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Apple's Upgraded Maps App to Be Added in Next iOS 12 Beta

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Apple (AAPL - Free Report) recently announced that its existing mapping application for iPhones is undergoing a makeover with the company’s own data. The data will be accumulated by the company’s fleet of sensor-equipped vans and data that iPhone users choose to share.

Notably, the application was launched in 2012 and faced criticism from users, following which several upgrades were made. In the initial versions, the map had missing buildings, incorrect information about bridges and other constructions. In 2016, the company, in accordance with feedback from users, released another upgraded version of the same.

The latest version of the map application is expected to have accurate data regarding the bends in roads, a detailed view of the pedestrian paths and other constructions. This version will be initially available on iOS 12 public beta.

The map will first cover San Francisco, followed by Northern California and the rest of the United States. All versions of iOS will be updated with the application but the timeline is not decided yet.

Combating Competition

This recent initiative is anticipated to be Apple’s move to build its ground against Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) division Google’s dominance in the navigation industry.,.

If the Maps application makes an impactful comeback and scoops up a higher market share, it will in turn be beneficial for the company’s financials. It will also boost investors’ confidence in the stock, which has underperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.

Notably, Apple stock has returned 10.6% year to date compared with the industry’s growth of 11% during the same time frame.

Other Initiatives

The release of the company’s iOS 12 beta and the rumoured price cut of the iPhone X to $900 from $1000 are in the news. We believe that the expected lower price of the iPhone X model will drive the number of units sold.

Additionally, Apple and Samsung have also agreed to end the patent infringement lawsuits against each other pertaining to smartphone technology. This is also expected to be a positive for the company’s operating expenses.

Additionally, impressive Services business, strong demand for Apple Watch and foray into the AR/VR & AI technologies are expected to be key growth drivers for the company.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Apple currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) and Micron Technology (MU - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The long-term earnings growth rate for NVIDIA and Micron is projected to be 10.3% and 8.2%, respectively.

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