Jobs: Apple FUBARed, MobileMe sucks, will get better


Apple's MobileMe service has proven to be a horror It's been a curious thing to watch: Apple makes mistakes all the time, but they are usually small mistakes, easily swept aside in the tide of their own user's enthusiasm. But MobileMe wasn't just a cool service with some flaws: it ripped itself out of Apple's usually fertile loins like some Belial-esque monstrosity and immediately went for the throat of those who had expected to love it most.

The good news is that Steve Jobs is pissed. In an internal email to Apple employees yesterday evening, Jobs admitted that MobileMe was "not up to Apple's standards" and should have been rolled out in small chunks rather than as a "monolithic service."

"It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store," Jobs said. "We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence." No kidding.

The bad news: Apple still doesn't think MobileMe is up to snuff. Jobs says that Apple will "press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year." Pessimistically, that means beleaguered MobileMe users could have four months of teeth gritting ahead of them.

It also looks like the MobileMe team has been reorganized. The group will now report to iTunes honcho Eddy Cue, who also heads up the Apple Store. Cue will report directly to Jobs. There's no word on what happened to MobileMe's previous department head: fired out of a cannon into an industrial shredder is my bet.

Steve Jobs: MobileMe "not up to Apple standards" [Ars Technica]

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12 Responses to Jobs: Apple FUBARed, MobileMe sucks, will get better

  1. Halloween Jack says:

    I’m so glad that I never figured out why I would want to pay $99 a year for this stuff.

  2. Santos says:

    Why is John such a hater? This is the 6th swipe at Apple I seen from him. What is his problem? It’s past annoying.

  3. pork musket says:

    Sorry your delicate sensibilities were not accounted for, princess. Maybe you missed the part where this is all based on things Steve Jobs said?

  4. jungleFish says:

    Oh, and also, Santos, MobileMe DOES suck and IS fubar.

    I was excited, jumped on it the day of launch, and was trying to justify to myself the $99/year cost. I was hoping for a central repository for all my email, calendar, etc. Nope, instead it won’t sync with my computer, erased my iPhone’s data once and tried two more times, oh and also runs slowly and is incompatible with IE. I hate having to open Safari just to use it, especially when it takes 30 seconds or more to load the calendar (which is blank because it won’t sync).

    In other words, this article isn’t hating, it’s just being truthful, and in fact I find it encouraging that Apple recognizes its problems and is taking action to correct at least some of them.

  5. michaelportent says:

    The problem is that even if they do retract the service now, everybody’s gonna be skeptical to pay for it when they roll it back out. And if they leave it up and admit they’re tweaking it and don’t expect it to be good for another year, people won’t buy it either.

    This is a rare example of Apple shooting themselves in the foot.

  6. Santos says:

    @Pork Musket – I’m pointing out that Brownlee is a hater; And not just of Apple; he randomly chose to dump on black Q-Tips mocking the Japanese for it.

    @ Junglefish – the product will get better. Apple never gave the world Vista. If IE is the problem, try the service with the SeaMonkey browser instead. And didn’t you get the 30% instant savings? MobileMe is for Mac people and iPhone customers primarily – and Apple is very good at fixing goofs. If you look at Brownlee’s other stories – you’ll see he is consistent in his unrelenting attacks on Apple.

  7. jbang says:

    SANTOS: I believe you, sir, are the hater. Or fishing? Lighten up?

    It’s sort of great to see such a spectacular fuck up come from the Jobs machine. I’m a total fanboy, and I’ve been burnt. The 30 seconds of humility we see from Jobs about this at the next conference will counter the following 30 minutes where he bangs on about how darned cool it is now.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Note to self:
    Never name a product *something* me. Whether I mean millenium edition or not.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I dont understand whats the problem with this guy,may be he is a job hater or a big fan of gates

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well.. I just cancelled mine. It is outrageously expensive for what you get. I am posting these words here, because Apple does not provide any feedback mechanism for cancellations other than
    a multiple choice question.

    IMHO Apple missed a huge opportunity because of their usual arrogance. I have to give it them, does work pretty good if you own a MAC.

    What they missed is this: A web interface is a great tool in and by itself, an ubiquitious web interface into your iPhone. It lets you to manage the data in your phone via a slick web interface with fire-and-forget 2 way synchronization OTA.
    This is what the world needs.

    NO thank you, I am NOT buying and overpriced PC, running a ripped of 32 bit open source OS, just because it is called Mac and they slapped a GUI on top if it.

    Sadly, the web interface seems to be a mere afterthought. E.g.: you can not set Alarms for your calendar entries from the web. Strangely, the database support is clearly there for this, because you can do it from the MAC iCal. Alarms will propagate into MobileME and all the way to your iPhone.

    This silly omission misses the whole point of carrying portable device. If I wanted to keep looking at my appointments lest I forget, I could just chisel them onto a stone tablet…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Here it is a year later and mobileMe still SUCKS! The webmail client is a$$ slow and pathetic compared to gmail, yahoo mail, a friggin carrier pidgeon. It all went down hill after they moved their web interface over to SproutCore with the transition from to What a waste of money. If I didn’t have so much invested in where I’ve given out my address I’d have ditched this worthless POS months ago. Seriously this is the only Apple FAIL I’ve experienced in the 25 years of owning Apple products.

  12. Ben says:

    i jumped on the mobileme bandwagon last year because the concept of the “cloud” made sense. a year on and mobileme is still extremely frustrating. the mail takes too long, the photo album syn with iphoto takes too long, the site hosting is not worth mentioning, and everything is just slow. all the “on-the-road” info like contacts, calender, and even my mobileme email is on gmail. its synced thru itunes and i must say i don’t miss the cloud at all. i now use google apps extensively now and am much happier. i’ve will not be renewing my mobileme subscription again so i’ll be richer too! try picasa for mac; its much easier, quicker and nowhere near as pretentious as iPhoto.

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