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Apple recruiting Google Maps staff

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Following the widespread panning of Apple's new Google Maps replacement for iOS 6, reports have emerged that Apple is buying up talent from Google's mapping department itself.

Apple's new Maps app for iOS 6 has been universally derided, and it's generally listed as a major weak point for the new iPhone 5. Indeed, if you're looking for a little Apple-inflected sympathy from us, you've come to the wrong place.

Make no mistake, the new Maps app is a considerable and somewhat embarrassing step back from Google Maps.

So it's interesting to note that Apple agrees. Not in so many words, of course, but as always in the world of major tech companies, a recruitment policy speaks a thousand words.

According to Tech Crunch, Apple has hired recruiters to target people who have worked on Google Maps. "Apple is pursuing a strategy of luring away Google Maps employees who helped develop the search giant’s product on contract," says the report.

In fact it's the rather rudimentary state of Apple's new Maps app that is causing such talent to say yes. Google Maps has reached a point where it's pretty solid and only needs periodic updates.

The site's source - a contractor who worked on Google Maps - has revealed that many of his co-workers at Google have been tempted by Apple's persuasive recruiters and handsome wages.

He also believes that "Apple has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to build a robust mapping platform to counter Google Maps," which will involve getting "its own 5 million miles of street view data" - one of the big areas in which Google Maps rules supreme.

Of course, as the source points out, Apple can afford to throw as much money at the problem as it takes, so don't be surprised if it creates a genuine Google Maps rival over the next couple of years.

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