With over five billion map-related requests per week, Apple Maps is used three times more frequently than Google Maps, according to Apple. As far as reasons on how the iOS app was able to achieve this, there are several.
For starters, Apple knows software. And what it doesn't know yet, it tries to learn or acquihires talents who do.
"We are fast learners and we are fast at fixing things," said Apple's Greg "Joz" Joswiak, vice president in charge of marketing for iPhones and related services. "We learned the maps business incredibly fast."
Apple Maps was born about three years ago. Barely able to walk, it initially leaned on data from Google Maps. But it was likely those acquihires who helped Apple Maps stand on its own and outpace Google Maps on iOS. It's common in the industry to buy a company to hire as much or little of its staff as desired.
In May this year, Apple acquired Coherent Navigation, a company that develops High-Integrity GPS, and Mapsense in September. There are about seven or other key acquisitions in the past, but Apple isn't keen on revealing what it hopes to do with the newly acquired companies.
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," goes the standard line.
In addition to hiring the right talent, Apple uses other apps to send people to Apple Maps. And like Google Maps on Android and Windows on PC, Apple Maps comes preloaded on iOS devices.
Many iOS users don't care to install another mapping app. And even when a third-party mapping app is installed, iOS native software will direct users to Apple Maps or embed it in one of the apps.
Despite being more accessible than third-party software, much of Apple Map's success has come from its evolution from a novel piece of entertainment that was so bad at times it was funny, to a product that is good enough for people to rely on.
"They really did a great job in a short amount of time," said Alex Mackenzie-Torres, a former Google Maps manager who's now with competing transit app Moovit. "Apple has something that few companies have -- simplicity in design mixed with high doses of pragmatism and practicality."