With the launch last night of the Google Maps app for iOS, I am starting to get a bit of email asking if Apple Maps should now be less of a priority for businesses. While I have no doubt that the Google Maps app will put an immediate dent in Apple Maps usage, and while I am certainly biased (see blog name), I am not so sure it would be prudent for businesses to forget about Apple Maps. A few points:
- In its first month of release, there were already over 200 million devices with iOS, which includes Apple Maps.
- Christmas should be a blockbuster for iPhone 5s, 4s and iPads. I wouldn’t be surprised if in January we were looking at well over 300 million devices with iOS.
- While iOS users are certainly app-happy, given everything we have seen over the years about inertia and people behaving like sheep, I wouldn’t be surprised if a significant number of iOS users continue to use Apple Maps, even with reports of people dying from using the app .
- At some point in the next few months, you can be sure that Apple will roll out some interesting updates to their Maps app which will spur people who ditched it to revisit the service.
- UPDATE: Dr. Drang brings up a great point on Apple gets thrown in the briar patch: “I suspect most iPhone users will continue to use the built-in Maps app because it’s already right there and it’s integrated with Siri, Contacts, etc.”
We are witnessing the early stages of an elaborate game of one-upmanship between Google and Apple in the local search space. Google clearly is about 100 up at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that Apple can’t make a lot of advances over the next year. While this is nothing but a great thing for consumers, this means that businesses should at a minimum make sure their presence on Apple Maps is what they want it to be.