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Since it went on sale last Friday, Apple’s new iPhone 5 has broken the sales records set by previous models, with pre-orders of over 2 million devices.

However, the successful launch was overshadowed somewhat by problems dogging the iPhone’s new Maps app.

iOS 6 — the latest Apple software supplied on the iPhone 5 and available as a free download for older models — has lostthe Google Maps app in favour of one cooked up by Apple itself.

Google’s app was widely regarded as excellent, but the reasons for its absence in iOS 6 are so far unknown.

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Despite being described by Apple as “the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever”, however, its new Maps app looks drab, lacks detail and is riddled with mapping errors.

The problems have already been widely reported by the national news media, which is never a good sign, and web sites that humourously document the app’s issues have already popped up.

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Apple has commented on the issue, saying: “We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it. Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”

This comment refers to a feature within the Maps app that allows users to report any problems they find. Given that it’s almost impossible to look at any location without finding a mistake of some sort, this should keep iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users busy for some time.

Google will reportedly bring its Maps app back to iOS via an app of its own at some point before Xmas, but until then, the service can be accessed on an iPad and iPhone via its web site at maps.google.com.

As with Apple’s Maps app, Google’s online mapping service lacks a Street View, but this too can be restored using one of many free apps — Street Viewer and Live Street View are two good ones.