Just a dose of reality
Losing its luster
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Best Argument: Just a dose of reality
Audience Favored: Losing its luster (75%)
Just a dose of realityJason Perlow September 19, 2012. A day that will live in infamy. It was the day that everyone who owned an Apple iOS device and who wanted to upgrade to the latest version of the mobile operating system hit the "Upgrade" button, and found out after their next reboot that their devices were de-Googlefied.
The Google Maps software that provided integrated geolocation services and has so prominently been featured in Apple commercials since 2007 for showing "There's an App for that" in multitudes of 3rd-party apps that make extensive use of the cartographic data in Google's Maps was replaced with Apple's own Maps product.
This wouldn't have been an issue if Apple's own mapping and geolocation services were anywhere near as extensive or as accurate as Google's. But they aren't. The new Maps software has been lambasted by the media as well as the company's die-hard fans and it has been a public relations disaster for the company.
Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has issued a public apology, and has stated that the company "fell short on its commitment... to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible" to its customers.
Look, Apple blew it with iOS 6 Maps, but the computer and technology industry isn't television fantasy.
Is iOS 6 Maps a Cupertino speedbump? Yes. Has it given Apple a dose of reality orientation and given it a badly-needed dose of humility when arrogance has been its operating principle? Definitely.
Is the company going to stop selling iDevices like hotcakes and provide a wide opening for its competitors to knock it down to irrelevance?
Losing its lusterSteven J. Vaughan-Nichols Once upon a time, OK, it was 1977, the U.S. TV show Happy Days was incredibly popular. Think of it as the iPhone of TV comedy of its day. Then, Fonzie, the most popular character on the show, jumped over a captive shark on water skis while wearing his trademark leather jacket. That was, popular myth has it, the beginning of the end of the show.
That’s not really true. The episode was quite popular and the show kept on for six more years. But, most people would agree that the show started its long, slow decline with this episode.
So what does that have to do with Apple’s iOS Maps fiasco? Everything.
Apple’s made big miscues before. Antennagate anyone? Besides the Apple Map mess, iOS 6 also seems to have brought a host of Wi-Fi problems. But, I can’t recall anytime since Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 when Apple made such a single major blunder.
Has this made any difference in iPhone sales? Nope. Not a bit. But, for the first time since Apple’s captured the public’s imagination with its iPods, iPhones, and iPads, Apple has made a major misstep.
Apple may still make billions for the next few years, but the illusion that Apple can do no wrong with their mobile products has been shattered. Years from now, we may well look back at Maps as Apple’s shark-jumping moment.