Google has recently announced big changes to its mobile mapping services, with upcoming features including an interesting-looking offline mode, and with Apple set to ditch Google for its own, in-house iOS maps offering, Google quite clearly needs to remain on its toes in the mobile game.
Given the new revelation that an almighty 40% of Google’s mobile profit comes straight from iOS, it’s understandable the Big G is a little hot under the collar with regards to the ever-evolving, lucrative market. The two big companies in the mobile game are fierce adversaries, but there is plenty of overlapping and working together behind the scenes.
The 40% figure was discovered by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, and is the percentage of its total profit Google makes from licensing its Maps and Search apps to the Cupertino company.
Apple’s profits are currently off the Richter Scale, with Q1 2012 once again surpassing any previous figures in terms of sales and net profit on similar periods of years previous. That said, the fruit company shows no signs of resting on its laurels, and by making Maps an all-Apple affair, Google has good reason to be nervous.
Ever since the first iPhone landed back in 2007, the deal to bring Google Maps to iOS has been renewed on an annual basis, making Google a handsome wad of cash in the process. While Google will still see a healthy check this year, that licensing agreement doesn’t stretch beyond iOS 6, hence both Android and iOS will be feeling a Google backlash with completely re-jigged Maps apps in the not-so-distant future.
Munster reckons Google to generate around $4.5 billion in mobile revenue in 2012, with iOS ventures accounting for $1.6 billion of that. That’s a lot of money to be losing out on, so it will be intriguing to see both Apple and Google slog it out for supremacy with their respective, new and new-look Maps applications.
Despite the notion of panic within Google circles, Munster doesn’t believe the iOS experience will be altered significantly, despite the almost-certain prospect of Apple announcing its own version at next week’s WWDC. Bearing in mind Google Maps has a billion users worldwide (more than the number using Facebook), the app – which will still feature in the iTunes App Store – still has popularity on its side – even if the lack of stock-level implementation will take a chunk from that large number.