Apple hasn't really needed Google maps for a while now, but until now it's continued to lean on the service to power iOS's Maps app. 9to5mac is reporting that Apple will drop Google's mapping service in iOS 6 in favour of an entirely in-house system.
According to 9to5's sources, the experience with the new app is "much cleaner, faster, and more reliable," but what else would you really expect an Apple source to say?
More interesting is the new 3D mode, which is powered by C3 Technologies, a 3D mapping company Apple bought up last year. If it's anything close to what the video demos of C3's 3D maps, it'll be a huge addition to the Maps app.
The move away from Google Maps would make sense from Apple's point of view, given Cupertino's holy war against Google. And it has been moving further away from the service, using OpenStreetMaps data in its latest update. Add that to the mapping companies that Apple's been stockpiling — C3, Poly9, Placebase — and Apple seems more than ready to shove off on its own.
We'll apparently see for ourselves at WWDC, which is somewhat of a surprise, since we'd expected to just have Mountain Lion there. [9to5mac]