Apple shares sink after iOS 8.0.1 glitch

Apple (AAPL) shares are falling as the company scrambles to fix a problem with its iOS 8 mobile operating system.

A software update intended to eliminate bugs in iOS 8 is causing many iPhone users to lose service, as well as the Touch ID feature for iPhones equipped with the feature. Apple has released a temporary fix for the latest version of its platform, iOS 8.0.1. The company had already pulled the update after a flurry of consumer complaints.

Apple's stock, which has risen steadily this year, declined nearly 3 percent, to $98.80 on a down day for the broader financial markets. In late-morning trade, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 220 points, to 16,990, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite index were also down.

The iOS 8.0.1 glitch is an embarrassment for Apple, which describes the new platform as its "biggest iOS release ever" and which is counting on the new platform to help drive sales of its recently introduced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It could also tarnish Apple's brand, whose strength depends in part on its reputation for making products that are easy to use and glitch-free.

The new version of iOS was seen by some reviewers as offering some compelling features to customers, including the new Apple Pay payment system, improved messaging, home automation and health monitoring capabilities, and keyboard changes to make communications easier.

But iOS 8 has had problems from the start. Customers reported a variety of issues, including degraded Wi-Fi performance, shortened battery life, and incompatibility with HealthKit, a new tool from Apple that lets users monitor their health and fitness.

It isn't unusual for software to need updates soon after its commercial release, as a combination of different hardware configurations and real-world conditions test the limits of software code or raise issues that engineers might not have expected. But when the company is Apple, such issues play into investor worries that Apple is no longer as effective in creating a strong user experience.

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.