Apple will indeed cut Google out of a lucrative deal for mapping data for its mobile devices, according to the Wall Street Journal. The report supports an earlier rumor that iOS 6 would introduce Apple's long-planned replacement for Google Maps.
Since 2009, Apple has been acquiring companies that specialize in mapping applications and technologies. In 2009, shortly after a rift between Apple and Google began over Android, Apple bought PlaceBase. That company specialized in creating an API for combining various types of data with location information. Then, in 2010, the company acquired Poly9, known for its mapping visualization technology. Finally, in 2011, Apple snapped up C3 Technologies, a Saab spin-off that had developed automated 3D mapping algorithms and had begun building a database of 3D maps of the entire globe.
It has long been suspected that Apple has been working on a replacement for the widely used Google Maps service, featured prominently in the iOS Maps application. Apple also offers an API for iOS developers to include Google Maps functionality in their own apps. Any replacement would not only have to work for the Maps application itself, but would need to serve as a complete replacement for the Google Maps APIs used by app developers.