Shocked by Apple CEO Tim Cook’s admission that the Apple Maps application falls short of expectations? Don’t be.
Apple may not be a company accustomed to making public apologies for lacking products or services, but it does own up to its missteps on occasion, especially when its prized creation, the iPhone, is at the center of controversy.
The Cupertino company has, by our estimates, made at least five iPhone-related apologies, including the Maps confession, and one admission of guilt by product giveaway.
It all started with a public letter from Steve Jobs, addressed to iPhone customers, in September 2007, a few months after the first iPhone went on sale. The technology icon felt compelled to apologize for royally upsetting the first wave of iPhone buyers who waited in long lines and paid $599 for a device that Apple and AT&T soon reduced to $399.
In 2010, Apple apologized multiple times for issues related to the iPhone 4. First, the company admitted guilt for bungling the pre-order process for the smartphone. Then, Steve Jobs said he was sorry for not being able to meet consumer demand for the device. If you recall, the iPhone 4 “sold out” in a matter of three days.
Later, the company finally addressed a seemingly disastrous “antennagate” scale. Apple (not Jobs) posted a letter to iPhone 4 users, apologized “for any anxiety we may have caused,” and attempted to explain why customers were losing bars. That apology proved insufficient, and Apple was forced to address the matter once again by convening an uncharacteristic press conference where Jobs announced that Apple would be providing iPhone 4 owners with free bumpers.
If history and Apple’s stock price tell us anything, it’s that Apple can recover from a smartphone scandal like no other.
Here’s a visual look at each of Apple’s iPhone-related apologetic gestures.
"I have received hundreds of emails from iPhone customers who are upset about Apple dropping the price of iPhone by $200 two months after it went on sale," Steve Jobs said in an apologetic letter to iPhone customers in September 2007. "We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple."
Photo credit: daxtoor/Flickr
The iPhone 4
Apple issued multiple apologies around the launch and sale of the iPhone 4. First, on June 16, 2010, Apple felt compelled to respond to a partially botched pre-order sales process.
"Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties," the company said in a statement on its website.
Source: Jorge Quinteros/Flickr
Apple's iPhone on-sale resulted in rejected customers. On June 28, 2010, Steve Jobs wrote, "This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history ... Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply."
On July 2, 2010, Apple addressed "antennagate" with an explanation letter and this apology: "For those who have had concerns, we apologize for any anxiety we may have caused."
To put "antennagate" to bed, Apple held an impromptu press conference on July 16, 2010 where Steve Jobs promised free bumpers to iPhone 4 buyers.
"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." - Apple CEO Tim Cook
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