Google Maps loses half its marketshare in China due to iOS 6

By , Nov 6, 2012

In an effort to distance itself further from its rival, and to enjoy the benefits of building its own in-house software, Apple replaced Google Maps in iOS 6 with its own mapping solution. And it’s been taking criticism over the switch ever since.

But iOS 6 Maps isn’t just negatively impacting Apple. It’s also substantially eating into Google’s mobile maps marketshare around the globe. According to a new report, Google Maps marketshare declined by nearly 50% in China last quarter…

Macworld points to an investors note from Analysys International:

“Google’s mobile maps product saw its market share in China decline by close to 50 percent in the third quarter due to Apple switching to its own maps product for its iOS 6 upgrade, according to a Beijing-based research firm…

…The decline largely stems from Apple’s September upgrade to its iOS operating system, which removed Google maps and replaced it with Apple’s own mapping product for China, according to Yi Jingxue, an analyst with Analysys International.”

The stark decline isn’t all that surprising, given that as of October 22nd, an estimated 2 out of every 3 Apple devices had updated to iOS 6. It just goes to show you how important iOS was to Google’s mobile mapping business.

Google could gain at least some of that marketshare back if it produced a compelling standalone iOS app. There’s been a lot of talk recently that such an app is in the works, but there’s also uncertainty on whether or not Apple would approve it.

Though it took a lot of heat over its own Maps app early on, the complaints have calmed down a bit as Apple continues to update its database with new locations and better directions. And we’re also expecting improvements in iOS 6.1.

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  • http://twitter.com/FlyKitezDaily Louie

    i havent had one issue with apple maps, its brilliant it saved me getting a new sat nav, it just works for me at least. what was all the fuss about??

    • http://www.facebook.com/manishrana50 Manish Rana

      Same here. Not even 1 % problem. I can’t care less for broken bridge pictures. Its pretty accurate for me.

      • jose castro

        i had 1 issue and that was it… but other then that it accurate to me..

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Main issues I have with iOS 6 maps are due to language differences. The rest are just search issues where the dumb application simply cannot find certain streets.

        Once upon a time, there was a person Adam Reisner who did this and that, and now there is a pretty big street named after him. Note the suffixes: “Ulica Adama Reisnera”. (The street of Adam Reisner.) It is also referred to as “Reisnerova”. (Reisner’s street.)

        img339 imageshack us/img339/8159/20675341.png

        Now even though the street is visible on the map itself, the app cannot find it. To Google’s maps, on the other hand, this is a no brainer.

        Ulica Adama Reisnera
        img831 imageshack us/img831/453/img1136.png
        img856 imageshack us/img856/3929/img1139l.png

        Reisnerova Osijek
        img407 imageshack us/img407/8255/img1137.png
        img713 imageshack us/img713/2050/img1142.png

        Adama Reisnera
        img542 imageshack us/img542/250/img1138.png
        img822 imageshack us/img822/2148/img1141.png

        The same goes for almost all other streets. You have to enter the exact name as it is displayed in the application, or else it will not find it, or you will end up in Russia. Typing in: “ruzina ulica” for some reason takes me to Moscow, “ružina ulica” cannot be found, but “ružina” is correct.

        THAT is why I use Google Maps.

    • f1ght3r

      Ever try looking a phone number for the nearest store that you plan to shop at? Ever need transit info? It’s slow, poor imaging, some roads lead to nowhere, etc… It definitely does the voice navigation and directions better than Google, but other than that. Google Maps is still leaps and bounds beyond what Apple has.

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

        I’ll take turn by turn directions over transit anytime. Of course I don’t live in a big public transportation city. But if I ever needed it I can download many apps for it.

      • kgelner

        It routes to my home better than Google Maps used to. I also have not had a problem with stores and phone numbers… and the apps that Apple Maps bring up usually work better for finding transit info than Google Maps did.

      • hermantf

        You need to route your way home?

      • kgelner

        What better way to test how well a routing engine performs than on roads you know really well?

        Also, yes, I usually leave routing on even going somewhere I know quite well like home – the whole point of modern navigation systems is if they see a traffic jam, they direct you to a quicker route that avoids the traffic. And by having maps open I am providing more data to others about live traffic conditions.

