It’s Still A Google Maps World, but…

It’s Still A Google Maps World, but…

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While this site is certainly bullish on Apple Maps, now that the Google Maps iOS app is out and has proven to be very popular, I often get asked whether Apple Maps is worth even bothering about.  The short answer is “Yes”.  The longer answer can be found here.

That said, there’s no denying that Google Maps still dominates the Web mapping world.  The above Google Trends graph illustrates that pretty nicely, showing the relative search demand for “apple maps” v. “google maps”.

Of course search queries does not necessarily translate to usage. If you have an iPhone and are searching Google for Apple Maps, well then I just don’t know what to say…

As you can see search activity for Apple Maps is growing in the US on the coasts:

But Google Maps is clearly dominant throughout the country:

And perhaps most telling is the #1 related query for Apple Maps is “google maps apple”:

But then again, a lot of the 50 million smartphone activations that happened over Christmas come with Apple Maps, so don’t count it out just yet.

  • Justin Sous

    If Apple acquires Waze, what are your thoughts on this Andrew? Since they’re already getting data from them I believe, do you think the purchase would be made moreso from a UI standpoint, or more of a move towards social to differentiate themselves from Google maps?

  • Andrew Shotland

    Apparently the Waze deal is not happening: http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/03/apple-not-buying-waze/ but if it does, I think it’s less about UI – I found the Waze UI to be a little off for some reason – and more about the crowd-sourced data thing. Not sure it would be a big differentiator so much as it would help get Apple Maps closer to parity with Google.

  • http://twitter.com/mblumenthal Mike Blumenthal

    Why would an iPhone user use Google search to search for Apple Maps? These trends might be accurate for one side of your comparison but not the other.

    • Andrew Shotland

      Clearly I am missing Apple Maps usage statistics. And in this case, where many “apple maps” searches could be related to people interested in the news about the service, even those who don’t have access to it, search volume is a weak form of measurement. But given that “yahoo” had long been a top search term on Google and vice-versa, I figure it could be partially illustrative of how popular the services are in relation to each other.