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Oops! Anti-Apple Maps ad reveals Google Maps' own failing

In an ad on Google+, Google's Motorola Mobility pointed out that Apple Maps couldn't even find a simple address in Manhattan. The only problem is that that particular address doesn't exist.

An ad for Motorola Mobility's Droid Razr M seems to offer a misleading attack on Apple's Maps service.
Screenshot by CNET

Everyone knows that Apple is dealing with a firestorm of criticism over problems with its new iOS 6 Maps feature, but a new ad for Google-owned Motorola Mobility's Droid Razr may have crossed the line.

The ad, which appeared on September 21 on Motorola's Google+ site, shows a Razr alongside an iPhone 5, and reads, "Looking for 315 E 15th in Manhattan? Google Maps on Droid Razr M will get you there & not #iLost in Brooklyn."

The post shows the Razr displaying the proper address in the middle of a grid of Manhattan streets, while the iPhone seems to be showing a completely befuddling address: 315 Marlborough Rd.

But as Apple Insider points out, there's no such address as 315 E. 15th Street in Manhattan. Instead, there's a park -- Stuyvesant Square -- there.

The only correct interpretation of a request to map 315 E. 15th St. in New York., produced by Apple Maps, but not Google Maps. Screen shot by CNET

And it turns out that the only potentially legitimate 315 E. 15th St. in New York City might very well be on Marlborough Road since, as John Hill from Brooklyn's Borough Hall told CNET, several blocks of East 15th Street -- including the 300 block -- were renamed Marlborough Road in 1905.

As a result, Apple Insider's contention is that Motorola may have been deliberately misleading in suggesting that Apple Maps couldn't locate an address in the middle of New York City.

After all, if you type "318 E. 15th St., NY" into Apple Maps, you get taken to an address on Manhattan's East 15th St..

Apple Maps properly shows 318 E. 15th St., NY. Screenshot by CNET

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

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 been 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."

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