Sponsor Listings Appear in iPhone Maps App

Apple's Maps application lets iPhone and iPod touch users search for stores, restaurants and more through Google Maps, but now Google is adding sponsored listings to the results users see.

Sponsored search results in Apple's Map app.

Along with the usual red pins that drop onto the map to show business location search results, iPhone and iPod touch users are now occasionally seeing a new square pin that denotes sponsored results, too. The additional pins are clearly labeled as sponsored links when tapped so users are aware they are looking at an in-map ad.

Tapping sponsored search results gets you a small ad, too.

The sponsored search results seem to show up only for iPhone OS 3.1 users. TMO's tests with devices running earlier versions of the operating system never displayed sponsor links, and often displayed a very different search results compared to iPhone OS 3.1 devices.

So far, The Mac Observer's tests show sponsored locations only when searching for department stores, but it seems to be a safe bet that it won't be long before additional links appear as well.

[Thanks to PM Digital for the heads up.]