Is Tim Cook Pushing iOS Users Toward Competitors?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) chief executive Tim Cook issued an apology for the quality of its new maps app on Friday, saying the company “fell short” on its commitment to deliver the best possible experience to its consumers. In a letter posted on the company’s website, Cook said Apple was sorry for the “frustration” the new program had caused customers and added that they were working hard on improving the software.

“We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS,” Cook wrote in the letter. “As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover, and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.”

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Apple’s update to its mobile operating system last week replaced Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) maps app, which had been part of iOS devices since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, with its own home-grown application. Users and tech reviewers did not take too kindly to the change, complaining that the new maps had fewer details, was ridden with errors, and lacked public transit options.

Interestingly, Cook suggested that consumers use alternatives including apps from MapQuest, Waze, or Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing, or even the web applications offered by Google or Nokia (NYSE:NOK), while Apple worked on the improvements.

According to reports, talks between the two companies first broke down over the issue of turn-by-turn voice directions, which Google offers on its own Android system, but not on iOS. Apple decided to cut Google’s contract with a year left on it and create its own application that included the new features.

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