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 Apple Gives MobileMe Crisis Control a Blog

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PostSubject: Apple Gives MobileMe Crisis Control a Blog   Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:25 am

July 26, 2008 — 01:23 PM PDT — by Paul Glazowski —

Alright, so maybe Apple thought MobileMe would fare only a little better in grabbing $99-worth of attention from prospective registrants for its cloud-based application package than its relatively morose-feeing .Mac selection of services. (MobileMe is the replacement to .Mac.) Who’s to say. Whatever the case, the company most certainly failed to estimate the level of interest it received the day the program, along with the iPhone 3G, had its launch. Now Apple is atoning for the miscalculations and the mismanagement. How so? First came the 30-day account extension. And as of Friday, it appears Apple is publishing a status page expected to show updates “every other day.” The updates are written by a so-far-unnamed individual, and have purportedly been mandated by Steve Jobs Steve Jobs .

Says Apple in its debut post, a particularly regretful loss was 10% of messages received through MobileMe between July 16 and July 18, a week after the product had been released. Problems over mail are said to have affected 1% of members. All in all, it will be several days before “restoration of full access for all…accounts” is completed.

As with efforts by the likes of Amazon and Twitter and others to more closely chronicle the goings on of server-side activity, this move by Apple is no doubt appropriate. Yet what is unusual about the establishment of an official blog of this sort is its rather open, mea culpa-like dimension. The company is generally notorious for its secrecy, an aspect of management that recently drew increased concerns about the CEO’s health circa his previous two public appearances. The only prior moment when Apple itself took action to assuage vocal public rumblings was when it released credits to consumers who had purchased first-generation iPhone handsets within the first two months of its launch, after it decreased the price of those devices by $200.

It’s hard to say whether this establishes a benchmark of what to expect from Apple in the future concerning various technical hiccups. Given recent communications by the company at large and by its chief executive, one might presume a trend is forming. But old habits die hard. What worked before to large extent will almost definitely remain the norm. The company’s customer service has often been touted by consumers and the press as one of particular effectiveness. Only at extremes - the MobileMe debacle certainly fits the profile - should one expect Apple to keep the public so abreast of internal goings on. A support page has also been published on the matter.
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