None of The Phones Are Perfect : Steve Jobs

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After days of predictions, discussion and anticipations, finally it has been cleared that there no recall, no lucrative offers or gits to existing iPhone 4.0 owners who are suffering and eagerly waiting an announcement from Apple on Signal Strength issue for some time. Steve has blowed fine and clear “There is no Attenagate”. So the end results, according to Apple, whole issue with the iPhone 4.0 attenna issue “blown so far out of proportion”

To view complete Video, click here.

So what are the guidance from Apple to all iPhone owners who are sufferings from ongoing signal strengthen issue :

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  • Apple suggests that all iPhone users must install the latest released iOS 4.0.1, which is supposed to fix iPhone signal issue.
  • Apple can’t make enough bumpers and cases. So company will engage third-party to replace the bumpers & cases for all iPhone 4.0 owners.
  • Refunds to all who already bought bumpers.
  • Interestingly, a reminder to all iPhone users about 30 days money back guarantee on all iPhone 4.0. Refunds and cases will be available on Apple website early next week.

That’s it. Story ends here. Despite of all facts & figures, Steve insist on the fact that signal strength issue is not only with iPhone. All other smart phones also face the similar issue time to time.

“We did our own testing. Let me show you an example of some other smartphones. First, Blackberry Bold 9700, perhaps the most popular business smartphone … … Pretty much identical to the videos on the web about the iPhone 4.”

To stamp his views, Steve  kept few facts handy with him.

  • Complaint rate on Applecare for antenna or reception issues: 0.55%
  • iPhone 4 has 1/3rd of the return rate of the iPhone 3GS
  • The revelation that while the iPhone 4 drops more calls the 3GS, this is less than 1 in 100 more.

In order to console their pained iPhone customers, he tried to convince how much he love them with words :

“We love our users. We try very hard to surprise and delight them. We work our asses off, and it’s great, and we have a blast doing it, and we make some pretty interesting products for them. Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods, the Apple TV … we make some pretty great products. We love our users so much we’ve built 300 Apple retail stores for them, the best buying experience in the world”

obs was also keen to dispel the “style over function” argument, with more love:

“We’re an engineering company. We think like engineers, and we think it’s the right way to solve real, hard problems. I don’t think the fact that we love our customers is going to change at all. I don’t think we could run any faster. We’ve had cots in the labs, cars in the parking lots all night. We’ve been living here.”

But it’s clear that this episode has left Apple feeling unloved. Jobs again:

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“I guess it’s just human nature, when you see someone get successful you just want to tear it down. I see it happening with Google. Google is a great company. Look at everything they’ve created. Would you prefer if we were Korean companies? Do you not like the fact that we’re an American company leading the world right here? Of course we’re human, of course we’ll make mistakes. But sometimes I feel that in search of eyeballs for these web sites, people don’t care about what they leave in their wake.”

It also seems that, more than anything, it was the coverage in Consumer Reports that had the most effect:

“One thing is how much we love our customers and how we are going to take care of them. We were stunned and upset and embarrassed by the Consumer Reports stuff, and the reason we didn’t say more is because we didn’t know enough. If we’d have done this event a week and a half ago, we wouldn’t have had half the data we have today.”

So is this enough to put out the fire? I’m not sure. Bottom line though, there are two issues here:

  • Will consumers be happy with what’s on the table (free case, refund)?
  • How badly has this damaged Apple reputation?

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