On Friday afternoon, a new button appeared on the front page of the Apple website. Entitled "A letter to our customers regarding Maps," it led to an apology from Tim Cook, the tech firm's CEO. Using phrases such as "we fell short" and "we are extremely sorry," it seems to have taken the wind out of Apple's detractors' and naysayers' sails. (In fine tech tradition, it also did a great job of blowing the firm's trumpet, chucking some impressive download figures and the like. But hey.)
Farhad Manjoo claims that this is the battle that won the maps war—for Apple. Interesting stuff—and he's got a point. Would the firm have done this if Steve Jobs were at the helm? Probably not. And will the Maps debacle hit Apple where it hurts—in sales? Definitely not.
Maybe Apple will usher in a new age of humility for tech firms. We almost saw it with Nokia last month, with its apology for using camera trickery to advertise its Lumia 920 smartphone. But Apple's masterstroke may have been to suggest to customers that they use their rivals' services until the company gets its maps working the way it wants them to work.