Monday, June 28, 2010

The case against Apple

Imagine you just bought a new shiny car, the car that you always dreamed about. You take an excited first look at your new purchase, move your hand around it to touch the curves, click on the alarm remote control to open the door with a fancy little "blip!", and make yourself comfortable in the driver's seat. You start the engine and start your first ride. Oooops - the engine stops working. With a hesitating hand you start it again, just to find out the engine is not working again. It turns out, that when you sit in the driver's seat in the way you always used, which is the most comfortable way there is, the engine will stop working. In any other position, the engine will work ok.

How disappointed you would feel? Would you feel you have been cheated?

This is exactly what I think about the iPhone 4 reception issue. This is no minor issue, a malfunctioning side feature, or a small typo in the GUI menu. This issue is within the core functionality of the device. The fact that holding the device in a certain way would drop your connection is a major issue. Specially when this exact way of holding the device is the most comfortable when you do your internet browsing or any other operation that requires to click on the iPhone surface. So comfortable that this is how Steve Jobs himself use it. And lets not forget the lefties - this is how they hold the phone in order to make a call. 

Apple just launched an upgrade to a device - sorry, in order to use it, you need to upgrade yourself and change the way you hold it.

What was Apple reaction to this issue? How embarrassing is that? 

"Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."

They don't even acknowledge there is a real major issue, nor they apologize! 

But that's not all. Since Steve Jobs isn't the guy to let go of a good crisis. Not without making an extra buck from it. Since using a case for your iPhone 4 should solve the reception issue. And guess who is making those cases? correct - Apple does. Surely, cases for iPhone existed from the very first one, however this is the first time Apple produces an official one with the Apple name on it. If I were more cynical I would say Apple knew about this problem before hand, therefore produced a "fix" in the form of a case.

I would expect from a company as big as Apple, that produces products with such a high price tag, to be sincere, admit there is a fault and apologize. I would also expect it to announce:
   1. Anyone that purchased the iPhone 4 can return it and get his money back
   2. Recall to all the iPhones for a free fix, if a fix is possible
   3. Provide the Apple case for free

Some alternative translation to Steve Jobs reply on the issue:
"There are no reception issues. Stay Tuned."

Let the phone stay tuned - this way you will not have any reception issues.

Fake Steve Jobs take on the issue:

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