Apple Apologizes for Maps. Incredible.

28 Sep

Apparently, Apple isn’t completely deaf to the chorus of boos over its new Maps application. This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a formal apology letter to customers for the disappointing performance of the company’s iOS Maps app, the replacement for the highly-functional-yet-made-by-the-enemy Google Maps. PR done right, I say. See what you think:

Letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizing for Apple Maps app.

I’m impressed with Cook’s candor and the fact that this letter even exists at all. As the letter itself notes, world-class products are the company’s focus – not recommending the competition (!!!). I’m not an Apple fanboy, but given the company’s monolithic, top-down communication style, secrecy of product development, and oft-stated focus on being the best, this is truly remarkable, even becoming a trending topic on Twitter.

Maybe the company has learned its lessons from the iPhone 4 antennagate debacle and China manufacturing coverage? As the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones noted earlier this year, “Perhaps a subtle shift in Apple’s PR strategy under its new leader is already under way.” Now it seems there’s more evidence of this being the case.

Let’s hope they’re as swift to actually improve the Maps app. Given this sensible PR move and the other obvious improvements of the iPhone5 and iOS6, I’m optimistic.

What do you think? Was Apple right to recommend the competition and come clean? Or is it too little too late? Have you used the new Maps app successfully, or has it left you directionally baffled? Let us hear from you in the comments.

2 Responses to “Apple Apologizes for Maps. Incredible.”

  1. sremy September 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    After upgrading to iOS6 and using iMaps, it took me less than 30s to create a shortcut to Gmaps.

    With regards to this letter, for some reason, this reminds me of J. Ive saying that Apple isn’t interested in money, just in creating great products.
    I believe iPhone5 is how far Apple can stretch their current product/sales strategy.
    Next thing has to be genuinely the next big thing, otherwise the aura will fade…

    • rsmithing September 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      Thanks for commenting, Sremy. I agree that the current setup is about as far as things can evolve in their current state. There’s always thinner, faster and more intuitive… but as far as configuration, what was groundbreaking in 2007 is the overall standard these days – which makes me look forward even more so to what’s next.

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