      • Blake

        Exactly. Maps requires crowd sourcing to display and know about traffic. I think the maps app is magnificent, and it works very well!

      • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

        I have a better app with notification for NYC transit.

        I used to have Google.app, MotionX GPS.app and Embark NYC.app.

        Since I upgraded to iOS6, I use AppleMap.app and EmbarkNYC.app only.

        I have been driving with this iOS6 since first week of launch, it is working totally fine in my case, I am a weekend driver, and I have to drive between NY to NJ once a week during the weekday.

        Moreover, I have to give a + to the live traffic, all the other gps.app should learn from AppleMap.app. People who have been using iPhone as GPS, you know what I am talking about.

    • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

      Same here. I had ZERO issues with iOS maps.

  • http://twitter.com/soharbz sohrabz

    In india it doesn’t even give directions let alone navigation the IOS6 SUCKS I think it is time to forget stupid apple products and move to android without jailbreak and google map ios is NOTHING

    • BulletToothTony

      totally agree!! omg these apple products are getting ridiculous! i mean come on! Everything sucks from the way the letters look to that stupid apple that comes up when I start my phone.

      I’m going to sell my iPad 3 and instead get the better… hmmm let me see, hmm, hmmmm aaaaahhh, ok maybe I’ll keep my iPad 3 but I’m definitely selling my iPhone you know cause I use maps sooooo much and there is no way to look up stuff, I mean i could ask siri but i have to hold a button, that’s BS for this day and age.

      Instead i’m gonna buy that lag-less and fluid android phone that I heard about from that guy on the internet once, it was the hmm.. hmmmm.. hmmmm aaaaah. Ok I’ll keep my iPhone 5 for now cause it’s the fastest one available, that stays lag free for many years to come with free updates the day they’re released, but as soon as there is another smooth OS with as many good apps as iOS I’m switching!!

      Forget Apple!!

      • http://twitter.com/soharbz sohrabz

        Android companies never delete a 6 mounth old tablet cause they dont feel like changing a processor and that laggy thing is full of features and u can stick to the iphone full of limitation which doesnt let you to use it as a smartphone with out jailbreak it more like a symbian v2 phone not a smartphone

      • ic0dex

        Wow dude you’re fucked up in the head! hmm.. hmmmm.. hmmmm aaaaah LMAO!!!

    • http://twitter.com/nmPraveen Praveen

      Im from India too and wondering the same. If I give A and B points, it doesn’t show any directions. Simply saying ‘No directions are available’. iOS Maps for India is an epic fail. Since its India, its not made as a big issue. If it were same in US, then we would have seen 1000s of articles.

  • Billy Shank

    I wish Apple would’ve just taken advantage of the technology Google offered them. The two companies are never going to be able to COMPLETELY distance themselves, anyways.

    I’m excited to see what crazy innovations come from this competition, though.

    • Ignacio Irigoyen

      Apple could not take advantage from Google Maps, because Google refuse to give Apple 100% Google Maps power, like turn by turn direction for example, Google refused to give this to iPhone app.

      So I ask you who has the fault? If you ask me Apple did the only thing it could do to improve maps for everyone.

  • 1337lolzorz

    Apple maps has seen HUGE improvements since launch. It is really good now. Google has been doing mapping for years and Apple is pretty much caught up..

    • http://twitter.com/soharbz sohrabz

      We as cosumers never asked them to do sth that they cant they should change the app when they are confident and now they are resisting googlemap app in store

      • 1337lolzorz

        That’s what google gets for withholding turn by turn directions for its iOS maps app.. You can’t hold back certain features, market that your devices do in fact have those features, and then believe that the company hosting your app on their hardware will sit back and take that shit.

      • Anirudh

        Google didn’t hold back anything… Google offered to give every single Maps feature for the iOS app in return for more branding and Google Latitude, but Apple refused.

