Apple’s maps app, released alongside iOS 6 in September, received much criticism around the globe for its many data errors and the absence of transit options. It also lacked the Street View option of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps, which it replaced as a built-in option from iOS devices for the first time since 2007.
Japan, known to be a hard place to navigate around, was highly critical of the Apple application and quickly started looking for alternative programs. In Japan, most streets do not have names and house numbers are often assigned by order of registration, not location.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who wrote a letter to apology to customers soon after the launch of the new app, also addressed the situation during the company’s post-earnings conference call in January. “We’ve made a number of improvements to Maps, and will roll out even more improvements throughout the rest of the year,” Cook said. “We will continue making improvements until it lives up to our incredibly high expectations.”
Like China, Japan is an increasingly important market for Apple, whose revenue in the country grew 25 percent year-over-year in the December-ended quarter.
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