Wed, Aug 08, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Apple bites hard and bars YouTube as default app

Reuters, SAN FRANCISCO

Apple Inc’s new version of its iPhone and iPad software will not include a pre-loaded app for Google Inc’s popular video Web site, YouTube, Apple said on Monday.

It was the latest sign of the growing rivalry between the technology companies that once were closely aligned, but are now vying for supremacy in the fast-growing mobile computing market.

Earlier this year, Apple said it would dump Google’s mapping software from its smartphone devices.

Google, the world’s No. 1 Web search engine, is also the maker of the most popular smartphone software with its Android operating system.

In May, Google sealed the US$12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, setting the stage for Google to more tightly integrate its smartphone software and hardware and mount a more direct challenge to Apple’s iPhone.

Apple said in a statement on Monday that its license to include the YouTube app in the iOS operating system “has ended.” Apple said that “customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the app store.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the company’s YouTube license included any financial terms, or on whether Apple planned to replace YouTube with another pre-installed online video app from a different company.

Google said in a statement that it was working with Apple to ensure that it has “the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.”

YouTube had been among a handful of apps that came pre-loaded onto the screens of Apple’s mobile devices since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007.

Analysts said Google was unlikely to take much of a financial hit from the move, though it could complicate the company’s efforts to expand online services to its growing ranks of mobile users.

“It’s a risk to Google’s overall mobile approach and strategy, in that their services are not going to be as easy to find as they used to be,” ThinkEquity analyst Ronald Josey said. “They need to be everywhere that users are.”

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