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Apple: Sorry About Our Map App

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
9/28/2012

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook apologized about the quality of Apple's homegrown map app for iOS 6, but he gave no indication if the company is working with former partner Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) on a standalone location app for the new mobile operating system.

Apple has stirred up a cloud of controversy around its iOS and iPhone 5 updates not seen since "antennagate" in 2010 by dropping the Google-based map app in its OS in favor of a home-brewed version using location data from GPS firm TomTom International BV . (See Apple's Answer to 'Antennagate'.) "At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers," writes Cook in a letter to users on the Apple website. "With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better." As a workaround for now, Cook suggests users download Bing, MapQuest and Waze from the app store or use Google or Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) maps by going to their Websites and creating an icon on their iPhone's home screen to access the map data via their browser.

So it is still not clear when -- or even if -- Google will deliver its own map app for iOS 6. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said earlier this week that it hasn't made a move to submit an app yet but is in constant contact with the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.

Why this matters
The vendor that controls the map app controls increasingly important and lucrative local search capabilities on the smartphone. It is also another indication, as if one was needed, of how little control carriers have over certain key aspects of smartphone functionality, even as the mapping apps use triangulation data derived from their networks to get a more accurate fix on users.

For more



— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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shygye75
shygye75
12/5/2012 | 5:20:12 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


So that trumps the opportunity to take some of the wind out of Apple's sails (and sales) on the device side. I'm sure people inside Google have to be a bit conflicted about this.

shygye75
shygye75
12/5/2012 | 5:20:12 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


Why would Google be in any hurry at all to offer a map app for iPhone 5?

joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 5:20:12 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


There's really only one reason, local search revenues are just over $5B now expected to top $8B by 2015. An awful lot of searching for local info is not done through the browser but on the map app. Ad revenues derived from search are Google's bread and butter.

shygye75
shygye75
12/5/2012 | 5:20:11 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


Apple gets to do whatever it wants ... for now. Let's see how long the Apple Free Rein Era lasts.

joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 5:20:11 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


Nothing lasts forever, that's for sure. I don't suspect that the in-fighting between Apple and Google will benefit either one in the long-run.

joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 5:20:11 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


I'm sure they're having fun with it in the short term but in the long term they need to be available to the widest audience possible.


I find it interesting how little say and control the carriers seem to have in all this too. After all, accurate local search wouldn't be possible without the e911 data (GPS plus triangulated positioning data from network basestations) yet Apple gets free reign to worsen the experience of users on their networks.

joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 5:20:08 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


good point

krishanguru143
krishanguru143
12/5/2012 | 5:20:08 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App




Apple was also paying Google to Google Search,  Google Maps and YouTube all included into iOS.  iOS 6 saw Apple remove all of them as the deal had ended with Google.  So Google could just be waiting until Apple sends another check over with a few extra zeroes this this time.

 

The next issue, why would Google want to offer an app at all.  According to the ToS that comes with every iOS release to a developer, Apple can (will) reject any app that conflicts/competes with what is in iOS.  Would Apple iOS Maps be in direct competition with Google Maps?  So according to the ToS that Apple holds so dearly to themselves and fully enforces, whatever Google submits would be rejected.  I would also expect that the three alternatives that Apple listed will be pulled from the store once Apple has their map app squared away.  They have done this in the past when they added functionality to iOS, the existing apps were pulled.  So maybe what Google is really waiting for, Apple to change their ToS otherwise Google could just sit by, munch on some popcorn and enjoy the show.  Without Apple changing the ToS, Apple could approve the Google Map app only to remove it later.  So why should Google bail Apple out short-term when long-term the app won’t be allowed to be there?




krishanguru143
krishanguru143
12/5/2012 | 5:20:07 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App




I doubt you will get any from Apple as they would show just that, people not upgrading to iOS 6 as quickly as they did for iOS 5.

There have to be some numbers based upon other metrics and that data could be correlated to see the adoption rate.  The other metrics could be ad based or browser string based.




joset01
joset01
12/5/2012 | 5:20:07 PM
re: Apple: Sorry About Our Map App


Will look for figures, haven't seen any.

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