Is Apple dropping the ball?

Apple_Maps_App

Is Apple starting to drop the ball? One thing that Apple has been known for is the incredible attention to detail and the dedication to customer experience. Apple has generally put its customers first. When an Apple product came out you could be sure that it would gave rave reviews. It is one of the reasons why customers are prepared to pay a premium for Apple products.

Apple does not have multiple product lines whether you look at the iPhone, iPad, iPod and its Macs. It has just a few product lines but enough to dominate not just the tech space but the world.

You will hear many people say that a Mac is simply better than a PC. Working in a Marketing Agency I am surrounded by Macs and the designers will not work with any other machine. All Apple product releases are eagerly awaited by new and old customers alike. There is incredible speculation in the run-up to product releases as many people try to predict the features and specs of the upcoming releases.

It does come as a great surprise that Apple has compromised as far as the MAPS App is concerned. In the latest iOS 6 update, Apple replaced the Google App with its own.

From the comments and articles I have seen so far, some users are not impressed at all especially those who use the public transit system in the US. Apple’s latest iOS system comes with over 200 features according to the website so by and large it is a very big improvement over the previous system.

It is also fair to say that I have come across excellent reviews for Apple MAPS App for those who do not use the public transit systems. It seems the Turn-by-Turn instructions are very handy. By and large however, MAPS was not like anything that we have come to expect from a company like Apple. One wonders if Apple is starting to slacken on the very things that have made it such a big success as a company and brand. Apple is now the most valuable company and its shares are at all-time high. These are good times indeed.

One must consider that Apple has been making a lot of investments in the Mapping space and they are relatively a newcomer compared to Google and even Nokia. However, it was still a big gamble on their part to drop a Google App that was superior in a number of respects in favour of a product that still seems to be in beta and will inconvenience a number of users.

Is Apple prepared to risk it all with its customers as it goes on an all-out-war with Google? Is this the Thermo-nuclear war as promised by the late Steve Jobs and clearly articulated in his biography. The war will come at any cost. We have already seen what this could meant from all the patent cases at the courts.

Apple is one of the most successful companies, not just technology companies but companies in general. It recently won a court case against Samsung regarding copyright infringement for its mobile devices. It seems things could not be better for the company.

Siri’s performance in the recent months has also come under huge criticism and hopefully Apple will have improved the tool to address those concerns. When one looks at how great companies lost their dominance, arrogance and anticompetitive practices are just some of the reasons.

When a company reaches such a standard as Apple has with its products that should become the watermark and it should never lower the benchmark for any reason but it seems Apple has done this. It remains to be seen if there will be further compromises by Apple going forward. Sometimes it does not take the big decisions to lose our way. It can start with small missteps until we have completely lost our way. I am sure the team at Cupertino will know better than to let things ever get to that level.

UPDATE

Apple has since apologised to its customers and even suggested that they try rival applications. This action by Apple, an apology and recommending rival products is unprecedented. Google is still to provide its own App. It will very interesting to see how things pan out.