The rare apology from Apple regarding it’s mapping service. Earlier this month Apple launched the iOS 6 and its iPhone 5.  Apple has been promising a map service of their own since they were dropping Google native support.  Now Apple has admitted to an issue and is urging unsatisfied customers to download alternatives.  Google has a maps app that’s works on the iPhone a long with many other apps for the iPhone (YouTube, Google+, Chrome just to name a few).

The new turn-by-turn navigation system is based a Dutch navigation equipment and digital mapmaker TomTom NV’s’s data.  The complaint is the new Apple Maps:

  • Contain geographical errors
  • Gaps in information
  • Lack of features (features that made Google Maps so popular)
  • Missing information like public transit directions, comprehensive traffic data and street view pictures.

Cook said in a letter to customers released on Apple’s website (the entire letter can be found here http://www.apple.com/letter-from-tim-cook-on-maps/)

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,”

“we fell short on this commitment.”

“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.”

This is very uncharacteristic of Apple to suggest rival services available in Apple’s App store, while the company improves the product.  Apple is typically loathe to tout rival services and the apology by Cook is an indication of how Apple is changing under the chief executive who took over last year from co-founder Steve Jobs just before his death.

I think this is a true sign of how Apple is changing I think this was better PR then the way the iPhone 4 antenna issue was handled.  As time goes on we will see how this progress.  A lot of great products and apps have a rough start on the first release.  We will have to wait and see what Apple does to improve their product.