Failing Up: Apple Maps Takes a Bite Out of Rival Google App

The September 2012 launch was a disaster, but since then, Apple has cut into Google maps' domination

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Bet you didn’t expect this one. While users bemoaned Apple replacing Google maps with its own “messy” map app for the iOS 6 release back in September 2012, now the company that Steve Jobs built is having the last laugh.

Google Maps — which Apple removed as its default mapping app on the  iPhone after Google refused to give Apple access to its voice-driven, step-by-step navigation — has lost nearly 23 million mobile users since September 2012, thanks to Apple Maps, according to ComScore research published in the Guardian.

Apple maps’ original launch was so rocky that chief executive Tim Cook publicly apologized for it and later fired the manager who oversaw the app’s development. The app was so flawed that many reviewers urged users to download the Google app from iTunes instead. Many people never bother to do so, however. As of September 2013, 35 million people in the U.S. used Apple’s map on the iPhone (the only place the app is available), while only six million used the Google map app on the iPhone.

Don’t cry for Google though. During that same month, a total of 58.7 million people in the U.S. used the Google maps app across all iPhone and Android devices. Though Google’s stand-alone app may have gained little traction with iPhone users, Android still has over 80 percent of the mobile market share worldwide, and all of those users have Google maps.

[The Guardian]