Mapping and navigation apps are a ubiquitous element of smartphones and feature routinely in users’ lives. They have become essential for commuters, holiday-makers, taxi services and anyone hoping to make it from point A to point B. iPhones come with Apple Maps pre-installed and Android phones with Google Maps so it’s not even necessary to go to the trouble of downloading external apps.
Google has already managed to diversify its monetisation of Maps, with revenue from promoted search results, unique icons for businesses, referral fees and the sale of mapping data to other companies. Analysts predict that revenue is only going to continue to grow. Morgan Stanley estimated that revenue will hit $11 billion this year following the introduction of some new features in 2020.
These new features are being used for more than simply navigation between two places. Through the Google Maps app, users can book accommodation, find attractions and events, be directed to taxi services and receive traffic updates. You can read reviews, check menus, see opening hours and pin favourite haunts. There are so many features that some experts argue Google Maps will be the next superapp.
Earlier this year, Apple launched an advertising tool, Apple Business Connect, which is expected to lead to a significant boost in Apple Maps revenue. Brick-and-mortar businesses are now able to be featured more distinctly in the app by creating and updating their information in cards which represent them in Apple services. Following last year’s privacy update which removed third-party app developers’ abilities to track user clicks, Apple’s ad efforts have been expanding as it seeks to be a $30 billion business.
Although Google owns traffic-tracker app Waze, the subsidiary does not share traffic data with Google Maps. Waze is a sizeable player in its own right, as is Citymapper. The latter is focused on public transport updates and route planning in European, North American, Asian and Australian cities.
Another genre of navigation app which has grown in popularity is location tracking. For reasons of safety, for finding lost items or even for the purpose of meeting up more conveniently, many people routinely share their location with a closed group of friends and family.
Life360, a self-described safety service, not only provides real-time updates on users’ whereabouts, but also alerts when they enter or leave locations, directions to find members and driving reports. The iOS app offers some of the same features, and allows people to search for missing Apple devices. However, there have been warnings about privacy and the possibility of stalking.
Location pinpointing on navigation apps sometimes struggle with accuracy, particularly in areas with poor connections or where signals rebound between tall buildings. To combat this, and to help in emergency situations such as finding lost hikers, the business what3words was founded. Every 3 by 3 metre square in the world has been labelled with three words in a unique pattern. This system is now used by the emergency services in the UK, and as a replacement for postal codes in Mongolia.
We have collected data and statistics on the navigation app sector. Read on below to find out more.
Key Navigation Statistics
- The navigation app sector had a revenue of $16.2 billion in 2022. The majority of this revenue was from Google Maps
- The sector is forecast to generate $36.6 billion in 2028, growing at a rate of 14.8 percent
- Google Maps has 1.8 billion monthly average users while Moovit has around 1.5 billion users each day
Top Navigation Apps
|https://www.google.com/maps||Google Maps||Preinstalled on Android devices, Google Maps offers route planning for travelling by foot, car, bike and public transportation along with street maps, panoramic views and traffic information|
|https://www.waze.com/en-GB/live-map/||Waze||Google-subsidiary Waze can direct users with real-time traffic and location alerts through crowdsourced information|
|https://earth.google.com/web/||Google Earth||Google Earth presents a 3D model of Earth based on satellite imagery with users able to explore the globe down to street level|
|https://www.apple.com/uk/maps/||Apple Maps||Exclusive to Apple devices, Apple Maps provides directions and estimated arrival times. Some large cities can also be seen from a birds-eye perspective with the Flyover feature|
|https://www.bing.com/maps/||Bing Maps||Like Apple Maps, Bing Maps uses data provided by TomTom to show maps and transit directions|
|https://www.life360.com/intl/||Life360||Family focused app Life360 allows users to create circles of family members and track their locations in real-time|
|https://www.businessofapps.com/data/what3words-statistics/||What3words||What3words has given every 3 metre square in the world a unique 3 word address to make it easier to find and share locations|
|https://citymapper.com/||Citymapper||Citymapper markets itself as an urban mobility app, designing route maps with real-time updates and up-to-date ticketing information|
|https://moovitapp.com/||Moovit||Journey planner app Moovit uses crowdsourced and official public transit data to develop route planning for users, companies and transit agencies. In 2022 it was acquired by Mobileye from Intel|
|https://www.geocaching.com||Geocaching||Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunting game in which users set up reward caches to be found by other players through GPS coordinates|
|https://www.businessofapps.com/data/strava-statistics||Strava||Originally a cycling app, Strava has moved into more forms of GPS tracking including rowing, as well as stationary exercise recording|
|https://www.alltrails.com/||AllTrails||AllTrails offers over 400,000 trails for hiking and biking, with maps which work offline and user-submitted reviews and photos|
|https://www.onxmaps.com/||OnX||OnX Hunt maps food plots, road systems, and entrance and exit routes for hunters using GPS, OnX Offroad provides off-roading maps and OnX Backcountry covers hiking and ski routes|
Navigation App Revenue
The navigation app sector generated $16.2 billion in revenue in 2022. As Apple Maps integrates ads and Google Maps seeks to introduce additional features, the sector is forecast to grow to $36.6 billion by 2028.
Navigation app sector annual revenue 2018 to 2022 ($bn)
Navigation app sector forecast annual revenue 2023 to 2033 ($bn)
Google Maps Revenue
Morgan Stanley estimated Google Maps will earn $11.1 billion this year as new travel products and promoted pins generate increased ad revenue.
Google Maps annual revenue 2018 to 2022 ($mm)
Navigation Revenue by Country
The USA had the largest individual share of revenue in 2022 at 16.5%. India and China’s market shares are expected to grow, as they have higher than average compound annual growth rates at 18.7% and 16.7% respectively.
Navigation sector revenue by country 2022 (%)
Navigation App Usage
Google Maps and Apple Maps, being pre-installed apps on most smartphones, enjoy significant monthly usership, while Moovit reports that 1.5 billion people commute with public transport via its services every day.
Navigation app sector monthly average users (mm)