Apple is reportedly planning to bundle a new Maps application with the next version of its iOS mobile platform.
The upcoming iOS 6 release will be headlined by the debut of Apple's own mapping application, replacing the Google Maps application which has been part of the platform since the release of the first iPhone, Apple news site 9to5Mac reported, citing unnamed sources.
The Apple Maps application would feature the traditional overhead mapping used in previous versions the tool as well as a new option to switch to 3D views of streets and cityscapes, according to the report. The report also describes the new Maps as faster and "cleaner" in its interface and operation.
This isn't too surprising, considering that when Apple launched the new iPhoto for iPhone and iPad, Apple dropped Google Maps for OpenStreetMap.
The move to an in-house mapping application would almost certainly mean the end of the company's bundled Google Maps iOS application. The Maps tool had been one of the only third-party apps to be offered as part of the iOS installation.
Apple has been said to have been developing an in-house mapping application for iOS as far back as 2009, when the company first began looking for engineers with experience in the field.
Apple and Google have found themselves to be increasingly at odds in recent years. Once considered to be close partners in the battle against Microsoft, the two companies found themselves on opposite sides after Google debuted its Android mobile platform.
In 2009 then-Google chief Eric Schmidt left Apple's board of directors and the two firms reportedly abandoned the informal "no poaching" deal which kept each firm from targeting the other's top employees for job openings.