Was Motorola Misleading In Their Ad Comparing Apple’s Maps Against Google Maps?

Some iFans are up in arms today after a misleading Motorola ad made the rounds across various social networks and even here on Phandroid a few days ago. Taking advantage of Apple’s recent bad press in regard to the “inaccuracy” of iOS 6 Maps (we’ve had some fun with that too), Motorola seized the opportunity to advertise the tried and true Google Maps app found on their all new Motorola DROID RAZR M.

In the ad, they show the iPhone 5 finding the wrong address for Motorola’s fictional address, side-by-side with the Droid Razr M which showed the correct result thanks to GMaps. So, what’s everyone so bent out of shape about? Well, besides the fact that the address used in the ad is essentially made up (it supposedly doesn’t exist), performing a maps search on the iOS 6 actually pulls up the same location as Google’s Maps. Shady? Possibly. Deceptive? A little. Here’s the results provided by a friend of mine with an iPhone 5 when compared to the results found on my Galaxy Nexus.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a manufacturer intentionally misrepresent info to place a better light on their competing handset. Samsung featured a similar ad not too long ago with some slightly misleading bullet points comparing features in the iPhone 5 with those in the Galaxy S3.

Needless to say, Apple fanboys are upset over the ad, and while their anger could be seen as “justified,” many made the mistake of placing direct blame Google for the ad (who owns Motorola Mobility) even though the Moto and more so the ad agency who was used to commission the ad operated without any approval or knowledge from Google. Google has bigger fish to fry, concocting driverless cars, and virtual reality goggles.

I guess the real question we should be asking is whether or not we’ve ever seen an ad 100% truthfully and objectively present facts when advertising a product against a competitors. But then again, we’d probably see a lot less ads, now wouldn’t we?

Thanks, Jack for the image!

[Apple InsiderMight wanna stay away from the comments section]

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TAGS: ads , advertising , Apple Maps , Motorola DROID RAZR M

  • Eric James Salcido

    Apple’s tactics used against Apple? I approve.

  • Nicholas Moline

    Thanks for keeping Android fans honest. Keeping the site respectable is important. Good work!

    • storm14k

      Except there wasn’t anything dishonest. Apple maps now takes you to that same “fake” address just like Bing, Yahoo and others already did. Why would Apple correct it if its fake?

      • ari_free

        From what I’ve read, Apple is only correct if you type out Manhattan. If you type ny, ny you’ll still get the false Brooklyn address.

  • Guest

    Either Moto failed miserably as noted or Apple hurried and fixed that address. If there was an address search on the 21st by anyone but Apple or Motorola (just a regular everyday user like us), it would prove whether Moto did mess up.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Well, the problem ifans are having with the ad is that the address doesn’t in fact exist, which they see as “Google” intentionally trying to confuse Apple Maps to make Google Maps look better. Still, it’s possible Apple went back and tried to cover their tracks.

      • BENSTEEL

        It’s political campaign season….you can get away with saying anything for the next 6 weeks….all’s fair

      • C-Law

        I’mconfused . How does it not exist if I’m looking at it clear as day on both phone screens. Even in the ad, it shows the same identical spot and map as the shots down below, only using a satellite view. So the spot can’t just be made up

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Apparently, the address doesn’t technically exist (that block is odd numbers, not even), but if it did, it would be where Google Maps (and where Apple Maps is now showing it). Hit the source link for an in depth explanation.

          • Manbo

            All they needed to do was show the grocery store in the water, or the city in the water… or anything else that was in water that’s not supposed to be…

      • ari_free

        But it does exist. :)

  • Tommy Thompson

    Either way, there still seems to be more on Google Maps.

  • Unorthodox

    Apple had more than enough time to fix the issue. Anyone who saw the ad few days ago could have guessed that everybody will be trying to run the same search.

    • johnnyboy5520

      I agree, I doubt Motorola would have chosen an address that crApple Maps was able to get right.

  • harold

    Don’t care anything against apple is fair play

  • Alejandro

    Like Apple has never used false advertising? And they definitely wouldn’t ever own up to it

    • Ahhk

      Actually, Apple usually likes to imply that some functionality is their exclusive innovation because no one else has advertised it before.

      You see that sweet, innovative panoramic photo feature on the new iPhone?!? Wow!

      Their “first one to advertise it, owns it” marketing motto is just like their “first one to patent it…” litigation motto.

      So much wool in the eyes……..

