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Underdone iTunes put back in oven for another month

'Taking longer than expected' to avoid crap Maps app flap recap

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Back on September 12, during Apple's iPhone 5 rollout soirée, the company also previewed a "completely redesigned" iTunes software, promising that it would appear this month.

It won't.

In an email widely circulated on Tuesday, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said that the new version – presumably iTunes 11, seeing as how we're currently on v.10.7 – would be delayed until next month.

"The new iTunes is taking longer than expected," he wrote, "and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November."

If you think that the delay has something to do with Monday's ouster of iOS headman Scott Forstall – who reportedly was given the "here's-your-hat-what's-your-hurry" treatment for refusing to apologize for the crap Maps app flap – you may be partially correct.

iTunes wasn't part of Forstall's portfolio, but was instead likely the reponsibility of Eddy Cue, Apple's SVP for internet software and services – and Cue wasn't shown the door on Monday, but instead upgraded to also handling stumbling, bumbling Siri and the bumbling, crumbing Maps app.

The departure of Forstall and Tuesday's announcement that iTunes would be late speaks to something a bit deeper going on in the secret confines of One Infinite Loop: CEO Tim Cook is, as the saying goes, kicking ass and taking names.

It's a jungle out there in the consumer products industry, where all that separates you from being on the top of the heap and being composted inside of it is your brand's credibility (c.f., RIM, Nokia).

It appears that Cook weighed the loss of face caused by being late against the embarrassment of having another Maps (or Ping, or Mobile Me) on his hands, and pulled back the reins on the horses dragging the Apple cart.

Not a bad move, says The Reg – although we will, of course, withold judgment until we see iTunes 11, likely just about a month from today.

And about that Maps app, Mr. Cook? I speak as a devoted fanboi who has used your company's products for about three decades when I say, "Fix the damn thing, wouldja? And do so a.s.a.f.p., if you don't mind." ®

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