Well, it's hardly a secret that customers are unhappy with Apple's new mapping solution in iOS 6. And, while the company has admitted that, perhaps, it's not quite up to snuff yet, it has played down Maps' flaws and urged customers to be patient. Today, in an open letter to the Apple faithful, Tim Cook struck a far more candid and conciliatory tone, apologizing for failing to deliver a "world-class" product. Cook went so far as to suggest that unhappy customers could check out offerings from competitors like Bing, MapQuest, Google and Nokia -- at least until Cupertino sorts this mess out. You'll find the complete text of the letter after the break.
Update: As CNET reports, Apple has now also gone one step further and added a new list of featured mapping alternatives to the App Store, including apps from TeleNav, Garmin, Magellan and others.
You can read our editorial on Apple apologies since the launch of the iPhone here.
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To our customers,
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. 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.
There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. 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.
While we're 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.
Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.