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Apple Hits Google Even Harder With Check-Ins

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Apple (AAPL) has announced all sorts of perks with iOS 6 including social media enhancements using Facebook (FB). And while we already knew that Apple has teamed up with Yelp (YELP) -- a partnership also forged by Microsoft (MSFT) -- it appears the two have gotten even chummier.

Bloomberg reports that users will be able to check-in on Yelp using Apple Maps, which will replace Google (GOOG) as the default location service application. Bloomberg made the discovery after reading through the Apple developers kit, which is was issued to software developers earlier this month. The materials included screenshots of Yelp check-ins within Apple Maps -- another feature which hits Google services like Local and Latitude where it hurts.

Yelp, founded in 2004, is a straightforward tool that allows users to search for and review business. The company had an average of 71 million monthly unique visitors in Q1 2012, according to their website. Yelp launched their own check-in service in 2010. With this joint venture with Apple, the company hopes to dominate in a field that already includes several popular check-in services like Foursquare and Facebook. (Gowalla, another popular location-based application, was purchased by Facebook in 2011 and was shuttered earlier this year.)

Bloomberg also reports that 70% of Yelp’s revenue comes is generated by advertising. That statistic combined with the results of a recent Pew Research study show that Yelp is counting on higher earnings.  According to the study, smartphone ownership is up from 35% of adults in 2011 to 46% in 2012 and 18% of smartphone owners use check-in services.

It looks like this new pairing between Apple and Yelp could be the start of a beautiful, and hopefully profitable, relationship.

(See also: Microsoft Uses Apple’s Techniques to Battle Google and Anonymous Reviews Can't Be Trusted)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.