A few months ago, Apple bought their own mapmaker, Placebase, which seemingly opened the possibility of non-Google-y maps. Now, they're looking for an iPhone maps engineer to "rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things."
That job description actually fits kind of perfectly with what Placebase did well in its former life—customisation and tons of ways to layer multiple kinds of data sets onto maps, with an API that makes it easy to layer on said data sets. Here's more of the listing:
The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile industry and has changed people's lives and we want to continue to do so. We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We've only just started.
As an engineer on the Maps team, your responsibilities will range from implementing low-level client/server code to implementing high-level user interfaces. You'll be responsible for implementing new and innovative features, fixing problems and enhancing the performance of Maps. You will work closely with the other engineers on the Maps team, other iPhone and iPod touch teams as well our partners in other companies.
Of course, it's also just as possible—if not more so—that Apple's sticking with Google for map data, and simply looking to add new and unique powers to its Maps application, to differentiate it from Google Maps on other phones (which in Android's case includes, exclusively, the awesome Google Navigation). [Apple via MacRumors via The Reg]