Apple Maps PR Nightmare

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.


3 thoughts on “Apple Maps PR Nightmare”

  1. I believe you made great points regarding this issues. With a situation like this you cannot help but ask… What are you doing Apple? I think you make a really great point of what many Apple consumers are thinking. Apple, what were your motives? As you said Apple is known as one of the greatest and most savvy communities, which is why a failing product is frankly annoying frustrating for it’s users.

    Apple did come out with a letter to its users from its CEO Tim Cook. This was posted on their website. Although, I think it was a big deal to respond externally since they tend to be known as a company to remain silent, there response seemed, well…empty to say the least. Honestly, I wanted answers from Apple and I unfortunately did not get that. Although I am 99.9% this glitch will in no way affect the success of the company, I am interested to see what methods they use to fix this.

  2. This is definitely an issue, but Apple has had issues before. I’ve also learned in my last semester here at NYU that corporations have basically killed people, and we are still buying their products today. As an aside: in 1996 an outbreak of E. coli in Odwalla killed a 16-month old child in Denver, Colorado. Odwalla was bought by Coca-Cola in 2001 for $181 million; I drank one today. So my point is this won’t kill Apple. I don’t know what will. I don’t mean to say Apple is almighty – I just can’t currently imagine what would be their true downfall. I should probably mention that I used to work at the Apple Store in Soho back in 2006. My first computer was also the Macintosh from 1984. So maybe I’m the wrong person to ask… Or maybe I’m the right person to one day do their PR, wink wink nudge nudge. Well, back to the point, I don’t think this will kill Apple. I don’t think many people do. Tim Cook handled it the best way he could. The app will also get better as it is used, so they say. In the meantime, uh – ya know we could… get around like people did for the first several thousand years of so of life. Lol.

  3. Apple’s branding strategy is one that all companies emulate as being the best and having a top notch reputation. They always have a tactical strategy to get their customers excited and make them the biggest fans of Apple products. I recently blogged about this and their tactics in introducing IOS6 to the public. It was a long awaited hype and just as they would at a concert, fans (customers) of Apple waited for hours lining up outside of stores for the big release day. Highlights of the new operating system were clearly outlined and it was a big thing to update your iphone. But, then the disaster happened, the maps which were one of the main highlights, failed. I think people were in such an up rise 1 because it is a big application that people use everyday for a realistic purpose and 2 because they expected so much more from every one’s beloved company.

    I have no doubt that the customers will stay true to their company and Apple will fix the issue. As you said Apple is listening to feedback which is an important step for a company to take and give their customers what they want. Because Apple has such a good reputation and such a loyal fan base fixing this issue will take time and strategy but they will overcome this obstacle and move forward, we are all eagerly awaiting news of their plans.

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