The iPhone 5 will be Apple's first smartphone to come without pre-installed YouTube and Google Maps applications. Why is Apple distancing itself from Google and what does it mean?
The news that iOS 6, Apple's new mobile operating system set for release this fall alongside the iPhone 5, won't come with a YouTube app first appeared at Apple-focused blog 9 to 5 Mac. The story was later confirmed by the Verge.
Apparently this is a simple case of a expired license between Google and Apple. Instead of pre-packaging new iPhones with a YouTube app, Google will develop it's own app for the massively popular video-hosting website.
This may actually prove to be good news since the current YouTube app is notoriously weak, particularly its search feature. Conversely, the recently-updated YouTube app for Android phones is better and crisper than ever before.
However, the new of YouTube's departure from the iPhone 5 paints a larger picture of two tech giants at odds and pulling away from each other. Apple may be purposefully distancing itself from relying on Google products. Earlier this summer Apple announced that iOS 6 will replace Google Maps with its own in-house Map application.
Although Apple continues to integrate social media, including Twitter and Facebook, into their operating systems, it seems like Google is no longer getting the same treatment. While Google is still offering free apps for Apple devices, including Chrome, Google Drive and Gmail, none of them come baked into the operating system.
TechCrunch's MG Siegler commented on the news, speculating that a "Google-free iPhone" may become reality in the near future, particularly if Apple works directly with Microsoft, snubbing Google in the process.
"Microsoft needs Apple to make Bing relevant," he wrote. "Apple needs Microsoft in order to stop paying Google billions."
Don't forget Steve Jobs' famous words regarding the Apple-Google smartphone rivalry: "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
Steve Jobs may be gone, but that doesn't mean Apple's turf war with Google is through. The Samsung Galaxy S3, the hottest new Android phone, sold over 10 million units in its first three months on the market. Then again, Apple is expecting record sales for the iPhone, which will likely launch this fall.
Apple has remained completely silent regarding the iPhone 5, refusing to reveal the release date or acknowledge the product's existence. However, all signs are pointing to a special even on September 12 where Apple will unveil the new smartphone.