Snappli Says That Maps' Usage Has Fallen To 4% On iOS 6

1 October 2012

GigaOM:

Cook’s statement essentially admits there is an issue, but understandably puts little context on the impact to users. That’s why this set of data from Snappli comes in handy to get some quantification of how widespread Apple’s Map issue is on its user base. Snappli offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices that compresses data over mobile broadband to help folks use less of their 3G or 4G monthly allowance. By looking at the following data from 5,000 Snappli users on iOS, the following information puts some perspective around iPhone owners and Maps in iOS 6:

  • 64% of Snappli users have migrated to iOS 6 within the last few weeks (UK and US)
  • Before the upgrade to iOS 6, 25% of Snappli users were viewing Google Maps at least once a day
  • Once they moved to iOS 6, that immediately went to 35% of users using Apple Maps
  • However, over the next 5 days that drops down to 4%

  • Summary: before iOS 6 1 in 4 people were using Google maps at least once a day. After iOS 6: 1 in 25 using Apple maps and falling.

This study is completely wrong and false.

iOS 5 Maps used JPEGs for every map tile to render. In comparison, iOS 6 Maps uses vector data (essentially small text files) to create the tiles on the device. Only requesting satellite imagery (for “Satellite” and “Hybrid” modes) requires the same heavy file downloads as the older app. By design, iOS 6 Maps data usage has a many magnitudes smaller impact on network traffic than its predecessor.

Thus, relying on network traffic analysis to measure usage is 100% unreliable as, quite clearly, the different mechanics of the app distort the proportions dramatically. Ignore this report.