Despite its Maps mishap, Apple stays on course

Sept. 28, 2012 was a day for the record books. Last Friday, for the first time and probably the last time, Apple admitted that it was wrong about something. No, Apple is not a perfect company. Yes, it is capable of making mistakes.

With the release of the iPhone 5 and Apple Maps, the media hummed with the news of Apple’s departure from Google products. But this giant shift was executed prematurely.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, responded to critics by posting a public apology on Apple’s homepage. The letter even offered other alternatives to Apple Maps, such as Mapquest, Bing and, yes, Google Maps. But preceding these suggestions, Cook did mention that “the more our customers use our Maps, the better it will get.” Apple is still digging for a reason why its consumers should trudge through the fidgety programming that rival companies have already perfected.

The map images from Apple Maps have flattened the Brooklyn Bridge, constructed highways through cornfields, relocated whole businesses blocks over and even stretched out the Eiffel Tower.

Basically, Apple Maps doesn’t get you where you are going. If you are lucky, you might end up within a two-mile radius of your final destination.

For the iPhone 5, Apple mainly focused on severing relations with its competitors and made becoming a completely independent business the priority. Apple failed to make a finished product that’s on par with past iPhone releases. I think that’s what has infuriated the public so deeply: They were expecting an Apple-level product, and instead, they got Google Maps from the early stages.

But should this one mishap revoke Apple’s overall credibility? Apple was in a hurry to release its new model less than a year after introducing the iPhone 4S. A large company like Apple shouldn’t have made a giant step forward if its bridge was unstable or flattened.

But, Apple Maps drama aside, is the iPhone 5 better than the iPhone 4S? Yes. The screen is larger, the phone is lighter and the images are clearer. With the addition of 4G capabilities, the phone is faster as well.

I, like most of my generation, own many Apple products. In fact, I have become utterly dependent on them. No, I am not disappointed with Apple’s latest product.

Apple’s strong past negates its rocky start with the iPhone 5. In the decade since the release of the first iPod, Apple has drastically changed the technological world.

Behind closed curtains, I am sure Apple is hard at work on something new and innovative. Without Apple, I can picture today’s younger generations still walking around with Walkmans and headphones.

Overall, the iPhone 5 is not a flop or a fail. It’s the slimmer, sleeker and lighter phone that America asked for. Apple stocks have soared higher with each new product release. Apple is still the leading company in computing technology, and the iPhone is nationally regarded as one of the top phones, now spreading to more and more phone companies.

When Apple fixes all of the problems with Maps, the unenthusiastic reviews of the iPhone 5 should simmer back down. Then, unhindered, Apple can get back to work on the iPhone 6.

Katie Haggstrom ’14 haggstro@stolaf.edu is from Omaha, Neb. She majors in English.

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