Tim Bajarin: The real reason why Apple dumped Google Maps

“I have been fascinated with all the bluster and vitriol thrown at Apple since they tossed Google Maps in favor of their own Map app without these detractors trying to get to the bottom of why Apple made this move,” Tim Bajarin writes for TechPinions.

“Contrary to many peoples thinking, the move was not to punish Google in any way. Rather, the decision was a very pragmatic one that in the end will be good for Apple and really good for their customers,” Bajarin writes. “One key reason for Apple dumping Google Maps is that Apple wanted turn-by-turn directions and for obvious reasons, Google did not want to license this feature to Apple because it gave them a competitive advantage over Apple.”

Bajarin writes, “However there is an even more important reason Apple took this action… At the heart of Siri lies a rich database of content that Siri can draw from to give users the answers to the questions they ask. However, when Apple introduced it they never even uttered the word ‘database’ in explaining how it works. What they did say is that Siri was in its early stages of learning and over time, as people use Siri, it would get smarter. It was almost positioned as a beta release.”

MacDailyNews Take: Siri wasn’t just “almost positioned” by Apple as a beta release, it was clearly labeled as such.

Bajarin writes, “At the iPhone launch, Apple probably should have stated, as they did with Siri, that this new map app is a work in progress and more like a beta. That would have at least tempered the criticism to a point. But by praising it and then people finding a lot of inaccuracies, it comes off as a wounded product instead of what it really is; a mapping database that will become more accurate over time… Apple’s decision to jettison Google Maps was not an emotional one. Indeed, the decision was done to make sure they owned their customers data and did not give Google any help with Android. And as iOS users give Apple feedback on map data and accuracy, a very rich mapping database will emerge that could be even better than what Google offers today.”

Much more in the full article – recommended (note that where Bajarin writes “60,000,” he likely means “60 million”) – here.


  1. Two friends of mine, both iP3GS owners, have gone to Galaxy, largely as a result of the mapping terror-tales.

    As for me I’ll wait for Google Maps app and YouTube before I move to IOS6.

    It depends how you use them I guess, but Street View is essential for me, as is YouTube.

      1. I prefer youporn but to each his own.
        Actually I prefer saving YouTube from safari to my homepage. I like the HD option. Never downloaded the app. Maybe it has it as well.

    1. You should seek better friends and those more capable of using a “Smartphone.” If they left for that reason, maybe they would like to buy some beachfront property in Arizonia.

      Yup, a sucker is born every day!

      1. For some. I’ve used street view about three times on my iPhone since the original intro. I know it is important to many people for a variety of reasons, but I’d be surprised if the majority of iPhone users think of its loss as a “game changer”.

  2. My first attempt at using the Map app last night and it thought I lived several towns away even though I punched in the exact street address. Unfortunately, a friend coming to visit was hopelessly lost in this town miles away because he used to for navigation. How is Siri/Maps going to” learn” that I don’t live where it thinks I live? There doesn’t seem to be a way to correct it. Thanks to Tim Cook’s apology letter however, I discovered Maquest’s app which is very good. It even knows where on a map my home is.

    1. Do a search for you home address in Maps. Then tap the page curl in the lower right-hand corner and click “Report a Problem” (it’s a tiny, almost microscopic link) and then choose “Search Results are Incorrect” and it will walk you through the steps to correct the problem in Apple’s database.

  3. Happy with the logic to move.
    Unhappy with the implementation. If I own the Google Maps app on my machine the company should not remove it from my machine under the guise of an ‘upgrade’. Apps are not bound to the iOS and Apple should not have portrayed them as such.

    1. Do you actually ‘own’ the app? After all, it’s just bundled as part of the OS that came with it, you haven’t actually one to the App Store and paid for it, have you? As is part of the OS, you have no option but to accept any decisions that Apple make about their OS and its implementation. I’m pretty sure you’ll find that in the Terms and Conditions you’ve accepted.
      Save Google Maps and Google Earth as homepage links and download the YouTube App, as I have, then quit whining and get over yourself.

      1. Yes I did own a copy – it was in the feature set when I bought the iPad.
        That I am having the decision to remove it made for me is the whole issue. Apple can install additional features – even make them them the default – its the removal that pisses me off.

  4. I suppose it really doesn’t matter what Apple does for the time being. Tim Cook can stand on his head and apologize all he wants. Wall Street already knows that Apple’s Map app is years behind what Google and everyone else is offering and Apple shareholders are going to be punished for it. If Apple doesn’t get 100% on anything it does, then it’s considered a major disappointment in everyone’s eyes. Every iPhone launching is made to have some major flaw to discourage Apple device sales. This Map app situation has over-shadowed practically everything else since the iPhone 5 launching.

  5. Love the new iOS 6 maps. No they are not perfect, but it is a huge improvement over the old maps app.

    Turn by turn works great, and there are very few problems I’ve encountered, mostly just the brand new stores in my area not being listed. I’ve reported the problems though.

    Also, the new YouTube app is a joke. Stay far away. Get Jasmine instead, it’s a killer app.

  6. My son updated his iPad to iOS 6 while I still have mine on iOS 5. Yesterday, just for kicks, I did a side-by-side Maps comparison of our home address in hybrid view.

    Both were pretty accurate in showing my location as I moved from one end of our home to the other, even when I stepped outside. If there was any issue, it is that the new Apple Maps sat photos are older and do not have the resolution of Google Maps.

    The new iOS 6 Maps does not show a masonry fence that we built 18 months ago… while the iOS 5 version does.

    We have a rental unit on our property and the renter’s van (only there since late May this year) is visible in the old Maps. Also, there is a wood and wrought-iron bench and end-table in our front yard… both can be seen and the bench is only 48 inches long.

  7. If anyone relly wants Apple Maps to excel, use it exclusively and help it learn, stick it out with Apple as every loyal lngtime company user has done. You will be rewarded in every eay and user experience than anyone else will care to provide .

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