Not a single person said Maps debacle stopped them from buying an iPhone 5, according to a new study

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Apple Maps may have been worth the PR nightmare after all
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Apple Maps may have been worth the PR nightmare after all

Apple (AAPL) has never distorted reality quite as successfully as it has in the iOS 6 Maps application that replaced the beloved Google (GOOG) Maps app, but according to a recent study, the company’s awful mapping solution has had no impact whatsoever on iPhone 5 demand. The new Maps app is so bad that Apple CEO Tim Cook felt the need to apologize for it publicly, however according market research firm ChangeWave, Cook probably could have stayed quiet on the matter.

As part of a recent survey, ChangeWave polled nearly 4,300 primarily North American consumers in order to gauge both iPhone 5 and Windows Phone 8 demand. Regarding the former, the firm found iPhone 5 demand among prospective smartphone buyers to be far greater than it was for Apple’s previous-generation handset, the iPhone 4S.

19% of respondents claimed to be “very likely” to buy the iPhone 5 and 13% said they were “somewhat likely.” By comparison, 10% of those polled in a similar survey last year were “very likely” to buy the iPhone 4S and 11.5% were “somewhat likely.” The iPhone 4S, as we all know, went on to become the fastest-selling smartphone in history until it was dethroned last month by the iPhone 5.

Regarding Maps, ChangeWave states that the impact on iPhone 5 demand is negligible. In fact, according to the firm’s survey, 90% of iOS 6 users polled said they had never experienced any problems at all with Apple’s Maps app. 1% said they had experienced minor issues with the app, 6% said it was “somewhat” of a problem and just 3% called Maps a “very big problem.”

“In comparison to the iPhone 4 Antenna/Reception issue, the current Apple Maps issue is of marginal concern to iPhone 5/iOS 6 users,” the firm wrote in a report on its findings. “Simply put, Apple Maps is not considered a problem by the overwhelming majority of users.”

When ChangeWave asked respondents who were unlikely to buy the iPhone 5 for the reasoning behind their decision, not a single consumer cited Maps as a cause. The majority — 61% — said they simply had no need for a new device because their current cell phones were sufficient.

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