It’s no secret that Apple is ditching Google Maps on iOS6. In Russia, that decision looms large for Russian search engine Yandex, which will provide the backend for the new Apple Maps app, according to Bloomberg.
Software developers in Russia that have been using the developer version of iOS6 have reported seeing the Yandex integration in Apple’s new mapping app. As one developer told Bloomberg:
“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.”
Both Yandex and Apple declined to comment in the Bloomberg article.
The Maps app partnership might be the start of something bigger. TechCrunch is reporting that Yandex might replace Google as the default search provider on mobile versions of the Safari web browser.
Apple formally announced plans for its own Maps app this summer — and the company appears hellbent on distancing itself from Google as much as possible. Yandex, likewise, counts Google as its prime competitor in the Russian search landscape, so this kind of deal makes sense for both parties.