Is Apple Thanking Google For Maps?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is the unquestioned winner of the latest skirmish in the maps battle, but Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stands to receive some of the gains from the new app as well, Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf has said.

What Does the Return of Google Maps Mean for Apple?

The return of Google Maps to iOS in the form of a third-party application could be a “mixed blessing” for Apple, the analyst wrote, even though Google was the definitive winner.

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“We see the Maps app on the iPhone as a win-win for Google because the company will now be able to generate location-based advertising and other revenues from iPhone users who use the app,” Wolf wrote, according to Fortune.

Apple will be hurt by its users being driven away from its own Maps application. “Users’ input is critical in improving the quality of the application, and Apple will now receive less feedback on its own Maps app what with iPhone owners flocking to Google Maps,” Wolf wrote.

Is There A Positive?

However, the positive for Apple comes from the fact that the app’s availability will take away the bad press iOS has received recently because of the whole maps situation. How?…

Apple replaced Google Maps as the default mapping application in its mobile devices in September with a homegrown program, but received much censure for the quality of the latter.

“[The new Google app] has the potential to attract a meaningful number of new users to the iPhone who had previously shunned it because of Apple’s well-publicized misstep in releasing a less-than-market-ready product in the first place,” Wolf said.

CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Catalysts for a Stock’s Movement

One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework focuses on the factors that could affect a company’s stock. According to Wolf, the legitimate overall risk for Apple right now is that the company may no longer be innovating “at the same pace and with the same disruption that marked the Steve Jobs era.”

The whole maps situation, which was followed by “the firing of two senior executives, only served to heighten this perception.”

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