Apple had a bad situation on their hands when it became apparent over the past week that their new non-Google "Maps" app appeared to fall short of expectations, but Tim Cook took this situation today and flipped it on its head entirely. It's not that Cook apologized for the situation - the situation being that Apple Maps (without Google) isn't as perfect as they wanted it to be - it's that inside this apology, he encouraged users to use other products while they remain patient for Apple Maps to improve. Tim Cook took a situation where Apple could easily have said "just chill out" to the public and said instead, in so many words, "we're confident enough in our own product that we'll literally tell you to use other solutions while we prove to you that you'll want to return to us when the time is right" - this is rare in the tech industry.
The full apology can be found in our other post from earlier today called "Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes for Apple Maps fiasco", but the most important bit can be found here. In one line, Cook takes iOS 6 users down a road containing maps from all of Apple's new Maps' main competitors. He even tells users to use Google Maps in a browser.
"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." - Tim Cook
It's absolutely unimportant at this very moment if any other company would have done the same or even if Apple would have done the same in the past. Apple has right this moment entered a new age in which they don't just create products that compete only with their past products - notice their advertisements that don't mention the competition - they've officially encouraged their competitors to make products that will help them move into the future.
Of course if you think Apple made it this far on it's own, you're sorely mistaken. Apple has always relied on their friends AND their competitors to create an ecosystem in which they'll thrive. I leave you with this undeniably awesome, lighthearted vision from all the way back in 1983 - the Apple Software Dating Game. See what you make of it!