iOS to lose YouTube app

From this fall, the pre-installed YouTube app will disappear from Apple’s operating system, with the launch of iOS 6.

As 9to5Mac was first to notice, the app – a constant presence since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 – is missing from the beta version of the new operating system.

Apple’s since confirmed the app’s removal, saying: “Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended.” It adds: “Customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.”

While Apple is blaming a licensing issue for the app’s removal, it’s hard not to see it as the next step in the company’s attempt to distance itself from rival Google.

The company’s also recently dropped Google Maps in favor of its own mapping application, developed in conjunction with TomTom.

But Google may, all the same, be happy enough to see the YouTube app disappear from iOS 6. Under the five-year licensing deal, Apple’s been the sole developer of the app, with Google completely shut out of development and prevented from running any ads on the app.

Google now has a chance to monetize the app – and with around a fifth of YouTube viewing taking place on mobile devices, that could mean a good source of revenue.