“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better,” CEO Tim Cook said in an apology posted on Apple's website.
Just days after the app was launched, social media outlets erupted with complaints about missing towns, misplaced national landmarks, and local searches turning up similarly named locations in different countries.
One person created a blog chronicling hundreds of examples of Apple Maps' misses complied from screenshots sent in by other iPhone users.
But in the statement, Cook defended Apple’s decision to release the Maps application. “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,” Cook said.
In an ironic twist, as Apple works to improve Maps, Cook suggested customers consider third party apps including Google, whose Maps app came standard on previous handsets but was dumped in lieu of the Apple designed Maps application for iOS6.
“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,” Cook said.
This isn’t the first time Apple has faced public criticism over one of its products.
In June 2010, shortly after the iPhone 4 was released, customers began reporting dropped calls and reduced signal strength when touching the bottom left side of the phone. Several weeks later, the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s former CEO, held a press conference where he apologized to customers and offered a free rubber bumper to fix the problem.
And when Apple customers complained about the price of the first iPhone dropping so fast after it was launched, Jobs apologized, offering $100 store credit for anyone who paid the higher price.