Apple has fought back with patent lawsuits against Android phone makers such as Samsung Corp, while also removing Google’s YouTube and mapping apps from its own devices.
Apple developed the new maps with help from TomTom NV, a Dutch maker of automotive navigation systems and digital maps with US headquarters in Concord. A spokeswoman for TomTom said the company would not comment.
Apple says it also uses mapping data from the OpenStreetMap Foundation a nonprofit group that creates global maps with help from volunteers around the world. The foundation’s map data is free to all users, and a number of companies have used it build their own maps.
Simon Poole, chairman of the OpenStreetMap board, said he believed Apple was using only a small portion of his organization’s data. “In a large number of areas, OSM data would be far superior” to the other sources Apple is using, Poole said.
And despite his own experiences, Scoble said Apple was right to develop its own mapping service, to avoid being dependent on Google.
“I totally understand why Apple chose to control its own destiny here,” Scoble said. “They’ll get better.”
Hiawatha Bray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.