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Apple May Never Offer Its Own Public Transit Info in Maps

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As your car-less, hippie friends have no doubt made you aware, Apple (AAPL) will not be including any public transit info on its new maps application, which will be replacing Google Maps (GOOG) in iOS 6. While the move has irritated plenty of public transit users, the general consensus has determined it’s just a matter of time before Apple will be getting that info implemented.

However, in a piece published by Cocoanetics, the site argues that the reasons behind the exclusion is more complicated than Apple just taking its time to perfect the feature before launch. Cocoanetics argues that Apple, like Google before it, may have been hindered by the backroom politics behind the publishing of that valuable data and the process may just be too complicated and cumbersome to deal with.

The problem Apple may be encountering is one in which private companies, who control much of the transit feed data, see no reason to give it to Apple to use. In fact, Apple may have no problem with this, as it will only encourage these companies to make apps with this data, that Apple can then later profit off of.

This is, in short, what happened a few years ago in Vienna, Austria. Google was provided the necessary data by a group called the OEBB (a collection of independent groups with strong political ties), and incorporated it smoothly into the public transit routing info in Google Maps.

But then the data that Google was being fed by the group was suddenly suspended. And, low and behold, two new apps appeared. The reason the data was held back from Google was murky at best, but the implications were clear: “Why give Google the info when we can create our own apps?”

So Apple says “screw it,” leaving a giant hole in its mapping capabilities that will surely be filled one or more companies who will just do it themselves. At least Google will no longer be profiting from it.

(See also: Apple Maps Shows Google Where to Shove It and Apple Maps Will Kill You if Followed Literally)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.