Apple (AAPL) plans to remove its YouTube app from the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said Monday that its license for the YouTube application, which has always been prominently featured as a built-in iOS app and offered since the iPhone went on sale 2007, has expired, meaning the latest beta 4 version of Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 6, will not include a prepackaged app for Google’s popular video website YouTube.
“Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended,” Apple said in a statement to The Verge. “Customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google [GOOG] is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.”
YouTube would not confirm if there is a new app on the way. “We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users,” a company spokesman said in a statement e-emailed to CNET.
It’s not clear yet what caused this change and many are describing Apple’s YouTube removal as an act of war. But we think it’s possible Apple dropped the default YouTube app just because the app has languished for years without seeing any major improvements.
This latest move from Apple won’t necessarily impede users’ ability to catch videos on iPhones and iPads. YouTube app would actually remain, according to Engadget, on iOS 5 and older. Additionally, YouTube will still be available via Web browsers such as Apple’s Safari.