Apple retail exec: "we messed up"

Apple is showing a rare case of humility.

Just days after reports swarmed the Internet of massive employee layoffs at Apple Store locations throughout the world, an Apple executive has admitted that it make mistakes.

But not publicly. Apple senior vice president of retail John Browett reportedly sent an internal email to management teams at its stores, saying that the company wanted to try a new “formula” that didn’t work out.

In the email, at least part of which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Browett told managers to tell their employees, “We messed up.”

Details about this mysterious “formula” were not released.

Apple isn’t completely shoving this under the rug, though. The WSJ quoted company spokesperson Kristin Huguet as saying:

“Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed. Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”

What this episode shows most of all is that Apple is not a retail company. Although its stores drive traffic because of its sheer fan base and the window-shopping appeal of its brand, it does not have the expertise of a Best Buy or a Macy’s.

It’s unclear if this will affect customer experience when trying to buy the iPhone 5, which is expected to be unveiled in less than a month.