Apple apologises for disappointing Maps app, recommends Bing and Nokia

Staff at Hackney Wick Station in east London have a dig

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has issued an open letter to customers on the company's official website ( (opens in new tab)). The letter addresses iOS 6 Maps, which replaced the Google-powered solution with an in-house developed service from Apple. The mapping service has subsequently been under scrutiny and the subject of controversy due to the quality and accuracy of presented data.

What's interesting to note from the letter is Cook recommending customers make full use of competitor services, including Bing and Nokia. 

"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."

He does note that iOS Maps will improve over time, and customers can lend a helping hand by submitting corrections using built-in tools available within the app. Both Bing and Nokia Maps make use of data supplied by the latter, providing an accurate and rich user experience through Nokia acquired NAVTEQ. Other services can be configured through official apps and via the web.

Much like the "antennagate", the iOS 6 Maps situation demanded the CEO to intervene with an apology in attempt to limit any possible damage - and this generally only occurs when Apple knows there's an issue. Our sister website ran a poll after consumers got their mucky paws on the iPhone 5, which revealed 50% reporting to have a positive outlook on Apple Maps. 

Either way it's surprising to see Apple recommend competitor products, especially in such a competitive market. Let us know of your thoughts of Apple's response to the situation.

Source: Apple, via: iMore

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • lol
  • The suggestion to bookmark Nokia Maps ( is actually the best idea.  I tried this on ipod touch and I was amazed at how it behaved like an app and the data crushes Google contest.
  • Damn got excited to try it on my focus and it said maps not optimized for this device...
  • It truly is awesome, and even offers audio navigation.
  • Looks like apple is fallen to far from the tree to make it much longer lol
  • google, Nokia, Microsoft, and whoever else has free map apps out there should pull them from the app store to poke a little fun with apple :)
  • They know windows phone is comming for them :)
  • Nice that Bing is said first but people are not going to go if it
  • actually Bing is one of the more downloaded apps on iOS.
  • From Tim Cook, " our phone sucks and we all know you suckers will buy it anyways cause it has an apple name tag on it."
  • Apple phones are top notch. They have the best upgrade system in place. All because they dump google maps and go independent with their maps you say the whole phone sucks. That's crazy.
  • Sorry to break your bubble dude, but Apple phones are retro stuff already.
    - Tall 4" screen at 2012
    - Retro icons invented back in -90
    - Old iOS which havent changed at all in 7 years
    - No multitasking
    - Sucky maps :)
    - Scratchy aluminium -> forces customers to use cover -> heavy and ugly (the only advantages iPhone 5 has are lost because of poor quality of that lightweight contender)
    ---> Switch to Nokia Lumia 920 and you will get an amazing device with superior hardware / modern OS.
  • They may be retro but I do like the certainty of their release dates unlike another OS we happen to care about. Give props to Apple for the things they do right.
  • I am not a fan of apple, but the iPhone is a quality phone.
  • That's an opinion. I also agree that iPhone sucks. I hate when I have to use it. In my opinion, a quality phone has an accurate and easy method to input and extract data, will not shatter when dropped, has excellent call clarity and reception, and has excellent PIM capabilities. IPhone falls short in all of my criteria.
  • I'm not a fan of the iphone, but I do think you are wrong.  I'm not sure what you mean by easy method to input and extract data, but the iphone has a keyboard to input data just like any other phone. The latest drop test shop that the gs3 is just as likely to shatter as the iphone 5, although the 5 is more prone to scratching. Call clarity since the 4S has been reported to be good. The PIM is fairly simple but it is there. Now I don't like ios and think people should give wp a shot. The integration is the killer feature people don't know about. The fact that I can go to a contact and in the same place see all the emails, text, social media, and pictures for that contact is what makes the os great. Same with pictures. All the photo editing software can be launched from teh camera app. No searching through rows of icons. I see ios as just an app launcher, while wp is a complete os. Having said all that, I don't think the iphone sucks. I just don't think it's as good.
  • Agree
  • Like most Apple products, I respect the top notch hardware. The Iphone has a fantastic screen a super-fast processor and great battery life, its pretty and feels good in your hand, but I find their OS boring and unimaginative. 
