Mobile software

Apple ditches Google for TomTom in iOS 6

Warwick Ashford

Apple has given Dutch satnav firm TomTom a boost by using the firm's mapping technology to replace Google's in the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6.

Industry analysts believe the move could help revive TomTom, which has been in decline due to the effects of satnav apps appearing on smartphones, according to the Guardian.

TomTom's shares soared as high as 16.5% on the Amsterdam stock exchange on Tuesday, in reaction to the news from Apple, the paper said. This contrasts with a 40% decline in the past 12 months.

At its WWDC 2012 developer conference this week, Apple announced it is to ditch Google Maps as the default navigation app on its iOS 6 software, due for release later this year.

Google maps is to be replaced with a new mapping service designed by Apple, which will use TomTom's technology to offer turn-by-turn navigation and live traffic information for the first time.

No details of the deal between Apple and TomTom have been disclosed, but industry analysts said it is likely to be similar to the deal TomTom struck with BlackBerry last month.

TomTom maps, location content and live traffic information from highways agencies, plus TomTom's network of internet-connected satnavs, is being used in the BlackBerry navigation app.

Industry analysts said Apple's decision to drop Google Maps is a strike against Google, but the platform battle goes beyond Android versus iOS.

After Google began charging for commercial use of its application programming interface (API) late last year, developers and publishers opted to use the volunteer-driven OpenStreetMap.

With 600,000 registered users, OpenStreetMap has also won the support of Microsoft, prompting analysts to speculate about a battle for the future of mobile computing between Apple, Google and Microsoft.


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