In a move that is definitely a complete 180 from how former Apple CEO Steve Jobs would have handled it, current Apple CEO Tim has just issued a “real and honest” apology for Apple’s new Maps app on iOS 6. Cook openly admitted that app has failed to meet the level of quality that customers have come to expect from Apple. What’s more, is that Cook even suggested that while the team at Apple continues to work hard on improving their in-house map app, customers should try alternative map apps from other companies like Waze, Mapquest, and even their competitor Microsoft and their Bing” app. Cook even mentions Google and Nokia by name, saying you can even use their web alternatives, which you can then save to your home screen as an icon for later use.
This is diffidently not a typical Apple move and probably would have never happened if Jobs were still in charge (someone would have been fired, if not the whole team). That being said, some could take Cook’s apology one of two ways, 1.) Cook is being more open with customers, while admitting fault, he also promises to fix the problem. This could make customers feel like Apple really cares and is going to address this issue, instead of ignoring it. or 2.) This could be taken as a sign of weakness. This is a major issue and without Jobs’s “Reality Distortion Field” to protect them, Apple has just conceded to a mistake that may come back to bite them in the ass. Even with “Antennagate,” Jobs who said “we aren’t perfect” also blamed cellphones for being imperfect, he said it happens to all phones, and managed to push the blame and the issue to the side, which for the most part, worked! This time however, the blame falls squarely on Apple’s shoulders, there is no scape goat to take the wrap. Apple has two options, suck it up and fix Maps and deliver what they ultimately promised customers, or tuck their tails and let Google Maps back on their platform, the latter of which I don’t see happening, at least
Personally, after reading Cook’s open letter (below), I find myself appreciating the fact that he has been open and actually admits that while Maps isn’t perfect, they are dedicated to fixing the problem and will strive to improve its service. As long as Cook follows through with this promise, he may have scored some serious brownie points with not only the tech press, but with customers too.
To our customers,
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.
There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.
While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.