As you all know with IOS 6, apple has switched from Google Maps to its own Maps application. So there is no Google Maps app for IOS6 as of now ( There is an unofficial way to have access to Google Maps, but there is no official app). Google is building its app for IOS now and is expected to release in 4 to 5 months from now. Meanwhile IOS users would start using the Apple’s Map app and may be some of the customers would like it and may not be inclined to switch back to Google Maps.
So what is the strategy from Google, why has it not built the App by now and have it ready. Let’s see the strategy from Apple and Google
Apple has certainly released a app which is far low in quality compared to the Google maps. Quality of the app was so bad that CEO of apple had to publicly apologize. But the decision to release its own app, is a great strategic move by Apple. Many or all most all of the apps or services in smart phone depend on location. Hence its a strategic move to have its own app instead of depending on Google.
Was this a surprise to google that Apple is going to release its own Maps app with IOS 6. I am sure google was aware of this move, these companies have so much public attention that even common man can find out whats happening at these companies. If Google would have started developing its IOS maps app and if it released it just in a week after the IOS 6 was released then it would have been a good strategic move by Google. If Google would have done that, all these people who are hating the maps app from Apple would have switched to Google. But now people are stuck with Apple’s app and hence as people start using it, Apple would get an opportunity to improve the app.
So when Google came to know that Apple is building its own app, did Google just give up and was not interested in building its own app for IOS. Looking at the way things are going on, it certainly looks like Google was too slow in building the app. Google’s Maps app in Android is far superior to the one that shipped with IOS 5 or before. By not shipping the app for IOS, may be Google wanted to create a product differentiation between Android and IOS.
But as a good product manager, the strategy from a company like Google should be to be proactive rather than reactive. It should have had the app ready for IOS 6 and should have been in a position to release the app if required.