For years, rumors pointed to Apple ditching Google Maps in favor of an internal solution, and now it seems that shift might occur with the impending arrival of its new OS.

Apple will drop Google Maps in its next iteration of the iPhone OS -- most likely to be called iOS 6.

Instead, iOS 6 will feature an in-house maps solution powered by technology designed by C3, a 3D-mapping firm Apple acquired last year.

Previously, Apple purchased mapping software developers Placebase in 2009, as well as another 3D-mapping company, Poly9, a few months before snatching up C3.

The move away from Google Maps would hardly be a surprise, and iOS 6's new in-house 3D mapping service will likely prove a treat for iPhone users if the rumors turn out to be accurate.

What's 3D mapping?

C3's 3D mapping technology melds precise 3D models with satellite images, street-level photography and traditional maps to create an incredibly detailed and interactive map.

The realistic 3D models are constructed in real-time based on "previously classified image processing technology," or missile targeting algorithms according to C3.

The source for this particular rumors says iOS 6's 3D mapping application is similar to the Google Maps app the iPhone currently uses, only "cleaner, faster, and more reliable," and with the 3D mode accessible at the press of a button.

Along with the new app will come a new icon for iOS 6's Maps that will show Apple's infamous 1 Infinite Loop Campus, with a different color scheme to help differentiate it from the current app.

iOS 6 incoming

The new Maps app could be introduced as one of iOS 6's flagship features, and the new OS will likely make its debut at Apple's annual WWDC next month.

While the new 3D Maps will be a major addition, more huge changes aren't expected in this version of Apple's iOS.

However, nothing is definite until Apple makes an official announcement, so look forward to June.

Via The Verge, 9to5Mac