Eric Schmidt says Apple should have stayed with Google Maps

The commentary from the media and fans regarding the hilarious face plant that is Apple Maps in iOS6 is funny enough, but what we’ve really been jonesing for is word from someone out of Google camp regarding the situation.

Eric Schmidt, one of the highest figures associated with Google, has come out and flat-out stated it: Apple should have stayed with Google Maps. Here’s the quote from former-CEO and now-executive chairman of the board and advisor to co-founders

Sergey Brin and Larry Page:

We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know? What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.

That one is short and sweet, no doubt. But is he right? Well, Apple does have the right to make their own decisions, and Google can’t really do much but convince Apple to sign a new license for Google Maps.

As a fan of technology, though, I’d say Apple absolutely is in the wrong. Apple’s willingness to deprive its users of a rock solid Maps experience in place of an unproven, buggy mess because of their spats with Google simply wasn’t wise.

They’ll say it was simply a move for “innovation” or a business decision from here until whenever, but we all know these decisions to phase Google out of the iOS picture has more to do with the company’s emotions and feelings toward Google and Android than just cold, hard numbers.

Schmidt wouldn’t comment on whether or not Google would attempt to make a Maps application for the App Store, but should it come down to that Apple will obviously have final say in the interpretation of its duplication policy. One thing’s for sure, though — us Android folk don’t have anything to worry about for a long time coming. [via Bloomberg]

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TAGS: Apple Maps

  • phor11

    I wonder if turn-by-turn was ever on the table for the renewed license. If it wasn’t, then that’s a pretty good reason for Apple to want to seek other options.

    • Mitch Walla

      that’s my point exactly. Google maps on iOS sucked. There was no turn by turn, so who cares?

      If google wasn’t willing to give turn by turn, then apple did what was right. Unfortunately it is what it is, buy a good mapping app like Navigon. Personally I think it’s better than Google Maps anyway for navigation, it just doesn’t offer satalite view.

      Not to mention the author of this article is an awful “journalist”… he states no facts, just that we all must know he is right. Where’s the unbiased facts? Write a decent article or get a real job.

      • dmm5157

        You realize the Google Maps on iOS was directed and developed primarily by Apple, right? It was not Google who wasn’t willing to give turn by turn, it was Apple. They dictated what Google Maps on iOS was and wasn’t.

      • Ryan Stewart

        Google has a licensing scheme but Apple didn’t want to pay for it. Google ONLY provided the data, nothing more. Apple developed the app, didn’t want to pay for access to the API for the turn by turn.

      • ILIkeBubbles

        “journalist”? No hat makes everyone think these guys are professional national journalists? It’s a bunch of guys who love android sharing news that the average Joe wouldn’t have access to either in one place, or at all. If you want” professional journalism” go read something about wall street..

    • Kaostheory

      Agree, I don’t think Apple had a choice, maps have always been a better and cheaper experience on Android, and Apple needs to compete.


    Dear Google: Fack Apple.

  • tom-e

    Hey Q, how ya likin’ your new iPhone??

    • Quentyn Kennemer

      I don’t have one, sir…

      • ingua2


  • reggjoo

    No apple trolls?

    • samagon

      Of course not, what are they going to do, say it works if I hold it differently?

      • LawrenceMcatee

        But…. heh… I mean uh… hmpphhhh… BUT WILL IT BLEND! :P

    • No_Nickname90

      *Wild Apple Troll appears*
      *Apple Troll uses trollogic*

      Apple Maps is way better than Google Maps. Now you can view directions in a very cool looking way. It’s nothing like never before. Apple is innovating already. I don’t know why you all are wasting your time sticking with that trash of Google Maps. 3D view of things has never been out on a mobile device ever!! Apple is going to make Google want iOS maps.

      *Andy uses Google Earth Reference*
      -Critical Hit
      -It’s Super Effective
      *Apple Troll Faints*

  • bdnyy23

    Perfect opportunity for Google to create a Map/Navigation app and sell it to all the iFools that want a working app. Since Apple choose to not renew the contract, may as well make some money, and show them what they missed out on. But then again, I guess Apple would try to block the app, so the iFools lose out anyway.

  • Lennatron

    Did you go out of your way to find a terrible picture of Eric Schmidt? You couldn’t have included a nice picture in your article?


      Just showing Eric at a younger age, so what…..

      • ari_free

        The irony is that most people would prefer to see posted pics of when they were younger.

        • NIGHTSCOUT


    • Quentyn Kennemer

      Lol I thought it was funny so I used it.

      • Lactose_the_Intolerant

        I laughed when I saw the photo, then I realized I used to have glasses like that and I started crying O.O

      • ingua2

        Good job. Lenny is just upset you didn’t use his unpublished pic!

