Forget the launch woes … Walt Mossberg has spent the last week testing Apple’s (NSDQ: AAPL) new MobileMe service and finds it so flawed he can’t recommend it as is. In his weekly column, Mossberg writes: “It’s a great idea, but, as of now, MobileMe has too many flaws to keep its promises.”
The server overload and email outages that marred the launch have “eased considerably” but these problems are “systemic.” MobileMe, viewed here as a possible killer app, is supposed to support syncing email, bookmarks, calendar info and address books on multiple computers, the iPhone and the iTouch via Mac or Windows. But it didn’t work that way for Mossberg; see the column for details like disappearing email, unsynced bookmarks, missing contact info and more.
His conclusion: “Apple patiently explained each of my problems, sometimes helping me with workarounds, sometimes claiming they were rare, other times saying that it was working on fixes. If Apple does get MobileMe working smoothly, it could be a terrific service. But it’s way too ragged now.”
Sounds like killer-app status is still in the distance.
Update: Not matter how MobileMe turns out, Apple has lost some of its customer service mojo and product launch cred…
More after the jump, including Mossberg’s MobileMe video
David Pogue’s MobileMe is working just fine now — except for that small lack of the promised instant syncing — but he’s taking Apple to task for the way it’s treating those who are having problems (like the woman whose entire email archives were wiped out of multiple locations with Apple able to only recover 43 messages) and for the way it’s handled the whole mess: “But the real problem is how Apple is responding. For a company that’s so brilliant at marketing, it seems to have absolutely no clue about crisis management.” He reports on the limited “official statement” from PR and the terse online notice about problems.
Pogue’s conclusion: “It’s amazing that Apple doesn’t recognize this situation. This is an airplane that’s stuck on the runway for hours with no food or working bathroom. And the pilot doesn’t come on the P.A. system to tell the customers what the problem is, what’s being done to fix it, how much longer they might be stuck, and how he empathizes with their plight. Instead, he comes on once every three hours to repeat the same thing: ‘We apologize for the inconvenience.’ MobileMess, indeed.”
Meanwhile, here’s Mossberg’s MobileMe video.