Apple ditching rival Google's apps
Apple is kicking an important Google application off its iPhone and making friends with Facebook rather than Google's social network, as it distances itself from a bitter rival in the phone arena.
Google's Maps application has resided on the iPhone since Apple launched the very first version of the phone in 2007. It is one of the core apps on the phone, and cannot be deleted by the user.
But yesterday, Apple executives said Google Maps will be replaced by an Apple-developed app in iOS 6, the new operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. It will be released late this year.
Apple and Google are locked in a fight over the attention of hundreds of millions of phone users, and the advertising opportunities that come with owning a mapping application.
Smartphones from companies like Samsung and Google's own Motorola division are the chief alternatives to the iPhone, and Apple has been suing those manufacturers in court, accusing them of ripping off the iPhone's ground-breaking features.
Apple also said it is building Facebook into iOS 6, snubbing the Google Plus social network.
Users will be able to update their Facebook status by talking to their phones, and 'like' content in Apple's iTunes store, Apple executive Scott Forstall said.
The announcements were part of the keynote presentation that kicked off Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Apple presented new features in both phone and Mac software, plus updated laptops. But investors were mildly disappointed, as they expected more substantive news, like a hint of Apple's ambition to get into making TVs.
Apple shares closed down $9.15, or 1.6%, at $571.17.