  • Marsg

    Motorola making up a fake address doesn’t concern me the whole point of their advertisement was to inform potential customers that iMaps is know where near Google maps in terms of quality and reliability which everyone knows, the thing that does concerns me though is that it took iPhans an entire week to figure out it was a fake address >.> the first thing i would of done if this was a ad bashing Google maps was test the address on my phone but i guess iPhans already knew that iMaps sucked so they dint even bother.

    • ari_free

      When I first heard about this claim that it was faked, I checked it out with Bing and Yahoo. Then I was able to find the official NYC map site. All confirmed Google Maps with the same search phrase.

      Why didn’t the iFans do the same simple test before blasting Motorola? It’s like they want to throw out anything they can in the hope that some of it will stick and make people think that Apple Maps really isn’t so bad after all.

      • Unorthodox

        I watched a “Zookeeper” movie yesterday (guilty, I sometimes do watch some stupid comedy). There was a Capuchin monkey, who as an advise in mating said: – “Through poop at her! I always do that!”. Didn’t you know that iSheep has no common sense or logic? And they usually pretend to be too busy, or too creative to bother themselves with elementary research that doesn’t take more than 2 minutes.

  • johnnyboy5520

    The reason Motorola can capitalize on the issues is because there is a kernel of truth to them. Even die hard iSheep are complaining about the many inaccuracies and missing data and features. Face it, the Apple Maps suck and it will be a while before they catch up to Google.

    True some cities may have accurate or semi accurate data but many cities don’t……

    This is just one of the many threads on the Apple forums:

    BTW Apple Insider is a joke.

    • ari_free

      All the arguing and emotion is just going to get the #ilost meme stuck in their heads. Oh well.

  • chuckles87

    Someone in one of my classes was showing me his iPhone I asked him if maps has caused him to crash into random places he actually laughed and agreed. First time I had someone not try to defend their I phone then I showed off my nexus 7 that I bought the other day +1 for android

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      My iPhone friends are all saying how great the Maps app is working but it could be the area they live in, I guess -_-

  • ScottColbert

    Lawsuit by Apple in 3,2,1…

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Lol It’s what they do best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamille-Browne/1184321457 Jamille Browne

    Oh when apple misleads on numerous occasions about just about everything its okay for the apple fans but when its against apple its zee Oh Em Gee guys big ol meany motohola is lying… apple heads can just go get lost shouldn’t be that hard to do with apple maps sucking.

  • Veronica Orozco

    I said this somewhere else…parks have addresses. Here is the address for Central Park as an example:

    Central Park Conservancy, 14 E. 60th St, New York, NY, 10022


    I don’t know the name of that park so it is a bit harder to find it’s website or address through the park district listings.

    • http://twitter.com/stonemirror David Schlesinger

      No, this is the address of the offices of the Park Conservancy, not the park. This is a full half-block away from the actual park.

    • ari_free

      This is really about looking up the address, not the park. The address happens to be at a park but 315 E 15th street was bound to be between 313 and 317 E 15th Street.

  • ScottColbert

    With as many problems with imaps that have been reported there was no reason for Moto to use a bogus address. Hell the statue of liberty would have been enough.

  • Frankie Abaddon

    Hey I tried to side with them and guess what Phandroid’s they are ignorant people. I think its wrong cause the Maps app is flawed but we lowered to their level we need to raise above.

  • http://www.impulsivestudios.com/ Justin Myers

    Notice how they had to type Manhattan in on iOS. Try it without and see if they get the same results. At least search for the same thing if you’re going to compare…

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      To be fair, I didn’t type the whole thing in Google Maps, but I chose the same address from the autocomplete as iOS (it just didn’t show on my screenshot).

      • ari_free

        Well, be fair because it’s not nice to say Motorola was lying and making up fake addresses when they weren’t.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          I was a process server for 5 years. There are a ton of addresses that don’t exist, but Google Maps would take me to, only for me to find out it was an empty spot in between houses, on a culdesac, or at a park where technically 4 addresses would apply.

          • ari_free

            Today I realized that a new restaurant in my neighborhood that opened up last year wasn’t in Google Maps. It used to be an empty lot so that’s what you see in Street View. So I loaded up http://www.google.com/mapmaker and sent google a note. Buildings come up and go all the time.

            But you shouldn’t be pulling up 107 year old data. That’s just really messed up.

          • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

            I’m not talking about empty lots with actual addresses. Just addresses that don’t really exist, but Google Maps will still find if you really ask it to.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Apple Maps doesn’t suck — I’ve dedicated an entire posts to how it’s failed — the question is whether or not Motorola was being deceptive in their ad and whether or not it even matters (pretty much all ads are deceptive).

