With iOS 6, Apple is finally ditching Google as a maps partner and releasing their own custom maps solution, built upon partnerships with companies like TomTom and using their own technology acquired from companies like C3.
How costly would it be for Apple to compete with Google Maps head-on, though, by building their own mapping system from the ground-up without any outside deals? More than you might think: in fact, Apple might have to increases its global workforce by 50%.
Nicolas Carlson at Business Insider writes:
After speaking with a pair of Googlers about this, we wonder if Apple may have bitten off more than it can chew.
One big reason: Google has 1,100 full time employees and 6,000 contractors working on its mapping products. Those 7,000 people do all sorts of granular work.
One source reminds us Google has “street view drivers, people flying planes, people drawing maps, people correcting listings, and people building new products.”
Excluding its retail army, Apple only has 13,000 employees in total.
Of course, Google is in the business of selling its Maps data to all sorts of customers, where as Apple’s primary interest is in having the best maps app for the iPhone and iPad. Apple doesn’t necessarily need to do as much as Google to compete in this regard: they can have the best maps app in mobile, not necessarily the most thorough mapping business.
- Source Business Insider