APPLE EXECUTIVE ON MAPS: 'We Own This,' 'This Is No One’s Issue But Ours'

iOS 6 maps

Photo: AP

Apple is trying to do some damage control with the PR debacle that is Apple maps.In the New York Times, David Pogue crushes Apple maps, saying it may be “the least usable piece of software” Apple has ever released.

In his column on maps, Pogue quotes two Apple maps employees, which for Apple is quite rare. When it talks to the press it almost only does it through spokespersons, on background, or the very occasional interview with the CEO Tim Cook, or SVP Phil Schiller. It rarely lets lower level people speak with the press.

So, you know this is serious from Apple’s perspective. That said, it doesn’t attach a name to the people speaking with Pogue.

Anyway, a product manager tells Pogue Apple won’t have to release a massive update to maps to fix all the errors. Since all the data is online, maps can be improved instantly. However, the Apple product manager says, “It’s not going to change by Friday.” Apple will need time to fix the maps.

When users report errors, or Apple just collects data from where users are travelling, it can pass along information to TomTom or one of its data partners. They can update their data, then Apple maps can improve, says Pogue.

So, is Apple blaming TomTom, then? An unnamed Apple executive tells Pogue, “We own this; we manage the vendors. This is no one’s issue but ours.”

We’ll see how maps improve. But, at least it’s pretty clear Apple knows it has a crisis on its hands.

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