Since the launch of iOS6, which includes Apple’s new Map function, the company has been hit by extremely negative sentiment from its users. When Apple launched the new iPhone 5 and iOS6 it replaced the native Google Maps app with Apple Maps. The new app has garnered criticism because of numerous technical glitches and its inability to perform at the level of Google Maps.
Reactions have been so severe that Tim Cook responded with an official apology, which was a necessary move on Apple’s part. Those three words, “I am sorry,” are rather difficult for a CEO to utter. It was entirely appropriate that such an apology came from Tim Cook, given his position in the company. According to the letter Apple is now turning its full attention to fixing Maps. This has been one of Apple’s most significant failures in years and is a PR nightmare.
Apple has been working on their Maps for quite some time, why release a product that has fallen short of high expectations related to Apple products? Why would Apple try and reinvent the wheel, when Google has perfected the maps domain? The move to cut out Google from the new operating system relates to Apple’s attempt to dominate the smartphone industry, to ensure Androids are a thing of the past.
With the web 2.0 community users have been able to vent through social media, blogs and other online outlets. Disgruntled users can even post their map frustrations to a site called “The Amazing iOS6 Maps,” which documents failed attempts to use the app. The online sharing and growth of conversations has made the Maps’ faults more visible, allows Apple to understand user sentiment, and engage in a two-way conversation with customers. Apple is listening to what users are saying and is working to fix the problem.
Apple is the most valuable corporation in the world and is one of the most iconic brands today. The company has built an empire based on innovation, simplicity in design and use, and the vision of Steve Jobs. Will Apple be able to tackle the big challenge ahead, to fix the issues that plague its Map app? Will they listen to user sentiment and revert back to Google Maps? The ball is in Apple’s court, as users await what will happen next.