Apple quietly acquired Placebase, a mapping company that allows users to overlay maps with personal data. With the recent fallout between Apple and Google, we’ve got to wonder if Apple is looking to depend less on Google for its mapping, one of the stock apps on the iPhone and iPod touch.
Interestingly, this news broke today, the same day that Strategy Analytics announced a survey that says mobile users in the US and Western Europe trust Google Maps more than any other. While Google Maps lack audible turn-by-turn navigation, the service is seen as being the most accurate as compared to others, including fee-for-service outfits like TeleNav.
With the Google Voice App snafu, Google’s CEO leaving Apple’s board of directors, and Google Latitude remanded to just a web-app, it would seem that Apple is looking towards a future that may not include Google. Would that mean that the iPhone’s Safari browser would not have Google as its default search? As mobile becomes more and more lucrative for search, we’ve got to wonder if that will have an impact on future prospects for Google.
The other concern is if Apple tries to invent a new location service like Latitude, will it be just for the iPhone? If so, the value of the service declines greatly for those of us that have contacts with other phones that likely won’t be compatible with Apple’s service. Google Latitude seemed almost perfect as it works over so many different devices and OSes.
Image credit: Apple