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November 28, 2012

Apple sacks man in charge following mapping fiasco

Richard Williamson pays the price for disastrous switch from Google maps

By Steve Evans

Apple has fired the man in charge of its mapping software, following its disastrous debut and a flurry of user complaints.

Richard Williamson was sacked just months after Apple Maps was introduced on iOS 6, Apple’s latest mobile operating system that runs on iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch range.

According to Bloomberg, Apple Internet Software and Services senior vice president Eddy Cue made the move as part of a raft of management changes instigated soon after taking charge of the division.

The report also said Cue is talking to external mapping experts such as TomTom, who provide the raw data for Apple’s service, about how to improve the Maps application.

Initial reaction to Maps was so bad that CEO Tim Cook was forced to issue a public apology, and even suggested customers use offerings from rival companies while Apple sorts the mess out.

Apple’s own mapping service was introduced to iOS following the end of an agreement with Google, who had provided its software since the launch of the first iPhone.

Google is currently testing a standalone maps app that it hopes to add to the App Store soon, according to reports.

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This is the latest change at the top for Apple. In October this year the company sacked Scott Forstall, who had been in charge of iOS. It was thought his dismissal was partly due to the mapping issues. The company also dismissed John Browett, the former Dixons boss who was in charge of Apple’s retail stores.

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