One of the most unpopular decisions Apple
ever made was to boot Google Maps
from iOS as a native application and replace it with its own broken mapping software. Yes, that's up for debate, but there are also some hard numbers to back that assumption. One need only look at the rate of iOS 6 adoption before and after Google Maps returned
to Apple's App Store.
MoPub, a mobile ad exchange provider, examined the data from more than 12,000 iOS applications it supports. What it found was an almost 30 percent spike in unique iOS 6 users in the five days after Google Maps for iOS was released.
"We observed since the launch of Google Maps for IOS 6 a 30 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it's related to Google Maps," MoPub's CEO explained to TechCrunch
. "It verifies the hypothesis that people weren't actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available."
Sounds like a solid hypothesis, though one also has to consider the impact of 2 million iPhone 5 models going online in China during the same time period MoPub examined. Even with those additional phones, however, it still wouldn't explain the massive spike in iOS 6 adoption.
The whole maps situation is one of Apple's biggest flubs. Not only did Apple give Google Maps the boot, but its own mapping software proved unreliable, and even potentially deadly as it led Australian motorists
to an incorrect destination that's known for high temps and no water supply.