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Apple’s iOS reigns supreme in the US, but Google Maps is king of navigation apps

Summary

Google Maps reigns supreme in navigation apps, with 70% of users turning to it for avoiding speed traps.
At 27%, Waze, also owned by Google, came in second among users looking to avoid speed traps, with Apple Maps landing in third at 25%.
In terms of which app users think is the most effective at warning about speed traps, Waze beat out both Google Maps and Apple Maps.

When it comes to the country’s most popular phone, Apple has a stronghold on the US market with the iPhone. In 2023, the top seven phones sold around the world were variations of the Apple flagship, and specifically in the United States, iOS overtook Android back in late 2022. Although Google has its work cut out for it in terms of the phone sales race, there is one area — specifically in regard to apps — where it still dominates the competition.

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According to a study conducted by MarketWatch, Google Maps is the most commonly used navigation app, with 70 percent of people turning to it for directions when looking to avoid speed traps. In comparison, Apple Maps is preferred by just 25 percent of such navigation app users, and Waze — another Google-owned app — comes in at 27 percent.

Bar graph showing the market share of navigation apps used by people looking to avoid speed traps

Source: MarketWatch

Specifically, the researchers initiated the survey to hone in on driving behavior and speeding trends in the US. They happened to find that many navigation apps do help in terms of alerting users to speed traps — about 34 percent of respondents claimed that they have been notified of a speed trap via an app in the past.

Respondents reported that Waze was most helpful in warning about speed traps, with the data saying it was 30% more effective at this task than Google Maps, and 20% more effective than Apple Maps. Among users of the three apps, however, those navigating with Google Maps were more likely to admit to driving over the speed limit, as shown below.

Bar graph showing the percentage of Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps users who drive over the speed limit

Source: MarketWatch

Samsung is facing pressure from Apple, too

Google might have dominance in terms of navigation apps, but it has seemingly always been playing catch-up to Apple. That being said, it isn’t the only company — Samsung has seen its fair share of competition from Apple products as well. Although the company has 66 percent of the smartphone market share in South Korea, which it calls home, Apple iPhone sales have jumped in recent years. For instance, iPhone 15 series sales increased 41.9 percent in the first month after its release compared to iPhone 14 series numbers. Although Apple’s flagship still has a fraction of the market share, compared to Samsung, it seems that the locals are welcoming the alternative.

Samsung fell to second place behind Apple in global smartphone market share in 2023, according to statistics from the International Data Corporation — the company took just 194 percent. In an already crowded industry, these manufacturers will continue to feel the pressure to perform as Apple grows in appeal around the world.

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