To some, Google Maps app is a win for Apple

Apple Senior VP of iPhone Software Scott Forstall demonstrates the new map application featured on iOS 6 during the keynote address during the 2012 Apple WWDC keynote address at the Moscone Center on June 11, 2012 in San Francisco, Calif.

A manager holds an Apple iPhone and a Motorola Droid smart phone sold through Verizon at the Verizon store.

There's a new and maybe not-so-welcome arrival in the Apple App Store: Late yesterday, Google Maps for iPhone became available. You might recall that Apple had previously dumped Google Maps from its devices in favor of its own map program, which has had a rocky reception to say the least. Now Google Maps is back on the iPhone, and the battle is on.

"This all came about because Google and Apple had reached an impasse. Apple wanted to have turn-by-turn directions and some of the other features that Google puts on Android. Google refused, so Apple built their own app," says Carl Howe, analyst at the Yankee Group. 

Though Apple suffered criticism over its map, in the end the company may have achieved just what it wanted all along. "Google saw [themselves] losing that critical spot on the iPhone screen, and so they caved... they basically put in all the same features that are available on Android, as a matter of fact, the iOS app is now a little ahead of the Android maps app," says Howe.

According to Howe, Google had more at stake in the maps battle as Google Maps is a central source of advertising revenue for Google. While for Apple, its just one piece of the overall iPhone experience.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

A manager holds an Apple iPhone and a Motorola Droid smart phone sold through Verizon at the Verizon store.

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