Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made a risky decision when it decided to dump Google Maps as a built-in app on its new iPhone 5 and the new iOS 6 which was released this week. In its place, Apple decided to go with its own mapping service, which was chronicled here, and is unleashing it on the world without beta testing Friday morning with the official release of the iPhone 5 into the marketplace.
And it seems that, by many accounts – as witness to new pop-up web pages – Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has actually failed. While the new 19-pin Lightning connector has been a negative – something else we chronicled – the really big issue among those who have had the iPhone 5 in their hands has been the mapping feature, which may be a major problem, as the Maps feature from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) was quite popular among iPhone users.
And apparently, Google Maps was more accurate and useful than this Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) replacement. And in the meantime? Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has submitted its own standalone iOS 6 Maps app for approval in the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store.
Does anyone imagine that Apple will actually accept the app onto its iDevices? In a statement sent to a tech blog, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems resolved to make its mapping app work, rather than giving in to Google: “We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”
Shouldn’t this have been tested in beta first? The disappointment over the mapping service has gotten pretty loud in online chatter, and it might be interesting to see in the coming weeks how that disappointment affects fervor over the iPhone 5 and how it might affect total sales will be something that investors like hedge-fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management will likely note.