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. If Apple would turn Siri into a full blown search engine already, the results would be the same. The hurt won’t come from Apple storming the search market but rather stealing those lucrative iOS and Mac ecosystem users away from the Google universe. Siri wouldn’t have the highest market share, but it would be another profit generator while weakening a nemesis. What more could you ask for?

    Make it happen, Tim.

  2. Okay, this is hella misleading. I’m not sure where these are really coming from or if they take into account the download of a Google Map app vs an app that uses Google Maps as well, because there are many. And ironically, which this article fails to mention is that Apple Maps redirects to 3rd party apps that use mostly Google Maps and it’s data when routing for public transit directions. I have been with an iPhone since 2007 and honestly I do not know a single person who uses Apple Maps solely, as in they use Apple Maps as well as another map app that gives the features it lacks, case in point public transit data. Until Apple Maps is able to gain public transit directions on its own, it is nearly or completely useless. I live in downtown Boston and rely on a map app daily. I want that app to be Apple Maps, so incredibly much, but it cannot help, I hope soon that changes.

    1. Keep in mind where you live vs me and many others. In Columbus there is no public transit other than taxies at the airport. I drive to Cleveland and many other destinations around the state. No public transit anywhere, so driving a car is the only way.

      For me, Apple Maps if great. I also use the Tom Tom App because of their database on “what is the fastest route?” that continually gets updated by other users.

      My main point here is not everybody lives in a big city with subways. I do agree, once Apple has that added in, then the hurt will really be put on.

  3. I want to agree. I do. Apple Maps has problems locating streets that are blocks away from me.

    “Directions to Something Street.”
    “I found Something Street. It’s pretty far away from you.”

    Then, instead of getting the one a few blocks away, it’s a few states away. What algorithm (or data) are they using?

    I always use Apple Maps *first*, but I inevitably need to switch to Google Maps a lot of the time.

    1. I usually press the arrow that locates my location in Maps first. Then search for a particular street or business, works perfectly 99.9% of the time…. Good enuf and gettin better.

      1. Perhaps, but then Siri is just more of a gimmick, isn’t. People can vote me down for bashing Maps, but it just isn’t Apple’s best work. And… anyone who reads my TakeToTask blog knows I’m an Apple “fanboy” through and through.

        1. Are you in a big city or smaller one for this example?

          I used to live in Columbus. The city online mapping system was great, satellite or arial photos in color. I then moved one county out in the country. Their online maps were ancient B/W photos that were missing newer roads. Is that Apple’s fault? No, it’s a county map room that might not have the money to update their own maps.

          When Google first rolled their map feature out, they did not have every street done in 1 year.

          It took them years.

          1. I am in a big city, though some of my driving is in the immediate suburbs (also big). When I need a moment’s notice from Siri to tell me where a street is, I am always let down.

            For instance — I need Redmond St. Siri finds Redmond St. somewhere in California. So I say “Redmond St. in Redmond, VA.” THEN it finds it. What causes Maps not to find the Redmond St. while driving in Redmond unless I specifically say in Redmond, but it will find it elsewhere? No matter how you spin it, that’s f’d up. I HATE having to use Google Maps, but it saves me in those situations almost every time (and even they aren’t always accurate, but better).

      1. I have both reported errors and provided screen shots to them (through the feedback method *and* to Tim Cook’s email). Some of this was last year. Look, I’m an Apple guy all the way, but Maps just isn’t “there” yet.

        1. I agree, Maps isn’t there yet. We’re in a city of 250,000 in Canada, and not high on Apple’s priority list. Google updated a major road completion within 7 days. It’s now been 2 months and Apple Maps is still wrong, despite a few people I know including me reporting it. Also, many business listing and locations downtown are wrong, and I’ve reported them as well, with no change.

          My assessment is this: Apple needs to crowd source more info from alternate / more places than Yelp in Canada. At least in my city, no one uses Yelp, and most of the business info is wrong. Not Apple/Yelp’s fault, but just how it is.

          Whereas it’s a no brained for a web conscious business to maintain its Google Local info, it seems that even login into Yelp to update a listing, the info doesn’t propagate to Apple servers quickly. Etc etc…. so many little things.

          Apple Maps isn’t there yet.

          1. Great point. We had a new Bypass built last year. Apple Maps thought I was driving on grass/dirt/whatever and kept telling me to turn. Google Maps and Waze (before Google bought them) both had the new Bypass. I don’t know if Apple Maps has it now, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it.

  4. The two maps app under discussion rely on either wifi or a cell connection, which can be a disadvantage, for example, when driving where there is no cell coverage, whereas a GPS signal is used by the TomTom app, and so this is what I mostly use on my iPad when on a trip, at least in North America. GPS is available on both iPads and iPhones, but most people are unaware of how good the TomTom app is until they have it. It also means the wi-fi only version of these devices suffice to provide navigation capability.

    1. Apple may use TomTom for their European data, but there in the UK, I am still “located” in Sale a town 5 miles away from Altrincham where I live. My postcode is shown as WA14 2, when in fact it should have a further two alphanumerics to complete it. I have reported this 3 times to Apple and still they have not corrected it. Obviously it is treated as low priority, but it’s not good.

        1. Your comment led me to check on an error I report twice, the first time nearly a year ago. One of the largest hospitals in South Bend, Indiana, was torn down and rebuilt in a neighboring city. The land was then reused for a new high school, which moved from its previous location to the new site. This can be viewed on satellite image on Maps. However, if you search for either the hospital or the high school, you’re given the locations as of 2012. I reported this twice with no fix yet made.

        2. I’ve been consistently (well, every few months or so) sending in a correction which, so far, has failed to be made. First time was literally the first day Maps came out. So, yeah, my confidence in the bug report feature is nil.

  5. I think we are seeing that many of us are like the fandroids with their phones who are happy with “good enough”. Kinda the same for me and it seems many others. Apple maps is “good enough” for now. And when it doesn’t work we can fall back for a on time use of Google maps. Slowly Apple maps is gaining ground. I do wish their satellite imagery was better
    outside of the cities.

  6. Good to see Altrincham mentioned, I live there and have the same trouble, being located in Sale. I too have reported this to Apple many times over the past 12 months, all to no avail.
    The ‘Flyover’ has been updated in the last 3 months and it is brilliant.

  7. If iTunes radio was a separate app instead of being buried in the Music app, it would have better impact against Pandora. You know, one click on the icon instead of potentially more than one n the Music app.

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