Apple is set to drop the embedded YouTube app from the next version of its iOS device platform, in a move which was seen as reflecting the growing distance between the company and Google, owner of YouTube.
According to an Apple statement, its licence to include the app as part of the core iOS proposition has ended. Customers will still be able to access YouTube content via the Safari web browser, and Google is also set to offer its own YouTube app via Apple’s App Store.
While the impact of the move on users is likely to be minimal, it does reflect a growing distance between Apple and Google, which has been the chosen supplier of many mobile internet services to the iPhone since its launch in 2007. In the meantime, Google’s Android platform has become the biggest competitor to the iPhone.
Earlier this year, Apple announced the launch of its own mapping services for iOS6, displacing Google.
Currently, Google is still the default search option for iOS device users.
Some observers have suggested that under Google’s steerage, the YouTube app may be improved, with more regular updates once it is no longer part of the device OS package. It may also provide Google with additional monetisation options, although the company will remain bound by the conditions imposed on third-party iOS developers.
Engadget reports that the YouTube app will not be removed from existing devices running earlier versions of iOS.