Apple CEO Tim Cook hits ‘grand slam’ with Maps apology

“There is no company on Earth that knows how to spin a negative story into good positive vibes better than Apple (AAPL), and the company did it again on Friday,” Chris Ciaccia writes for TheStreet. “Apple CEO Tim Cook released a letter on the company’s Web site, apologizing for the poor mapping application the company released as part of iOS 6, its latest mobile operating system.”

“Not only does Cook pull a page out of Steve Jobs’ playbook by apologizing (Jobs apologized for the iPhone pricing debacle), but he even mentions other mapping apps, such as Google’s, Microsoft’s Bing, and even Nokia,” Ciaccia writes. “For the CEO of the most powerful tech company in the world to come out and apologize for a piece of software, then mention his competitors’ products, is a sign of humbleness and an incredibly powerful statement.”

Ciaccia writes, “An apology from Cook on this issue will go a long way in smoothing over some of the negative response from customers. Heck, it may even help sell more iPhones.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012

79 Comments

  1. Baloney. There was no reason for an apology.

    Of course the shysters of WS love it. Now they can continuously push google stock price to the stratosphere. The logic will be google is unbeatable and their esearch income stream will go unabated.

        1. Agreed. Cook’s apology was masterful. People who seek this as a weakness are mistaken. Only the arrogant refuse to believe that they are never wrong in a significant enough way to warrant an apology.

          Good show, Tim! We cannot expect perfection from Apple because it is a company staffed by fallible human beings. The best that we can hope for is that Apple strives for perfection and attempts to learn from its inevitable mistakes.

          Let he or she who embodies perfection cast the first stone.

          1. Cook joins 100’s of CEO’s who do care for their customers and who have posted public apologies. Caring for your clients is not exclusive to Apple Inc. Come on people there is life outside Apple Inc.

          2. Well said. It takes an awfully big person to come out like that and apologize. It would work wonders if other companies who make honest blunders applied too. Tim’s apology was a breath of fresh air, especially from a company as big and powerful as Apple. That’s the reason why I have gone with iPhone.

          3. Seems like you think you’re always right King. You preach “your take” on everything Apple constantly with no objectivity. You are always the “last word” on anything Apple. Everyone else is wrong King. A bit arrogant are ya King? But you do call yourself “King”! I guess that says it all.

    1. Agreed that there wasw no need for an apology. It should have said something like, “Apple Maps is a bold new mapping service. We realize that thesis a significant undertaking. As such, it will get better and better with more data contributed by you, our loyal customers.”

      1. Had they not done the maps shit an apology would be unecessary. Quit making excuses. They fucked up. No excuses please. Can you say Beta? That would have eliminated most of the negativity about an obviously flawed and stupid release. Quit making excuses and blaming everything and everybody else for Apple’s fuck up. The attention should be on the release, not on an apology. Hell, even Apple realizes they screwed up.

    2. It’s funny how some MDN readers possess more knowledge about corporate management than people who’ve been on the job, in the trenches. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, regardless of how much experience they’ve had at high level management and decision making. I’m just grateful they have no voice whatsoever in making decisions in a company that’s putting along nicely. Smart money is in it for the long term, a la S.J. Me too.

    3. Perhaps no NEED for an apology, but VERY SMART for Tim Cook to offer one for the following reasons:

      1. It lets Apple’s customers know that Apple has heard them and is acknowledging the problems;

      2. Cook can tell everyone that Apple will get it fixed, and quickly;

      3. Cook diffuses any of the mounting calls of Apple demanding to control the entire sandbox just because it wants to because Cook tells people to use other apps until Apple can deliver something better;

      4. The apology takes the charge out of the situation, and consumers and pundits alike can say, “Gee, Apple apologized for the bugs, even though they really didn’t have to”.

      5. The apology shows Apple’s customers that Apple puts customer experience above all else by promoting other map apps, and promising to get Maps improved soon.

    4. You only have to look at the crap satellite imagery for the town I live in, in North Wiltshire, UK, compared to the Google version, to see how poor the source mapping is for iOS mapping, and in the town centre there are a number of shops marked that are either in totally the wrong place, or have never existed, and a national cycle route, in existence since 2000, isn’t even shown. These are not minor flaws. Unless you are one of the metropolitan elite who couldn’t give a fuck…

  2. I liked it much better when Steve, in his signature arrogance, would say – “you’re holding it wrong” and “get a life” our stuff is the best there is and if you can’t use it right, that’s your problem. Tim Cook is a wuss.

    1. Jobs is dead. Quit living in the past. Get a life. Apple fucked up. They realize it, finally. Heads should roll. But won’t.They will improve but never catch up with Google maps. Before long (now for some) fanboys will claim Apple’s maps are really different and great. Jobs had has mistakes but rarely even admitted it. His personality. Cook is a mere mortal and understands its better to acknowledge,fix and move on. Well except for Browett. And I think Browett is a huge mistake going forward. Do not mess with the customer. Browett is still there so look for small changes that will hurt Apple. He needs to go. I think the maps issue will die down some and fanboys will settle for something from Apple maps. They had better keep Google maps for quite a while for the rest of the world. By the time the iPad mini arrives in the next few months or weeks maps will be a small thorn in Apple’s foot. The mini will remove the thorn and make everything better. I have hope that Tim Cook will do a better job going forward. I believe he is well suited for inventory control I’m hoping that he can manage the whole company better. Browett needs to go Tim. And you know, Browett might just “resign” somewhere down the road. I’m long AAPL as an investor and user and professional for many decades.

