Love means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

Somnath is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a line from the novel and 1970 film Love Story starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. As an ardent admirer of iPhone, the last thing I ever expected was a situation wherein Apple had to apologise for the iconic iPhone.

Say sorry and move on

In an open letter to customers, Apple CEO Timothy Cook said the company strives “to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers.” The Cook note continued “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers.”

His “it’s entirely my fault” won praise from analysts, who were in general agreement that it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Though it seems that the Cook note has brought even more attention to this issue, I think it was the correct decision on his part.  Hopefully the apology will protect and further enhance Apple’s brand in the long run.  Even without the apology, Maps is doing pretty well; there are now more than 100 million iOS devices using the app. 

5 million sold in a week !

The fact that five million iPhone 5 units were sold in the device’s first weekend suggests many of the complaints about the mapping app came from users of earlier iPhone models. Apple’s newest operating system and the iPhone 5 both lack Google’s popular map app. But analysts downplayed the impact of what’s been called “mapgate” on Apple, a dominant player in smartphone and tablet markets.

The huge acceptance of the new iPhone could not keep the stock price of Apple buoyant since shares shed 2% to close at $667.11, ending the week with a loss of roughly 5%.

Closely competiting Apple

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is looking particularly good in the wake of Apple’s iOS 6 maps fiasco, and recently climbed 2.1% to hit $750.04, smashing the average price target of $743. The company pushed against record highs on Sept. 25. Google Now will also combine the company’s legendary data parsing with its advanced artificial intelligence to predict what someone will ask, and answer it ahead of time. Android is already the most ubiquitous mobile operating platform, and services like Google Now will keep the company ahead of the competition and at the top of the market. According to eMarketer, Google is also on track to beat out Facebook in display ad revenue.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY), the pioneer and once-dominant smartphone maker has in recent years lost market share in North America to Apple and Samsung, which produce more user-friendly, multipurpose phones, causing shares to lose 93% of its value in the 5 years since the first iPhone hit the market. Apple and Google account for 85.6% of the smartphone platform market. BlackBerry sales in North America have all but evaporated. The company could be forced to turn overseas for growth.   Although the company has pulled a couple of surprise punches for investors lately. Just a few weeks ago, headlines were that RIM was dead. Now, on Sept. 28, shares closed up 5.04% after surging over 12% in morning trading. Though likely to be a short-lived bounce, Research In Motion is trading up after announcing an unexpected increase in subscriber numbers last Tuesday.

The Apple – Samsung fiasco

Apple is seeking higher damages from Samsung than it was originally awarded by a U.S. jury in August. The jury ruled that Samsung had willfully infringed several design and user-interface features of Apple’s iPhone, and awarded the Cupertino-based company $1.05 billion in damages. Apple is now demanding more extensive damages, calling for the award to be increased by $707 million. Apple is also calling for a U.S. sales ban on 26 of Samsung’s mobile devices.

The anatomy of an authentic apology

When we let our guard down and show our authentic selves, there is always the possibility that we will be rejected or, worse, humiliated. Authentic leaders know that there’s more to an apology than simply the words “I’m sorry” – although that’s a good starting point. Mistakes are inevitable, but few leaders are able to communicate a genuine apology. For Apple, saying “sorry” was part of a SWOT analysis which will actually make the company stronger by learning from its mistakes and with definite in increase sales in the coming months, the stocks will be soaring after gaining the lost ground.

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SomnathGuha has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.

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