Tim Cook today posted an open letter to customers on Apple’s website regarding Apple’s new Maps app:

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.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

MacDailyNews Take: Over and above – and bordering on unnecessary.

One thing we would like to know is: Who’s responsible for opening Apple up to this overblown shitstorm and why are they still working for Apple Inc., if they still are?

(Yes, we know we’ll likely never get those two answers.)

No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population. This open letter from Cook only helps cement the idea that Maps is a “failure.” The fool(s) responsible for preparing Maps for release and then releasing it with obvious issues (overblown as they are) and therefore tainting Maps forever should face severe consequences. As in: Pink slip(s). If you don’t get fired over this debacle, what exactly does get you fired at Tim Cook’s Apple?

Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip.

We have our suspicions that Tim Cook cannot recognize good marketing from bad. Or the import of the customer’s Apple Retail experience to Apple Inc.’s bottom line. Now, after this Maps face-plant, we’re wondering if he has another blind spot for software. The multi-talented Steve Jobs was supposed to have been replaced, as best as possible, by a team of people. Some of these team members are obviously not performing up to anything near a Jobsian level.

It’s nice to say you strive to make “world-class products” for customers, Tim, it’s better to actually deliver them.

Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labelled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred.

Steve’s attention to detail may very well be irreplaceable.

All that said, you can help Apple improve iOS 6 Maps:

1. Launch Maps from the Home screen
2. Tap the page curl at the bottom right
3. Tap Report a Problem (above the Print button)
4. Tap the type of problem you want to report:
– Search results are incorrect
– Street or other label is incorrect
– Location is missing
– Problem with directions
– Problem with satellite image
– My problem isn’t listed
5. Choose the search result, street label, etc. that’s giving you the problem
6. Add any comments, if desired, and tap send