Traffic on Google Maps has dropped by 40% over the last two years with the introduction of the Apple Switch as the likely reason behind this.
Two years following Apple Inc‘s decision to replace Google Maps with its own app as the default service on iPhones, Google managed to recover only 40 percent of its previous mobile traffic on its mapping service. A Google executive disclosed these details during the antitrust trial involving Alphabet Inc.
Michael Roszak, Google’s Vice President for Finance, stated on Tuesday that the company viewed the shift to Apple Maps as “a data point”. They also evaluated potential scenarios if Apple were to replace Google’s search engine as the default on Apple’s Safari browser.
During his email back in June 2020, Roszak shared details on how Apple’s Switch had impacted the usage of Google Maps on iPhones. In an email introduced in the court, Roszak noted:
“Almost 2 years later we were at 40 percent of the prior peak (and assumed the actual loss was greater since Apple Maps usage was also growing across this time).”
The chart depicting Google Maps usage on iPhones, which was included in Roszak’s email, has been censored in the public version of the document.
Google’s Monopoly Over Search
The Justice Department claims that Google has unlawfully upheld a monopoly in online search by spending billions to secure its search engine as the default choice on web browsers and smartphones. Google’s most significant agreement is with Apple, where Google is set as the default search engine on Safari in return for a portion of the advertising revenue it generates.
The precise amount Google compensates Apple for its default status isn’t available publicly. During its opening statement, the Justice Department mentioned that Google paid an estimated sum ranging between $4 billion and $7 billion for the Safari default in 2020, However, it prompted an objection from Apple’s legal team, as this is a public estimate and not the actual figure.
On Tuesday, Roszak stated that he was not aware of any data that Google maintains regarding the number of users who modify their search default settings on their browser or mobile devices. He explained that the Apple Maps example was merely one of the data points used to estimate how iPhone users might respond to a change in the default search engine.