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Can Google Maps Survive the Apple iOS Mobile Maps Product ?

July 10th, 2012

Everybody is concerned with the growing Apple disinter-mediation threat, given Apple’s recent new mobile OS (iOS 6, launching with the newest iPhone model this Fall), featuring a homegrown Apple Maps product that will replace Google Maps as the default map on the iPhone.

Given Apple’s dominant mobile position in Mobile, we acknowledge this as a threat to Google’s mobile map (and long-term local mobilization strategy). That said, it is still very early (really pre -release) and there are questions still unanswered.

It is still unclear whether the Apple map will be an equal substitute (as accurate of global mapping, as complete of local business database, etc) to Google’s map product. No doubt, the Apple map default setting for the map “icon” will enable Apple to gain some share, but we will be watching the mobile map user data closely to gauge the extent to which Apple is able to displace Google’s dominant map position or whether users will now download the Google maps product to use it over Apple’s map ?

The maps product on iPhones is important to long-term monetization (of more mobile and local search dollars), it is largely immaterial in the near-term. Data suggests that even in 2013, we expect Apple (iPhone and iPad) maps local search to make up at most only 2% of Google’s total revenue.

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