iPhone 5 to be another Google killer -- but with a twist
iMore has learned that Apple wants to remove Google from iOS, at least as much as is possible. A couple of years ago Steve Jobs called a Town Hall meeting at Apple and rallied the troops by saying the next iPhone, which was to be the iPhone 4, would be an A+ update and take it to the turncoat Google and their Android operating system. According to our sources, a similar sentiment is being expressed by Apple in Cupertino again this year, but with a decidedly different twist. Instead of just hitting Google and Android in the market place with better hardware and software, and in the courts with patent litigation, they're going to hit them where it really hurts.
While the exact numbers are hotly debated, it's long been said Google makes more money off iOS than they do off their own Android operating system. The reason for this is simple -- mainstream iOS users tend to use the web and apps more than mainstream Android users, and iOS is filled with Google services. The built-in Maps app is powered by Google and provides sponsored search results. The built-in Safari web browser defaults to Google Search and serves Google Search ads. When iOS users use those services, Google makes money. Regardless of whether or not iOS or Android is winning in the market place, Google is winning in the wallet.
And Apple wants to end that.
Removing Google from Maps is an easy step in that direction. As reported by 9to5Mac earlier today, and as we've confirmed from our own sources as well, iOS 6 will come with an updated Maps app that removes the Google backend and replaces it with an Apple backend.
This isn't without precedent. Both Apple and Google used to use Skyhook for Wi-Fi router location mapping, and both have now switched to in-house databases. Google used to license map tiles and has since re-drawn them themselves. Apple has bought 3 mapping data related companies, and could have either re-licensed or redrawn tiles by now as well.
For the end-user, the interface is the app, and switching out backend pipes is far more transparent than altering front ends. Mail is Mail regardless if it's being fed by iCloud or Gmail. The same holds true, in large part, for Maps.
So in this case, the goal is more interesting than the process -- to remove Google as much as possible from iOS.
Realistically, Google Search will be tougher to replace since Google enjoys an almost monopoly sized share of the search space. But it may not be impossible to displace. Apple is already intermediating Google Search with Siri and that will likely continue.
Google isn't in the search business, it's in the data collection/advertising business. It doesn't make money when you search its index, it makes money recording your information, aggregating it, and brokering deals for it. Search isn't the product it sells. We are. If Apple steps in and makes the queries on our behalf, and returns them on Google's behalf, Google is cut out of the important parts -- the money.
All of this is in stark contrast to January 2007, when then Google CEO Eric Schmidt took the Macworld stage with then Apple CEO Steve Jobs to celebrate the Apple/Google iPhone partnership. That was before Google pulled a 180 and turned Android from a low-end Windows Mobile and BlackBerry competitor to an iPhone competitor. That was before Apple started suing Android manufacturers and Steve Jobs threatened to go "thermonuclear".
And that's before Apple decided to stop helping Google's revenue stream, data stream, and perhaps bolstering their stock profile, by giving them built-in access to iOS users, and Apple branded data deals.
Now, Apple isn't just fighting back by making the best iOS software and iPhone hardware they can, and by trying to legally force Android manufacturers to stop copying Apple. With iOS 6 on the upcoming iPhone 5 and rumored 7-inch iPad, they're fighting back by removing as much of Google as they can as well. By denying Google access to iOS eyeballs and data.
If history is any indicator, both new devices will sell incredibly well, and tens of thousands of new customers, and hundreds of thousands of newly updated customers, will be funding and feeding Google less than ever before.
This time Apple's fighting back by hitting Google where it really hurts -- in the wallet.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
So, it's not like it would be a drastic change (to the users) if Apple stripped Google out of the iPhone.
Your obviously misinformed or ignorant of the services that google has on ios. On my iphone have maps as well as default search, google translate, and google latitude. Plus a slew of other services they offer if you just type in the word GOOGLE in the app store.
I'll have to agree with Matt. The moment you said "BETTER" hardware and software (with links to IOS5 and iPhone4s) you threw your opinion in. Let the courts decide who should be in the right with the patent litigation, because it is currently going both ways.
