Interest in Bing for iOS spikes following Apple’s Maps meltdown

Interest in Bing for iOS spikes following Apple’s Maps meltdown

Interest in Bing’s iOS application, which includes a mapping component, has risen dramatically in recent weeks, following the rocky introduction of Apple’s Maps program in iOS 6, the latest version of its mobile operating system.

Google yesterday blended its Trends and Insights for Search products into a single tool. Today, we lean upon the combination as the source of our data. We’ll begin with an overview shot of search traffic for the query ‘Bing iPhone’ in 2012:

That’s a marked leap. Back of the envelope: interest has roughly tripled. Now, let’s take a peek at a different search term, to solidify the data point. Here’s the spike in search interest for ‘Bing iOS’ over the same period of time:

However, we can go deeper. Let’s turn to see just what sort of search queries are hot, in relation to Bing and folks’ iPhones

Now, that the search queries are heaviest in the United States and parts of Europe is hardly surprising. What is fun can be found on the right: the top related term does in fact reference mapping. This underscores the fact that Maps for iOS 6 is driving people to actively look for other options.

Key to all of this is that Bing for iOS has received but little recent promotion, post iOS 6 mess, until today. Yes, TNW pointed out its chance to make inroads, and yes, the Bing team put out a mildly worded blog post, but those notes reached few of the masses. Today, however, Apple itself shoved Bing into the spotlight with its apology letter:

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Apple gave Bing first mention. Thus, though we have seen a massive rise in interest for Bing for iOS, we should expect to see much, much more in the coming days. The Google data will take some time to populate, but TNW fully anticipates a larger swing upwards.

Free love

Shortly, this is perhaps the break that Bing has been looking for. If it is to garner mobile market share past that of the single digits – what Windows Phone can offer it -, it needs inroads on either iOS, or Android. Given the level of Google integration into Android, finding footing there is a long shot at best. And while Google ruled the iOS roost, there too it was hard to come up with traction.

Thus iOS is its only real option. The only way it could hope to take a stand on that platform would be a competence vacuum. Enter iOS 6.

If Bing does indeed enjoy a download updraft on Apple’s platform, it will do more than simply bost its search count from mobile devices – Bing would prove its ability to be a cross-platform, credible alternative to Google. That’s something that no one has yet done. And as Apple has just demonstrated, it’s one very tall order.

Top Image Credit: Amit Chattopadhyay

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