Apple Maps puts the hurt on Google Maps

“Apple’s Maps have turned out to be a hit with iPhone and iPad users in the US – despite the roasting that they were given when they first appeared in September 2012,” Charles Arthur reports for The Guardian. “But Google – which was kicked off the iPhone after it refused to give Apple access to its voice-driven turn-by-turn map navigation – has lost nearly 23m mobile users in the US as a result.”

“That is a huge fall against the 81m Google Maps mobile users it had there at its peak in September last year, according to ComScore, a market research company, which produced the figures from regular polls of thousand of users,” Arthur reports. “The introduction of Apple’s own maps with its iOS 6 software in September 2012 caused a furor… But a year on, a total of 35m iPhone owners in the US used Apple’s maps during September 2013, according to ComScore, compared to a total of 58.7m Google Maps across the iPhone and Android. Of those, about 6m used Google Maps on the iPhone, according to calculations by the Guardian based on figures from ComScore. That includes 2m iPhone users who have not or cannot upgrade to iOS 6, according to data from MixPanel.”

“That suggests Google’s efforts to offer a stand-alone app since December have gained little traction with iPhone users,” Arthur reports. “‘Google has lost access to a very, very important data channel in the North American market,” commented Ben Wood, mobile analyst for CCS Insight, a research company based in London. ‘But Apple was adamant that it wasn’t going to give up on doing its own maps, even when it had problems. This is a war of attrition.’ European and other regional data for maps use is not available, but is expected to mirror that found in the US.”

“According to ComScore, in September 2012 – just ahead of the introduction of Apple Maps – there were a total of 81.1m users of Google Maps, out of a total of 103.6m iPhones and Android phones users,” Arthur reports. “But a year later, its smartphone data says that the total number of Google Maps users is much lower, at 43% of iPhone and Android users – or 58.7m, despite the user base growing to 136.7m.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on August 8, 2011:

Google will rue the day they decided to get greedy by working against Apple instead of with them.


    1. It is now time to make another search engine the default on iOS 7. Most users will not change the default and the amount of traffic that Google receives will fall. The dark side of the force will be defeated.

  1. I live in Bay Area in California. Apple Maps has always shown me perfectly accurate result right from Day 1. It considers traffic information and proposes the best route. This is a great app.

    1. Apple Maps is the default option. If Apple permitted users equal access to Apple Maps and Google Maps then one could make a direct comparison of user preference. Because Apple has excluded Google Maps from OS X and iOS 7 the statistics are biased and confounded.

            1. You may be right. I’ve noticed Americans’ stubborn refusal to employ exponential notation for numbered streets, and also their overuse of “Main Street,” “Broadway,” and especially “Frontage Road.”

      1. Showing the speed limit of the current stretch of road is an excellent feature. A recent rental car in Europe had it. I never knew what I was missing until I used it. Very practical. Do modern car nav systems in the USA do this — show the road speed limit?

    1. Odd, Apple maps used to put the exit number on the navigation (e.g. “take exit 34A…” but I just noticed today that it doesn’t anymore. I like the exit numbers – helps me know how far I have left to go without looking at the screen.

  2. When the shitstorm came over Apple Maps, people laughed at my conclusion that Google had just lost 100M users with the iOS 6 introduction. Okay, I hadn’t considered that many iPhone users don’t use any maps, but the tendency was right.
    Meanwhile, the Mavericks+iPhone Maps solution works great for me…

  3. The manufactured outrage about Apple Maps was hyped far beyond it’s significance. The end result is that when new customers try Apple Maps, they are expecting something rather poor, but discovering that it’s really great.

    1. Hyped… Dude just the mere mention of it not completing simple tasks like public trans info is not hyped. When Google Maps first came out it didn’t have public trans info, but over the years it’s become common place and is expected as a basic feature of any maps app wanting to compete. And Apple Mapps suggesting you use a different maps app just to give you public trans directions is an admittion that they are aware it is lacking and are attempting to make up for it. I can see how a person who lives in a smaller area and mostly drives everywhere would think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but when in a city of millions and using public trans it’s useless.

  4. I liked Maps from the beginning and it is getting better all the time. I was looking at London using Flyover with my daughter, and it was truly impressive. However, Apple has a lot yet to do with search. This weekend, Maps couldn’t locate by name the church I was standing in front of.

      1. Should be location aware, and at least know what city I’m in. When it couldn’t find the church, it strangely gave me other affiliate churches scattered over at least five states.

        1. It does know what city you’re in, but it can’t assume you mean to search in that city. How would it know? You (and others) make these observations as if you’ve never seen Google Maps do strange things.

          A search engine is only as good as the underlying database(s), and the way a user types a search query can have a profound impact on the search results. Unfortunately, computers can’t read our minds to always know what we want. Heuristics helps, but is inherently imperfect.

          Google Maps is good. Not perfect, but good. Apple Maps is getting good. Not perfect, but good.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.