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Customers: Apple made wrong turn with map app

September 28, 2012 3:33:37 PM PDT
Many Apple users are frustrated that software launched with the iPhone 5 includes apple's new map system instead of Google maps.

Millions with older iPhone users who updated to the latest operating system are also affected. Some customers have complained about slower application speeds and even problems with contacts disappearing -- but the big gripe seems to be with the maps.

"I'm a loyal customer, but they need to fix the glitches and everything with what they're doing," Jon McDaniel, iPHone user, said.

The problems center on Apple's decision to replace Google maps with the company's own, flawed mapping program in its new operating system.

"From not being able to find the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge on day one," said Brad Spirrison, Appolicious.com, "to there was a museum that was actually located within a river."

UBreakIFix, a smartphone repair shop, has been getting plenty of calls. Ironically, the store was initially missing from Apple maps.

"I thought this is a big problem and something that needs to be rectified because we are losing our customers and our fan base," Alex Wright, UBreakIFix, said.

On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized in an email to customers -- and even directed iPhone users to competitors' apps, including Google maps. He wrote, "...we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment."

Is an apology enough?

"I mean, I accept it. That's very nice of them. But fix the problem," Paul Rahn, iPhone user, said.

"It's an important gesture, and it's an important statement and an action recommendation. It says that he is committed to the customer," Harlan Loeb, Edelman Crisis and Risk Management, said.

Apple's decision to move away from Google maps is due, in part, to growing competition from Google's android operating system.

"As dominant and as admired as Apple is in the smart phone space, in technology consumers are very fickle," Spirrison said.

But many remain loyal. Julian Diggs was first in line at a Chicago store for the new iPhone earlier this month. He said he hasn't been getting lost, and talked about the new phone's pros.

"It's thin. And the design of it is nice," Diggs said.

Apple maps are also being installed on iPads that update to the new operating system.

Once you update there's no going back to the previous platform. Apple says it's working out the bugs but how long that could take is unclear.


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