The Story Behind Apple Ditching Google Maps

John Paczkowski, reporting for All Things D, has the inside scoop on the split:

But multiple sources familiar with Apple's thinking say the company felt it had no choice but to replace Google Maps with its own, because of a disagreement over a key feature: Voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions.

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And this caused Apple - which typically enjoys very tight control over its products - no end of philosophical discomfort, sources say. Apple pushed Google hard to provide the data it needed to bring voice-guided navigation to iOS. But according to people familiar with Google's thinking, the search giant, which had invested massive sums in creating that data and views it as a key feature of Android, wasn't willing to simply hand it over to a competing platform.

And if there were terms under which it might have agreed to do so, Apple wasn't offering them. Sources tell AllThingsD that Google, for example, wanted more say in the iOS maps feature set. It wasn't happy simply providing back-end data. It asked for in-app branding. Apple declined. It suggested adding Google Latitude. Again, Apple declined. And these became major points of contention between the two companies, whose relationship was already deteriorating for a variety of other reasons, including Apple's concern that Google was gathering too much user data from the app.

"There were a number of issues inflaming negotiations, but voice navigation was the biggest," one source familiar with Apple and Google's negotiations told AllThingsD. "Ultimately, it was a deal-breaker."

However incomplete Apple's Maps app may be, the company always wants to control its own destiny.