Did Apple Buy Placebase to Replace Google Maps?

Apple is scooping up new talent left and right these days. After purchasing PA Semi to help them design their own microprocessors, Apple has bought the mapping outfit Placebase. Could this signal a further divide between Google and Apple?

Google provided the data and helped develop the Maps iPhone application from the very beginning. Now Jaron Waldman, founder and former CEO of Placebase, is a member of the Apple Geo Team.

Apple Geo Team? Who ever heard of the Apple Geo Team?

Placebase already offers more customization and functionality than Google's mapping products. For example, several layers of data can be overlapped. It remains to be seen if Apple is interested in augmenting the Maps application or completely replacing the product.

This news comes on top of drama surrounding the ongoing FCC investigation of Apple, Google and AT&T. According to Google, Apple rejected the Google Voice iPhone app. Apple claims it's still investigating the application.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt quit Apple's board of directors in August. According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, "Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple's core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric's effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest."

In other words, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Would you be a little confused if a business partner bought one of your rivals for themselves? Now that the news is public, we'll be waiting for a reaction from Google.


Yeah right...