Since Apple released the iPhone in 2007, the integration with Google Maps has been more or less obvious, and there are many developers who have used Apple’s Map Kit to add maps into their apps. But at the same time it has also been rumored that Apple wants to ditch Google Maps and get their own map service, especially after the companies started to compete directly with Android and iOS.

According to The Wall Street Journal, these plans are now close to becoming a reality, and before the end of this year Apple is expected to launch its own service. The sources are said to be anonymous former and current employees of the company.

The reason Apple would get its own service would appear to be to get more control over their users, and also being able to sell advertising themselves.

(via MacWorld)