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Rick Holly

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Just one year after the release of Apple’s own iOS 6 mapping service, user data shows a drastic decline in Google Maps among iOS users. A report by Charles Arthur of The Guardian outlined new data from comScore pointing out that the majority of iOS users are continuing to use Apple’s Maps while less than half of all smartphone users are using Google Maps. Despite the release of a competing, native Google maps client app for iOS, it appears that most users are not actually seeking out alternatives, as the tech media has often assumed to be the case.
Even when you include Google’s own Android platform into the mix, Apple Maps has had a devastating impact on Google Maps. One year ago, Arthur pointed out that 81.1 million people were using Google for mapping out of a total population of 103.6 Android and iOS users. The latest September data shows that just 58.7 million are still using Google’s product, despite the total installed base having grown significantly to 136.7 million. This is a shift from over 78% of all Android and iOS mobile users on Google Maps to just short of 43% in one year. On iOS 35 million users pulled up Apple Maps in the month, out of a total population of 60.1 million users, which is more than 58%. 
It was stated that iOS users accessing Google Maps fell from a peak of 35 million last September to around 6.3 million today, a decrease of more than 80% of Google’s users. Data from comScore indicates Apple’s users interact with Maps more often (9.7 million iOS users access Maps each day, compared to just 7.2 million for Android) and spend more time in mapping apps: 75.5 minutes per month on average compared to 56.2 on Android. Another factor both map services face includes the fact that younger people statistically make less use of mobile app maps. On top of that, comScore indicates that the release of iOS 6 last year effectively helped erase six months of Google’s user growth, despite complaints about the flaws in Apple’s Maps release, some of which continue to persist one year later.
Apple has been working to improve its maps product, having acquired several startups related to transit directions including Locationary, HopStop and Embark along with interior mapping with WiFiSLAM, which it plans to incorporate with the company’s own iBeacons microlocation technology. It also worked to deliver 3D Flyover as a compelling visualization for both iOS mobile users and desktop Mac users with the release of Maps for OS X Mavericks and system-wide integration with Data Detectors, Apple’s Maps are also a strategic component of the company’s plans for iOS in the Car, which is slated to begin rolling out in new cars in 2014. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, called the auto initiative as a “key focus” for the company.
Source: comScore, The Guardian

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