    • Quentyn Kennemer

      I’d originally wanted to get one from his Google+ page. Sure enough, that was what I found. I used it. Thought a few people might get a laugh out of it. Ah well.

      • peanutsrevenge

        I found it humourous, ignore the missery guts :D

    • simpleas

      I find it funny actually. never knew a human being could look like that lol

  • rcrow490

    An emotional decision? I doubt it. If anyone would be shunned by Apple it would be Samsung, and they’re still making parts for the iPhone.

    • spicymeatball

      They are working to replace Samsung. It will take some time because of their dependency on them, but it will happen.

  • samagon

    If the iOS users do more than just shrug and start wondering, what else do other companies do better than just the maps, Apple might end up with a lot of users exiting when they actually start to study the answers.

  • SiloNova

    Apple let personal thoughts take over a wise business move. The personal thought was hatred of Google, so they wanted rid. The wise business move would have been to keep Google Maps.

  • reznorfan0

    Apple is just starting with their own solution, then they can patent it. Then Lucy Koh can ban google maps from everything to keep them from violating Apple’s patent because google maps is so similar to imaps.

    • reverend_house

      Yup you can’t tell the difference between the two from 100 yards. BANNED.

      • LawrenceMcatee

        Well if the jury uses ios6 maps to get to the hearing, that’s still not as close as they will get….. dang apple is smart….

    • Ahhk

      I’m just waiting for Apple to patent, and then announce, their newest innovative feature – turn-by-turn navigation!

      All hail Apple! All hail Apple!

      • No_Nickname90

        Oh my gosh!! If Apple does that bull, Ima be so pissed. LoL!! I will give up all hope I have for them for turning around and actually trying to innovate.

    • aergern

      It won’t work if half the jury and the judge are using iMaps to get TO the court house .. if it’s a no show then they forfit the whole thing. ;)

  • guitarist5122

    Honestly, you can’t expect something so new to be on par with Google Maps. Give it time. Google maps was far from perfect when first introduced in the days of the G1

    • Jim__R

      This *is* Apple (“it just works”) we’re talking about.

    • REVS

      my nav worked great on my g1

      • Jamille Browne

        So did my Nav on my Behold 2

      • guitarist5122

        worked great on my G1 too…..when google maps finally started supporting turn-by-turn navigation.

    • cns2007

      No one, especially Google, claimed GMaps was perfect on day one. The problem is Apple claims they don’t release “beta” apps. The people they screwed were their own customers. Trust me, I know I couple of individuals who are pissed off about this. Because of the ongoing feud, they took the first chance to cut GMaps loose and replace it with with an inferior product.

    • No_Nickname90

      The reason everyone is doing this is because Apple isn’t giving anyone alternatives. When Google Maps came out, wii also had other Navigation Apps to use until it got better. Try doing that on an Apple device.

    • Jamille Browne

      But its not even close to being on par with google maps. Apple released Apple maps in Alpha phase on a device that many of its users buy the device to be complete and not worry about that kind of thing. I hope google doesn’t make an iOS app, Maybe then these appleogetics will get their heads out of their you know where and realize that Apple is nothing without google, samsung and so on.

  • CharlieTX

    Apple is becoming the new Microsoft – biggest company, highest profits, sue everyone around and screw the customer.

    • ingua2

      meanwhile Microsoft is becoming the new IBM, focusing on customers and expanding their offerings.

  • ineptone

    It’s a mean and petty thing to say but I would find it absolutely hilarious if Google just “neglected” to make a Google Maps application for iOS and wait to see how things unfold from there.

  • Go Hawkeyes

    iPhone users get stuck with crappy maps. How does the negatively affect Android users? Not in any way at all. If anything it will eventually benefit Android users. Apple’s maps sure suck now but they aren’t likely to just continue to let it suck. They will improve them and eventually maybe challenge Google’s offering which will force Google to improve mapping on Android devices. So it’s a win for Android.

    But I could be wrong about Apple improving their maps and challenging Android because as they’ve shown with the last 3 iPhones they don’t care about actually making a device that is even competitive with last year’s devices.

    • Don_SoLow

      Exactly. They’ll improve the maps on the next iPhone by adding another row of icons. :p

    • oneillperson

      Plus, iMaps makes even old Androids look better than an iPhone. Now I can say to all my iFriends: “What? You didn’t have navigation before?!”

    • Darktanone

      Funny how iPhone 5 has beaten every Android device it’s been pitted against. That includes the the Galaxy S 3. It’s the most powerful and fastest phone at the moment. There is no Android phone that outperforns it. So I take it you don’t know what competitive means.

  • toomuchgame441

    U guys chose the dorkiest pic u could find of him huh? Lolll

    • Lactose_the_Intolerant

      Dude looks like Sherman…

    • Chris Chavez

      Hahaha! Seriously. Major props to Quentyn on the pic xD


    Droid-Life is saying that Google will NOT be making an App for iOS now.

