There are many ways to create a buzz and promote goods in a creative way, and Apple has mastered how to generate expectation around their products at the point that everybody talks about them, small rumors evolves in complete rendered concepts of that “most-wanted” device, and the list goes on and on.
In the other hand, there are bad practices or decisions that bring the wrong kind of response that you are looking for. And Tim Cook just did one of those, he broke with the systematic and skillful pattern that Steve Jobs created through his long life as a successful CEO, by writing a letter with a formal apology for the Apple Maps application that rose so many critics for it’s errors on 3D views, deleted streets, streets with wrong names, and countless wrong directions that almost is a useless App.
Think before an apology
We support the idea of saying “I’m sorry, we screwed it up…” it’s totally ok to make mistakes even for the big companies. What we are pointing out here is that the company seems like they didn’t think this through and it’s one-man’s decision to put his career and trust in jeopardy. The letter is addressed from a personal stand point and there is an important flaw within it; Tim Cook states that millions are using the Maps app and “the more our customers use our Maps the better it will get”. So, seems like they released a version that needed real-time feedback from users, it’s not a game application to kill some time or a photo app that let’s you add vintage filters to your photos.We are talking about a tool that is meant to guide you through real-life places and potentially there are 100 million devices being mislead by this little mistake.
Oh! That is what a Beta product is all about
There will be hundred of posts about this letter, but we want to highlight that this statement reveals why Apple is taking a dangerous road and their products are raising more concerns than ever. When looking at all the secrecy behind the iPhone 5, was it worth to keep Maps in the same level? Why Apple didn’t release a Beta Maps 6 months before the iPhone 5 to improve it’s data through all the community using it and providing real-time feedback that effectively would have bring the responses that now they are looking for? It’s too late to say “I’m sorry, but hey as more you use it, it’s going to get better”.
The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.
Don’t Use it, but Use our Competitors’ Tools
If all of the above wasn’t enough, Tim Cook decided to give another hint of what Apple is doing: promoting the competition.
While we are improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
That’s one of the most important rules on marketing that nobody should break, even if your product is terrible. But Apple’s new CEO is working hard to make all their customers to try other products from the competition.
$30 Billion reasons why not to Set high expectations
Did Tim Cook know about all the flaws of Maps? Why he released it with the new iPhone 5 if it wasn’t ready? If he didn’t know about all the problems and he decided to add it with the new iOS 6, this shows that he might didn’t care about the high quality of it’s products as it’s predecessor Steve Jobs did. Or he knew it wasn’t ready but he still included it on this package. If the latter is the case, he really mislead us with all the higher expectations that were generated by Apple.
This little app caused Apple to lose $30 Billions in Stock Market, according to The Guardian.
We believe that after this letter was released, every single CEO in the world is taking notes as an example of what to don’t do in the near future.
Does this flaw from Maps gives you second thoughts to trust on Apple’s products? Feel free to post your comments below.