Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has made a concerted effort to dump Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) properties from its new iOS 6 operating system, which runs the already hot-selling iPhone 5. Apple no longer has YouTube or Google Maps available on its new OS, and has instead moved toward using its own proprietary applications or other third-party entities to supply what Google used to - just another casualty of the ongoing battle between the two tech giants with directly competing mobile OSs.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), meanwhile, does recognize areas where it is not as strong as Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOPG) and it tries to compensate by working partnerships with other vendors. One great example is in Russia, where the iPhone 5 is due to be launched at the end of this month. Apple has secured an agreement with Yandex, the top search-engine in Russia, to provide location-search integration within Russia. This not only should help Yandex gain more of its slipping market share in the country (it makes up 61 percent of search market share in Russia, down from 65 percent 18 months ago) as it essentially replaces Google Maps on Apple devices, but it should also develop more revenue for Yandex, as those who use Apple's mapping service in Russia will have the option of accessing Yandex.Maps software for gathering more information on a location or landmark.
“To hold its market share, it’s essential for Yandex to expand its position in ecosystems created by Apple and Google,” said Konstantin Belov, an analyst at UralSib Capital. “Inclusion of Yandex.Maps into Apple’s new software is important from this standpoint.”
For Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the devil may truly be in the details for mapping, and Yandex can help in that regard. “When you search for Vladimir Lenin’s Mausoleum, it offers you to get more details on Yandex.Maps application or offers to download Yandex.Maps from App Store if the user doesn’t have it installed,” Moscow-based software developer Alexander Patsay said.
Further development of its own ecosystem and perhaps working to "silo" third-party partners into that ecosystem - perhaps at the expense of Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its equally expansive Android system - may further develop Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a prominent tech leader, regardless of competitive forces. This attention to detail in its mapping and search services, and recognizing partners can complement it in those areas, should bolster Apple with investors like hedge-fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital.