The notion that Google Maps drove a rash of iOS 6 upgrades turns out to be wrong according to ad network Chitika. As several people have already argued, iOS 6 traffic growth more likely came from the release of the iPhone 5 in China (Apple said it sold 2 million handsets over the initial weekend).
Mobile ad exchange MoPub earlier this week suggested a large contingent of Apple iPhone owners who hadn’t yet upgraded from iOS 5 to iOS 6 were prompted to do so by the release of the new Google Maps app. That story seemed to fit with the immense anticipation and interest, among tech writers, in Google’s native maps app.
The story also seemed to be confirmed by Google’s Jeff Huber’s statement that the new Google Maps app had been downloaded more than 10 million times in the first 48 hours following its launch. Indeed the Google Maps app is hugely popular.
Chitika’s data show that iOS 6 adoption in the US was essentially flat in the two days following the launch of Google Maps for iOS:
Upon the release of iOS 6 last quarter there was a surge of immediate upgrades. Chitika said at the time that roughly 61 percent of Apple device owners upgraded their operating systems within just a couple weeks. Chitika reports that iOS 6 adoption currently stands at about 73 percent.
What’s also interesting about this story is that it reflects the way in which tech bloggers and journalists often believe their obsessions are shared by the public at large. However there’s very much a metaphorical “beltway” phenomenon in the tech industry. We scrutinize obsess, covet and complain about things to which “ordinary people” in the “real world” pay far less attention.
Postscript: Chitika has updated its graph to include additional days since the launch of Google Maps’ iOS app and says North American iOS 6 traffic remains the same as before the mapping app’s release.