#iLost Apple Maps vs Google Maps ad faked by Motorola, new report reveals

by: Chris SmithSeptember 27, 2012

A few days ago we showed you a new ad that’s making fun of Apple, the iPhone 5, and the new Apple Maps in particular. The ad came from Google’s Motorola encouraging users to pick the Droid RAZR M instead of the new iPhone 5, as the latter, dubbed #iLost in the ad, would not be able to show you the “real world.”

The ad, which was posted also on Motorola’s Google+ page, had the following status:

Looking for 315 E 15th in Manhattan? Google Maps on Droid RAZR M will get you there & not #iLost in Brooklyn.

In addition to the text, Motorola used the comparison picture between Apple Maps on the new iPhone and Google Maps on the new RAZR that we have already showed you. The RAZR displayed the correct address while the iPhone showed a “315 Marlborough Rd.” instead.

There’s certainly nothing wrong there, especially given the circumstances, as this wouldn’t be the first commercial in which one company is saying its product is better than the competition. As for the circumstances, Google Maps is better than Apple Maps at this point in time, and we’ve seen so far countless proofs that Apple Maps is not yet a complete product. Google has been improving its mapping and navigation app for years, while Apple has just begun to deploy its own similar solution, so it’s clear who the winner between the two would be, at least for the time being.

So why are we talking again about an ad and Google+ update that went viral a week ago? Because it looks like Google/Motorola messed up and faked the whole thing, according to a new report.

CNET and AppleInsider have revealed that there’s actually no 315 E. 15th Street in Manhattan. In fact, that address points to a park. In the past, there was a 315 E. 15th Street in New York City, but that street was renamed Marlborough Road more than one hundred years ago, in 1905. Furthermore, typing “318 E. 15th St., NY” (same street) would get you to the right address. CNET writes:

What’s ironic, then, is that in suggesting that Apple Maps is unable to find a simple address in Manhattan, Motorola might well have actually be highlighting two contradictory points. First, that Apple’s Maps actually does the right thing when you ask it to find 315 E. 15th St. in New York, and second, that Google’s own maps service takes you to an invalid address when you enter those coordinates.

Whether or not Motorola’s anti-Apple Maps attack contains deliberate misdirection, as it were, people seem to have noticed problems with the ad. As the top comment on Motorola’s Google+ post put it today, “So Google is now in the BS business? I guess if your product doesn’t speak loudly enough for itself, you could always lie about your competitor’s product.”

Once people realized that Apple Maps is not the complete product users thought it would be, the web was filled with error reports, funny pictures and Apple Maps memes. They’re all hilarious and Apple shouldn’t be surprised to see the competition milking the whole thing for as long as it lasts.

So with all these errors that are probably easy to replicate, why did Google/Motorola have to fake it? Was it that difficult to prove that Apple Maps is not as good as Google Maps?

This is the second ad from an Android device maker that could backfire – following the Galaxy S3 Facebook status update that promoted the iPhone – so maybe next time these marketing departments will make sure they do it right.

  • ari_free


    Bing gives same result as Google. Just as you’d expect, it’s between 313 E 15th Street and 317 E 15th Street.
    318 is on the other side of the street because it is an even number.

  • JensAstrup

    That huge screenshot has a pin on my old address…..weird.

  • ari_free
  • JLishere

    `Faked` is the wrong word. Wisely chosen, I can agree with. The fact remains, “315 E 15th Street” returns the same Manhattan location (lat/long coordinates) on Google Maps, Bing Maps, Nokia/Navteq, Mapquest and OpenStreetMaps. Apple Maps still takes you to Brooklyn.

  • What’s fake? 315 E 15th St NY while not containing a physical structure, is still a valid address in Manhattan. Like JLishere says, Bing, Yahoo, Nokia, OpenStreetMaps, Mapquest all report back a valid address. USPS doesn’t because it doesn’t contain a structure. Apple getting all confused and picking a random 315 numbered street from Brooklyn is another example of how screwed up it is. AppleInsider saying Apple is so amazing it picked up a 100yr old address change is not going to help the tourist when he seeks for directions to the nice park at 315 E 15St NY and ends in nowhereville in Brooklyn. The address ACTUALLY EXISTS, how is that faking?

  • ari_free

    Official NYC site confirms Google

  • martin henderson

    What I can’t figure out is why so many “Android” sites are actually attacking Android. Apple plays dirty and nobody cares. Eh, one less site to keep up with.

  • HellG

    Chris Smith, after checking many of your posts… you sure you dont work with Apple?

    • mohdamr1

      I was wondering the same thing ! He always chooses to bash android and love apple.

  • ari_free

    “In the past, there was a 315 E. 15th Street in New York City, but that
    street was renamed Marlborough Road more than one hundred years ago, in

    and who gives a sh,,? You will not find E. 15th St if you go to Brooklyn.

  • It’s an Ad. In every Ad or commercial there will always be some lie. And Apple maps is screwed up because it need more work, Apple was just to quick to release it. Just a reminder for the Android extremist I’m a android fan my self .

  • Jay

    Hi, Smith please change the name of this site to AppleAuthorithy instead of AnrdoidAuthority . Who knows, even you will get sued by apple if you do so :)
    You are very much biased towards apple.

  • Julia

    So Chris Smith is trying to get a desk at Apple…

  • CaptainMcCurry

    Its funny that Google, Bing and Mapquest can all take you to 315 E 15St, but not apple.

  • red

    they may have used that address to avoid lawsuits for the ad but the point is still made. happens everyday