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Tim Cook at Apple keynote

Apple has officially apologised for the whole iPhone Maps fiasco, which has caused quite the racket since it rolled out with iOS 6.

In an open letter to disgruntled customers, Apple boss Tim Cook said he was “extremely sorry” for the anger and frustration caused by the less than stellar mapping software and assured the company is “doing everything we can to make Maps better”.

The move to put its hands up will both shock and please tech waters, who derided the iGiant for its decision to boot Google Maps as the native mapping solution on iOS devices.

Despite bringing new and arguably useful features such as voice support, turn-by-turn navigation and 3D Flyover, Apple’s Maps fell short of delivering the level of accuracy and reliability that iFans have come to expect.

Previously, Apple said Maps would improve the more it gets used due to being a cloud-based service. However, that failed to pacify early adopters who queued up for hours (even days) and shelled out good money to get their hands on the just-launched iPhone 5.

Whether Cook’s apology will have the desired effect and encourage more patience amongst users remains to be seen. However, Apple’s rivals will doubtless be cherishing this moment and preparing yet more insults to hurl at the tech titan.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the complaints about Maps had little adverse impact on the sales of the iPhone 5, which still raced to five million units in its launch weekend.

Google, meanwhile, has yet to reveal whether it will release a standalone app for iOS, though it has stated it plans to support all platforms and devices.

What’s your take on the Apple Maps issue? Tell us in the comments section below.

Show press release

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, 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.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. 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.

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.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook Apple's CEO

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