Schmidt: Apple has to approve Google Maps app for iOS — if we build it


Google still won’t say definitively whether or not it is building a Google Maps(s GOOG) app for iOS 6. But the company’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, had plenty to say about the Apple Maps flap last night. In an on-stage interview in New York City with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of AllThingsD Wednesday night, he opined that Apple’s decision to drop Google Maps in iOS 6(s AAPL) was a bad one, and said that he’s confident any Google Maps app would be approved for iOS.

“Apple should have kept our maps,” he told the pair. He ignored a comment from Mossberg that Apple had reasons for dropping them (i.e. Google’s refusal to give Apple turn-by-turn directions)  and indicated that Apple had always planned to do its own maps solution, saying Google saw it coming “for a long time.”

Unsurprisingly, Schmidt wasn’t about to break any news about a Google Maps app for iOS 6. But he did say this:

I don’t want to preannounce products, but I can tell you that were we to do that, Apple would have to approve it.

He didn’t explain why that would be. Historically, Apple has not automatically approved all Google apps for iOS — see Google Voice and Google Latitude. The FCC opened an inquiry into the rejection of Google Voice and Apple eventually accepted it.

Schmidt’s confidence in approval could be knowing that Apple prefers to avoid attracting the interest of any government agency should it block a high-profile competing app from its platform. It could be that he knows Apple would come off looking really dumb to its customers that know and love Google Maps. Or it could be that he’s already secured an agreement to approval. He also said that his company and Apple are in “constant communication.”

For his part, Apple CEO Tim Cook has already showed he’s not afraid of promoting competitors’ mapping apps: in his apology over Apple Maps’ poor quality he suggested using Google or Nokia(s NOK) web-based maps, or native mapping apps from Bing(s MSFT), MapQuest and Waze.



“IF we do it…” Balderdash! The Google map builds are already leaked. Betcha the new Google map app will be vector based; the old one was not. And betcha it offers turn by turn, which Google refused to provide to Apple. So, soon, IOS users will have the best of both worlds: Apple and Google maps both. Win, win, Apple.


I think you’re reading what you want to read Erica. Google maps, just like any other app, needs Apple’s approval before it is distributed on the app store. Schmidt is simply stating the obvious. Your stockholm syndrome is a tad obvious :-) You should try live outside the walled garden for a while.


It is pretty obvious that Google is posturing without letting the full picture come into focus. They will be releasing an iOS Google Maps app, but they are not ready so why say yes or no until they are ready and wait for Apple to approve it or deny it.

If Apple so stupidly denies it as we all expect them to do, it will go to the FTC and Apple will once again be called out for doing what they do best, squash innovation where and whenever.

Google will make Google Maps on iOS full featured since that is the only way it will get full adoption and use by users. It will however not get access to Siri (which is hit or miss anyways). So be prepared, EOY, or at CES.


This guy is such a tool. Why would Apple want to continue to use their crippled map app? How long has Google Maps been installed on iPhones and when did they plan on making it equivalent to Maps on Android? They got what they deserved.


“Apple CEO Tim Cook has already showed he’s not afraid of promoting competitors’ mapping apps.”

This was a courageous move for Cook and he deserves a lot of credit for it.

Harvey Lubin

Let’s face it Google Maps is screwed on iOS, whether Google makes an app for it or not.

Here are the three possible scenarios:

1) Google doesn’t make a maps app for iOS (Result: they lose all of the ad revenues they used to collect from Maps on iOS)

2) Google makes a maps app for iOS, but it is similar to the previous one without turn-by-turn navigation, and other missing features (Result: No one using iOS wants to download and use a castrated version of Google Maps, and so they instead continue using alternate maps apps with turn-by-turn navigation)

3) Google makes a fully-featured maps app for iOS similar to the Android version (Result: iOS users will download and use it, but Google loses its advantage of having this app for Android only).

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