking of impulsive: Navigon’s offering MyRegion for the low, low price of $25 through April 12th.
Having Google as the default search engine on the iPhone is rumored to earn Apple more than $100 million per year in a revenue sharing deal between the two companies, a new report alleges.
Downplaying rumors that Apple could be working on its own search engine, Silicon Alley Insider cited an anonymous source Thursday as stating that the iPhone maker has no intention of getting into the business that Google dominates. That same source claimed that Apple earns more than $100 million a year in a revenue sharing deal with Google.
In addition to being the search provider for Safari on the iPhone, Google also powers the native Maps application included with Apple’s handset. The source claimed that making Google Maps a provider for the initial iPhone in 2007 was a simple two-week process. But when GPS was added to the iPhone 3G, negotiations between the two technology giants allegedly lasted six months.
“Google wanted access to all sorts of data from the maps, but Apple didn’t want to give it up, according to this person,” the report said.
While the $100 million in annual revenue is cited as a reason for Apple to not develop its own search engine, it’s also a fraction of the $15.68 billion the company posted in revenue last quarter alone.
The news follows rumors from weeks ago that Apple and Microsoft were in talks to make its Bing search engine the default provider for the iPhone. Control of the handset’s Maps application was also said to be a part of those ongoing discussions.
In spite of their ongoing partnership, a perception of rivalry between Apple and Google has grown in the public’s eye since Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board of directors last August. Both Google and Apple were the subjects of a Federal Trade Commmission investigation for potential antitrust ties. Schmidt chose to resign because Google’s Android mobile operating system and forthcoming Chrome OS netbook operating system look to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Mac OS X, respectively.
Apple, too, showed signs in 2009 that it intends to tread into Google’s territory soon. Last summer, Apple purchased Google Maps competitor Placebase. Later in the year, it sought to hire a full-time employee to take its iPhone Maps application “to the next level.”
Apple has also entered the mobile advertising business after its purchase of Quattro Wireless, believed to be worth $275 million, in December. Through the acquisition, Apple also named the former CEO of Quattro Wireless, Andy Miller, to a new position: vice president of Mobile Advertising.