The Weakest Apology in Tech History?
With the release of the latest version of Apple IOS, Apple has replaced the Google maps based app with their own, home grown Apple map. The results have been very disappointing, as The Verge reports:
The problems are particularly bad outside of the US. Map detail might be lacking in some American cities, but London, Beijing, and Tokyo are virtually blank, and several major landmarks are labeled inaccurately or wildly misplaced.
Even Apple's highly-touted 3D "flyover" feature is somewhat broken: it frequently displays comically distorted images that look like major landmarks and structures have been destroyed. The Statue of Liberty? Gone. The Brooklyn Bridge? Obliterated. Twitter users quickly started collected examples using the hashtag #ios6apocalypse, and a Tumblr called The Amazing iOS 6 Maps quickly filled up with examples of bad data.
Apple removed Google maps at the last minute, apparently because of Google's insistence that Apple include Google's turn by turn directions, according to SFGate, which also points out YouTube is missing from IOS 6.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook did issue an apology, the full text of which can be found on the Apple Web site.To summarize the apology; Cook is terribly sorry that the Apple map is so bad, but if customers will just keep using it, they can fix it themselves! Cook offers the customer two options: install a different map product, or keep using the sub-standard one Apple has released, and as you find problems you will be improving Apple maps.
Apparently the third choice of rolling back the admittedly sub-standard software and replacing it with Google maps wasn't an option Cook considered.
The ability to add location information to a customer's digital dossier will clearly become more valuable over the course of the next few years. I can only imagine that Apple understands that giving this valuable data away to Google is a bad long-term strategy. What Apple doesn't seem to grasp is that customer's are trading personal information for convenience and ease of use. If you remove an excellent mapping product and replace it with a sub-standard one, the economic transaction (trading privacy for convenience) doesn't make sense any longer.