What’s missing from this conversation is that map usage is critical. Regardless of Google’s PR success in the Atlantic’s unintentionally misleading Google Ground Truth infomercial, more than half of Google’s mobile map usage is going away in the next month or two. I love the Atlantic, but they got punkd. Usage makes maps better a lot faster than software does.
Rafer says it way better than I did, and the more I think about it, the more I think it was Apple’s play to kick Google Maps out and go “all-in” on mapping. Maps are far too important a part of iOS for Apple to not own and control them.
It sucks that right now Apple Maps aren’t as good as they are from Google, but I think Rafer is off on his 18 month prediction — I’m thinking more like “by Christmas” Apple will have played catch up. Of course, that all depends on how much man power Apple assigns to it.