Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Sep 2012 19:24 UTC
Apple "The major new feature of the company's new iOS 6 mobile operating system is a new mapping module developed by Apple itself - a replacement for the Google-supplied maps that have been standard on the iPhone since it debuted in 2007. It is a change borne not of user demand, but of corporate politics: Google's Android platform is the biggest competitive threat to the iPhone, so Apple is cutting ties with Google. iPhone owners might have loved Google Maps, but Apple has no love for Google. Unfortunately, Apple's new maps are simply not as good as Google's." That's putting it mildly - my own town barely even exists on Apple's maps. It's basically a trainwreck, and according to The Verge, Apple has been working on this for the past five years. This is what happens when a company cares more about stupid grudges than its customers. Considering how much effort it has taken Google to get where it is now with maps, don't expect Apple's maps to even get near Google Maps any times soon. This isn't going to take months - this is going to take several years, if at all.
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Does anybody deny that Google's share of mobile mapping calls is at least 80%, and is probably higher.

I really am not sure where this figure comes from. Could you provide a source?

The majority of the analysis that you see on tech sites focusses on smartphones and ignores feature phones. It focusses primarily on Western markets and ignores the rest of the world. It concentrates almost exclusively on shipments rather than phones in use.

This has a tendency to inflate the perception of Android's dominance. It may well be true that Google will have a near monopoly on mapping soon, but I'm not convinced it's the case right now.

I can't find actual figures myself; the closest I could find was the following article from July 2012 for Europe and the US stating that "only about half of mobile users in both regions own [a smartphone]".

A lot of the other featurephones out there will have mapping software that won't be Google maps.

For what it's worth, I agree with you that Apple moving away from Google to OpenStreetMap data would be a very good thing if it improves openness. I also think it's a shame if Google are becoming more closed over their mapping or they squeeze out other players.

In the longer term, this move by Apple may be good for both their customers and mapping in general.

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