1) New news, 2) No freedom stifled, b) ecosystem least fragile in mobile
Make an argument. Trolling is easy. Do the work. Really disagree.
This would show that you didn't report on news. This is obviously your opinion. So don't say you are just writing about the news.
The real question will be search. If Apple tampers with that, things could get interesting.
BTW, guess who "copied" the iPhone well before Samsung... That's correct, it was LG when they released the KE850 Prada model in a press release in December 2006. It won 5 different design awards and was also the first Capacitive touch mobile phone ever to be released. Engadget even compared the two in a side-by-side "Looks just like" format and at one point LG had threatened to sue Apple over the similar design of the original iPhone. Difference is, they realized that a lawsuit over "similar looking" but not identical products is frivolous and stupid. I guess you iSheep can't see past the cult of personality Steve Jobs has installed in your heads.
Any I'm not really a fanboy in either direction. I have an android phone because my ecosystem of choice is Google, and I own a macbook pro because, quite frankly, it's a better computer than the PC options (even as a windows machine if I'm not to concerned about perfectly efficient batter life when running Windows in bootcamp). Everyone copies everyone. I think the major strength that Apple has is that it takes pretty brilliant ideas that others had and then successfully pulls of the potential that those others failed at (like how they made expose a success, even though it existed in Linux OS first; or how they somewhat improved upon Android's drop down notification, even though Google was clearly the one who invented it).
Sure, Apple has the drag to unlock screen patent (even though skins for old Windows Mobile phones had the feature first), but Palm has the physical switch to turn off volume patent.
I think on a non-fanboy "Apple is the best thing in the world", judgement, Apples main (huge) strength is successful implementation.
Rene: great article. I think it would be a great idea to get away from google as much as possible. Thanks for the info.
Proof? Source? Anything?
If you want conservative news you listen to FOX, if you want liberal news you listen to CNBC. Same with electronics forums if you want to hear everybody bash iPhones and praise Google head on over to Android Central.
Everybody here thinks Google stole all its ideas from Apple. Over at those other sites they all think Apple stole all their ideas from Google. So go where you fit in and leave us alone.
4 - 4S
And either way, I bet it'll just be New iPhone. Like they do with every other product now. (except ipod). They have dropped numbers
People complaining about the use of iPhone 5 are causing their own problems.
It's next in numerical sequence, matches the model number, and is by far the most popular mainstream term for the next iPhone.
There's no downside except for overly uptight sticklers.
They named 1 phone with a neurmerical indication of generation and now everyone thinks its "correct" to call the next iPhone "5". The iPhone 4s is the "5th" phone.
They only gave 1 iPad a neurmerical identification. Then went right back to how they call all the MacBooks and Airs. "New" iPad/MacBook/ect.
So you can almost guarantee this will just be the "new" iPhone. If you disagree, look at every other apple product.
Everyday users would not know IPSW id's identify the new iPhone as 5.1. Also, wasn't that the ID of the 4s?
It may well be "the new iPhone", or "iPhone X", or "iPhone Black". Whatever Apple wants.
And no, the iPhone 4S was iPhone 4,1.
iPhone was iPhone 1,1. iPhone 3G was iPhone 1,2 (Apple didn't consider it a new generation). iPhone 3GS was iPhone 2,1.
It might be called iPhone 5 or it might not, but anyone saying it's incorrect to call it that now is absolutely worrying about the wrong thing.
The iPhone 3G was named for its new 3G radio, not for it being 3rd generation. The iPhone 4 was the only phone given a real generation indication In its name. The 3Gs was not called iPhone 3. So therefor the 4 did not follow any neurmerical order. It was the 4th generation of the iPhone. It would have still be called iPhone 4 if the 3G and 3gs were named something different. There's no neurmerical relation to the 3G-4 transition.
So, it does seem there is a deeper meaning to the names besides "marketing" and apple actually knows what they are doing by properly numbering things.
Apple can change the default search provider and mabye make some money of that.
Let's face it, the google maps experience in iOS isn't great. There's no navigation. Apple could do this better. They have to do it better.
