“Apple Inc’s Eddy Cue, who took charge of map software last month, is racing to turn around the troubled service, firing a senior manager and urging partners to improve data amid an escalating rivalry with Google Inc.,” Adam Satariano reports for Bloomberg. “Cue, 48, senior vice president overseeing Apple’s online services, pushed out maps supervisor Richard Williamson in a management shakeup soon after taking over the program, said people familiar with the situation, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.”

“Apple is under pressure to remedy mapping software widely faulted for unreliable landmark searches, routes that get users lost and a lack of public-transit directions. Building confidence in the tools is crucial as Google prepares its own downloadable mapping application for the iPhone and iPad, threatening to lure users and ad dollars away from Apple,” Satariano reports. “‘Maps are a mission-critical application, and consumers have to trust that what they are seeing is correct,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research. ‘Apple will have to work really hard to re-earn that trust.’”

MacDailyNews Take: There’s an understatement. Nowadays, especially, perception is everything:

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… 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)… 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.MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012

Cue is faced with a nearly impossible rehab mission. Good luck, Eddy! (You’re gonna need it.)

Satariano reports, “While flaws in Apple’s map program haven’t dented sales of the iPhone 5, which was introduced in September, the shortcomings were an unusual public misfire that forced Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to apologize to customers. The bungled introduction of the new mapping features also contributed to the ouster of mobile-software chief Scott Forstall, whose departure was announced in October.”

“Cue, who started his career at Apple in the company’s internal information-technology department, became a close confidant of [late Apple co-founder Steve] Jobs,” Satariano reports. “As head of iTunes, he spearheaded many of the negotiations with music, television and movie companies. He’s also leading the company’s effort to add more video content for a potential new television product, people familiar with the internal deliberations said earlier this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple to Maps manager Williamson: Get lost – November 27, 2012
Days after Tim Cook’s apology, Apple’s Maps shows improvements – October 12, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012