Images like the one are the latest buzz at Apple this week. Customers complained that the new map software on the latest iOS 6 was not performing up to standards. Satellite images (like the one pictured here) were looking strange and locations were showing up inaccurately.
CEO, Tim Cook, immediately issued an apology in regards to this issue, something very unusual of Apple to do. Google, who holds the Android smartphone market, saw this as an immediate opportunity to intervene. Google explained to Apple customers that they could use Google Maps through their web browser.
The intervention from Google comes after a long love-hate relationship between Google and Apple. Originally, Google Maps was installed on the first iPhone. Apple dropped the competitor recently in order to pursue their own breakthrough invention of maps software.
However, as it turns out, this investment fell a little short. It seems that while Apple was hoping for a breakthrough improvement in their maps software, they did not get what they bargained for. Apple worked with experts in map navigation to help with the Apple version of maps. One of Google’s chairmen stated that Apple would have been better of retaining the original Google Maps.
This issue reminds me a little of the class activity of the story of William Sowden Sims. In the story, Sims, a young naval artillery officer, tries to write letters to his superior officers, telling them that he knows how to improve firing accuracy in the United States Navy. However, all of the letters are rejected again and again because the navigators, the most important in the Navy, believed that they knew everything about firing accuracy. It seems that Apple could learn some things from the story of Sims. Apple decided to step away from Google Maps because they believed that they knew how to do things the best way. Ultimately, this carried them away from something very simple such as testing the product out enough before users got it.
In the meantime, Apple stated that customers could use alternative map sources (Google was even mentioned, but only at the very end of the list). Regardless of this mishap, Apple CEO encouraged customers to continue to use Apple’s maps, stating: “the more our customers use our Maps the better it will get.”
This current issue brings back memories of the original launch of the first iPhone, when customers complained about the price being too high. Shortly after complaints, Apple adjusted prices of the iPhone to satisfy customer’s expectations of price. It seems that Apple will try and use this tactic once more here to solve the problem, this time the focus will only be on improving the maps software.
Do you think it was okay for Apple to launch maps software to the public when they did not fully test it out before? Do you think Apple’s apology was an effective method of coping with the criticism and problem?
Source: Wall Street Journal