Why Google just crowned Apple’s iPhone king

“By releasing new versions of Google Maps and Gmail for iOS this month, Google helped make the iPhone the best mobile phone on the planet,” Ryan Tate writes for Wired. “Why is Google, the owner of Android and Motorola, helping its ostensible rival?”

“The answer boils down to advertising. Google’s smartphone operating system, Android, has always been incidental to Google’s ad business, the source of virtually all the company’s profits, and Google’s Motorola handset division is, for now, a similar sideshow,” Tate writes. “Google doesn’t particularly care what operating system you use to view its ads or engage with its sites; it just wants to pull you in. Google pumps money into Android mainly to ensure that companies like Apple and Microsoft can’t push its properties off of smartphones.”

Tate writes, “Google Maps would seem a fantastic place from which to sell ads. Maps apps not only know where you are, they know where you’re going and what types of businesses you’re looking for – the sort of “intention” data advertisers lust for. Google Maps for iOS is ad-free at the moment, but seems unlikely to stay that way for long. The Android version, for example, contains ads. Gmail for iOS is similarly a big potential driver of advertising; the web version of the app has always had ads targeted based on the content of e-mail messages.”

“At the same time, adding powerful apps to the iOS ecosystem will surely help sell more iPhones,” Tate writes. “When we asked about this on the @wired Twitter account, we heard from users who had held off on buying or updating their phones until the map landscape improved. Melanie Batenchuk, an automotive writer in Arlington, Virginia, said she’d ‘probably’ upgrade her iPhone now that Google Maps is available. ‘I’ve also been holding off on iOS 6 upgrade on my [iPhone] 4 because I don’t want the awful maps!’ she added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Apple’s Maps are not “awful,” but we’ve already predicted why people like Melanie believe such fallacies:

No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population… The fool(s) responsible for preparing Maps for release and then releasing it with obvious issues (overblown as they are) and therefore tainting Maps forever should face severe consequences. As in: Pink slip(s)… Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip.MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012

Related articles:
Analyst: Google Maps for iPhone a mixed blessing for Apple – December 14, 2012
Apple wins again: Much improved Google Maps iPhone app vindicates Cupertino’s strategy – December 13, 2012
Google Maps hits Apple App Store, Google admits iOS Maps app is better than Google Maps for Android – December 13, 2012
Apple promises to fix Maps glitches by rearranging earth’s geography (with video) – December 6, 2012
Apple’s Eddy Cue racing to overhaul Maps – November 28, 2012
Apple to Maps manager Williamson: Get lost – November 27, 2012
Days after Tim Cook’s apology, Apple’s Maps shows improvements – October 12, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012

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