Apple Inc’s new version of its iPhone and iPad software will not include a pre-loaded app for Google Inc’s popular video website, YouTube, Apple said on Monday.
It was the latest sign of the growing rivalry between the technology companies the once were closely aligned but now are vying for supremacy in the fast-growing mobile computing market.
Earlier this year, Apple said it would dump Google’s mapping software from its mobile devices."Apple and Google are the mobile operating systems for the future and this is where the battleground is going to lie," said Needham & Co analyst Kerry Rice. "If it’s going to be a two-horse race, you certainly don’t want to give the other horse any kind of lead."
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 closed the $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, setting the stage for Google to more tightly integrate its smartphone software and hardware and mount a direct challenge to the iPhone.
Apple said on Monday that its license to include the YouTube app in the iOS operating system “has ended.” Apple noted that “customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app for 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.
YouTube has been among a handful of apps that come pre-loaded onto the screens of Apple’s mobile devices since the original iPhone came in 2007.
Analysts said Google was unlikely to take much of a financial hit, though it could complicate Google’s efforts to expand online services to growing mobile users.