That’s been the big question since Apple Maps launched in 2012. As with the rest of its business, Apple doesn’t make it easy to figure out the answer.
But whether you know it or not, your business is likely to benefit from appearing on Apple Maps, or maybe not because you ignored it?
I can’t tell you how many customers we have who are Android users and often forget that Apple Maps even exists.
But it does exist and it gives a lot of visibility to local businesses. So let’s try to find out how many people are using it, right?
Last September, MomentFeeds Eoghan Goeghegan appreciated 68 million US adults use Apple Maps at least once a month.
Last week nothing but Horace Dediu, one of the leading Apple analysts, estimates at least 1 billion users worldwide:
Six years ago, Apple Maps was serving 5 billion requests a week. (3x Google Maps on iOS.) I expect that to double now and about 90% of iOS users use it, or 900 million. Maps is also used on iPadOS and macOS and WatchOS so I would say 1 billion users overall is easy.
– Horace Dediu (@asymco) June 1, 2021
He neglected to mention the use of Apple Maps on Car Play, which is supported according to over 80% of all new cars in the US a survey, 23% of new car buyers stated that car play was a “must”. This year around 4 million new cars have been sold so far. The use of the survey data implies that at least over 700,000 new vehicle owners have been using Car Play this year.
So it’s a big number.
We can update Eoghan’s math to find out how many adults in the US are using Apple Maps:
First, we need to find out how many US adults are iPhone users:
- The current census puts the estimated US population at 332 million people
- The latest data shows that adults make up 77% of the population, so there are around 256 million adults
- A Pew Research Center Survey showed that 85% of US adults own a smartphone, or about 217 million people.
- Comscore reports that in January 2021 52.4% of US smartphone users owned an Apple device. That’s around 114 million iPhone users.
Now let’s estimate some backflips to try to get our overall estimate of Apple Maps users:
- 2018, Waze said it had 30 million users in the US. If they stopped growing then, with the iPhone penetration estimates above, it would mean there were around 15 million US Waze users on iPhones. I suspect Waze users are far more likely to use Android, but Waze has likely expanded its user base significantly since then, including iPhone users, so let’s stick with the 15 million number. That’s a blog post 🙂
- Let’s add another 5 million iPhone users who use other map applications like Here and Mapquest, just to be generous. If we assume that all adult iPhone users are using a Maps app, that leaves 94 million users split between Apple Maps and Google Maps.
- In 2015, Apple announced that iPhone users use Apple Maps 3 times more often than Google Maps. Given how much Apple Maps has improved since then, combined with the number of teenage iPhone users who have grown up during that time, I suspect that Apple Maps is now well over three times more used than Google Maps. But to be conservative, let’s stick with 3x. That would mean there are at least 71 million adult Apple Maps users in the US
Of course, this is just math based on likely suspicious data, but I think it’s safe to say that 71 million is the bottom. If we assume that Apple Maps has grown to four times the usage of Google Maps, then we’re approaching 75 million. And that doesn’t include kids like my 17 year old new driver who only uses Apple Maps. And I suspect there are a lot of Google Maps users on the iPhone who, at least at times, accidentally use Apple Maps. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the penetration is north of the 90% estimated by Horace Dediu.
How many adult Apple Maps users are there in the US? Only Apple knows for sure, but I think we’re sure we can put the number of Apple Maps users in the US at 75 to 100 million adults.
So maybe you want to make sure your company information on Apple Maps is correct?
Last week, MomentFeed hosted a discussion between Eoghan and me about what’s been going on with Apple Maps lately. You can take a look at it https://join.momentfeed.com/apple-maps-webinar.