iPhone 5 review: (AAPL) Apple dropping Google Maps might have been the wrong decision

Before its release, Apple gave the iPhone 5 to select reviewers at leading national publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Time, CNET and Engadget.

Initial reviews are full of praise, though with a few criticisms. The biggest complaints: The new, smaller Lightning connector, and the new Apple mapping system, which replaces Google Maps.

New OS good, Maps feature "awful"

In addition, Thursday night many reviewers were able to put Apple's new iOS6 operating system to the test, after its release earlier in the day. This will be the mobile operating system on the new iPhone, and is available as an upgrade to the iPhone 4S.

Most reviewers are impressed with the iOS upgrade, with the exception of some aspects of Apple's new mapping system, which replaces Google maps. It no longer offers Google's street view, though it does offer narrated turn by turn directions.

But a growing number of reviewers say the new Apple mapping system, stinks when compared with Google.

Conservative Fox News calls it a "flop" and "awful."

Liberal Huffington Post says Apple's new maps show out of business stores like Woolworths, and even misses some towns entirely.

And the new iOS6 (and the iPhone 5) no longer offers an automatic YouTube app: You will have to set it up yourself. This is more evidence of Apple's separation with Google, which owns YouTube.

But what about the iPhone 5 itself?

CNN/Money has gone through the reviews, and listed some of the findings:

Time Magazine: 

"It's the most polished version yet of what was already easily the most polished phone on the market," Reviewer Harry McCracken said.

The New York Times:

Reviewer David Pogue complains about the new Lightning connector, saying "it doesn't fit any existing accessories, docks or chargers. If you have a few accessories, you could easily pay $150 for adaptors."

The Wall Street Journal:

Reviewer Walter Mossberg says the new phone is "significantly faster, thinner, and lighter, while gaining a larger 4-inch screen."

CNET: 

"The iPhone we've always wanted," Reviewer Scott Stein said. However, he criticizes it for the smaller connector, and the fact that Sprint and Verizon customers still can't use voice and data at the same time.

Engadget:

Reviewer Tim Stevens says it "has all the improvements and refinements people have been demanding over the past year."

Despite a few shortcomings, most reviewers are praising the phone, which is expected to be the fastest selling iPhone ever.

For the full CNN/Money summary and report, click here.

As always, don't waste your money.

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