          • ari_free

            You can’t just fall for the Apple fan bait like that. They want to minimize the bad PR of Apple Maps by changing the subject.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743818678 Marvin Nakajima

            Actually, I would think taking you to addresses that don’t exist that ‘makes sense’ (e.g. The address WOULD be correct if it existed rather than totally made up as an address for say bagel st. being located in the middle of donut st.) is actually quite helpful.

  • NexusMan

    This ad is no more misleading than the many iPhone Siri ads in which Siri is asked to navigate to a certain address or give directions to an address and it seemingly does. However, as we phandroids know, Siri never actually could navigate anywhere, nor could it provide directions as quickly and effortlessly as in those ads (savvy people would notice in those spots in very small print, a disclaimer was put saying “sequences shortened.”) Additionally, like Justin stated below, sorry Chris, but the address you typed in your friends iphone 5 is NOT the same address that is typed in your Galaxy Nexus nor in the Motorolla ad…if you are going to do a test on the results, enter the results EXACTLY as they were: “315 e 15th st ny / 315 e 15th ny.”

  • Weezer

    Apple just filed a lawsuit against Google maps for copyright infringement saying “All you need is twelve stupid Californians, I mean if we can win with the rectangle….. ”

    • rustygh

      Haha awesome. All you need is twelve stupid Californians / jurors
      like I always said only the low IQ people are on the jury

      • ari_free

        or Apple Insider’s staff

  • yippiedad

    Don’t shout “Misleading” when the Apple result is NOT made up! Just Google the address “315 Marlborough Road, New York, NY” and see it for yourself. It is very possibly that Apple maps confused “Marlborough Road” for being “E. 15th St.” because it’s right next to and parallel with the real “E. 16th St” – but it’s in Brooklyn – not Manhattan.

    • http://twitter.com/stonemirror David Schlesinger

      Until it was renamed in 1905, Marlborough Road in Brooklyn was “East 15th Street”. Motorola and Google should be ashamed for stooping to these kinds of shenanigans.

      • yippiedad

        Wow, I do know that Apple fans accept that Apple is not on the forefront of technology, but to defend the company for using 107-year old map data is just absurd and a pure sign of blind iFaith. But, I admire your persistence!

        • Guest

          Apple kicked out the engineers and replaced them with lawyers. This is the result.

      • ari_free

        So, it was “East 15th Street” in 1905. 107 years ago.
        I’m sure Apple will reward you for your loyalty.

  • ari_free

    The address does exist. I confirmed Google with Bing, Yahoo and the official http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/ with the search phrase “315 E 15th Street, ny, ny”

  • Coryes
  • Endoverend

    On Tuesday night (9/25/12) I tried this in an Apple Store. I entered “315 E 15th St. NY” exactly how it was displayed in the ad. I also entered it on my Droid4. I saw the same results indicated by the ad. I did this to answer my iPhone-using father’s question of “so what are people complaining about with iOS 6 Maps?”

    I noticed the ad has a discrepancy between what was entered on each phone, so I tried entering it each way on each phone (with the same result).

    Motorola may have used a fake address to avoid any theoretical legal issues arising out of using someone’s real address in an advertisement. A maps/navigation application should interpolate addresses of which it is not aware. If it has exact locations for 313 and 317 but doesn’t know anything about 315, it should simply drop the pin equidistant between the two.

    The one thing I can say for certain: if entering “315 E 15th St. NY” now renders the correct result on iOS6 maps, then they fixed the problem. If a competitor of mine put out an ad pointing to a specific flaw in my product, my retaliation would be to immediately correct it such that their example would no longer cause my product fail.

    • ari_free

      If that was the only problem then it would be easy for Apple. Now everyone is hot and bothered over this one ad and that’s probably what Motorola wanted.

  • TheTorish

    Apple fans are just trying to make up a justification for their crappy product, and Chris, you’re buying into it. Just because there isn’t anything there doesn’t mean that the address doesn’t exist or even that it isn’t useful. For example I geocache all the time. Google geocodes coordinates into an address that I can remember so I know around where to park. You give Apple fans too much credit once again Chris.

  • gmaninvan

    The ad is misleading I agree and don’t like that. It is stooping to a level that doesn’t need to be stooped to. The worst part is an accurate test was all that was needed. In your screenshots, regardless of Apple maps showing the right address, google maps on the Nexus looks noticably better.

  • acey_zero

    I don’t get what the big deal is… It seems highly unlikely that Moto would have photoshopped a fake result when there are plenty of valid ones to choose from. Seems much more likely that apple changed their results after this particular address was pointed out publicly. And why wouldn’t they? It would be silly not to.

    And saying 315 e 15th st is not a valid address is a moot point as even apple now agrees that this is where it would be located.

