According to a recent Apple job posting, they are looking to hire an iPhone software engineer to help them “take Maps to the next level.”
From the job description:
The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile industry and has changed people’s lives and we want to continue to do so. We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.
The specificity of this job description is interesting. But, this it is especially interesting given the current status of Apple and Google’s relationship.
Apple acquired mapping company, PlaceBase a few months ago and will likely be using their maps in future iPhone mapping apps, leaving Google out in the cold.
Apple has always developed their mapping application in-house, only collaborating on Google in terms of hooking into their Maps API (likely in a closer way than many other applications are allowed, I’m sure there is a lot of communication between Apple and Google during this apps development). But, since Apple developed the app themselves they could relatively easily switch their source for maps without wasting a lot of time redeveloping aspects of the application.
10/4/09: Apple and Google Slowly Parting Ways