To our customers and competition,
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 particular commitment. Even as the most valuable company on Earth, we can’t afford to apologize for how we handled the new Maps launch0. I’m saddened by our shortfall but unfortunately not surprised. If we want to keep our largest commitments to you — the long-term integrity of iOS, iPhone, and iPad — we had no choice but to ship the new Maps now.
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, it became riskier and riskier to depend on our most ardent competitor to provide Maps, and we could no longer wait to act. Not only had Maps fallen behind innovating new features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover, and vector-based maps, but every map search by iOS user was relayed outside of Apple, making their Maps even better. To get out of these strategic dead ends, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.
And that’s just the beginning of both the problem and opportunity. Traditional map literacy is in short supply among us humans and won’t get any better due to a combination of human cognitive limitations and culture. Every map-literate human on Earth probably already has a smart phone, and there are already several hundred million more smart phone owners on top. Maps is really just the start. Apple needs to be the best at what’s next for the second billion smart phone owners.
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.
Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. To do that, we need to both keep our products great and to keep our competition at bay, even as they copy our successes. 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.