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8/5/2008
01:04 PM
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Steve Jobs Admits MobileMe Problems

In an internal e-mail, the Apple CEO said the service launched too early and was "not up to Apple's standards."

As Apple's MobileMe continues to sputter, CEO Steve Jobs admits that the service has been rife with problems and that it launched too early.

According to an internal e-mail obtained by technology site Ars Technica, Jobs said MobileMe was "not up to Apple's standards," and that its services could have been rolled out in a phased manner.

"It was a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same times as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software, and the App Store," Jobs wrote. "We all had more than enough to do, and MobileMe could have been delayed without consequence."

Billed as "Exchange for the rest of us," the subscription-based service was supposed to offer nearly instant syncing of data between an iPhone and a user's home computer. But the rollout was beset by technical issues, as many users reported problems with backing up data and accessing the Web portal Me.com.

The problems continued as the company dropped the word "push" from the description of the service, and a "serious issue" with a mail server left about 20,000 subscribers without access to e-mail.

Apple has responded by offering subscribers an extra 30 days of service at no additional cost, and the MobileMe team has been reorganized and will report to Eddy Cue, former VP of iTunes. Cue will head all Internet-related services at Apple, Ars Technica reported.

"The MobileMe launch clearly demonstrates that we have more to learn about Internet services," Jobs wrote. "And learn we will. The vision of MobileMe is both exciting and ambitious, we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of the year."

MobileMe, which is the company's replacement of the .Mac service, also enables customers to store and share photos, videos, and other data wirelessly. It's priced at $99 per year with 20 GB of storage.

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