Google Maps tops 10 million downloads on iOS App Store

Gregg Keizer
19 December, 2012
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Google on Monday said that iOS users had downloaded more than 10 million copies of its revamped Maps app in the first two days of availability.

Google launched Maps late last Thursday, returning the app to the iPhone after a three-month absence. Apple dropped Google Maps from iOS—where it had owned a prime piece of digital real estate since 2007—with the release of iOS 6 on Sept. 19.

“We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world,” said Jeff Huber, the Google executive who leads its Commerce & Local division, in a message on Google+ as he announced over 10 million downloads in Maps’ first 48 hours.

Shortly after its launch last week, Google Maps claimed the top spot on the list of most-downloaded free apps for the iPhone, a position it has yet to relinquish.

Apple does not disclose download tallies of individual apps, and touts cumulative figures only at major milestones. The last such boast was in March 2012, when Apple said more than 25 billion apps had been downloaded from the App Store since its 2008 opening, and awarded a Chinese customer a $10,000 iTunes gift card for grabbing the 25 billionth app.

Its early success should have been no surprise: iOS users have clamoured for a return since Apple replaced Maps with its own technology, a move that immediately raised howls of protest and a week later prompted an apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

But although Google returned to the iPhone with a vengeance, there’s no guarantee that it will be there forever. Last week, analyst Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research noted that while it would have been a public relations disaster for Apple to refuse Google Maps admission to the App Store now, it could bar the program in the future if it made the case that its own technology was better than, or at least matched, Google’s.

Google Maps can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store.

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