The Munich-based company has been using card apps much less frequently since mid-March, according to figures from Apple mobile devices. In the graphics, the curves in Milan and London plunge even more dramatically.

The pandemic is keeping Munich from the streets. They run and drive through the city less than half as often as in January. This comes from data released by Apple on Tuesday evening. They are based on the number of requests made by users to “Apple Maps”, the group’s map app.


Accordingly, the number of requests for directions for pedestrians and drivers in Munich has declined by more than half since mid-March.

The SZ graphic shows how the number of searches crashed on March 13 for the first time. A day earlier, Chancellor Angela Merkel called on citizens to avoid contact with one another as much as possible.

The low point reached on March 21: a decrease of more than 80 percent compared to January 13 among pedestrians. For motorists, the drop that day was almost 79 percent. A day earlier, on March 20, Prime Minister Markus Söder announced the exit restrictions for Bavaria. The Munich team did not remain so reserved after the first shock for long. The values ​​have increased again in the past few days, which may have been due to the good weather. Apple said the company did not want to interpret the data. They are intended for municipalities and health authorities.


The company aggregated requests to its card service for dozens of cities, countries, and regions over the period from January to April 13. The data reflect rough trends. Their informative value is limited by the fact that only users of iPhones and Apple Watches were recorded. Apple users are wealthier on average, so the data is not representative of the general population. In addition, many iPhone users prefer to use the Google Maps app, so their data is missing from Apple’s statistics. The company states that the data was evaluated without identifying individual users.

It is striking how the curves differ from country to country. Across Germany, requests for Apple dropped 46 percent compared to January 13. In contrast, in Italy it was almost 80 percent.

In Munich, the slump is much weaker than in Milan, after all, life in Italy has been significantly more restricted. In Milan, inquiries for pedestrians decreased by 89 percent, those for drivers by 85 percent. In London, the decrease compared to mid-January was 65 percent (for pedestrians) and 57 percent (for drivers).


It is striking that the curve in Munich and the British capital only drops on March 13, three weeks later than in Milan. The responsible parties of the federal states issued their rules for public life at a clear distance from one another.

Without the corona pandemic, the numbers would have increased significantly from January to April, as more people are traveling outside at the end of winter. Accordingly, a slight increase can still be seen in the data between January 23 and the beginning of the crisis. The virus-related decline in mobility is likely to be even stronger than the numbers suggest.

Apple also collects requests for public transportation for some locations, but for cities like Munich, this data is missing.


Google also published mobility data a week ago, for which the company evaluated information about the locations of people using Android smartphones. They spent two thirds less time in shops in Bavaria than in January and February and almost 40 percent less in the workplace. To do this, they stayed ten percent longer in places that Google recorded as residential buildings. In contrast to Apple, Google did not break down the data down to the city level.

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