When an Apple CEO writes a letter to users, be it about the original iPhone’s price drop, “thoughts on [Adobe] Flash”, or a generic “letter from Apple” regarding the “mistake” around the signal strength bars on the iPhone, it’s generally a rare event – once a year, if that.
It obviously shows that not even Apple is perfect, and that it can be humble enough to apologise when something goes wrong, and that's never a bad thing - especially if an apology of some kind is an action Apple needs to take.
In 2012, Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, has taken the surprising yet clearly necessary step of writing a letter to customers apologising for Apple Maps, explaining what Apple is doing about the situation and even going as far as recommending various map apps – and even Google’s mobile Maps site which can be installed as a “web app” icon on the iPhone’s home screen.
Alongside the Google Maps recommendation, Mr Cook even suggests using Nokia’s maps, those from Bing, MapQuest or Wave, and with all these recommendations for the products of others (some of whom make iPhone competitors), it’s certainly a fascinating situation, one which underscores the seriousness with which Apple is taking the obvious and loud criticism, while presumably working as hard as possible, as is claimed below, on improving Apple Maps as quickly as possible.
“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.”