Yesterday, comScore’s US smartphone market share figures for September came out. There weren’t many surprises — except for one thing: the Google Maps app has fallen three spots in comScore’s rankings.
The smartphone app, which used to be the most popular in the US, fell from 5th to 8th position in comScore’s “Top 15 apps” chart.
In roughly September of last year, Google Maps was overtaken by Facebook as the top individual smartphone app in the US. The replacement of Google Maps by Apple Maps as the default mapping app on the iPhone was largely responsible for the change.
In July of this year, comScore began to rank the top mobile websites and apps in the US market (chart above). Google had the greatest mobile footprint, with a combined mobile audience reach of 92 percent. Looking only at apps, Google had five out of the top six while Facebook was the top individual app.
In July, Google Maps was the 5th most popular mobile app, according to comScore. It remained in that position in August. However, September is a different story. As I wrote yesterday on my personal blog Screenwerk, the most recent comScore data indicate that Google Maps fell from 5th to 8th position in the rankings.
The decline is surprising, given the importance of mobile mapping and the historical popularity of Google Maps. Apple’s Mapping app was in 10th place until September, when it fell to 11th position on the Top 15 list.
Without knowing more, we can’t attribute Google Maps’ decline to Apple Maps, though perhaps it’s playing a role. More broadly, it may be that iPhone share gains have diminished the overall reach of Google Maps. Yet, Google Search, Google Play and Gmail have all remained “stable” since July with essentially the same audience reach. And Google’s overall reach is not significantly diminished. YouTube, however, did see a slightly smaller audience in September. We’ll have to see what October and subsequent months bring.
After Search, YouTube and Android, Google Maps is the company’s most successful product.