Following profound criticism from notable competitors like Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94), alongside industry specialists, Apple’s map service finally appears to be catching a break. A fresh report from analytics firm Onavo has revealed that Apple Maps uses less data than Google Maps. This suggests that the map service will appeal more to subscribers, who are fixed on a strict data plan.

Apple Maps App

According to Onavo, Apple Maps uses a mere fifth of the amount of data that Google Maps uses for every given session. To ascertain their finding, Onavo ran both the map services through a series of varied scenarios. Towards the end of the study, Onavo established that the average data downloaded on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s service was around 271 kilobytes- a mere fraction of Google’s average download of 1.3 megabytes.

While the findings reflected the overall data efficiency of both apps, various isolated cases revealed that Apple’s map service was more efficient in certain situations. A clear example was when zooming in to a spot. Onavo established that when zooming in, Apple’s service was 7 times more data efficient, when compared to Google Maps.

The focus on the amount of data downloaded is more profound in consumers who are subscribed to strict data plans, specifically 3G and 4G. This is because bulky downloads force subscribers to dip deeper into their pockets. Wi-Fi subscribers on the other hand only need to worry about data downloads when they are out of range.

Onavo concludes that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has the edge, citing what they term as vector graphics. Apparently, Apple Maps uses vector graphics. This approach materially reduces the amount of data downloaded each time a user zooms in and out of a specific spot in the map.

The only notable advantage

So far, this new revelation appears to be the only notable advantage that Apple Maps has over Google Maps. Over the past several weeks, Apple Maps has been blatantly criticized for its faulty framework. This has prompted Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to make promises of improvements amid its headhunt for new map developers.

Similarly, Apple’s Map service has received wider scrutiny, because of the implications it had on the company’s relationship with Google.

Ditching Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps for a hastily clamped in-house map service was a grave error. This renounces our earlier conclusion in late September, where we quoted the following;

‘We retain the view that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has made grave mistakes by removing Google Maps and Youtube from the list of pre-installed services: such action will only serve to “bewilder” its fan-club.’

All this comes amid celebration over the 5 million plus sales that the iPhone 5 has recorded within its first few days of operation.