The long-awaited iPhone 5, running the much talked about iOS 6 finally made its debut in September. Unfortunately, Apple made one decision with their firmware that would come back to haunt them and shroud them in negativity and complaints. They opted to drop Google Maps in favour of their own in-house creation which they said was “built from the ground up”. It may well have been but clearly the development team were not standing on the same ground as the rest of the population when they built it – complaints flooded in about the lack of correct data, misdirection and, in some place, complete landmarks, towns and cities missing altogether.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple was forced to make a very public apology, directing users to download alternative Map apps from the Apple Store, such as Bing, Waze and Mapquest, or to download either Nokia Maps or, the one they dumped in favour of their own, Google Maps. whilst they attempted to find a solution. That was a the end of September, less than 2 weeks after the launch of the iPhone 5. By the end of October the Senior VP of iOS Software, Scott Forstall exited the Cupertino offices, leading many to believe that he was responsible for the fiasco and that Apple had dealt with him accordingly. Reports soon filtered out that he left because he refused to put his name to the public apology.
However, the buck ultimately stopped with Richard Williamson, Apple Mapping Manager or Vice President of iOS Platform Services. Mr Williamson has reportedly been dismissed by Senior Software Executive Eddy Cue, making him the second to lose his job over the Maps App. The dismissal has not yet been made public and Apple have so far declined to comment.
All we can hope for now is that Google come through with the goods on their planned iOS 6 Maps app and that Apple can finally find their way back into favour with their users, although if they are using their own Maps app that’s unlikely.