Who Owns Maps on the iPhone?

I was alerted yesterday by Anthony Avolio that Google is putting sponsored links on Maps on the iPhone. Here’s an example for “Hotels, Boston”:

Picture 15

They’re also in the list view:

Picture 16

I suppose it was a matter of time before Google did this to mirror the PC experience as it has been doing elsewhere in mobile (with syncing searches and starring locations).

But the question of who “owns” maps on the iPhone arises in my mind. Apple and Google worked closely together to develop the experience but Google’s inclusion of ads suggests that Google believes it owns the iPhone’s map. However Apple may not be entirely pleased with this change. It’s not clear to me. I haven’t spoken to anyone at either company. Apple might be indifferent to the addition of the ads; they’re fairly unobtrusive.

But what do you think? Do you think this will upset Apple? Do you think that Apple will inevitably bounce Google (as many do) from its central mapping role on the device?

About these ads

15 Responses to “Who Owns Maps on the iPhone?”

  1. Terry Howard Says:

    Do we even know that Apple isn’t already sharing in the revenue? It would seem odd to me that they wouldn’t have worked this out before doing it.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    That would be strange and somewhat contrary to apple’s culture in in my view (unless the analogy is the app store) but maybe; why would apple want to share in click revenue — unless that was a requirement: if there are any ads that appear on maps, we get X% as a matter of course.

  3. Google Now Showing Ads On iPhone Map Says:

    [...] asked earlier on my blog, “Who Owns Maps on the iPhone?“ because the Google Maps app is like quasi-”public property” given that it is [...]

  4. google » Google Now Showing Ads On iPhone Map Says:

    [...] asked earlier on my blog “Who Owns Maps on the iPhone?” because the Google Maps app is like quasi-”public property” given that it is [...]

  5. Mike Blumenthal Says:

    I understand that the Maps API allows a developer to either turn on or turn off the delivery of ads. So it is entirely possible that Apple as the app developer chose to turn it on

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    Interesting. Wasn’t aware that was the case

  7. Google Now Showing Ads On iPhone Map | iPhone News and Products Says:

    [...] asked earlier on my blog “Who Owns Maps on the iPhone?” because the Google Maps app is like quasi-”public property” given that it is used by so [...]

  8. Google Maps Ads on your iPhone Says:

    [...] asked earlier on my blog “Who Owns Maps on the iPhone?” because the Google Maps app is like quasi-”public property” given that it is used by so [...]

  9. eas Says:

    It’s hard to imagine that Apple wouldn’t be aware of this and getting a cut of the action (as they surely do for any ad clicks on searches in mobile Safari)

  10. A roundup: Location-based stuff to know | GPS Obsessed Says:

    [...] Google ads are now appearing on iPhone maps. [...]

  11. juliemarg Says:

    Any idea how to buy one of these ads? I’m not a big advocate for Adwords, but I certainly have some clients who would like this.

  12. Greg Sterling Says:

    They’re called “local ads.”

  13. Google Starts To Show Ads On iPhone Map Says:

    [...] asked earlier on my blog “Who Owns Maps on the iPhone?” because the Google Maps app is like “quasi-public property” given that it is [...]

  14. Google Mulling Several Ways To Integrate Ads On Maps Says:

    [...] Jan 8, 2010 at 10:26am ET by Greg Sterling A number of articles appeared that speculate about or discuss ads on Google Maps (PC and mobile) now and in the future. Google Maps is one of Google’s most successful and valuable properties — arguably even more so in mobile — and the company is going to be both careful and thoughtful about how it expands ads on Maps. Ads already exist on Google Maps today online and in mobile. [...]

  15. Opinion Deviche Says:

    I like this discussion,
    but it get me nowhere…what are the alternatives?free if possible..

    keep up the good job… devi,

Comments are closed.


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