Will maps be Apple’s Waterloo?

Even while Apple’s stock hit an all-time high of $700 on Monday and the iPhone 5 is heralded as the fastest selling iPhone ever with over 2m ordered in the first 24 hours, criticism of a kind never seen before has been sweeping the web driven by the new Apple maps app.

Apple made the decision to replace Google maps because of the growing and fierce competition between the two companies for the future of mobile development. However, normally loyal iPhone users have been highly critical of the decision, with features such as street view and transport times particularly lamented.

Apple was quick to say it was responding to criticism and would improve the application, but the fact remains this is looking like quite a misstep.

Coupled with this are the on-going issues with Siri, the iPhone’s “personal assistant”, which is being given a run for its money by both Google Voice and S Voice, the new voice assistant from Samsung.

The big question to my mind is who is best equipped to deal with a world in which consumers value easy to use (but very hard to do) services like maps or artificial intelligence, more than features inherent in the devices themselves. In other words; who is better in the cloud?

When we look back on this period in five or 10 years time I wonder if we will be saying that this was the historical moment when the world’s largest tech company peaked?

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