Apple Says Goodbye to YouTube in iOS 6

Apple won’t be including its YouTube app in iOS 6 even though it’s been included with iOS ever since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007. Instead, Apple says video watchers can go to the YouTube website.

The licensing deal Apple had with YouTube is ending, the company said, and added, “customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store,” according to Reuters.

Apple's YouTube app: Gone in iOS 6Apple’s YouTube app: Gone in iOS 6

The decision to drop the YouTube app was likely a strategic move on Apple’s part to cut out Google’s presence in the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system even more, noted Needham & Co. analyst Kerry Rice.

“Apple and Google are the mobile operating systems for the future and this is where the battleground is going to lie,” he said. “If it’s going to be a two-horse race, you certainly don’t want to give the other horse any kind of lead.”

ThinkEquity analyst Ronald Josey thinks Google’s own search engine may be next to go. “The writing’s on the wall that when search is up for renewal, there’s a significant chance that Google may not be the default,” he said.

Assuming Apple does drop Google as the default search engine in Mobile Safari, it would have to look for a replacement since there isn’t any indication that the company is ready to roll out its own. Microsoft’s Bing could replace Google, although that would still leave Apple handing over control of mobile online searches to a competitor.

For now, it seems likely iOS users will still see Google as their default mobile Internet search engine, and when iOS 6 ships in a few weeks they may have a new YouTube app from Google as well.