December 14, 2012

This week in digital: Map wars and data hungry Brits

Written By Martin Sandhu

Apple maps vs Google maps
Who’d have thought maps could cause such a fuss!? At the start of this week Australian police warned that the much criticised Apple maps ‘could kill’! A number of users Down Under had reportedly been directed to barren outback miles away from the city they were intending to visit.

Motorists heading for the Mildura found themselves in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, 40 miles away. It may not sound like such a distance, but the park has no water supplies, no mobile network and temperatures often reach 46C, leading police to issue a statement advising motorists not to use the app, claiming the error had the potential to be ‘life-threatening’.

Just a few day’s later, Google Maps iPhone app got its much anticipated release and headed straight to the top of Apple’s most-downloaded chart. In fact, when we woke up bright and early on Thursday morning it was the top trending topic on Twitter!

The long-awaited, stand-alone app was launched in the early hours of Thursday to much joy from iPhone users – highlighting the huge unpopularity of Apples native maps service. From the beginning, Apple’s own attempt at a mapping service has been unfavourable to say the least, with users reporting a plethora of issues. There were imaginary railway stations, London’s Paddington Station had ceased to exist and searches for ‘London’ directed UK iPhone users to the London in Ontario, Canada.

Microsoft shifts 4.2m Windows phones
Microsoft could be becoming a dominant player in he smartphone market. According to figures from The Next Web (TNW) at least 4.2 Million Windows Phones have been sold since October. Using data from Facebook, TNW estimate sales of the phone to be four times faster than last year, confirming Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer’s big, yet less than revealing, announcement earlier this month.

UK mobile users are most data hungry in the world
Shopping on the internet is now more popular in the UK than in any other country, according to new figures from Ofcom. British consumers are also downloading more data on their mobiles than any other nation. Online shoppers in the UK spend on average £1,083 a year, whilst Australia, the second highest spending nation, splashes £842.

Ofcom’s seventh International Communications Market Report will be of great interest to digital marketers across the country. It reveals that 16% of web traffic was from mobile devices – more than any other European country and four in ten adults access social media via their mobiles.