Is Microsoft Powering Apple's Maps App?
The former has already confirmed its involvement with Apple via the company's official site, writing, "TomTom has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information. No further details of the agreement will be provided." This deal is already proving to be detrimental to Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN), whose stock has been on a downturn over the past 30 days, and has continued to drop in the days since TomTom's announcement.
What other companies are involved? No one knows. But you can bet that information will come out in the coming months.
Needless to say, the Microsoft revelation has been quite amusing to the tech community. As The Next Web's Alex Wilhelm put it, "Apple's big slap to Google, and its search empire, is powered by Microsoft? You literally can't make this stuff up."
While Microsoft has yet to confirm or deny this information (Apple hasn't said anything either), this report seems plausible. After all -- the maps have to be provided by some company, somewhere. But considering how much Apple dislikes working with its competitors, no one dreamed that company would be Microsoft.
This has to make you wonder: does Apple no longer consider Microsoft to be a competitor? Perhaps Apple thinks that the Mac brand is so strong that there is no way Windows 8 can compete. It is no secret that the iPad maker has been successful in crushing the onslaught of Android-powered tablets. Only the Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire has been a formidable competitor. But a ChangeWave Research study revealed that the Kindle Fire's success had more to do with the price than anything else.
If Apple and Microsoft have indeed joined forces to provide iOS 6 with new maps, one has to wonder if the two companies will continue to work together in the future. In some ways, they already are.
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