  • metalron

    It’s nothing new, every company does this. I remember how Apple went on stage with competitor phones during the “death grip” spectacle. They used phones from manufacturers who never even poked fun at the issue. Either way, someone ought to shun light into their marketing spins.

  • Baconator

    This is an AD! Motorola is going to try to make themselves look better. That is the point of an ad. Who really cares if its misleading its not physically damaging anyone and if it is causing distress to anyone they need to go to a doctor.

  • JulianZHuang

    iFan: dont give a s***
    AFan: care every single s***

  • TalkingMoose

    iFanatics need to chill. The Moto ad isn’t nearly as bad as Apple’s own headphone ad. The ad points out that ear’s aren’t round, so who would make a round earbud? Um, maybe YOU, Apple, for the last…15-20 years?

  • Rolf

    Maybe Apple fixed the address quickly manually after the ad was out to prove Motorola wrong??? Since it is a cloud service this would be possible.

  • mavericksun

    Bottom line is apple sucks. ifreaks can try to justify it all anyway they want but it still doesn’t change the fact that apple sucks. I really don’t care what ifreaks think. It does make for good entertainment to see how ifreaks try to justify apple’s screw-ups.

  • storm14k

    There was nothing misleading about this ad. For starters iFans pointed out that if you put New York instead of Manhattan you get the same thing. Others have pointed out that just about every other mapping service finds the exact same point using Manhattan. Only Apple’s doesn’t or didn’t as it appears they have now added the “fake” address to their database. So the address cannot both be real and fake at the same time. So what’s shady about using an address that every mapping service can find but Apple? Oh and Moto responded to BGRs article pointing out that other mapping services find it just fine.

    Second it seems like people don’t understand how the world around them works. There are street addresses in place before some streets are even built. These things are planned years in advance and triggered by population growth. A park being there now doest mean this isn’t 315.

    And finally suppose someone sends you a fat fingered address. Wouldn’t you want the map to take you as close as possible instead of some totally wrong place as the Apple map originally did?

    • NexusMan

      Also, Moto is likely to not want to use an address of an existing business or house….giving them free and excessive exposure.

    • Spongehead

      “So the address cannot both be real and fake at the same time.”
      Assuming, of course, that some guy named Schrödinger doesn’t live there…with his cat.


    I don’t really get the ad, if the address was fake how could EITHER app get the address right ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/honkj Honk Jhonk

      because no matter what, Google has learned to return a result, because they sell more ads that way… so while apple left off 100’s of cities in Canada, Google will return 100’s more that are not even in Canada…. some 1000’s of miles away.

      this is google compared to Apple, google doesn’t care about accuracy, because ads still sell, Apple cares that the address is exact, or it won’t return a result, and yes, Apple maps does not have many cities, or address in yet. so no result.

  • Michael Quinlan

    There’s no shortage of problems in Apple maps, why stoop to making something up?

  • Guest

    They probably chose to use a fake address so they don’t give out and advertise someone’s real address. Kind of like not using a real phone number in tv and commercials.

  • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

    Ads are ads…they aren’t a place to get information. Every iPhone ad says that its the latest and greatest thing at the peak of innovation and we all know that isn’t true.

  • Carl Rood

    The Mac/PC ads were a perfect example of Apple doing the exact same thing. That douchy Mac kid’s lucky he was in Galaxy Quest or I’d really want to hit him in the face.

  • No_Nickname90

    They can’t blame Google. Google specifically said that they will not control or influence what Motorola would do and that they will be their own company. They just keep trying to tackle at Google.

  • No_Nickname90

    Wait!! So Manhattan is also New York City!? [Manhattan, New York is also New York City, New York]. I thought those were 2 completely different cities.

    Sorry… I’m from the South and you just confused me.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743818678 Marvin Nakajima

      I always thought Manhatten was an island subset of NY connected to the rest of NY via various bridges.

  • dlcpa

    Speaking of lies and liars, why is there an ad for Mitt Romney above. Talk about one nasty pathological liar. Whatever that ad agency did, can’t hold a candle to the lies Romney and the Republicans have been telling for decades. It is appropriate to be on this page more than any other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/honkj Honk Jhonk

    seriously, you ask if you’ve ever seen an ad that is 100% truthful? and you are comparing that to showing an address THAT DOESN’T EXIST…. as proof an app doesn’t work?

    one could take someone to court for liable for that one… not the other “ads that are not truthful”….

    and by the way, Motorola is OWNED BY GOOGLE…. this ad is from Google….

    here is the type of company you are dealing with with Google…


    read the whole thing, incase you think it was some rogue google employee or employees.