Apple axes map fiasco man Richard Williamson

Apple has found a scapegoat for its maps fiasco and sent him into the wilderness armed only with his iPhone 5 for guidance. It is unlikely that we will ever see Richard Williamson again.

Williamson is the head that Apple hopes will appease users who have to attempted to use the piss-poor software and ended up in a place they never expected.

Apple was so confident with its own mapping software that it deleted the much more useful Google maps from iOS. People bought the phone anyway, because it was the latest one. But that did not stop Apple having to deal with a storm of protest.

Williamson was an obvious scapegoat. He oversaw the mapping team. But according to Bloomberg’s deep throats, he was actually pushed out by senior vice president Eddy Cue. Cue took over last month as part of a management shakeup.

Cue apparently wants to install a new leadership team for the group, one person said.

It is not clear why no one in Apple noticed that the software was obviously broken when they signed off on it.  Seeing the occasional heads roll is expected for this sort of fiasco, but it is a puzzle just why Apple waited nearly three months before pointing the fingure at Williamson.

It was widely suspected that the map fiasco was what caused the sudden exit of mobile-software chief Scott Forstall, whose departure was announced in October, however, at an outfit like Apple there must have been much more senior staff who were involved in the approval of the software. It would have not been difficult for the senior management to find faults with the software – all they had to do was try it. So the question is why did a company that is famous for its quality sign off on software which was clearly half-baked?

Cue is apparently trying to get advice from outside mapping technology experts and prodding digital maps provider TomTom to fix the landmark and navigation data it shares with Apple.

Meanwhile, a team at Apple has been working to fix the mapping mistakes, focusing first on some of the most glaring problems, one person said.

Already the satellite imagery over the UK has been improved and labels for popular US landmarks have been fixed.