Apple, as I’m sure you’ve heard, made a number of major announcements this week at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Some of them were search-related. Apple’s browser, Safari, for example, is getting search functionality similar to Google’s Chrome, as well as Baidu as a search option. Apple’s Siri is doing more in the way of retrieving answers related to sports, movie and restaurant queries.
The biggest search-related news to come out of the event, however, was that Apple dumped Google for its maps offering. That could be a big blow to Google-based local searches. Reports are now emerging that Apple will launch its new Maps project (due out with iOS 6 this fall) with even more business listings than Google has.
According to a Bloomberg report, Apple already has about 20 million more business listings than Google, at 100 million to Google’s 80 million. The report also quotes Google’s Brian McClendon as saying that Google Maps has over a billion active users. I wonder how Apple’s move will impact that numer. Apple said at its event that it had sold 365 million iOS devices as of March.
Apple is now using TomTom as its primary Maps data provider, and Yelp integration has been highly publicized, but these aren’t the only data sourced Apple is using. Greg Sterling points to an Apple copyright page (h/t: Matt McGee) that shows some other providers, which include: Acxiom, CoreLogic, DigitalGlobe, DMTI, Getchee, Intermap, LeadDog, Localeze, MapData Sciences Pty Ltd., MDA Information Systems, Urban Mapping and Waze.
Of course Google is doing its own thing in the local search space. In addition to making its own maps improvements, it’s tying business listings to Google+ pages, and giving businesses some more social ways of engaging with customers.
Apparently there’s a lot of money in local search these days. Yext also just secured a new $27 million round of funding to expand its business listings platform.