I think Tim Cook’s letter, baring one problem, got it right:
Personalized salutation: “To our customers” was personal and warm.
Started with a strength: “… we strive to make world-class products …”
Expressed clear and immediate apology: “We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused …”
Remedy at work: Made it clear that correcting the problem is a priority
Recognized the involvement of customers: “… appreciate feedback …”
Offered solution, even if temporary: “download maps apps from Apple store” and even recommended its fierce rival Google as well as Nokia.
Unfortunately, but perhaps understandably, defensiveness, subtle but repeatedly there, detracted from the apology. I love my iPhone, but to a non-expert reading the apology, I wanted to know if the product actually should have been launched. Had I been one of the many customers sent on a wild goose chase, I’d really want an answer to that.
Would it have been better if Tim Cook said nothing? I don’t think so. It showed strength and reinforced the brand.
What do you think?