Mark Gurman, writing for
9to5Mac 9to5Google received a tip saying that although Apple may improve the Maps app for iOS 5, they'll still use Google for the actual map data, just like they've done since iOS 1 (iPhone OS):
Now, sources have told 9to5Google that although Apple is working to improve the iOS Maps application, iOS 5 will not bring an Apple developed maps service and Google Maps is still in.
This makes a lot of sense. There are two major map data providers, TeleAtlas, which is now owned by TomTom, and Navteq, now owned by Nokia. Almost everyone else has to license the data from them, with the exception of Google who has since re-mapped and compiled their own map database. The companies Apple purchased, PlaceBase and Poly9, seem to do really interesting things with map data, but don't seem to have any map database themselves, and while Apple has been compiling location data, there's no evidence they've re-mapped roads the way Google has. (Though they may be in the process of doing that.)
So if Apple is working on updating the iOS Maps app, my best guess is it will be in the layers above the raw map data, and once again they'll use user interface and experience, and very cool software as the differentiator, no the pipes themselves. If you own the UI, you can swap out the pipes whenever you want, like they swapped out Skyhook for Google, and then Google their own database for location.)
Anything specific you'd like to see in iOS 5 Maps?