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After months of rumor and speculation, the iPhone 5 finally hit the retail market at the end of September, but while the device itself launched without so much as a hiccup (save those well-documented yield and production issues), its accompanying firmware was not so fortunate. iOS 6 had also generated a fair amount of coverage during the course of the year, and although Apple’s decision to press ahead with its own in-house Maps offering in place of the old faithful Google iteration was initially seen as brave, the move quickly emerged as a strong candidate for tech fail of the year.

The CEO’s open letter – particularly in the case of Apple in the Steve Jobs days – presents itself as an opportunity for the head honcho to make a bold statement on record. However, in the aftermath that was the release of iOS 6, Tim Cook was forced to utilize this medium to issue a groveling apology to consumers. To compound the misery, he felt obliged recommend very rivals Maps was supposed to trounce, and in the midst of every disaster, there’s nothing like a fall-guy to ease the pressure on the others.

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In the impromptu departure of Scott Forstall – iOS Senior Vice President with a feisty streak akin to his dearly departed former boss – we thought Apple had dealt adequate blame for the monumental disaster that remains the Maps app. Then again, there were other purported reasons contributing to Forstall’s ousting, and let’s face it, if he was at the helm of iOS software as his title suggested, there’s no way he could have single-handedly manned the Maps app.

That buck has stopped with Richard Williamson. According to a report over at Bloomberg, Williamson has been booted due to “flaws [which] hurt [the] iPhone 5 debut,” and with Find My Friends also to his name, it’s of little surprise he’s no longer employed by the Cupertino.

Eddy Cue, who, along with Jony Ive, is said to be assuming new responsibilities opened up by the departures of Forstall and John Browett, is already on the lookout for Williamson’s replacement, but in the meantime, we can only hope Google comes through with its iOS-adapted Maps app.

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