  • TalkingMoose

    I, for one, think Apple did the right thing replacing Google Maps with their own variety.

    Some of the faithful are finally starting to see the truth. And the reluctant faithful are content to say that Apple isn’t the same without Steve Jobs, and this wouldn’t have happened with him in charge.

    Look out below, Professor Newton!

  • renGek

    imo, google should not come out with anything on maps for iOS for at least 6-9 months. Let those users stew over it for a while and migrate over to android. Only when apple “seems” to get their act more together (because in the next 12 months all they will be able to muster is a band aid fix) should google drop something good and keep iOS map irrelevant. iSheeps may not care for about a month or two but over time they are going to get ticked off if they don’t have a good map solution.

  • Ahhk

    I just wish Google and Co. weren’t taking the high road over the Apple Maps debacle.

    Imagine the commercial….

    A guy walks in to a phone store and is confronted with the choice between an iPhone and an Android. He looks at the iPhone and imagines/dreams of cars driving in to lakes, exploding after driving off a cliff, an elderly couple driving the wrong way down a divided highway while the other drivers are yelling at them and swerving out of the way, etc.

    He then snaps out of it, looks at the Android and visualizes a his family arriving at the beach and getting out of the car all excited, sees himself bypass a huge traffic jam (while the announcer on the radio talks about how bad the backup is), etc. You can figure out the rest…..

    Legal disclaimer: If anyone actually makes this commercial…I want royalties! :)

    • Dhanus Samsen

      nice one

    • Jamille Browne

      I will make it and you half a penny per view that it gets… Is that good enough for royalty?

  • scott lathrop

    Have you had a discussion about the maps issue with a iPhone fan boy? They haven’t experienced any problems. Talk t a iPhone user that is not a fan boy and they will tell you it’s a joke.

    • oneillperson

      My iPhan friends won’t even talk about it, they’re too busy sending each other their new Emojis anyway.

  • phinn

    If Apple stuck with Google Maps, I might have gone iPhone 5. No matter, bring on the Nexus 4.

  • TechGuy22

    dont google have some maps patent ?
    they should sue apple. street view and other features are straight from google…maybe nokia too. if im not mistaken.

    anyway i think google should not release any google maps on IOS

    • Max

      Haha, there is no street view. The flyover feature is from the air, not the street.

  • AirForceGuido

    Apple’s business model only works long-term if they have no competition. Unfortunately for them, that fantasy universe does not exist. The tech world is not going to stay stuck in 2007 and not scramble to give customers what they want. There is no way they can compete with all the other manufacturers making competing Android devices: Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony, etc, etc. In the end they are out-gunned. They did the same thing in the 80’s with the PC market, and have not learned.

    The business strategy that works is to license the OS. If Apple had licensed iOS to all these manufacturers, they would probably have 90%+ of the market share now, and be as dominant as MS was in the 1990’s PC market. But, alas, they could never do that. Steve Jobs was too much of a psychotic control freak to let that happen (and his drones there now are the same way). Somebody might have made a device bigger than 4″, or installed a mircoSD slot. They couldn’t allow that to happen.

    But rather than live in the real world, they are trying to force this fantasy “no competition” universe into being using the courts. In the end, they will fail. They may win some battles. But they are already being overtaken in innovation. These companies will be the technology leaders and it will be Apple clawing to keep up by ripping off Android, which is already starting (

    Apple fanboys should be happy Android exists. If the only alternative was circa 2007 Blackberrys and Windows Mobile 6, you can bet that iPhone 5 would cost about a grand (with a 2 yrs contract).

  • Nick_Lopez_Loya

    They should make their own music too. Sell it on iTunes and drop every band. Steve jobs would totally back me on this one.

  • Rockett40

    CBS has been advertising, for the last couple weeks, that crapple maps is better cause it has turn by turn directions. Something google maps doesnt have. What?!!! Ive had that since day one of my original D1!!! That was one of the buying points for me!

    • svinepelz

      Possible interpretation: “Apple Maps is better (on iOS) because it has turn by turn directions, something Google Maps doesn’t have (on iOS).”

  • Darktanone

    I think it’s more than an Apple move out of spite. Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions, afterall, they didn’t become the world’s largest company ever by making rash decisions. From the latest reports, it seems Google refused to allow turn-by-turn navigation on iOS during talks. That was the breaking point and Apple didnt’ have a choice but to go it on their own a bit early. Seems Google didn’t expect them to move so quickly and as a result don’t have a maps app ready. This is a bump in the road for Apple maps and it will get better faster than most here want to admit. I’ve used it and can tell you it’s beautiful and smooth. It clearly needs work but I can clearly see that this will be a game changer down the road.