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) -- There is no company on Earth that knows how to spin a negative story into good positive vibes better than


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, and the company did it again on Friday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook released a letter on the

company's Web site

, apologizing for the poor mapping application the company released as part of iOS 6, its latest mobile operating system:

To our customers,

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we're improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook

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Not only does Cook pull a page out of Steve Jobs' playbook by apologizing (Jobs apologized for the

iPhone pricing debacle

), but he even mentions other mapping apps, such as


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Bing, and even


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For the CEO of the most powerful tech company in the world to come out and apologize for a piece of software, then mention his competitors' products, is a sign of humbleness and an incredibly powerful statement. Apple previously put out a


on Maps being a letdown, but Cook's words are extremely powerful and carry a significant amount of weight.

A statement like this can change people's perceptions of a company, and when you are the largest company in a world, people are going to take shots at you for a variety of reasons: jealousy, anger, greed.

An apology from Cook on this issue will go a long way in smoothing over some of the negative response from customers. Heck, it may even help

sell more iPhones.

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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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