iOS 6 Puts the Spotlight onto 3rd-Party Mapping Services

Developers like Garmin have seen a spike in profits thanks to Apple Maps woes

The situation with Apple’s Maps application, although considerably overblown, is indeed an issue for the Cupertino, California-based computer giant. Until it gets addressed, third-party mapping providers are poised to make more profits than initially expected, according to one of the most reputable vendors.

There has been a lot of talk regarding the sometimes inaccurate Apple Maps application in iOS 6.

The consensus after a couple of weeks of usage is that Apple’s solution really isn’t all that bad. All it needs is a little tweaking, just like the Cupertino mammoth said.

The company not only admitted these woes, but issued an apologetic message via CEO Tim Cook, complete with a few recommendations for third-party solutions.

“While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, on September 28.

On the iTunes App Store, Apple’s recommendations included third-party mapping provider Garmin, whose Navigon brand has been making a splash in the iOS ecosystem for a while now.

And thanks to the Apple Maps blunder, its ripples will continue to be felt for a little while longer, according to Johan-Till Broer, who represents the firm.

“We definitely saw an increase in sales for our navigation apps over the last couple of weeks due to the recent interest in map and navigation apps for the iPhone,” Broer told the people at TUAW.

He cautioned, however, that “App Store dynamics are very complex and it's always difficult to reduce a spike in sales to a single factor.”

Broer admitted that “The fact that we were one of the first navigation apps to integrate with Apple Maps and provide public transit directions, the brand awareness that Garmin has as the global leader in GPS navigation as well as the fact that Apple suggested our apps as map alternatives in the App Store also played a significant role."

Finally, he also pointed out that free third-party navigation apps have always been popular, but that paid maps have always seen a lot of traction.

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