In a letter posted to the company's web site, Apple CEO Tim Cook has apologized to customers for "the frustration" caused by the disappointing experience of Apple Maps on iOS 6.
The letter hints at an excuse by stating that the initial version of Maps, which was released with the first version of iOS, was disappointing for Apple, and that they wanted to provide a better version with everything that the iOS 6 version promises, and they had to build this from the ground up. Whether and how this was the reason for the quality of the current version is not explicitly stated.
As Apple has been claiming for days, it states that the quality of Apple Maps will improve as more people use it, and the number of people using it is high: "There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations."
In the meantime, Cook notes that there are many alternative map apps available on the web and in the App Store. Here, for example, is how you can add an icon for Google Maps to your iOS home screen. He specifically mentions "Bing, MapQuest and Waze, ... Google or Nokia maps."