Opinion Brief

Tim Cook's apology for Apple Maps: Proof he's no Steve Jobs?

The CEO of the world's most valuable company concedes that Apple's maps app needs work, and recommends that users switch to a competitor in the meantime

Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally addressed the widespread complaints about Apple Maps, which has been pilloried for numerous faults, including giving wildly inaccurate directions. In a letter posted on Apple's homepage, Cook said the company was "extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better." Cook went on to suggest that customers with iOS 6, the iPhone's newest operating platform, temporarily use map apps offered by Microsoft, Aol, and Google, a form of abasement that has some people saying, "That would never have happened if Steve Jobs were still alive." Is Cook's apology proof, once and for all, that he's no Steve Jobs?

Cook is no Jobs. And he's hurting the company: "It's hard to remember if Steve Jobs ever made an apology to customers," says Tom Taulli at InvestorPlace. "But perhaps he didn't have to because he always seemed to launch insanely great products." Even if Apple's customers accept Cook's apology, they'll be left wondering: "Why did Apple launch this product? Doesn't the company test things?" The Apple Maps debacle is one of many "ominous signs" that Apple is "losing its magical touch." "Apple's buggy maps: Tim Cook says 'sorry'"

Cook is no Jobs. And that's a good thing: Indeed, "this would never have happened on Steve Jobs' watch," says Britain's V3. Jobs could only grudgingly admit to even the most obvious mistakes, and "his reality distortion field has obviously not been inherited by Cook." Cook "clearly believes honesty is the best policy," and his acknowledgment that Apple Maps "is a load of rubbish" is a refreshing change from Jobs' bluster. "Apple Maps apology would never have happened under Steve Jobs"

In the end, Cook's candor may help Apple: "There is no company on Earth that knows how to spin a negative story into good positive vibes better than Apple," and that's exactly what Cook did, says Chris Ciaccia at The Street. A humble statement like this "can change people's perceptions of a company," and reverse the feeling that Apple sold out its quality control just so it could ditch Google Maps. "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." "Apple Maps apology: Tim Cook's grand slam"

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