It's not like Apple to issue a public apology for their shortcomings.
Steve Jobs deigned to apologize for the signal reception issues that plagued the then-new iPhone 4 back in 2010, but only after he was asked if he indeed felt sorry. Such an admission of guilt, an ostensible sign of weakness, is really more of a RIM thing.
With the burgeoning disaster that is Apple Maps, CEO Tim Cook must have felt remiss if he didn't eventually address the issue. But it's not the apology that truly shocked the tech world; it's the way Cook went about it.
In a fashion completely unbecoming of Apple, Cook has urged iPhone users to consider alternatives such as Bing, Waze and even Google, makers of the famous mapping application that Apple had dropped in favour of an in-house product for the iPhone 5.
"At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers," Cook shared in the public apology. "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 and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."
"While we're improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app."
The unique apology, which has dominated today's tech headlines, seems to have created a dichotomy between appreciative pundits and skeptical aficionados.
Some have heralded Cook for exhibiting such humility, honesty and self confidence in the face of disaster. Others have criticized the conspicuous sign of weakness, quickly arguing that the late Steve Jobs wouldn't have apologized, let alone steer jaded Apple users in the direction of the competition.
I, for one, applaud the apology while acknowledging the validity of the counter-argument. Tipping your hat toward the competition is risky business, but putting all of your chips in the strength of the Apple fan base could prove to be a wise gamble.
Meanwhile, rumours of the Google Maps app returning to the iPhone have already begun to swirl. Sources indicate the app could be available in time for Christmas, though Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, strongly refutes the rumour.
"We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" said Schmidt in a Reuters piece. "We have not done anything (to get Google Maps back on iOS) yet."