  • Exactly.  The phone itself is a good piece of hardware, but iOS is just bad on so many levels.
  • No, apple phones are quite decent hardware wise and I love the actual formfactor and build of the phones, even if I prefer the WP OS. It's one of the reasons I'm considering the ATIV S.
  • You know it is bad when your CEO is promoting other apps and services from their competitor. 
    I believe they ahd one year left with google, they could of worked on the maps for another year, im sure they have people testing the map app on their phone during the QC process, right?  i would hope so. 
    Then again scratching on the phone is normal, especially out of the box according to apple :o
  • I think the issue there was they needed a new feature to promote the 5. Hardware wise, it is a little faster and a little bigger. The turn by turn navigation is the only major feature that the 5 has that the 4s doesn't. I think that is why they rushed the new map software. This is just like Sir. They made Sir a S only feature so that there is some noticeable differentiation between fairly similar products.
  • PS from Tim Cook: "talk to me Steve!"
  • Lulz
  • Its funny,,,I was in an Apple store yesterday,,,doing ummm "research" haha,,,I was actually trying out there headphones they have on display and comparing them to some I had just purchased. Anyway I was evesdropping on a customers conversation,,,he asked the "genius" why he should uprade to an iphone5 and all she could come up with because its thinner and light and it has ios6 and he replied that he already uptaded to ios6 and he HATED it and that he hated the new maps,,,and she looked so confused and flustered,,,and couldn't really think of any other reasons for him to switch. I had to laugh under my breath,,,,they were also having a class on how to USE iphones!!!! WTH?!?!? Are iphones really that complicated you need a 30min class on how to just use the thing?
  • Haha yeah, well iPhones & Macs are generally for people afraid of computers, so they need all the help they can get :P
  • Ehem, don't make urself a basher like apple fanboys. I wouldn't be calling u "trying to look for trouble" or "act to be technically smart ass" for using computers, so i guess u shudnt come up with labels like "macs are for people who r afraid of computers"
    I'm an iMac user and i still love my iMac , but that's because as general interface it is indeed ease to use n no frills, n no i'm not afraid of using Windows but i just get more efficient with my OSX. I couldnt say it's a perfect or the best but it really depends on what do u do with your computer, n i'm a designer and also a music composer, it serves a very fluid usage experience compares to Windows. Don't get me wrong, I love WindowsPhone on the other hand, because it has that simplicity and humane factor like how Apple products use to have, n i totally dislike iPhone for it's constrains n such. I don't make myself an apple fan or windows fan, i'm more of a fan of technology that works, and i spend my money on things that works for me best. N i guess we shud comment fair instead of calling certain users or people with labels.
    Yea, don't be like samsung ads, where they r bashing the iPhone users instead of the iPhone.
  • +1 my good sir/madame technology as a whole is about increasing productivity and decreasing effort for me anyway. im all microsoft for the fact that is just seems to work better for me and i enjoy my products extensively after having TRIED competitor products.
  • That is like saying "don't hate the player, hate the game" which is a ludicrous position to take. People make choices and they should accept what comes with those choices. Being the target of "bashing" is just one of those things. A politician knows this, a lawyer knows this as should any teenager.
  • A "basher" would have said "it's because they're not very bright" or something equally insulting. My comment was said tongue-in-cheek as Macs have always been known as being perfect for people either afraid of computers, or technically incompetent. It's the target demographic and even the adverts cater towards those people i.e. Mac vs PC where the PC is portrayed as being so difficult and complicated. I could launch into a Mac vs PC debate but, quite frankly, I can't be bothered. BTW if you're going to plead a case for Mac users, can I suggest that you try not to come across as barely literate? There's really no excuse for such horrendous grammar and spelling - especially on a phone with predictive text. It makes you sound barely older than 12.
  • Classes and tutorials can be helpful for any device or software, especially when there may be things that aren't immediately obvious or you may not have thought was possible.
  • Sounds like a good idea have a class on how much better a WP is. Seriously teach them how to use this phone it's different then what they've become accustom to.
