Apple is making more and more gestures toward a Google-less Apple experience if an iOS6 user would so prefer. The latest move comes in a deal Apple has made with Russian search engine Yandex. TechCrunch reports
Apple’s gradual extrication from Google services is having a knock-on effect in international markets — and Google’s competitors elsewhere. In Russia, the local search leader Yandex is now powering Apple’s mapping service on iOS6 — and TechCrunch understands from sources close to the situation Yandex and Apple are working on an even bigger deal, in which Yandex would become the default search on the mobile version of Safari. In both the case of maps and search, Yandex is/would be replacing Google.
I’m not a search insider or anything but it looks to me like this thing is on. Apple is working hard to distance itself from Google as much as possible. The recent iOS6 changes in the US which removed Google Maps as the backend of the Maps app for Apple products, coupled with the removal of YouTube as a native app in iOS6 signals the formation of more battle lines being drawn between the two Internet giants.
The move by Apple into the Russian market is interesting in that Google is apparently gaining ground there. Could Russia and other more easily obtained foreign markets (as compared to China) be the apple of Apple’s eye?
To me the bigger question looms as to when Apple will start to get the same heat that Google does as it swallows up more and more of the online space for its own.