Apple’s Maps integrates with Russia’s Yandex, search deal on the horizon

Google Maps may no longer hold the spotlight in iOS 6, but a new report indicates its direct competition in Russia is apparently able to power some Apple Maps features.

Yandex sports the majority market share in Russia, and a report from TechCrunch this morning, which cited sources “close to the situation,” claimed the search engine’s built-in API serves up details on local businesses when iOS 6 users seek information in Maps.

According to TechCrunch:

Yandex’s geosearch API works like this: When users are looking for details on Apple’s Maps service, Yandex’s geosearch API powers that that search, providing information about restaurants, shops, streets, and so on. If a user wants more detail on a place, there is a Yandex button at the bottom of the listing; clicking through takes the user to the Yandex.Map app — Yandex’s standalone native mapping app. If a user doesn’t have that app installed, they are redirected to the App Store to download it. Yandex’s mapping API works for all users in Russia, as well as those who use Apple Maps elsewhere to source mapping information about Russia.

Apple previously packaged Google Maps in its mobile operating system, but it disconnected the partnership earlier this year due to growing rivalry. TechCrunch noted today’s move would help to bulk Maps in iOS 6, while giving Yandex more of a lead against Google in its homeland. The integration apparently surfaced upon taking a closer look at Russia’s iOS 6 Gold Master version.

TechCrunch’s sources further asserted the companies are working toward a deal that makes Yandex the default search function in Apple’s Safari browser for Russia. The move seems plausible, as Apple’s Safari also sidestepped Google search in China in favor of Baidu.

Get the full report at TechCrunch.

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