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 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.