Apple glitches help Waze Inc.

Sept. 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM
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CUPERTINO, Calif., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A competitor of Apple Computer's maps application said the U.S. technology giant has given his firm a boost with its apology for its problematic map program.

"Launching a maps app in a half-baked way, that was a questionable decision, but making up for that so fast and making a category, it's great," said Noam Bardin, the head of Waze Inc., which has its own maps applications and could be considered a rival with Apple in the segment.

Bardin said downloads at Waze rose 40 percent Friday after Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook posted an online apology for the "confusion" Apple's maps application had caused, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Cook suggested other maps applications for users, naming Waze, Bing, MapQuest, Google and Nokia Corp.

Apple's maps application was sold with the iPhone 5, which sold 5 million units in its first three days.

Upgrades in the phone included Apple's latest iOS 6 operating system.

Along with his apology, Cook said, "The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get."

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt took a jab at Apple for its maps program, which is considered an invaluable tool for companies, like Google or Apple, that are trying to sell advertisers on the idea that it can match local customers with locations to relevant advertising.

"In my opinion, it would have been better to retain our maps," said Schmidt.

Apple's phones in the past came with Google Maps installed. But the new Apple program, mistakes and all, has given Apple an excuse to diminish the availability of Google's system, the Journal said.

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