We've already covered the download frenzy that resulted in Google Maps finally becoming available for iOS 6 users after Apple initially tried to push its own badly flawed Apple Maps offering as the default mapping solution in its place.
The move has been held up as an example of how the ordinary consumer has increasingly paid the price for the escalating “smartphone wars” mentality dominating the mobile industry these days, and looking at new data from ad network MoPub, it's hard to argue.
Using data taken from the 12,000 iOS apps it supports, the network found that iOS 6 adoption itself grew a massive 29% in the five days following Google Maps' appearance in the App Store last week.
The conclusion is obvious: Apple's refusal to let users download Google Maps was directly resulting in people steering clear of its latest OS altogether.
“We observed since the launch of Google Maps for iOS 6 a 30% increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it’s related to Google Maps,” MoPub boss Jim Payne said in comments to TechCrunch. “It verifies the hypothesis that people were actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available.”
Now it's fair to say that Apple's true mistake was less trying to gain a competitive advantage over a key rival than failing to deliver a credible alternative in its place. After all, most people who specifically chose to avoid iOS 6 purely because of the mapping debacle didn't do so because of how good Google Maps is, but rather because of the endless coverage of how bad Apple Maps was.
But it puts actual numbers against the popular theory that Apple's real mistake was the high-level prioritising of strategically damaging a rival over making sure that its own product was good enough to hold its own in comparison.
When that happens, some people may shake their heads, some might point and laugh, others still (the 29% mentioned here) will wait for common sense to prevail, but nobody - not Apple, not Google, or anyone using either company's products - actually ends up better off.