Inside Google HQ’s vast and endlessly churning maw there’s probably some schadenfreude tonight, as it looks like Apple’s iOS6 replacement for the Google Maps app might be a turd in the new iPhone’s punch bowl. That’s the story from Waze CEO Noam Bardin, anyway.
BGR reports that Waze supplies traffic info for Apple’s new maps. Perhaps because Apple is actually relying more on TomTom for mapping services than Waze, Mr. Bardin has some strong opinions about Apple’s choices:
“Apple went out and partnered with the weakest player,” [Mr. Bardin] said. “They’re now coming out with the lowest, weakest data set and they’re competing against Google, which has the highest data set. What’s going to happen with the Apple maps, is that you’re literally not going to find things. When you do find them, they might be in the wrong place or position geographically. And if you do have it, the route to it may not be the optimal route.”
Mr. Bardin went on to tell BGR’s Dan Graziano that many other app developers are contacting his company hoping to incorporate Waze’s maps in new mobile applications instead of whatever Apple’s schlepping out with the new iPhone.
Which may answer a question we asked in August, when we speculated recklessly as to why Facebook execs were meeting with the folks at Waze. Are we gearing up for a three-way battle royale between Google, Apple and Facebook over mapping services?
We’ll stock up on popcorn, just in case.
UPDATE: TomTom reached to Betabeat with the following comment:
“TomTom supplies maps and related content to the majority of handheld players, including RIM, HTC, Samsung, AOL (MapQuest Mobile), Apple and, yes, Google (for the areas where they don’t make their own maps).
Our maps are used by businesses around the world, which have standards for coverage, detail, quality and safety.
When people use a map, their experience is determined by two things. Firstly, the underlying content, notably the maps. This is what TomTom is currently supplying the mobile industry with and it is what gives their maps the best foundation. Secondly, user experience is determined by adding additional features to the map application, such as visual imagery. This is typically defined and created by the handset manufacturers and third party software providers on the basis of their own vision and needs.”