Could Google Maps disappear from smartphones?

News hardware Could Google Maps disappear from smartphones?

The US Department of Justice is looking into the case of Google Maps, in order to determine whether the Mountain View firm’s mapping service is guilty of abuse of a dominant position. A situation that could prove problematic for the firm.

All users of an Android smartphone have, at least once, launched the Google Maps application to find their way. This app is far from being the only one of its kind on the market and yet it is the most used: the reason for this is thatit is installed as standard on all terminals that use Google’s mobile OS. And that does not please the American authorities too much, among other things.

Already under investigation for abuse of a dominant position since the end of 2020, Alphabet Inc, the conglomerate which brings together Google companies, potentially has cause for concern for its online mapping service. The US Department of Justice recently decided to look into his case, reports Reuters.

Could Google Maps disappear from smartphones?

Android Automotive in the spotlight

The investigation focuses on two distinct points: the first is none other than the Android Automotive packagewhich Google offers to certain car manufacturers whose vehicles embed navigation and entertainment systems in their cabin: this is the case of Ford, Volvo and Hummer.

The second point focuses on the freedom granted by Google to developers of websites and mobile applications in the fact of using certain functions of Google Maps by associating them with functionalities of other mapping services. In 2020, a US antitrust panel had concluded that Google applies the “all or nothing” with the developersthus contributing to “stifle competition”. The Mountain View firm then defended itself by explaining that it was seeking to “limit bad experiences” for users.

The mobile application spared?

Initially at this stage, there is no need to worry about the Google Maps application natively installed on Android smartphones. The choice of the American authorities to focus on Android Automotive rather than on Google Maps for Android can also prove to be very curious. The mobile application is installed on more than 2.5 billion devices worldwide, while Android Automotive concerns a few tens of thousands of vehicles at most.

This does not mean that the investigation will not look into the question one day, but in the immediate future, its priority remains elsewhere. If you are one of those people who swear by Google Maps for your routes, you can breathe!

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