China's AutoNavi Responds to Apple Maps Fiasco: Blame TomTom

Since the upgrade to iOS 6 there have been, well, some complaints about Apple's new Maps app. In fact, the thing has been kind of a disaster. This is as true in China as it has been anywhere else, and while the iPhone 5 isn't out in China yet, iPhone 4 and 4S users who have upgraded to iOS 6 are looking for answers, and Apple has thusfar only provided some PR bullshit.

AutoNavi (NASDAQ:AMAP - News) -- the Chinese company that's providing Apple's maps for China and some other parts of Asia -- has been less quiet, though. It has responded to Chinese user complaints by saying that there is nothing wrong with the AutoNavi Maps product, and the reason for the issues people have experienced is that apparently, the upgrade to iOS 6 has caused some users to be unable to connect to the AutoNavi service. Their maps of China, then, are being served by TomTom (another Apple Maps partner), and that's where the mistakes are coming from.

AutoNavi has even offered a workaround fix for Chinese users who want the AutoNavi maps back:

  1. Close the Maps app

  2. Set your system time to seven days in the future. (So if today is Sept. 25, set it for Oct. 2)

  3. Reset the phone

  4. Open Maps, if the Autonavi logo appears in the bottom right, you're all set.

Of course, this fix does nothing to rectify many of the complains about Maps, some of which seem to be issues with AutoNavi's maps themselves. (For example, the terrible map of Taiwan is an AutoNavi map issue and won't be fixed by getting rid of the TomTom maps in China). It also isn't clear whether you have to keep your system set seven days into the future for this "fix" to keep working; if so, that would be horribly inconvenient.

In the end, I guess it's your choice: do you want a phone that can no longer tell you the correct date or a phone that can no longer provide you with accurate maps? Personally, the more I see of AutoNavi's Maps and the more silence I hear coming from Apple, the more I think about making my next phone an Android... (And of course, for Chinese users, another option would just be to switch to Baidu Maps, which just got a sweet update).

[Beijing News via Sina Tech]