CNET’s Top 5 Tech Flops of 2012: #1 Apple Maps

“2012 was a year when many of the big names in tech took big gambles… and lost,” Donald Bell writes for CNET.

“CNET recently ran a collection highlighting 2012’s biggest Tech Turkeys, and it seemed ripe for a remix over here on Top 5,” Bell writes.

Bell writes, “I swiped four from their list, added one of my own, and ranked the whole thing by how long I imagine it took the respective CEOs to remove their palms from their face.”

Top 5 Tech Flops of 2012:
5: Sean Parker’s AirTime
4: Beleaguered RIM’s (DCW) BlackBerry 10
3: Google Nexus Q
2: Facebook IPO
1: Apple Maps

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Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Heckuva job, Scottie!

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.

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.MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David B. Haun” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple promises to fix Maps glitches by rearranging earth’s geography (with video) – December 6, 2012
Apple’s Eddy Cue racing to overhaul Maps – November 28, 2012
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

50 Comments

    1. Most people use Apple maps everyday without a problem, Geeks have a problem so what? Apple TV has been written off by the Tech press, but every year Apple sells more and more, 2012 is by far the biggest year yet for Apple TV’s, but the tech press are obvious again so what, oh and they also don’t like iTunes (any version) again so what?.

    1. They ranked them “by how long I imagine it took the respective CEOs to remove their palms from their face.” Steve Ballmer is too stupid to see the Surface a flop. His hands are not from his face, but rather out in front giving the thumbs up! Failure and lack of leadership has accompanied Ballmer for so long he no longer has the ability to recognize it!

      RE: MDN Take – ‘Apple Maps have been Newtonized’ how about just shortening that up and saying “Apple Maps have been Newtered!”

    2. Surface, which I checked out at the store, was quite nice, except for the unresponsive keyboard. If they can improve the keyboard in the 2nd gen, I’d say by the 4th generation – like iPad is now – it’ll be quite good.

  1. Again I have used Apple maps with no problems finding several locations.
    I think Googles TV products should be at the top of this list. Because Apple maps works, unlike Googles TV which does not. All content was pulled and so you only could really watch your own videos. Not to mention both of there products were to expensive.

  2. The bigger you are, the harder your minor flaws fall.
    I am no fan of Apple’s Maps, but it is not that big of a deal.

    Yes, I use Google Maps.
    Yes, I like it. And as soon as Apple surpasses it, I will be using it.

    I will keep BOTH on my iPhone, along with Nokia and Navigon.
    Competition is good (long live Android’s slow death…..).

    1. I use Apple maps daily to get to my clients and my entire income depends on it. I live in Sourhern California so that may make a difference but when I got iOS 6, I saw an immediate and massive improvement in my maps.

      I neither need Google on my phone nor wish to allow them to track me and spy on me.

      I’m not going to say Apple Maps are perfect but its hardly like Google was perfect.

      Except for international customers not covered by Apple maps the whole issue is highly overblown.

  3. Use Maps with no issue and others as well. This is about a bunch of tech journalists with no concept or understanding of what Maps is or what it is to create. They just read another’s option and pass on the ignorance.

    Or they are on the take from those whom wish to create negative publicity that Microsoft also did many times.

    Hate gone wild.

    1. My confidence in Apple Maps is not exactly high: In the DC area I’ve been directed to three addresses more than a block away from where they actually are. Once I was directed to take a turn that was not possible, resulting in a lengthy detour since the correct turn was missed. Another time I was directed to make a turn unnecessarily. The app has yet to show an important new Interstate ramp that is now a couple of months old; directions through that area are simply incorrect.
      I hate to complain, but them’s the facts. BTW, I have tried the Google map app and still use Apple Maps.

  4. It is fashionable to gang up on Apple even on minor issues. Antenna Gate, Maps etc.

    Apple products always get better and better. Maps will be no different. They will overtake Gurgle Maps and spit them down the toilet in a year or so.

    Apple maps is not a problem in most first world countries. I have used in the US and Canada and it is my go to App for maps. If you live in Siberia or Afghanistan you have to wait a little. It will be amazing, when all is said and done, throughout the world.

  5. Talk about a double standard. Google maps almost started a war between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in 2010 and its service is so embarrassing in China and Korea that no one uses it, but does CNET ever say a word?!

  6. This is more proof that certain media channels tries to make its reputation on exaggerating insignificant news. I guess clicking on their articles earns them dollars but not sense.

    However, I took it upon myself to research data, crunch numbers and apply science to create this:

    Biggest Tech Related Flops (Revised)

    #1 CNET-reviews like consumer reports
    #2 Surface-unless used as a door stop
    #3 Microsoft corporate
    #4 Samsung corporate
    #5 Google’s 12billion Motorola acquisition
    #6 Consumer Reports-unless magazines used as fire logs
    #7 Google-anything
    #8 Windows 8/Metro
    #9 Ford’s MyTouch
    #10 Tech analysts

    1. CNET gets comments like yours for both being biased for Apple and against Apple. I worked for CNET for 6 years. I did reviews for online and TV. The overwhelming majority of my reviews were very positive… because they were great products.

      Anyway, I get a kick out of people thinking that CNET is somehow biased against Apple.

        1. I feel kind of guilty about Version Tracker.

          When CNET was at its peak, it seemed unstoppable. It had acquired its largest competitor and was really the only full source for everything tech (news, finance, shopping, dev, software, hardware, reviews, etc…).

          I had various roles at CNET at various times. For a while I was doing Biz Dev. It made my job really easy that people couldn’t really go anywhere else and a deal with us could easily “make” a start up.

          As a Mac user, I was very active on Version Tracker. I checked it constantly throughout the day. One day while chatting with the CEO, I pointed to Version Tracker as the biggest threat to CNET. Not the site itself, as it had a miniscule fraction of the traffic that Download.com had. Rather that Version Tracker was an example of how CNET was poised to get killed by a thousand cuts.

          I pointed out that the technology that was used to build CNET was maturing and getting into the hands of more and more people. Building something that successfully competes with CNET is no longer about vision, technology, etc… it’s about having good content and presentation. CNET can’t lock that up, and writers, reporters, analysts, etc… will spawn their own sites which collectively will compete successfully against CNET.

          Essentially, the blogs, and the never ending sprouting up of tiny service oriented sites like Version Tracker (which became big) would kill CNET.

          Unfortunately, the decision was to continue to acquire the competition. And ya, worse, essentially stomp it out rather than offer it as an alternative service to download.com.

          It definitely was better than download.com, no doubt, but personally, I feel that today the things that made it better aren’t really needed so much, if at all (for that matter, neither is download.com).

          TL;DR: Ya, sorry about that.

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