Google and Apple might have once been very best friends but since the battles in court and on the smartphone market, they have become enemies. In the late Steve Jobs biography, the ex-Apple CEO even was quoted as saying that he would go “thermonuclear” on Android when Google’s OS came into the limelight and threatened Apple’s share. The hostilities between the two now continue with the recent changes in iOS 6 which greeted iPhone 5 fans with much surprise.
iPhone 5 users walk into Apple-Google battlefield
Apple’s latest iOS 6 came out on Wednesday last week and with it saw the demise of two Google products, YouTube and Maps. These having been removed from the new iOS 6 and one analyst compared the act to two children falling out. They are both now competing against the other by way of phones with maps, content and search.
Maps of course are the mainstay of a device and Google and Apple are not the only children in the schoolyard. There is Nokia, Microsoft, Amazon, AOL and Yahoo. Google of course are the owners of mobile ecology and as such they are not going to stand back and allow others to own tons of data in what is their world. Apple nor Amazon will allow Google to know where their users are every time. However with Apple kicking Google off their new iOS 6 update it will have consequences that are significant for Google. Their map app currently earns more than half of the traffic on mobile handsets and around half of this has come from users of the iPhone. Apple have therefore hit Google where it hurts, at the core business, which is of course search, as around 40% of searches on mobiles are people looking for local places.
The playground fight between Apple and Google is affecting those around them – we’re talking about the consumers. If you want YouTube on the iPhone 5 you now have to go to the App Store and choose to download it. Apple meanwhile has replaced Google Maps with their own Apple maps and at the moment we are waiting for Apple to give Google permission for it to be back in the App Store. While owners of previous iPhone models can avoid this by not updating to iOS 6, this isn’t the case for iPhone 5 users who have the update preloaded by default.
Apple maps has many flaws and while Apple have said that it will be improved, for now consumers are struggling with a less than perfect app. ever since Google launched its own OS, the Android platform, both companies have been arguing over anything and everything from mobiles, to patents, ads and apps on phones. So this is likely just the first step. There are of course other Google related products accessible on the iPhone 5 that may feel the head as time passes e.g. Google Search, Gmail, Places and more. Just how far Apple will go to rid its Apple users of any ties to Google products remains to be seen, but in the end it is the users who have to pay the price.
NYTimes reports that in July around 12.6 million users of iPhones visited maps every day, this was in comparison to 7.6 million on the Android platform. Users of iOS spent around 1 and a half hour on maps, while Android users spent around 1 hour. Just by dropping Google Maps from iOS 6, Google have overnight lost a large chunk of the market instead of making big gains when the iPhone 5 launched.
The question is if Google are waiting for approval for their map app from Apple, will Apple give it or will it be denied? NYT reminds us that back in 2009, Apple rejected the Google Voice app. This was investigated by the Federal Communications Commission and then later “approved” for the App Store.