Apple’s calamitous decision to ditch Google Maps for its own mapping solution was at the insistence of Steve Jobs, it has emerged.
Introduced with the latest iOS 6 version of the iPhone’s operating system, Apple Maps has come in for excoriating criticism for a raft of misplaced and missing locations, as well as misspelt place names.
Much of this has focused on CEO Tim Cook, with some tech-watchers citing his more relaxed approach to leadership and alleged less detail-oriented ethos as a key contributor to Apple Maps’ shortcomings.
Today, however, that seems more than a little bit unfair. According to sources cited by Business Week, Apple Maps was in fact Jobs’ brainchild.
Apparently, Apple’s former talisman drove the move away from Google Maps after his company’s relationship with the company behind Android worsened to such an extent that Jobs was said to hate his rival.
Business Week reports: “At the time of his death, Jobs had come to loathe Google, which he felt was copying features of the iPhone while withholding a key feature of Google Maps that allows smartphones to dictate turn-by-turn directions aloud.
“Jobs also discussed pulling Google search from the iPhone, but figured that customers would reject that move, according to two former Apple executives.”
Where Cook must take the blame is in seemingly rushing out Apple Maps before it was market-ready. Especially since it has since emerged that Apple’s contract stipulated that it was licensed to use Google Maps for another 12 months when it was dropped as the iPhone’s default maps app.