Apple Maps Flap Mars iPhone 5 Debut
Users complain of distorted images and many inaccuracies
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
There was at least one sour note as consumers lined up to take delivery of the iPhone 5, Apple's latest version of its smartphone. Apple's replacement of Google Maps with its own version, called Apple Maps, drew some instant consumer complaints.
It wasn't just that Apple wanted to cut the cord with Google, it said it wanted to provide an improved "map experience." The maps in the app were supposed to be prettier, provide turn-by-turn directions, synced up with Siri, and give users the perspective of flying over the landscape.
But some users say it's not ready for prime time. Specifically, they say there are problems with accuracy and in some cases, distorted or missing images. An Apple spokeswoman, in a statement to, asked users be patient.
We're working on it
"We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it," Spokeswoman Trudy Muller said. "We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”
Writing on Apple Forum, a poster going by Sparkyscott21 said Apple should have called the new maps app a beta and introduced it slowly, overlapping it with Google Maps.
"To have such a 'not ready' product as one of the most touted new features in the brand new iOS 6 is pretty embarrassing," he wrote.
The technology press was similarly unkind.
“Apple's decision to swap out Google Maps is a rare example of the company openly placing its own interests above those of its customers,” wrote Nilay Patel at The Verge.
Google and Apple are not on the friendliest of terms. Apple, notably late CEO Steve Jobs, has maintained that Google's Android operating system is just a bit too similar to the iPhone's.
No interest in Google?
Google, meanwhile, has reportedly produced a version of its maps app for the OS6 system but there has been no indication it will be added to the new iPhone, whose first day of sales proceeded with the usual frenzy in spite of the maps flap. Consumers who pre-ordered an iPhone were able to pick them up for the first time today.
Apple said pre-orders of the iPhone 5 topped two million in just 24 hours, more than double the previous record of one million held by iPhone 4S. Demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply and while the majority of pre-orders were expected to be delivered to customers today, many are scheduled to be delivered in October.