As reported on Friday, Apple is hastily hiring software engineers to fix its disastrous new Maps App. Not surprisingly, it appears the iPhone maker hopes to lure them from Google.
Bosses are, we're told, sweet-talking engineers with experience in the sprawling Google maps team to woo them to Team Apple. The new Maps App - introduced in iOS 6 for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches - replaced the mapping software previously supplied by Google, which along with its Android operating system is locked in a fierce battle for supremacy with Apple in the world of mobile technology.
As a result, the hiring has been "aggressive", it's claimed, and the anonymous contractor source in question mentioned two such ex-Google map bods who have been snapped up by Apple:
Many of my coworkers at Google Maps eventually left when their contracts ended or on their own accord. One guy looked around for other GIS work and ended up at Apple when a recruiter contacted him.
Still, despite the insider's account of lukewarm salary offers of $85,000 (£52k) plus moving expenses, it appears Apple is simply picking up people whose contract work with Google has ended.
According to a report in June, Google's core mapping division employs 1,100 full-timers and 6,000 on contracts. By contrast Apple, headquartered at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California, only employs a handful of map experts.
However, Apple's maps division will have been swelled by acquisitions: it has gobbled C3 Technologies, Poly9 and Placebase, among others. Apple primarily bought in maps from satnav biz TomTom for iOS 6, but it has baked that data with information from Open Street Map, Waze, and several other sources to identify places.
Silicon Valley has its own customs on poaching - some of which have recently come to the attention of the law. Former employees of Apple, Google and Intel are facing down their former employers in court over accusations that their bosses fixed wages with an informal no-poaching agreement.
Still, it sounds as though Apple is hoovering up Google's contracted staff rather than the core guys. ®