Jobs: MobileMe launch 'not our finest hour'

In an internal e-mail sent Monday afternoon by Steve Jobs and subsequently leaked across the Internet, the Apple CEO laments the launch of the service and shakes up management to prevent it from happening again.

The biggest change announced in the e-mail, as first revealed by Jacqui Cheng of Ars Technica, would be the promotion of Eddy Cue to vice president of Internet Services. Having previously headed up the company's successful iTunes division and the new App Store, Cue's responsibilities would now expand to Mobile Me.

Cue will report directly to Jobs, the memo reveals, which means the chief executive would likely now play a significant part in the overall development of the service. "MobileMe was simply not up to Apple's standards -- it clearly needed more time and testing," Jobs wrote.

One way the company could have escaped such widespread problems was attempting to launch the service differently, he went on. For example, the company could have just launched with iPhone syncing only, and then expanding to offer web access to each of the features after it was assured that they were working property.

Jobs seemed to suggest that he thought the company may have bitten off more than it could chew by attempting to coordinate four major releases at the same time. On July 11, not only did MobileMe launch, but so did the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 2.0 software update, and the brand new App Store.

So many releases at once simply strained the company further than it should have, which likely meant that less time was spent on testing out MobileMe to ensure that no problems would come up later.

The extent to which MobileMe was tested outside of Apple, if at all, remains unknown even after the leaking of this memo. Nonetheless, Jobs said Apple has learned much from the ragged launch of its new Internet service.

"The vision of MobileMe is both exciting and ambitious, and we will press on to make it a service we are all proud of by the end of this year," he concluded.

Some still believe that Apple can do just that. "We all admire Apple for its insanely great hardware and software. We're rooting for Apple to get MobileMe fixed so it can truly delight millions of customers and fans," Frost & Sullivan chief mobile analyst Dr. J. Gerry Purdy said. "When MobileMe works as intended, it's going to be truly magical."

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