      1. GM: “[Apple] will improve but never catch up with Google maps.”

        On what basis can you reasonably make that assertion? Some claimed that Apple couldn’t make a better OS, or portable digital music player, or smartphone, or tablet, either. But they did. Not everything that Apple hits is a home run. But your lack of confidence in Apple’s ability to beat Gogle at their own game is unwarranted.

        Your overall post isn’t too bad except for your annoying use of the fanboy terminology. There are relatively few fanboys in the true (negative) sense.

  3. He sure as hell needed to apologize, i have seen my Aapl drop $40k. Sometimes a company needs to outsource skills it does not have. A half baked product is stupid for Apple. I hate comparisons but if I had my car called in for service update and they swapped out my GPS for thier new one I would take it back in anger.
    He should not only apologize every day but he should beg Google to come back. You must not own much AAPL, those who do deserve more than an apology. Maybe cover our losses with some of that $118 billion cash.

    1. Just relax. Your APL shares will go up again, and Cook is much better qualified to make long term decisions for APL than you are. Keep your mouth shut and leave the running of the world’s most successful corporation to those who know how to do it…

    2. Whoa, Joe. Your analogy is flawed. You were told by Apple way before iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 came out that a new Maps app was coming, and that it didn’t use Google’s data. You could have chosen not to upgrade.

      Cook should absolutely NOT beg Google to come back. Apple simply needs to fix the data and rendering errors in Maps.

      1. Regarding: “Cook should absolutely NOT beg Google to come back.”

        There might be some begging going on, but I don’t think Apple is doing the begging. During last weekend, Google lost 100 million maps consumers as they upgraded to iOS6. 100 million well heeled consumers at that, in just 3 days.

        1. Another way to look at this.

          Apple felt strongly enough about its customers and their privacy that they were willing to risk the public embarrassment and damage to their brand and loss of sales of their number 1 product that went along with removing the google maps from their products.

    3. Have to agree. On a day when the iPhone was released in 22 more countries, the stock dropped 14 dollars! This is extremely atypical of previous product releases.
      Maps was not ready and should have been labeled Beta at the very least.

    4. Helllo? The iPhone 5 is the best engineering feat of any other phone or electronic devise anywhere – are ignoring that because of a fucking user upgradable app that is still a swan?

      Youbsound like you just got into Apple, it’s volatile because of gamers, everyone games it but , getvsome Rolaids if you’re in, but you’ll be at 900 beforebyou know it and so will Apple.

    5. AAL did not drop because of maps. It dropped because the big shareholders always trade AAPL like this at an iPhone launch. They take short positions, then start selling shares to lock in gains, especially this week as it is end of a quarter.

      Not only did they lock in existing gains, they make money on the short positions as well, and then can also go long again at a lower price.

      This had nothing to do with any actual business issues at Apple. It is purely stock trading related

  4. Just more fodder for the WS manipulators. I haven’t had any issues with Maps and I’m glad google is being thrown off IOS devices. I don’t think an apology was necessary even though it might be the right thing to do and appreciated by Apple users, it makes Tim look weak, feeble and easily manipulated thru media FUD. Competition now thinks Tim will cave to media pressure on any issue. I don’t like the Apology.

    1. I never found Street View useful. Heck, most of the time there wasn’t a Street View available for places I wanted to look at, so I quit trying. And the times I did use it, the views were so out of date that the business I was searching for hadn’t moved into that location when the photo was snapped.

      Yet no one is bitching about that.

      1. The only time I found Street view cool was to look at childhood neighborhoods. Reminisce a little bit where I grew up at. Other than that no biggie. Maybe if it was implemented in a little more like Android phones maybe then I would of liked it. Like I guess it gives you street view when you arrive at destination. But to never really have had it makes it no biggie to me. Of course it has been in iOS Google maps but I never use Google maps because it was useless to me. With no turn by turn.

  5. No folks! No. Tim Cook didn’t do apology this time, he is actually doing far more better move a genius move in marketing strategy. This is really a very clever move. He is telling you to go to all his competitors and try to use their maps and solutions and then you will quickly realise that each of them is not perfect in one or the other way! In the same time his apology is being rather a commitment that apple is crazily engaged to quickly improve their Maps app and further catch up with its competing solutions.

    1. And that address that Motorola is touting as something iOS won’t find (315 E. 15th St., Manhattan) is an address that doesn’t actually exist because the entire block is a park, so no odd addresses on that side of the street.

      However, both Apple Maps and Google Maps put a pin there. So Moto lied.

  6. Apologizing makes you appear weak…ask Obama/Carter. Look at today’s stock. Google has never had my address correct and there was no easy way to tell them.
    Maps for version 1 is very nice…had zero problems. I’d blame Apple for using Tom Tom instead.

  7. I have tried many many mapping challenges for iOS6 and ALL of them have been precise and accurate. I have no complaints about the maps. The negatives always seem to be the ones who post often and early. Get a life. Stuff happens and at least you are not getting the blue screen of death.

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