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A Walk With iOS 6 Maps: Apple's Horribly Revamped App Does New York

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What can Apple's problem child tell us about the world's most valuable company?

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As David Pogue pointed out in the New York Times, Apple's reason for elbowing Google out of the picture is pretty simple: Applications like Maps supplied Google with a tremendous amount of free information about iPhone users, and Apple was sick of providing its main competitor with all that data. Its app is so new and so raw, though, that user confidence is quickly evaporating. I wouldn't trust an infant to get me home from the bar, and iOS 6 Maps is clearly still in diapers.

Apple's strength for so many years has been vertical integration, and not the evil robber-baron kind but the forward-thinking and graceful kind that allows iPods, iPhone, iMacs, MacBooks, and all the Apple-made accessories to look like members of a single family. For them to abandon this approach so completely in this app-drawing restaurant reviews from Yelp, driving directions from TomTom, traffic data from Waze, etc.-is perhaps an admission that in a world as mobile as ours, no one company can do everything anymore. Apple has been obsessed with making its devices smaller and smaller, but iOS 6 Maps reminds us that no matter how slim your iPhone is, the world is as enormous as ever.

(See also: Who's the Winner and Loser in the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) / Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps War?)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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