Google Maps for iPhone came out yesterday, and the global reaction was pretty much unanimously positive.You could say Google spent the morning mopping the floor with Apple, and we did.
Some of the headlines:
- NYT: Google Maps App for iPhone Goes in the Right Direction – Review
- The Verge: Google Maps for iPhone is here: how data and design beat Apple
- Wired: Hallelujah! Google Maps Returns to Apple’s iPhone
- BetaNews: Google Maps gives iPhone much needed direction
So, how are Apple executives taking the news?
John Gruber – who is such an influential Apple blogger that he gets personal product demonstrations from Apple execs – says they are “seething.”
I think Apple — where by “Apple” I mean the company’s collective executive leadership — is seething regarding the way this has played out. Everything from Apple Maps being the butt of jokes to the accolades and joy that have accompanied the release of the new Google Maps iOS app. Seething.
Not a surprise.
Scott Forstall was the Apple exec in charge of Apple Maps. And when he refused to apologise for the product, even after consumers and reviewers loudly rejected it, CEO Tim Cook kicked him to the street.
Big picture, the reason this is so bad for Apple is that maps have clearly become an elemental part of all smartphone platforms – and it is a part that Apple does not own, not even on its own device.
Google does, and this gives it a long-term toehold into a mobile dominated world.
As we pointed out yesterday, the closest analogy is how Excel and Microsoft Office have kept Windows relevant longer than Windows itself might have been.