  • Wow, I could of sold that phone just off of the LTE & new processor. Well, classes for employees on any device is good which that person needs bad.
  • The class is an advantage of having your own store, with your own people and MS has training in their stores on certain days for all of their products. The problem MS has is not with its own stores but cell carriers, they're refusing to market and show users, " the full power of Windows". This is why they've come up with windows 8, WP8, XBOX, and Surface, so it will be so obvious, "its in your face"....
  • I purchased an iPhone for my daughter and one day when it needed update to a new OS it crashed in the middle of an update. I tried to update it again and again but to no avail. So I went to the Apple store and showed it to genius bar tech the guy said that he will give a new one for $150.00. I said to him you didn't even check what wrong with it. I told him during update it crashed and I just need for him to reset it and he did. They should rename the genius bar to a scam bar.
  • Like any electronics device, there is a learning curve. Launching apps is easy enough. However, there are feature that are kind of hidden or settings that have to be explained because people are to lazy to look through the menus. Yet, Apple insists all their devices are intuitive and don't require any learning. Yeah, after someone shows you how to use it, it doesn't require any more learning.
  • When Nokia stumbled with a far less expensive phone (900) that did more than just admit the problem, they fixed it - fast, and give Owners a big piece of their money back. Apple charges more than anyone for their completely pathetic OS, which they HAD to know didn't work. Well Apple, where is the refund you owe your Customers? Do it quick, before the Class Action Lawyers tighten to noose around you :-)
  • They gave customers ALL their money back lol
  • What? $100 is not "all". The phones were $600-700 outright, and the cost absorbed into contracts otherwise.
  • If (when) there's something wrong with an Apple product it's either the customers own fault OR a new "easter egg" feature...which should be charged extra for of course.
  • At least Nokia gave something even though its only $100.00, instead of nothing. Apple didn't give anything to their customers to compensate for the trouble instead they said use Bing, Google or Map Quest.
  • Only $100? It was a fairly minor problem that was quickly fixed. They didn't have to give anything. Yet, they did to keep their customers happy. That is why I will be getting a 920 and not and HTC. No one has put more effort to improve their product for their customers than Nokia. Look at all the quality apps they keep adding.
  • The only way the 900 was more than $100 was if you purchase it off contract or if you purchased VVM(visual voicemail) because ATT only give it free on the iphone(more apple bias). I paid $130 total for mine -$100 = $30. Now that's customer satisfaction :-D
  • Except you paid for it in your contact...
    i.e. Let's say we have Off contract = $600 Handset + $50 monthly fee ($1,800 over 24 months)
    Contact = $100 handset + $80 monthly fee ($2,020 over 24 months) So on a contract they paid $220 more than the off-contract price :P The cost of the phone is just hidden in the higher contract price
  • I look at the monthly fees just like I do for my lights, gas, water, cable/internet, auto insurance, life insurance, aflac pay check insurance, etc. I'm paying for the cellular service
  • Sooo.. you dislike HTC for not selling broken phones and thus not giving refunds?
  • They gave customer back the $100 they paid for it. Sheesh...
  • @Vigor...Only those customers that purchased the device within the first couple of weeks of its release. 
  • @Residing... That's when the problem was happening.
  • Apple made a gamble that turn by turn directions was more important then mass transit directions and overall map quality. It looks like they lost that gamble, at least in the short term. That said, I can't wait to get mass transit directions back in wp8
  • They should be in WP7 already. They're also in the gMaps app
  • Meant in the primary maps app. (also hopstop and mango transit are the best on wp7 gmaps just opens up a list in a web browser)
  • Oh that's right, they only added Traffic into Bing Maps and not Transit. Transit is still only in gMaps
  • Sometimes I feel that Apple and Microsoft secretly look out for each other because they wanna be the only two players in the game.
  • They definitely do. Im sure of it. In each company's secret vaults are letters are agreements pertaining to this, I guarantee it
  • Apple and MS have very extensive protfolio sharing agreements. They're like BFF. The sheer lack of litigation between the two -- while they go against everybody else -- is enough indicative.  
