Apple Maps has widely been known as a disaster of rather epic proportions. However, according to recent data, that may not be true. When the software first dropped in September 2012, users were quick to point out all the errors in the program. The criticism forced chief executive Tim Cook to make a public apology.
The company is still made fun of for the failures of Apple Maps, especially this summer after it gave drivers turn-by-turn directions across a busy airport runway in Alaska.
However, numbers show that Google lost nearly 23 million mobile users in the US as a result of Apple Maps’ debut. The now-rival map service was booted from the iPhone when the company refused to allow Apple access to its voice-driven turn-by-turn map navigation. The loss of nearly 23 million members is big for Google, which had 81 million maps mobile users in September last year.
A year after Cook’s apology, ComScore’s numbers show that 35 million iPhone users in the US used the criticized Apple Maps program during September 2012. That number compares to a total of 58.7 million Google Maps users across the Android and iPhone platforms. Of those, only six million used the service on their iPhone.
While the numbers from ComScore show that iPhone users are turning more and more to Apple Maps, it is likely because they are too lazy switch from their phone’s default maps program and download Google’s instead. Ben Wood, mobile analyst for CCS Insight, explained, “The thing is, on an iPhone all roads lead to Apple’s maps. They’re putting this front and center for users, and getting more confident.”
So, while we all sat back and make fun of Apple Maps, the company quietly took more than 23 million users away from Google’s map service. Bravo, Apple, bravo.