TomTom: We Have a Map Deal with Apple

Following Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote event on Monday, several sharp-eyed viewers noted that there were references to the navigation company TomTom in some of the iOS mapping images shown during the event. TomTom has followed up by confirming that it does have a deal with Apple, although the company isn’t sharing any details.

“TomTom has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information. No further details of the agreement will be provided,” TomTom representatives said in a statement.

iOS 6's Maps app includes TomTom technologyiOS 6’s Maps app includes TomTom technology

The company’s navigation-related technology is being used in the version of the Maps app that will be included in iOS 6 when it ships some time this fall. The new Maps app drops Google mapping in favor of Apple’s own offering and technology from partner companies such as TomTom.

Apple’s new Maps app includes what the company is calling “Apple-designed cartography,” with vector-based map components, turn-by-turn directions, crowd-sourced traffic data, and a 3D-looking fly-over mode with photo-realistic images.

The new map system should come with better overall performance since Apple can fine-tune the feature to take advantage of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch hardware, and by partnering with other companies like TomTom it can distance itself more from Google — which seems to be a path Apple is happy to go down.