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Apple could spend much of 2013 patching its big Achilles’ heel: Web services

Apple Web Services

Let’s face it: Apple’s (AAPL) Maps fiasco wouldn’t have been such a big deal if it were just a one-time mistake. But as AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski points out, Apple has a history of delivering sub par Web-based services, from Maps to Ping to MobileMe. From this perspective, it isn’t hard to see why Apple executives were supposedly “seething” when they saw how happy their own users were to download the newest iOS version of Google Maps to their iPhones — for all the many things the company does right, it has been frustratingly unable to make a name for itself in the increasingly important web services market.

Paczkowski speculates that Apple will spend a lot of the next year redoubling its efforts to build high-quality Web services that can eventually go toe-to-toe with the likes of Google (GOOG). Citing a note issued earlier this week by Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, Paczkowski says that making improvements to iCloud is Apple’s first logical step in boosting its web service performance, and from there it can move on to improve iTunes Match and Maps for future iOS releases.

The good news for Apple, as Paczkowski notes, is that the company isn’t likely to underestimate the resources and effort needed to pull off Web services in the near future, since the Apple Maps debacle has now put everyone on notice that the world’s most valuable company does indeed make mistakes.

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