New survey says Google Maps favored by nearly 70 percent of iPhone users

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Earlier this week at Apple’s WWDC, the company announced a “beautiful redesign” of Apple Maps and opened it up to third-party developers. A year ago at the same event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple Maps were being used 3.5x more than “the next leading mapping app” (Google Maps) on the iPhone.

Apple Maps’ ascendancy over Google Maps on the iPhone was also confirmed by others at that time. Reportedly, there are more than five billion searches or “requests” on Apple Maps each week. I haven’t seen an updated figure.

Seeming to directly contradict all of that, a new survey of just over 2,000 US adults from Fluent argues that Google Maps is the favorite mapping app for both Android and iPhone users. Google Maps is the favorite for nearly 70 percent of respondents, and Apple Maps gets the nod from only 13 percent of iPhone users.

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How do we reconcile the survey findings above with the data Apple and others released about its mapping app being the dominant one for iPhone users? There are three possible explanations:

  • The survey data are flawed and don’t represent the market.
  • Since last year, Google has regained its audience on the iPhone.
  • Apple Maps dominates because it’s the default mapping app.

There’s a difference between expressed opinions and behavior, and the explanation is probably a mix of these variables. But it’s striking to see the significant preference gap between Google Maps and Apple Maps in this survey data.

As an aside, Apple should create a Maps app for Android users.

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