  • Also there is the MAD principal. Perhaps more than an other company, MS has the portfolio to put a major hurt on Apple (and vice versa) due to being substantially in the same areas of business. An all out patent war between them would make Apple's fight with Samsung look minor. There would be no survivors. Neither company would be able to ship much of anything. Apple would have it worse due to Microsoft's much larger portfolio (2-3x bigger) and the fact that they wouldn't be able to use the ITC loophole as effectively against MS.
  • Well...let no one forget Microsoft invested in Apple.
  • You are right! Bill Gates purchased apple stocks during the anti-trust on Microsoft and my guess is Gates has a lot of stocks still.
  • Gates and Jobs also remained good friends up until Jobs' death.  Being competitors doesn't make them enemies; it's just the consumers who act that way.
  • I thought I was the only one who thought this way and with Apple going after Android can only help WP advance
  • But for the 150 million Apple bailout by Microsoft in 1999, the fruit company might have dead long ago.
  • Awesome photo!
  • Well we can laugh, but the Nokia web-based maps doesn't work on my Lumia 800... 
    (And yes, I know there is an application, but that shows that the browser on WP 7.5 is pretty poor)
    EDIT : to be fair, the mobile website is not supported and the full version somehow works but it is not usable.
  • This is strange, it is working fine on my 800 and 900. But anyway you dont even need it, you do have a nokia map app
  • You sir must be in a foreign country where Nokia map isn't available because it works on everyone I know who has an 800
  • No, he's talking bout which surprisingly doesn't support WP7.
  • I feel like Apple would never have recommended other services if Steve Jobs was still alive. He had too much of an ego to do that.
  • i wouldn't call that his ego, he knows what he's doing and make sure it works, or at least get his team to solve it n make it work before it launches...that's Steve Jobs, the real ego are the Apple Inc itself.
    I miss Jobs, he's definitely NOT the only creator of wonderful techs but he definitely IS the strong wind that carries the wave of innovation to the right direction.
  • Like the antennae gate, Steve Jobs said don't hold the phone that way, and people needs to purchased a bumper guard until one of the senators was thinking of lawsuit then it is free to everyone. Apple tried to milk its customers for extra $ for their mistakes.
  • +1 for drugs
  • Pretty much. He would have shown the press a presentation describing how all the competitors are just as bad at mapping and that they need to use their phone in a different way.
    Great thing is, he would have gotten away with it too. Cook lacks that uncanny ability and thus, has to resort to being a lesser mortal.
  • I too don't believe he would have done this
  • This is classic! On another note, my corporate Verizon representative just sent me an email saying they have two windows phones on the way. She is going to let me know ASAP
  • This is funny , but use spell check when u guys write articles.
  • That is not the only thing they should apologize for what about lack of innovation.
  • Loll +1
  • The sad thing about this situation is that most of the tech blogs failed to capture and portray the enormity of this iPhone 5/iOS6 related maps issue. I do my fair share of reading all the different tech news sites and I did not come across articles that made it clear that there was trouble of this magnitude in Appledom. On the other hand, these same tech news sites penned multiple pieces on Nokia's 920 faux pas and didn't pass on any opportunity to cheapshot Nokia even in other unrelated articles. All while iPhone users are suffering from an Apple misstep that goes mostly unreported. Shame on the the likes of the Verge, Engadget, Neowin, BGR, PocketNow, and all the rest. You've all demonstrated how inclined you are to give Apple a pass while choking the underdog. Real professional of you guys.
  • +999,999,999,999
    i noticed this also even though nokia is proving time and time again that the misstep in advertising was not a complete lie but just completely suffocating the competition with their awesome optics but apple clearly has an issue even though they glorify every aspect of the pos maps app they have your right:
    "Shame on the the likes of the Verge, Engadget, Neowin, BGR, PocketNow, and all the rest. You've all demonstrated how inclined you are to give Apple a pass while choking the underdog. Real professional of you guys."
  • The only real professionals are clearly Daniel Rubino and the rest of WPCentral these guys kno what a real smart phone is
  • EDIT: wasnt a lie at all by completely destroying the competition with the pureview and OIS on their phones not including all of the other innovative things on they device.
