Apple’s bet on Maps

Thu, Sep 20, 2012


iOS 6 is now out and ready for download, and while the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, Apple’s new Maps app has been subject to a little bit of criticism, with some saying it’s a clear step backwards compared to Google’s own offering which previously came built into iOS.

Business Insider reports on an interview it conducted with Waze CEO Noam Bardin:

“One of the things that happened between Google and Apple, I believe at least, is that the value Google was getting out of the relationship was disadvantaging Apple to the point of saying, ‘We’re going to make a huge bet’,” Bardin says. “Their bet is that they can, within two years, build a product that will compete with Google’s ten years of experience in both search and maps, and navigation, and all of these different things together.”

That’s because maps are a core feature of many mobile apps, and the best way to integrate local ads is to display them on a map. According to Bardin, Apple hopes that its app can bring in more money than it did through its revenue share with Google.

Bardin tells us that maps is the second-most-used product after mail on mobile devices, meaning that there is a huge opportunity to make money.

“The importance of the map in the new mobile ecosystem is really what drove this decision [that] ‘we have to own this component’,” Bardin says.

Indeed, Apple spent a lot of money snatching up a few Mapping companies, and it’s really aiming for the starts trying to catch up to Google which has many more years of experience in the field. And sure, while Apple’s maps app has a sleek view and the ever-enticing FlyOver feature, some of the basic features people associate with a mobile Maps app have been a little askew on Apple’s own offering.

At the same time, this is Apple Maps version 1.0 and we can only hope that Apple will iterate rather quickly and fill in may of the holes in the near future.

Again, Apple’s bet that they can accomplish in 2 years what Google has been working on for 10 years is ambitious to say the least.


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