MapQuest Upgrades; Google, Yahoo Sigh
In a market where Yahoo's stake trails Google's by just one percentage point, a third company is beating them both by a solid 30%. Even worse (from the search engine companies' perspectives), that margin could soon increase. On Thursday, MapQuest announced plans to enhance its wireless offerings.
The upgrade should make the company's mobile mapping services more comparable to its online engine. "We need to extend our reach and be on as many devices as possible," Alan Beigai, Mapquest's Director of Wireless, explained in a statement. "Our goal is also to fine tune content and functionality of mobile applications to match that of the online experience."
Search Engine Watch's Mike Boland covered news of the wireless enhancements; he also noted that MapQuest "will make its MapQuest Navigator mobile mapping product available on Blackberries from Sprint and Nextel." That move could have the search engine industry feeling nervous yet again, because "navigation systems (like smart phones) are coming down in price and Yahoo! this week revealed plans to plant itself 'on the dash.'"
MapQuest's services could, in effect, make it unnecessary for drivers to slap the gadget onto their dashboards. (That's not to say that aftermarket GPS devices are a worse option, but car guys must weigh getting hopelessly lost against cluttering up the automobile's interior.)
Google had better watch out, too-MapQuest's headquarters in Mountville, PA are a mere 3 hours and 54 minutes (or so) away from Google's new offices in Pittsburgh. MapQuest might pay 'em a visit.
All right, so that was a bit silly. In the field of online mapping, however, MapQuest is dominating the two search engine companies. With these latest enhancements to MapQuest's wireless offerings, it doesn't look like that will change in the near future.
Tag: MapQuest, Yahoo, Google
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