Apple-Google break-up continues: YouTube app removed from iPhones


Apple's forthcoming iOS 6 operating system will no longer include the YouTube app, a feature that has shipped with the iPhone since the device debuted in June 2007. The move marks another milestone in the growing division between Google and Apple, as competition between the technology giants becomes more intense. As Google has pushed into the market with its Android software, now the most-used smartphone operating system, the relationship between the two companies frayed.


iPhone and iPad users will see the effects when the next version of Apple’s mobile software, called iOS 6, is rolled out later this year.

This year, a license expired that let Apple include YouTube. As a result, the YouTube app won’t come pre- installed on future iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch releases or if a user downloads iOS 6 to existing devices.

Customers who want to view YouTube on an iPhone will have to access it through Apple’s Safari Web browser or an application downloadable from the App Store.

Apple says Google is working on a replacement app, but the app will have to be installed by iOS users.

Following the news, Apple provided technology blog The Verge with the following statement: "Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store."

YouTube is the latest Google property to be dropped from Apple’s functionality. In June, Apple revealed that the iOS Maps app--also present on the iPhone since 2007--would no longer obtain map data from Google. Apple appears to have planned that move since it acquired map company Placebase in July 2009, and map companies Poly9 and C3 Technologies in 2010 and 2011.

Apple's conflict with Google became apparent in August 2009 when Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google, resigned from Apple's board, where he had served for three years. In early 2010, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, then CEO, said he wanted to destroy Android because it was "a stolen product," according to biographer Walter Issacson.

Since then, Apple has waged a patent war against Google's Android hardware partners, with Microsoft and Oracle engaging in similar tactics. Apple's case against Samsung, the leading maker of Android hardware, is presently being heard in a courtroom in San Jose, Calif.

Without default placement of its app on iOS devices, Google's YouTube may see iOS visitor traffic decline when iOS 6 is released later this year. But for a site as popular as YouTube, it's not clear that this diminished exposure will have much of an impact, particularly once Google offers its own YouTube app through the App Store.

Apple is rumoured to be unveiling the next iPhone, which is expected to feature the latest iOS version, at an event on September 12.

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