> But the other social networking sites were NOT competitors UNTIL Google got into the Social Networking space.
Knowing who you communicate with, what about, and how often, is very much in line with Google's business interest if you remember that they are first and foremost an advertising company.
As for Apple maps... it's a shame. My personal take on maps is that the Apple version is much nicer. The presentation is cleaner (especially during navigation, also Google's vector drawing is horrible for roads that meet at acute angles), it's more intuitive (especially the two finger swipe to change perspective, which is backwards on Google's app), it has more features (which may change quickly), etc...
Google, of course, still wins on one the primary function, which is the data set. That said, Apple's data set has been good enough for my needs and it has not yet let me down when navigating.