What hurts, of course, is Apple's would be exclusive. You aren't going to switch platforms later and be able to use apple maps & nav, icloud, ibooks, etc. This would further entrench you into Apple's ecosystem. Which i'm sure is Apple's goal but part of me wants to remain not so much entrenched in any platform..
Without this, then i won't use maps much at all. I still may not for long trips as i prefer to have maps already loaded on device.
I'm sure the app will be eye candy and easy to use. That's what Apple is known for. But hopefully it includes navigation.
Why wouldn't you want more functionality? Couldn't care less? Let me guess, you're still hung up on it being called iphone 5 and obsessed with wanting a 4" screen.
That's one of the main differences between fanboys and regular users. Regular users feel trapped in a monopoly of services and products, fanboys think this it is the best thing in the world, and it's great that Apple is so profitable and is able to kill everybody else, instead of creating an ethical business environment where everybody can profit.
Apple is a mirror reflection of the Microsoft of the 90's. The only thing Microsoft lacked was the cult aura that Steve Jobs managed to create around Apple, so one monopoly is evil and the other is blessed.
Frankly this thought is obvious. I cant take an android app and put it on an iphone, either way you become entrenched in a platform. You can change your chosen platform but it does have costs.
In general historically you don't put Mac apps on a microsoft PC anymore than you could put a VHS in a BETA machine. Choosing the formats, and standards always locks you in at least some degree
Not today. But I'm sure by iPhone 10, you will be able to. It's easy to put a java runtime engine inside the iPhone, in fact, Apple won't even have to develop their own - since Android is open source, they could simply take Android and put it stacked on iOS - its just a matter of time and when it will make sense to Apple.
If Windows was open source, Apple would have done it. Instead, when they switched to Intel, they allowed users to dual boot into Windows if that is what they want to do.
Google is every bit as proprietary as Apple in markets they dominate, and Apple is as open as Google in markets they don't dominate.
Google Search and AdSense aren't open source. WebKit is.
There's very little difference between any of the major players, outside corporate culture, and who makes which funny misstep on any given day.
If you like iOS then get and iPhone. If you don't, there ARE other choices.
96% of Google's revenue comes from advertising.
Don't forget that. Google certainly won't.
As long as Google is Google, a buyout will not happen for a few reasons:
1.) Apple doesn't have more money than Google is worth. They're worth more...but they don't have enough. Now, in the next year or so, I'm sure they will. But even then...that moves to the next issue...
2.) As I said above, as long as Google is Google, no buyout will happen. That means...as long as Google remains profitable for shareholder alike, they would never agree to a buyout. That makes no sense...cause we know Apple would just tear the, apart and be done with them,
3.) Last, but not least, it's just crazy talk. If it was that easy...Samsung (the group, not the electronic arm) could've bought Apple years ago before this success. Microsoft could've bought Apple while they were still down and out. It just doesn't work that way.
Google does a fantastic job of selling you an ecosystem and calling it free...but once you try to leave it you are very stuck with a very fractured ecosystem. Apple is doing their best to step up and provide a totally wrapped up in one ecosystem. They're already well on their way.
To get most of the services provided in iOS, you need a Mac to go with your iOS device. Apple has the server farms for what purpose? Your data.
They're taking a page directly out of the Google playbook so they can mimic (re-invent) the way, the APPLE way, of doing things.
Can they remove Google Maps? Yes. Can their version be better? Sure it can. Could they remove YouTube and provide something else? No. Same with Google Search. But by redirecting services through Apple servers and enhancing the experience, well, that's the genius of what Apple is going to do.
Enhance the Google Experience in a way that Google cannot.
This will all work through your iCloud account, I believe. Everything will have to be stored somewhere on a server attached to you.
Just wait....Apple is on to something....and I'm a Google guy who recently bought his first iPhone. I miss alot of my Google services but this Apple ecosystem is hard to beat....once they totally wrap it all up and tidy things up a bit.
This is a good thing.
Apples doesn't speculate or, intentionally, leak any early info about future products. So that's an editors fault for that paragraph.
Fault gladly accepted.
