Google Maps Faces a Formidable New Competitor Yesterday afternoon, Apple announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that the company will soon be releasing a map application to compete with Google Maps. While Apple's separation from Google Maps isn't a surprising move for a company known for its vertical integration strategies, the new competitor may make a significant impact on Google in the months ahead. 

Before the announcement, Apple's intentions to utilize a new map application for iOS were somewhat obvious. In fact, the company recently began using OpenStreetMap for iPhoto, which replaced Google Maps within that application. Apple's proclivity for proprietary software is a hallmark of the brand and an in-house alternative to Google's mapping program was anticipated by many for some time. However, the WWDC demonstration of Apple's new product indicates a serious threat to Google Maps' market share on mobile devices.  Currently, Google Maps is utilized by Apple for their popular iOS operating system. 

The switch to an in-house alternative on all iOS-equipped devices will cause a substantial drop in Google Maps usage. Early reviews from WWDC attendees indicate that Apple's maps system is well-designed (though it does lack Google's Street View technology) and even features Yelp integration. While the functionality and positive feedback from Apple aficionados is a good sign for Apple, Google does not intend on losing its dominant position in the marketplace. 

The recent integration of Google+ Local into Google Maps offers incentive for the G+ user base to continue using the service and with over 150 million Google Maps users worldwide, it will prove challenging for even Apple to compete with its Google counterpart. 

For online marketers, Apple's entry into mobile mapping is a move that should not be overlooked. It will inevitably offer a new platform for geo-targeted and local digital marketing campaigns and Yelp's involvement will definitely help to increase the value of that brand as a marketing outlet.  Google has reported to have reached $5.13 billion in Mobile Advertising in 2011With Apple and Google now going head-to-head in mobile mapping, geo-targeting is likely to become an even bigger part of online marketing strategies in the months ahead.

June 12, 2012





Todd Bailey is the Digital Agency Producer & SEO/Analytics Consultant at TPG Direct, an Omnicom/DAS Agency. Visit Todd's personal blog at pushStar.com






Comments(2)

I say: this is great news! It was about time the maps part of local SEO got more competition because Google was completely owning this niche of local search engine optimization.

The question is, though, will Apple be stupid enough to make yet another Apple service incompatible with other services? Sure, they have Yelp integration... but local marketing is about more than Yelp. And what if you want to switch from Google Maps to Apple Maps? I'm willing to bet you that Apple makes it hard for you to do that (because they want to keep everything inside their own little ecosystem), which will slow down user adoption.

In other words: I see potential, but I'm not entirely convinced yet.

I am thinking how google thought about their online business platform. I don't understand about what is going on. But this news is really trouble to Google for new competitor.

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