Google's Calculated Map Risk

After Apple updated its operating system to iOS 6 they swapped the data for Maps from Google to their own. Everyone already knows about this, but it’s handy to recap.

However, Google have not already created an app to make their own maps available on the iPhone and are leaving users with just access through Safari. Now many are seeing this as an error by Google or tardiness before they do submit an app. They seemingly managed to prepare a YouTube app quickly enough in time for the iOS 6 release.

I have another idea though, what if Google are taking a calculated risk and are not going to submit an app? So with that idea, why would they not want to submit an app?

Android, Android, Android!

To me it seems that Google knows how hard it is to create a fully fledged maps on the first go. Google themselves have had to refine their own offering over the past several years where it is at the point it is today. This being removed from the iPhone is an obvious disadvantage to Apple and a massive marketing opportunity for Google and its partners.

Google are already trying to take advantage of this with its Motorola Razr M advert, despite being doctored, and point out the flaws with the new iPhone. This will seemingly be their main attack as other over the past several iPhones have not seemed to make any dent in the number of sales of Apple’s devices.

As Maps was a huge app on the iPhone, customers who have updated are now left stranded and if they are up for a contract renewal, these customers are now actively considering the alternatives, whether that be the Samsung Galaxy SIII or Motorola Razr M.

What do they lose?

The obvious negative to Google, is that they make a large amount of money from iOS, as well as a massive amount of input data to improve their service. This data is now seemingly lost unless people go via Safari.

Another problem is that if this is a customer’s first iPhone, then they have no idea of the Maps from before iOS 6. They may find the new app good enough and not actively search out alternatives.

So is this a calculated risk from Google to push Android or just tardiness on their part?