Apple VP: When we make mistakes, we fix them quickly

Apple's bad update worse than #BendGate
Apple's bad update worse than #BendGate

Everyone makes mistakes, even Apple.

When the company released iOS 8.1 last week, there was a bug in the iPhone and iPad operating system that disabled cellular service for as many as 50,000 users. Apple moved fast to release a patch, and on Tuesday Apple VP Greg Joswiak apologized for the mistake.

"We don't make many of them, when we do make them we recover very quickly," said Joswiak on during an on-stage interview at the Code/Mobile conference.

"By the way, our software updates, as you know, get extraordinarily quickly adopted," he added, in a subtle dig at the fragmented Android OS.

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He attributed the error to an issue with the way the software was sent over servers and not the iOS itself.

This isn't the first or last slip-up to hit the company, but how it was handled shows how Apple (AAPL) has changed over the years. In the '90s, the company was still struggling and had its share of major missteps.

"Some of it was trying to make cheap products that were trying to chase market share instead of trying to chase experience," said Joswiak. "You make that mistake once in your life, you're not going to make it twice."

In recent years, Apple's approach to perfecting its users' experiences has meant letting other companies make the early mistakes with new technology. Instead of coming out with the newest technology, Apple will pour more time, money and resources into being the best.

"We have this belief that we don't have the necessarily be the first to do something, we have to be the first to do it well," said Joswiak

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The Apple Watch is not the first smartwatch, but it is still one of the most heavily anticipated. Apple was pretty late to the mobile payments game, and one of the last hardware manufacturers to adopt the NFC wireless communication technology. But one million credit cards were activated on Apple Pay in the tool's first three days. The company is working with three major credit card networks and six of the largest banks.

The rumor mill loves to speculate about Apple's next big ideas. Perhaps it's as easy as looking at what other companies are already doing, poorly.

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