Former head of Macintosh development and founder of Be, Inc., Jean-Louis Gassee shares his thoughts on Apple’s transition away from Google Maps (via The Loop):
The ridicule that Apple has suffered following the introduction of the Maps application in iOS 6 is largely self-inflicted. The demo was flawless, 2D and 3D maps, turn-by-turn navigation, spectacular flyovers…but not a word from the stage about the app’s limitations, no self-deprecating wink, no admission that iOS Maps is an infant that needs to learn to crawl before walking, running, and ultimately lapping the frontrunner, Google Maps. Instead, we’re told that Apple’s Maps may be “the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever.”
…For Apple, Maps is a strategic move. The Cupertino company doesn’t want to depend on a competitor for something as important as maps. The road (pardon the pun) will be long and tortuous, and it’s unfortunate that Apple has made the chase that much harder by failing to modulate its self-praise. but think of the number of times the company has been told You Have No Right To Do This…think smartphones, stores, processors, refusing to depend on Adobe’s Flash…
Currently Apple’s new maps are a work in progress, and although I doubt they would advertise the alternatives, I suspect once they get better, this will ultimately offer yet another choice for consumers (in addition to Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing/Nokia Maps, and all the various GPS apps on the market). It’s just going to take some time, especially since Google had a head start of almost a decade.