Jobs Acknowledges Problems with MobileMe

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs has admitted publicly that his company’s MobileMe service has significant problems, and discussed what the plans are to fix them.

Apple MobileMeMobileMe is Apple’s new service that’s similar to Exchange but targeting consumers, not business users as Microsoft’s offering does. It lets users synchronize their emails, contacts, and calendars, not only with their iPhone but also with a Mac or Windows computer.

Jobs sent an email to Apple employees yesterday that says, in part “It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store. We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence.”

Problems and Complaints

Users have had numerous problems with MobileMe, especially with the web services, such as the online calendar and iDisc.

Possibly the biggest complaint with MobileMe isn’t a bug or glitch, though. Instead, people are unhappy with the delays in synchronizing information on their desktop. Apple originally advertised that the Mac and Windows versions of MobileMe would offer Push service, but they don’t. Instead, the desktop clients are periodically updated, with delays up to 15 minutes.

In a Push service, such as what’s offered by Microsoft Exchange, all the devices that are connected to the service are updated immediately as soon as there’s a change to one device. For example, a user can add an event to their calendar using the desktop client, and their smartphone’s calendar is immediately updated.

With the MobileMe, changes are Pushed immediately to the iPhone, but not the desktop clients.

Problems and limitations of the MobileMe service have been extensively discussed in the Brighthand forums.

Moving Forward

In an attempt to get MobileMe back on track, Apple is reorganizing its online services group. The MobileMe team now reports to Eddy Cue, who will lead all of the company’s Internet services, including iTunes and the App Store.

Steve Jobs concluded his email by promising, “we will press on to make it [MobileMe] a service we are all proud of by the end of this year.”

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