Remember when Apple Inc. released its Apple Maps app last year? It didn’t exactly perform well – in fact it was a total flop. The idea was to push Google out of iOS, by displacing Google Maps with Apple’s own navigation system. Instead, Apple and Tom-Tom, which is the company Apple used to get the mapping data for the app, were both made to look foolish.
Entire cities were in the wrong locations on the app. Airports completely disappeared, and bridges fell into dark canyons in the 3-D rendering mode. The whole incident resulted in Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, making a public apology to customers, and then recommending that Apple iPhone users utilize Google Maps until the problems were solved.
Apple May Be Finding Its Way Back
Google Inc. was no doubt satisfied to see Apple struggle and fall on its face, after the Cupertino company rushed to get its mapping application built and into the hands of users. However, new data suggests that Apple may get the last laugh in this particular joke fest.
According to comScore data, Google Maps had approximately 81 million users in the U.S. a year ago. These users were comprised of both Android and iOS users. Now, that number has taken a dive to just 59 million. This is a drop of 22 million users in a single year. Meanwhile, Apple Maps now has an estimated 35 million users, many of which are undoubtedly making the swap from Google Maps.
These numbers indicate that Apple Maps could be growing in popularity among iOS users, which could actually bring about what Apple has been wanting for several years – a complete break from Google Maps. This severing of ties, if it happens, could be the start of the late Steve Jobs’ passion in life of putting Google out of business. While simply losing the Maps users will not be enough to cripple the search engine giant, it will make a definite point that Apple is more than a rival. It will prove that Apple is now a force to be reckoned with in every area of Google’s business, except search.
Watch the video below for a discussion between Erin Kennedy and Evan Niu about Apple Maps’ success and what it means for the company. The segment regarding Maps begins at 4:35.