Man, poor Tim Cook. Sure, he’s worth somewhere around the $59 million mark and runs possibly the most powerful consumer technology company in the world, but to the public, he’s a little like the Kim Jong-un to Steve Jobs’ Kim Jong-il, isn’t he?
The latest proof of this came this morning, when, in a statement posted to Apple’s homepage, the CEO straight-up apologized for how garbage the Maps app is in the new iOS 6, which was released earlier this month without the aid of Google’s mapping data. That data has informed every previous Apple mobile device, but the Google-Apple relationship was poisoned with the introduction of this new iOS 6/iPhone 5 release reportedly because Google didn’t want to hand over voice-command navigation, its major Android advantage over Apple and its iPhone.
In the statement, which is pasted below in its entirety, Cook waffles around about why the app is so utterly crap, explaining that they tried (and failed) to make it cooler than it has ever been before. He admits they seriously screwed up, and then hilariously suggests that the 100 million device holders who downloaded iOS 6 and then screamed in horror when they tried to navigate anywhere on public transportation try another app in the meantime, “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.” (Hilariously, because suggesting Bing first is throwing seriously catty shade at Google for screwing up the good thing they had going with previous iOSes, because when was the last time you used MapQuest, and because WTF even is Waze? Don’t even get me started on suggesting a Nokia thing to a bunch of angry, pitchfork-wielding iPhone users.)
Predictably, lots of people are airing out their opinions right now as to whether or not the same “whoopsie daisy”-type apology would’ve been issued had Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs been around for the gaffe. The better money would be put on “of course it would have,” considering Jobs did apologize back in 2007 for cutting the price of the first-gen iPhone by a third, a mere two months after its release, and the company as a whole admitted an oops again in 2010 when pre-orders on the iPhone 4 went haywire. A better question to ask, perhaps, would be whether Apple’s Maps app would’ve been released in such shitty shape in the first place if Jobs were still alive (his three-decade record of terrifyingly extreme perfectionism would suggest “hell no”) — or better yet, how the company might look over the next few years as more and more attention is directed at the horrific work and living conditions maintained at Foxconn Technology, Apple’s major manufacturing partner plant in Tai Yuan, China.
Regardless, it would seem that the apology is doing what it was intended to do: after the company’s stock hemorrhage over the past few days (read: while people were slowly discovering how truly shitty the new Maps app truly is), its plunge was staunched somewhat today, presumably in part thanks to the admittance (and presumably when stockholders realized they could just bookmark Google Maps on their home screens).
The full text:
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.