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Poll claims Apple Maps a hit, analysis says otherwise, and Microsoft sues over Google Maps

Karen Haslam | Oct. 15, 2012
Survey says Apple Maps a hit, but research suggests otherwise... However, Google Maps days may be numbered as Microsoft sues

Nearly a fifth (19.6%) admitted that they hadn't updated to iOS 6 purely on account of Maps. That left just 12.4 saying: "I like it, but it has some inaccuracies" and 7.5% saying: "Love it, it's better than Google Maps."

Perhaps the difference in results is on account of the more favourable survey being conducted with a US audience - it is thought that the US maps are less flawed that the Maps of the UK. Another reason for the differing results may be that some days had passed between the two polls and in that time Apple Maps may have improved thanks to crowd sourced details of faults.

That said, our requested changes still haven't been made: Colchester is still covered by cloud in the Satellite view, and East Croydon station still isn't shown two weeks after we reported it was missing. Apple is said to be improving Maps though.

However, we have found some good things about Apple Maps. When we were recently in France we were pleased to find that the Maps data was preserved to a very detailed level even when we were not receiving data, which made navigation easy. It is certainly the case that Apple Maps stores more data for use when you are offline, a handy feature if you are traveling abroad and don't want to use up your data allowance. We also found that Apple's Maps are less of a data hog than Google's Maps, handy if you are paying for the data you use.

Apple's reputation

Regardless of whether people are coming around to Apple Maps, there is no doubt, it seems that Apple's reputation was damaged by Apple Mapsgate. Research conducted into Apple's online reputation found that sentiment towards Apple in the days following the iOS 6 release was negative, reports Forbes.

The research found that in the week beginning 21 September there were over 7 million online references to Apple, with over 600,000 referring directly to Maps.

Forbes notes that sentiment around Maps was much more negative than general sentiment towards Apple. Where Apple was in the doghouse, Google was receiving brownie points, though. "Critics expressed a clear preference for Google Maps in this commentary, with over 10% of all comments regarding maps being a direct vote for Google," according to the findings.

There was also a significant amount of regret from those who had upgraded to iOS 6: "Human analysis of a sample of posts suggests that about 50% of negative posts also expressed regret at upgrading".

Analysis of the reaction to Tim Cook's apology also suggested no positive sentiment.

Chris Thomas and Sarah French of Media Measurement said that their analysis "Discovered that a significant proportion of the negative sentiment carried an additional weight in expressing not only disappointment with Apple, but also in positioning an explicit intention - to cancel or defer a purchase, or to recommend the same to others," suggesting that Mapgate may have impacted on sales.


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