The poor reception for Apple’s new maps app temporarily boosted usage for other map applications. But it didn’t actually increase longer-term marketshare for any of them — except for one.
Waze boosted its market share to 10 percent of U.S. iPhone users from 7 percent, according to a study from Sequoia Capital-backed mobile data compression company Onavo. You may not have heard of Onavo, but they have a data compression app that helps users shut down wasteful apps and make the most out of their limited data plans. The way they’ve designed the app means that they have visibility into the real-time usage of hundreds of thousands of apps. Unlike analytics companies which count thousands of developers as their clients, they aren’t bound from disclosing trends in individual app usage.
Onavo used a sample set of 100,000 U.S. iPhone users to look at map app usage following the release of Apple Maps in iOS6. Many apps including Microsoft’s Bing, MapQuest and Waze saw a 60 percent increase in daily active usage after Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for glitches in the company’s new app.
Despite this uptick, the marketshare of these apps is so small that only one app saw a game-changing increase in marketshare. That was Waze, the crowd-sourced mapping app that helps users see traffic in real-time. Waze says it’s not sharing any new data on their usage, according to spokesperson Michal Habdank-Kolaczkowski.
Waze, which has raised at least $67 million in venture funding from firms including BlueRun Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Li Ka-Shing, Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Venture Capital, started out more than four years ago in Israel and grew out of an open-sourced mapping project. From a tech hub that’s better-known for B2B and enterprise startups, Waze is one of the real consumer-facing standouts from the Israeli entrepreneurial community.
It has quietly grown from city to city, often initially through traffic and radio announcements that make local drivers aware of the app. That helps them reach critical mass in a metropolitan area and then once they reach a certain tipping point, it snowballs from there. Waze said last month that it had 26 million users, up from 10 million at the beginning of the year. Apple even has a relationship with the company, presumably for feeding data into the main maps app, but neither company has disclosed the nature of that partnership.
Immediately after Apple released and then apologized for its maps app, Waze said its daily downloads jumped from 70,000 per day to 100,000. It looks like more than a few of these new users are actually sticking around.