Back to the article, If this information is true, than this will be the STUPIDEST thing Apple has ever done. Ever. And it will eat away at their money. Google is not just in hardware, its online, and access to the internet is world wide and insanely hard to remove. Apple will just lose trying to reduce the Google footprint that is in iOS because it would mean:
-New integration of Maps
-New Youtube app
-New search engine
-New Mail app
And soo much more.
I have an iPhone, but I also have respect for Android for filling a void in the market place that was not attended by Apple, BlackBerry, Nokia and all the other big players in mobile. If people want open source, then let them. Hardware is hardware and can put together by anyone, that doesn't make it copying. Apple came to fame over their software, and that's all Apple should be focusing on. Innovating is more important than profiting in the long run.
New map is easily done, they've been acquiring companies that specialize in that.
YouTube app: Apple doesn't have any reason or way to compete with YouTube so I could see that staying.
New search engine: you can already change your default search engine. I'm sure there are a lot of people that don't know that or are to mess with so if they switched it I bet majority of people wouldn't care.
The mail app is fine. That has a google option, just like safari's search engine default. You don't have to use gmail, there plenty of other options so they wouldn't have to mess with that. Just delete the gmail option.
I care much more about being able to search for example, "Dave and Busters" or "Dave & Busters" and the system handles them equally. This is the type of query that Google Maps has always handled elegantly, where competitors failed. Hopefully Apple is working as hard on bringing these day-to-day use cases ar least to par with Googke Maps, because 3D flash without everyday usefulness would be a huge step back.
I am one of them. Google Maps is simply better than anybody else. (OpenStreetMap is excellent in some areas, but has numerous areas where it's coverage is spotty. ) Maps is one of the 4 or 5 must have features on a smartphone, though, and iOS has been falling behind Android in terms of maps and directions capabilities. Perhaps that is because Apple has not worked on it; perhaps it is because the contact with Google does not give them access to the appropriate Google services to build the better features that Android has.
Either way, Apple has decided that critical parts of a core system cannot be under the control of a competitor. I get that. They are playing with fire, though. They need to be right out of the gate as good as the market leader in mapping services, or iOS6 will be worse than iOS5 in a critical, measurable way. I hope Apple succeeds, because it will only spur Google to do more, creating a cycle of competition to benefit us all. Moreover, I hope Apple allows a 3rd party Google Maps app in the App Store, to throw down the gauntlet at Google and say "we are NOT afraid" and to keep a fire lit under their own internal Maps team.
I can't delete it from my apple account. It would be great if I could use my @me.com address as my default account without the need of other mail addresses.
Stop being so paranoid. there's a big difference between personalising ad results and selling your private information to the highest bidder.
And do you honestly think Apple is moving away Google to protect users information? No chance. I'm sure they will be looking into new ways to make money off the data they collect too.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, FaceBook... They're all the same... Their first priority is ALWAYS money.
Smartphone Experts gets revenue from advertising, would you categorize yourselves as an advertising company? Or do you define yourselves by the main service you provide, journalism.
Facebook does the same thing, but their core product is their social network, not the ads they sell. Ads are imply a means to an end
Google Search launched without ads at first, and this was not the reason they founded the company. Thir goal was, is, and always has been to organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible. They do not even sell user data to advertisers, advertisers buy keywords so that when someone searches for omething it returns ads tat are relevant to the user and to the search query. To call hem just an advertising company is disingenuous and ignores the many high quality products they offer to thir primary user base - end users. Many companies monetize trough ads, this doesn't make them advertising companies.
I get that this is an iPhone blog, but I expected better than the editor in chief writing what is essentially flame bait.
There's nothing wrong with that -- it's no different than broadcast radio or TV.
It's a long established business model.
To pretend otherwise, however, is reckless.
This is no different than what this site does, what Facebook and Twitter do, or what ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and media companies do. There are numerous companies that monetize through advertising - that does not make them advertising companies.
iMore is doing the exact same thing - gathering user attention through articles which is sold to advertisers. That does not make SME an advertising company as the ads are not the primary product.
I am not pretending that advertising is not Google's business model, I am arguing that your characterization of them is at the very least inaccurate and at worst disingenuous, and it is frequently repeated by Apple fans who like to conveniently ignore the reason Google was founded and the core services they provide, which are not ads.