  • +100000000000000000000000
    Yup when Apple make shit - its meh
    When other make mistakes - OMG this S*** Apple would never do stuff like this!
    All this bias is making me sick, and it is everywhere, guess they only hire i-sheeps to write!
  • Omg Amazing
  • Tim cook will drive apple to the ground just like what happens in the 90s with apple no Steve Jobs no business
  • They love Tim Cook. He is their chosen Apple God. Apple will prosper for a long time with this generation. Only the next generation will look for something else like MS.
  • I doubt it. Granted, he is no Steve Jobs but is still a very smart business man. Under him, the company might lose the edge in innovation and breaking ground with new features but I am certain that Apple will proper financially.
    Different times call for different leadership anyways and I think it's great that a credible business minded person is running the most valuable company in the world.
  • While it may be entertaining to see a competitor reel abit from this I wish there was more focus here on reporting Windows Phone news.  Must be a slow news cycle.
    Where are we in total app count? ... have we hit 125k yet?
  • Where's Wells Fargo app?
  • IDK, but the Chase App is coming :-D
  • App count doesn't matter, apps don't matter.
  • I don't understand why WPCentral is reporting news on Apple. This has nothing to do with WP.....
  • apples loss microsofts gain
  • They mention Bing and Nokia that's y
  • To see the big picture, maybe...
  • They're reporting cuz apple us recommending other alternative map apps like Bing and Nokia. Helping the competition :-)
  • Really? So, do I understand correctly you are suggesting that because this is a Windows Phone site that there be zero coverage of related news pertaining to Apple, RIM, Google, Android, and the likes? Sorry, I couldn't disagree more. What you are suggesting is a tunnel vision perspective of the Windows Phone ecosystem with total disregard for all the external things that could impact it. In marketing 101, this is called Environmental Scanning. If a company doesn't scan and monitor its external environment, it risks being sucker punched by things it's should rightly have anticipated. You're suggesting the same thing here, disregard the external environment, focus solely on Windows Phone regardless of what's happening out there. Might as well lock ourselves in a bunker and sever all incoming and outgoing communications, lights out.
  • Hey. Nothing wrong with a little humility. At least he swallowed his pride and admitted the problem.
  • As somebody who is using both Windows Phone and iPhone, and both PC and Mac - I'm getting really tired of all Apple bashing on WP-related websites. WPCentral is not that bad in this regard (WMPU is the worst by quite a margin), but still guilty.
    Yes, they messed up with Maps app. Except that it is not nearly as bad as painted by the press - it is actually rather good in London. 
    Add to that great hardware, great customer service, x6.5 times more apps (including a huge amount of iOS exclusives), more advanced apps in general, pain free quick OS upgrades (for years after device is released), and mature OS - and the picture becomes rather unflattering for Windows Phone.
  • You're so right. Absolutely no bashing of competing products in the apple forums. Apple fans are clearly above all that. ( right )
  • This is NOT a forum - and I'd expect WPCentral to have some editorial restraint.
  • Read the dictionary, this is exactly what a forum is.
  • No, it's not. WPCentral has forums, but this is an article in a news section and not in a forum!
  • Lol great hardware... have you ever heard of #scratgate with anyother OEM? Map is just as bad as painted by the press! In DK it is utterly useless - it will get you to the WRONG city! Caliming that htey have the most advanced og brightest display - no that one goes to Lumia 920. Free OS upgrade... is that different from Android?? sure the OEMs suck but if you buy a Nexus device then you get all updates. WP 7 not so much but it does get 7.8 what ever that contains, but for WP8 and in the future this is also true.
    The different is not as big as you make it... but thats becuse you worship Apple I guess. I want what great for my money, Android lags but had great hardware, WP is smooth and stable and WP 8 will bring more features and great hardware and is like 200$ cheaper!
    Between the 2 of us - I am more objective. 
  • +100
  • Thumbs Up!
  • Nice job
  • It's not for you (or me) to decide who is more objective here.
    Let me remind you of how badly camera "area" of Lumia 800/900/920 scratches. And also remind you that millions of people bought iPhone 5 in the first day of sales - so every minor issue with hardware is elevated because of that.
    I have no idea about Denmark, but the new Maps work for me here in London. It's your experience versus mine.
