Apple apologises to customers for Maps app

Customers have complained about the move to a new maps system Credit: Yves Herman / Reuters

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has apologised to customers following a barrage of complaints over its new maps system.

The rare apology follows Apple's launch of its own mapping service earlier this month, when it began selling the iPhone 5 and rolled out iOS 6, the highly anticipated update to its mobile software platform.

Users complained that the new Maps service - based on Dutch navigation equipment and digital map maker TomTom NV's data - contained geographical errors and gaps in information, and that it lacked features that made Google Maps so popular.

In a letter of apology published on the Apple website, Mr Cook wrote: ""We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."

He added that the company "fell short" of its commitment to deliver "the best experience possible to our customers."

But in an unusual move for the consumer giant, the Apple CEO then suggested that customers download rival mapping services available in Apple's App store, while the company improves the product.