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”:
They’re also in the list view:
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?