NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple's Maps has proven to be nothing but trouble for the iPhone maker. Maybe it's time for Apple to bite the bullet and mercifully kill Maps off.
Apple's Maps application, which launched with iOS 6 earlier this year, was supposed to be the product that would finally kill off Google Maps—at least on the iPhone.
Instead, Maps proved to be a nightmare for Apple. The program lacked detail. Some cities and major landmarks were in the wrong places. Some towns were even duplicated.
Recently, Australian police warned road travelers that Apple Maps had one particular flaw that could endanger their lives by leading them deep into a hot, waterless wilderness. It's believed now that Apple's Maps might not have been entirely at fault, but the damage is already done.
The problems were so embarrassingly bad that Apple was forced to apologize. CEO Tim Cook promised that his company would work hard to address the application's problems and deliver a much better product in the future.
But at this point, it's hard to say for sure why Apple would even try to repair Maps. Instead, it might be a good time to discuss killing off Maps as a bad business rather than trying to improve it or build a replacement. Here are the reasons why.
1. Google Maps worked just fine
Apple's decision to launch Maps came at the expense of Google Maps, a service that was running in iOS since that operating system's launch in 2007. Now, Apple wants its own map application to dominate in the iOS ecosystem. But why? Google Maps is arguably the best mapping application out there
and works just fine on iOS. Wouldn't Apple want its customers to have the best available app and not the worst?
2. Does Apple really need the outcry?
Apple doesn't need all the headaches that go along with the Maps kerfuffle. Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to apologize; Google scoffed at Maps; and the Apple haters laughed in unison. Apple doesn't need that.
3. Too many resources are being dedicated to it
In a recent interview with Fortune
, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he has dedicated significant resources to Maps to ensure that it gets to where it should be. He also said that there is a growing team working on the program. That's a mistake. Apple's resources can be used more effectively elsewhere.
4. There's no timetable for better features
Even though Cook promises improved performance
, he's unwilling to say right now when better features might be coming to iOS. That's a problem. If current users are going to suffer with Maps, they should know when an improvement will be made available. Leaving that out just forces them to go elsewhere or stay away from Google Maps.