It looks as if Apple [Nasdaq: AAPL] may have lost its way when it comes to mapping software.

Hundreds of users have taken to Internet message boards to complain that the firm’s new map application, introduced on its iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch devices as a free “iOS6” software upgrade on Wednesday, is full of navigation bugs and inaccuracies.

Users have complained that the much-heralded new mapping application is littered with misplaced towns and cities, while reviewers have also criticized the new application.

The result of a battle with smartphone rival Google [NASDAQ: GOOG], Apple’s mapping software replaces Google Maps, which had until yesterday been a default feature on Apple devices.

“Apple believes that they can deliver a better experience for customers than Google,” Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research, told Bloomberg.

“But in the short term, Google has a better mapping application, and iPhone customers will suffer.”

After testing the soon to be released iPhone 5, a Wall Street Journal reviewer wrote: ““The biggest drawback I found is the new Maps app.”

The BBC reported problems with Apple’s new software in the UK, including:

Towns that appeared to be missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull.

  • Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location.
  • A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages 5 and above.
  • Users also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river.
  • The issue comes as Apple gears up to release the iPhone 5 on Friday, with the firm booking over 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours it went on sale.