Some have called it a ‘new low‘: Apple apologising to its customers. And what’s more, recommending competitor’s products, albeit as stop gap arrangements. I think it is a sensible and bold move by Tim Cook and befits a leader. Here’s why:
– it was an honest acceptance of poor execution. Apple called it ‘falling short of commitment’ as they take pride in offering a delightful user experience
– it was a surprising move. No one was expecting an official Apple apology – neither the fans or the Apple haters. Detractors paint Apple to be this cold, arrogant company which cares two hoots about what others, including customers, think of it. Some said that Steve Jobs would’ve never apologised. Not true.
– I think it will create a stronger affinity for ‘brand Apple’ among its customers as they everyone loves an honest apology . But he didn’t just stop at an apology: he suggested alternate solutions to minimise the pain and promised action from their end to find a long term solution.
To me, the biggest surprise was the suggestion of alternate solutions (yes, not the best option compared to a native Google Maps app) – as a mere apology and ‘we are working on it’ would have still sufficed as a communication from a CEO. Also, deciding not to continue with Google Maps and developing its own Maps service was a risk in itself. And when a brand takes risks (calculated, I presume) there are bound to be missteps. It takes guts to accept those mistakes publicly and help customers find solutions. In my view: respect, Tim Cook.