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Eric Schmidt: Ha ha, NO Google maps app for iPhone 5

'Apple should have kept ours. But what do I know?'

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Google has not made a maps app for the iPhone 5, its chairman Eric Schmidt said this morning - and his company is not working on one.

The search engine supremo's snub will come as a blow to fanbois who "upgraded" to the latest Apple smartphone, or installed the new iOS 6 operating system on their fruity gadgets, and found Google's maps app replaced by Apple's less-than-brilliant satnav-like alternative. Many punters have urged Google to produce a new replacement map app.

"We have not done anything yet," Schmidt said, answering questions from journalists in Japan, according to Reuters.

Schmidt revealed that execs at top tech companies chat among themselves a lot, but that obviously doesn't stop the power play that has seen Google's map service booted out of the iPhone. Apple and Google are locked in a battle for supremacy in the mobile tech arena: the search giant's Android operating system is at the heart of smartphones and tablets competing against Apple's iPhones and iPads.

"We’ve been talking with [Apple] for a long time. We talk to them every day," he insisted. He was mellow on Apple's decision:

We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know? What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It’s their call.

Schmidt's aside to a press pack is the only indication from Google so far about its plans for Google Maps on iOS 6, which also powers the new iPhone 5. There was speculation that Google was on the verge of putting out a replacement app available through iTunes.

Schmidt took the opportunity to make a few more points about the iPhone: "Apple is the exception, and the Android system is the common model, which is why our market share is so much higher."

Schmidt said that the success of Linux-powered Android smartphones has been overlooked by the media, which he said was "obsessed with Apple's marketing events and Apple's branding".

"That's great for Apple, but the numbers are on our side," he said. ®

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