Unlike Joe Nocera, Jean-Louis Gassée (obviously) understands Apple and is much more thoughtful when it comes to the Maps situation.
He takes a quick swipe at the press coverage of the situation:
Pageview-driven commenters do the expected. After having slammed the “boring” iPhone 5, they reversed course when preorders exceed previous records, and now they reverse course again when Maps shows a few warts.
Then he goes after Nocera himself:
Even Joe Nocera, an illustrious NYT writer, joins the chorus with a piece titled Has Apple Peaked? Note the question mark, a tired churnalistic device, the author hedging his bet in case the peak is higher still, lost in the clouds. The piece is worth reading for its clichés, hyperbole, and statements of the obvious: “unmitigated disaster”, “the canary in the coal mine”, and “Jobs isn’t there anymore”, tropes that appear in many Maps reviews.
Gassée faults Apple for poor wording and marketing around what is clearly not a superior product. I agree with that. In their iOS 6 preview events and the iPhone 5 event, Apple set up their Maps as better than Google Maps. That’s silly and clearly not true. This opened the door wider than it normally would have been for backlash.
Like “Antennagate” before it, the Maps situation is largely being blown way out of proportion. But that is partially Apple’s fault.