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Apple's Spectacular IPhone 5 Launch Marred By Map Problems


Technology giant Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is enjoying the most lucrative launch in the history of consumer electronics, as its new iPhone 5 is flying off store shelves at a blistering pace.

However, the company is facing criticism for phasing out Google Maps in favor of its own, deeply flawed, map application.

The application frequently offers bizarre directions and mistakenly places certain cities and towns where they should not be. The problems with the 3-D mapping features have already been noted by technology gadget reviewers.

Apple responded by promising that the maps app will improve. The company reportedly said that the application will get better the more people use it as it is a cloud-based solution.

The new maps application is said to be getting confused when navigating and does not show which subway to take or which road to take and where they lead to at some places. It is seen as inaccurate, with missing and misplaced towns and cities and omission of major landmarks.

It sometimes also reportedly shows no results for genuine searches, and does not provide directions for public transportation. For example, it shows a railway station as being in the ocean and many others were wrongly labeled.

Google, Inc.'s (GOOG) maps application "Google Maps", which allows users to get directions among other services, has been immensely popular with iPhone users. It has been provided with the iPhone ever since its first model was introduced in 2007.

The new mapping software began reaching users of older iPhone's a day ago along with an update to Apple's iOS6. However, Google maps can also be downloaded by the iOS6 user through the web browsers.

But, with Google becoming a strong competitor in the smartphone hardware market recently, Apple worked on a replacement application just to reduce their Google dependence. Google's Android is already the world's most popular smartphone software. Andriod powers smartphones made by Apples strongest competitor Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s (SSNLF, SSNNF).

After completing its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. in May 2012, Google is transforming itself to a consumer gadgets maker from being only a search-and-software company.

Motorola Mobility, maker of the Droid and Defy smartphones, has been a dedicated Android partner in developing and distributing innovative Android-powered devices, which compete with Apple's iOS based devices. Motorola Mobility recently launched three new smartphones - Droid Razr M, Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD.

Apple switched to its own proprietary mapping service, ditching the highly popular Google Maps, when it launched its latest version of mobile operating system iOS6. Google Maps has been the default map service on Apple's iPhone and iPad, until iOS6 was launched recently. Google's YouTube application is also not preinstalled on the iPhone for the first time since 2007, but users can download a YouTube app from the App Store.

Apple acquired at least three map companies, C3 Technologies, Poly9 and Placebase, with an aim of creating its own maps application. The plan gathered momentum as shipments of smartphones powered by Google's Android software exceeded that of iPhones, thanks to the strong demand for Samsung's Galaxy series smartphones.

All this said, Apple fans across nine countries in Europe, Asia and Australia have been queuing up and causing road blocks in a bid to get their hands on the new iPhone 5. It also received more than 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours, more than double the previous record of 1 million orders in 24 hours for the iPhone 4S just a year ago.

Apple has been facing initial criticism after the launch of few of their iPhone models. The first generation iPhone faced a problem of calls getting dropped, the iPhone 4 came with an antenna problem, and the iPhone 4S had battery-life problems. But, customers seem to have outlived the issues very soon, and the same is expected to happen again.

In Friday's regular trading session, AAPL is currently trading at $704.87, up $6.17 or 0.88% on a volume of 7.18 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $701.51 to $704.93.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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