The iPhone is fighting a war for independence from Google Maps, with Apple looking to launch its own mapping service. Long an inextricable part of the iPhone experience, Google Maps will no longer be the device's default navigator, if all goes according to Apple's plan. The Cupertino company's mapping service, set for release in its next mobile operating system, could be previewed at next week's developers' conference, the Wall Street Journal reports. The takeover plot has been years in the making, as Apple has snapped up at least three mapping firms.
Success would mean a major coup for Apple, with some 90% of iPhone users currently turning to Google for maps. What's more, about a quarter of the $2.5 billion mobile ads market is devoted to map-related ads. For Google, it also means less data-gathering to help its ad service. Google and Apple were long on friendly terms, working in separate digital fields—until their fight for mobile dominance began. Now, "Google and Apple are in a battle over data, devices, services, and the future of computing," says an analyst. Indeed, some Google execs even fear Apple is attempting to drive users from Google search. Click through for a history of the firms' relationship.