    Free OS upgrades are very different - because very few Android users get Nexus phones, and even Nexus devices have shorter shelf life than iPhones. iPhone 3GS just got iOS 6 - 3 years after release. Compare that to promised 18 months of WP8, and a possible year for Lumia 900.
    I don't worship Apple, and I'm not going to purchase iPhone 5 as it is not a worthy upgrade for me 4S. But I don't need to rubbish competitors to feel good about WP8, and I don't want to turn blind eye to its deficiencies.
  • @futurix: Granted that the offering from Apple is solid (and I would gladly choose it over an Android device) but how does that amount to an unflattering look for WP? They both have their strong points clearly so I don't see the point you are trying to make.
  • I'm trying to make a point that such Apple bashing on WP sites is tiring and unproductive, and exposes WP as a platform with insecure fans and uncertain advantages. Basically don't point out a hole in someones trousers when you don't even have pants on!
  • And how do you know how badly the "camera area" on the 920 scratches? Do you have some early 920 protoype with a chrome camera area? And didn't you here that the "RTM" version of 920 comes with a ceramic scratch-resistant area instead of the chrome?
  • I don't know, I just assumed it will be the same as before. If Nokia will fix it, great - I'd certainly hope that on the 4th try (N9, 800, 900, 920) they will get it right!
  • What other sites do you go to that bash Apple? Because the verge, CNET, Engadget, more, are pro Apple sites whose forum members often bash WP. I don't bash Apple, because i too have both in my household, but i will admit I've had problems with the iPhone 3GS, 4, & 4s that get completely swept under the rug. This map issue is the first the I've heard concerning an iPhone issue via a single media outlet. I believe this is the issue people here really have, is with the untruths and bias shown to Apple while other platforms are crushed by the media when a problem occurs
  • Who cares if there's bashing?  They're just phones.  In the end, none of it matters.
  • Pot calling the kettle black.
  • Perhaps if the idrones would just hold the dam phone right, there wouldn't be a problem
  • Yay!!! Win for Nokia!!
  • Bahahahaha
  • Bahahaha sorry had to say this twice......lulz
  • "We apologize for buying the iPhone 5. We recommend you purchase the Nokia"
  • "Much like the "antennagate", the iOS 6 Maps situation demanded the CEO to intervene with an apology in attempt to limit any possible damage". So "you're holding it wrong" counts as an apology?
  • Its refreshing for Tim Cook to respond his way. I could never imagine Steve Jobs giving this kind of response. With Steve Jobs it would have been more like, "You're using the maps wrong. Use it this way."
  • +1
  • Marko Ahtisaari, Chief Designer of Nokia: "iOS is like moving from a kitchen to a livingroom through a frontdoor"
    Steven Jobs, Apple CEO: "iPhone 4 antenna works just fine, you are just holding it wrong"
    Tim Cook, Apple CEO: "Our iOS map fell short, please use Nokia Maps"
    Nokia Fans: "LOL"
  • It must be a cold day in hell...
  • Did I read right that all the Iphone users reporting problems will lead to better data for Nokia maps and Bing as well? If so, this may be thr greatest gift Apple ever gave Nokia. 
  • Apple iPhone was once great now that honor goes to Samsung Galaxy S III, Nokia Lumia 900 and soon to be Lumia 920 and HTC 8X...
  • Bing is actually really good. With Nokia's data becoming more and more integrated, it will only get better
  • Now...why again do all Windows phones not have turn-by-turn navigation? If MS has Bing and can return written TBT directions, why not with Tell Me? Why only Nokia?
  • Apologizes. Not Apologises. Fix it...
  • It's the British version like color vs colour. Richard, the author, is from the UK. So no, we won't "Fix it".
  • Sorry... Geez.
  • Looks like someone just had an "oops I just made a fool of myself" moment.
  • Shut up.
  • Good advice. Try it sometime ;)
  • Funny.
  • After I started using the maps app on wp7.5 I found it's far more useful than gmaps or Garmin, it's just not as user intuitive
  • Love it and all those apple fools waited all night or weeks for this crappy iphone5. Hahaha