      • 1337lolzorz

        Explain “more branding and google latitude”. Google did not offer spoken turn by turn directions

      • Anirudh

        More branding is pretty self-explanatory; Google Latitude means they wanted to integrate that into Maps but Apple was afraid it would compete with Find My Friend. As for voice-guided turn-by-turn, Google did not want to offer it unless Apple agreed to the above “more branding and google latitude” terms. Essentially Apple was in full control of the iOS maps app, Google was just providing the data, and Google wanted more control over the app and its features (i.e. more branding and google latitude) before handing over turn-by-turn capabilities.

      • 1337lolzorz

        Why is Apple obligated to allow more branding?? Isnt it enough that they were putting Google maps on their home page? No I guess Google needs to rape IOS with more branding in a main app. This essentially amounts to Google withholding turn by turn directions unless their conditions are met.. How is that in any way not holding anything back?

      • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

        Wrong! They would not allow Apple to create a Turn by Turn into iOS using google maps.

      • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

        Very true. Google is the Tea Bag in this battle.

      • Anirudh

        Wrong, Google would not allow turn-by-turn, unless Apple abided by Google’s terms. Simple as that. You can look it up online if you don’t believe me. I just did, three different websites. Why is Apple obligated to allow more branding? Because that’s what Google wants… they aren’t going to give turn-by-turn out of the goodness of their hearts, they want something more in return, and more branding was what they wanted. That’s business. I don’t see what issue you have with that. Why did they want additional terms? Because the original contract that Apple and Google made specifically said only mapping data, not turn-by-turn. Apple broke the contract a year before it was set to expire and refused to negotiate a new contract with Google with new terms.

  • kgelner

    Apple Maps already worked better than Google Maps at launch for China…

    http://anthonydrendel.com/blog/2012/9/24/ios-maps-and-china.html

  • http://twitter.com/lgasparjnr laszlo gaspar

    Maybe with the shuffle around at apple, things will get better and iOS maps will get sorted out by some one.

  • Thorasgard

    The problem I have is the integration with Siri. Ask for “the nearest public library” and get 12 results and most are not libraries. Use Google search and it gives you a perfect match.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rolando.duartetamayo Rolando Duarte Tamayo

    I dont know why you guys complaint so much we need to be realistic Google hate Apple and IOS thats why google dont want to update Google maps and leave IOS users behind Android so Apple is doing the right thing given its users the power they deserves of course like almost anything in this world at begining cost a little bit to be really good but with time ,improvement and user help Apple is going to be as good as Google in map terms thanks Apple for gave us what we deserves a long time ago.

    • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

      I agree with you. Google would not allow Apple to have turn by turn navigation with it’s google maps. So who’s the Dousch here??

  • http://twitter.com/El_Barto_01 El Barto

    the biggest issue was the brooklyn bridge was distorted…so everyone bitch about 3d that looked weird…

  • iamnotfan

    Apple maps just works fine for me
    Only problem is finding the place you want to go

  • WolfgangHoltz

    In China there is a better solution called Baidu Maps, so who the hell cares about Apple Maps.

  • SimonReidy

    For all the people saying “Maps are fine for me, I don’t know what the fuss is about” its important to remember that the USA has understandably been given preferential treatment with the coverage and accuracy of Maps. USA always comes first with Apple products (which is fair enough given that’s where they are based) but when it comes to something as essential as worldwide maps, this can cause problems.

    I’m sure iOS6 Maps are perfectly usable in the US (given its data is sourced from TomTom) but in places like China and certainly in my country, Australia, the new Maps app is basically unusable due to its data being so inaccurate.

    If only Apple had given users a choice between the old Google Maps app (given Apple had a year left of licensing it) and the new Maps apps for people who wanted to be early adopter (and help correct mistakes while it was in beta) this entire mess could have been avoided. Eventually they could have migrated everyone off the Google Maps app, but not until the new app was truly ready.

    As much as I love my Apple hardware, their decisions and limitations imposed upon iOS can be infuriating. If they would only allow you to change default apps, such as email clients, browsers and mapping apps, iOS would be so much cooler and feel so much more personalized.

    Thankfully we have jailbreaking to at least partially solve this problem, but there is still no jailbreak solution for iPhone 5 users, or anyone with an A5 or higher device on iOS6, so Maps will remain a problem for international users for some time.