Starting in January, Google will begin charging businesses for using the Google Maps link on their websites.
According to Apple Insider, the company says the charge will only affect .35% of users as websites won't be charged until they get 25,000 Google Maps clicks in one 24-hour period. After they've reached this quota, businesses will be charged $4 per 1,000 clicks according to BBC News.
BBC News also reports that Thor Mitchell, product manager of the Maps API at Google, said that Google is aware that these changes may be "concerning" to businesses who rely on Google Maps, but that they are necessary in order to "secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable."
Apple Insider writes that Apple is one of the companies that relies heavily on Google to provide mapping information for their devices. The iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad all use Google's Street View content in their native mapping applications. However, Apple may be getting out of the Google Maps game for good in the not too distant future. Apple Insider dishes that Apple is reportedly working on their own mapping application.
In April, Apple admitted that they are using location data collected from iPhones to create a "crowd-sourced traffic database", which the company hopes will be able to help people avoid traffic congestion. According to 9to5Mac, Apple may have this service up and running in the next few years.
But if Apple tries to usurp Google's dominant map position, it's not going to be easy. According to a website that tracks Google Maps use, 1,115,421 websites use Google Maps, and 75,463 of those websites are among the most visited on the web, which means that Google could end up making a pretty penny come January.
Of the sites that use Google Maps, 18.26 percent are news sites, 14.94 percent are business sites, and 9.34 percent are travel sites.