The gaiety of the mobile industry outside Cupertino was briefly but immeasurably enhanced by the revelation which emerged last weekend, at the very moment that retail outlets the world over were opening their doors to a flood of consumers kicking and screaming for an iPhone 5, that Apple Maps had – shall we say – a glitch or two. Given the extensive coverage said glitch has received elsewhere, we will pass over the details. Meanwhile – and presumably not without a touch of schadenfreude – Google appears poised to enhance its own browser-based maps application with Street View. A report in the New York Times suggests that the technology will be made available by mid-October
. However, following Apple’s decision to remove Google Maps from the latest iteration of the iOS, it is uncertain when (or if) Google will submit a native app to the App Store for consideration. But for all the furore over the fact that no, there’s not an airport there, it’s a field full of cows and no, Pontypridd doesn’t live there (sorry – couldn’t help it), the fact remains that Apple shifted an awful lot of iPhones last weekend
: 5 million of ‘em to be precise or, to put it in context, two-thirds as many devices in three days as RIM had sold in the previous three months. And there will be millions more shipped in the run up to the festive season. Apple has acknowledged the error – it could hardly not – and is busy attempting to rectify same; all the while, iPhones continue to fly off the shelves (assuming, that is, there are any still left on said shelves). For notwithstanding a rather shaky maps application (and lack of NFC chip), the iPhone 5 is an attractive consumer smartphone; one which – aided by perhaps the world’s most effective marketing machine – is highly desirable not just because it’s a good smartphone, but because it’s a fashion must-have. In short, the queues outside the retail stores told the story. Even if Apple Maps showed them six miles away.