Apple To Issue Free Cases For iPhone 4 Antenna “Fix”

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Posted on 16th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in In The News

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While it will no doubt affect their bottom line a little, Apple will issue a free case to all iPhone 4 purchasers or reimburse those who have already purchased a case.  The case, it seems, is plenty effective in reducing the antenna reception issue that occurs when a user places his/her hand or fingers over the flawed design of the antenna that wraps around the exterior of the iPhone 4.  This comes at no surprise to me and is the more sensible approach to correcting the issue which Apple continues to maintain has been blown way out of proportion by those who simply want to take shots at the technology giant.  Certainly more sensible than, say, telling people to place a piece of duct tape over the weak spot in the antenna (Consumer Reports – bunch of agenda driven dumb asses).

To be fair, without Consumer Reports’ ground breaking article (** hear the sarcasm, please **) Apple might still be responding to emails suggesting that customers simply hold their phone differently or issuing a PR statement that tries to redirect the issue as a software problem that is simple to fix while continuing to tout how great their device is.  But after seeing their stock price take a hit after CR’s “duct tape” solution, Apple finally had to come to grips with what the matter was going to do to their company image as a whole.  So you iPhone 4 users can thank CR, I guess, for getting you a new case sooner, rather than later.

No word on exactly what case is being offered or if there will be a maximum dollar amount associated with reimbursement, but I’m sure those details will come out shortly.

Apple clearly dealing with it’s first real bruise in quite some time.

Apple News Conference To Address iPhone 4 Antenna Complaints

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Posted on 16th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in In The News

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Apple boss man Steve Jobs appears set to hold a 1pm ET news conference to address the iPhone 4 antenna complaints, today.  Here’s a couple of links:

It’s pretty clear to say that the iPhone 4 effort has been a bumpy ride.  First there was the iPhone 4 prototype that was left in a bar and ended up being snapped up and reviewed/publicized by Gizmodo in a post entitled “This is Apple’s Next iPhone“.  Then, when announcing the iPhone 4 and demonstrating it’s capabilities, Apple had a massive point of embarrassment when everything froze with Steve Jobs on stage pleading with everyone to turn off their wifi devices … leading to the infamous “Verizon!” shout out in a plea to get the iPhone 4 added to the Verizon network.  And the most damaging of all of the PR issues is now at hand with the complaints and poor reviews about the iPhone 4’s antenna losing reception when users hold them and cover up a weak point of the phone’s design with their fingers or thumb. It didn’t help that Steve Jobs responded to some emails suggesting that the problem is nothing but user error when he said (paraphrasing) “stop holding it that way”.  The PR on this issue had gone viral and is piling up fast.  Consumer Reports did a piece on the iPhone 4 and ended up saying that they cannot recommend the device because of this problem, which led to an instant hit on Apple’s stock price and a kick in the pants for Apple brass.

The funny thing in all of this, to me, is that the fixes are all the same – place something over the phone’s antenna.  99% of iPhones, I would bet, are immediately put into a case of some sort to protect it which instantly eliminates this problem.  So, really, what is the big deal?  Consumer Reports went out of their way to mention that a piece of duct tape fixes the problem – what a stupid ass comment to include in an article.  If a piece of duct tape placed on the side of the phone fixes it, then what else might fix it?  A case maybe?  No, that can’t be.  Let’s include something that has no intended purpose but has completely negative and old-ignorant-fix-it-style connotation just to slap Apple and their new technology aura in the face.  I hate Consumer Reports and this piece did nothing to help their cause with me.  Still, their piece accomplished what it was designed to do in grabbing Apple’s attention and getting them to focus on addressing the problem – at least that’s what seems to be happening with this conference, today.  Maybe they should just offer a free case for the phone?  That’s gotta be a lot cheaper and more reasonable than recalling all of the devices.

Buy Your Apple Stock Yet?

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Posted on 20th April 2010 by Ben Krasner in Stocks & Investing

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Apple announced 1st quarter earnings, today, and took Wall Street’s earnings estimates and stomped all over them. With stronger than expected iPhone sales as well as continued strength throughout its product lineup, Apple announced a staggering 90 percent growth in net revenue and much higher than expected earnings per share figures that sent the stock soaring in initial after-market trading. If you needed any more proof that Apple is the king of corporations, right now, this had to do it for you. I’m sure glad I have the shares that I own – I only wish I had more and had purchased them a long time ago. Have you bought yours yet?

With the overwhelmingly successful launch of yet another product – the iPad – the sky only seems to grow brighter and higher for Apple. They truly have a halo position in the global marketplace and it seems they can do no wrong. Their products are not for everyone and I would argue that their consistently pricing themselves out of certain mainstream marketing, but they are profitable and are not having to compete in a price-competitive arena because their products are so differentiated from the rest of the mix. So while I will never likely own a MacBook or an iMac, I am thrilled with my iPhone and am, in fact, typing this blog post on it right now. Their lineup makes me wonder if they might be able to get at least one product into the homes/hands of many – and what might that number be?

I currently have about 10% of my fledgling IRA invested in Apple stock and I’m pretty content in that number even though I may wish I had a few more shares. At about $240/$250 a share, Apple shares add up quickly. Is this stock right for you? And where could the value of Apple reach?

I think any company that shows the kind of success that Apple has belongs in your portfolio. This is a company that clearly has its finger on the pulse of mobile tech. I also think any stock that has a price tag this high needs you to be monitoring it very closely. These days, investors are much quicker to trade out of a stock if speed bumps are felt or even just perceived to be felt. There’s also more trading in the investor mix and traders will take profits or reposition themselves at a moments notice. And Apple could just as easily be reaching it’s maximum just when we think they are reaching their best distance stride. Google is a prime example of a high-end stock that’s hit a few cracks in their road to world domination and investors and traders have made them pay with quick adjustments during the unoredictable economic times – especially for their failure in China.

With more than half a million iPads sold already – all within the US and before the international release – combined with this quarter’s steller reports, I see no end in sight for the Apple halo. I’m looking for a ride up to near $330 a share, maybe sometime after the holiday season, and continued solid mobile products to be churned out – with the next in line being the new iPhone.