So The Apple iPhone 4 News Conference Has Come And Gone….. [UPDATED]

…. And here’s what went down.

  • First, they played the video that I posted this morning. I’m actually floored by that.
  • Second, “The Steve” himself showed up and said this: “You know, we’re not perfect. We know that, you know that. And phones aren’t perfect either. But we want to make all of our users happy. If you don’t know that about Apple, you don’t know Apple. We love making our users happy.” Interesting. I think that’s as close to “Sorry we screwed up” as iPhone 4 owners are going to get.
  • Jobs went on to demonstrate that other smartphones will have the same behavior if you hold it in a certain way and you are in an area with low signal coverage. “Smartphones have weak spots — this isn’t just the iPhone 4, it’s all phones.” he said. For non-geeks out there, the phenomenon is called Attenuation. While it is true that all phones can suffer from this,  I can’t replicate the iPhone 4 antenna issues on my BlackBerry Bold 9000. So I think his explanation has a few holes in it.
  • Jobs did admit that the iPhone 4 drops more calls than the iPhone 3GS. “This is hard data… the iPhone 4 drops less than one additional call per 100 than the 3GS. Less than one.”
  • “El Jobso” then shared with his audience: “When the 3GS came out, we didn’t change the design from the 3G. So there were already lots of cases out there for the phone. And more than 80% of new buyers left the store with a case. Now the new phone doesn’t fit those cases, and we can’t make these bumpers fast enough, so only 20% leave the store with a case… but we’re going to figure it out.” That’s when he got to the solution: “We think this has been so blown out of proportion… it’s fun to have a story, but it’s not fun on the other side. So here’s what we’re going to do to make our users happy. The first part is the software update, that fixes the way the bars report and other bugs, that’s out now. Second, people said the bumper fixes everything… ‘why don’t you give everybody a case’? Okay — we’ll give you a free case.” To take advantage of that, you had to have bought your iPhone 4 between the launch day and September 30th. Oh, and if you still don’t like the phone after that, Apple will give you your money back as long as it is undamaged. That too goes away on September 30th. At that time, they will “examine” the situation again… I’m guess a new hardware rev. will be quietly introduced at that time…. Assuming it hasn’t been already.
  • Oh by the way, the iPhone is on its way to 17 more countries on July 30th including Canada, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden, and Norway just to name a few.
  • Jobs also had this to say: “So I have some other updates. We’re tracking some problems with the proximity sensor and we’re working on it. White iPhone, we’re going to start shipping at the end of the month.” At least he admitted to an issue.
  • As for that report that claimed that Jobs was told about the antenna issues during the design phase, he said: “total bullshit.” That’s strong.
  • I did notice that Jobs apparently still doesn’t like Gizmodo. Here’s the quote that highlights this. When asked about refunds for third party cases, he said no and went on to say this: “It’s really simple, if we tell people what our next product is, they stop buying our current products. Sometimes websites buy stolen property and they get out there… and case makers have a history of showing off their new cases for our new products. The case vendors haven’t had a history of helping to keep our work under wraps.” Bitch slap!

So that’s the news conference in a nutshell.

What do I think? They did sort of acknowledge that a problem exists, and they provided a band aid fix for it. That is positive in a way. But they could have done more to make the issue go away. Because of that, my feeling is that the discussion of this issue won’t go away anytime soon. I may be wrong about that, but I don’t think so. I also find it interesting that “El Jobso” didn’t call out Consumers Reports they way he called out Bloomberg over that report that claimed that Jobs knew about this issue when the phone was being designed. I think that’s significant. In the end, I think that this will keep the fanbois happy and maybe move this off the front page of every newspaper on Earth in the short term. But in the long term, I think that the image of Apple has been damaged.

The true impact will be seen in the Q2 and Q3 numbers. If iPhone sales are down in those quarters, then we’ll know the true fallout from all of this.

UPDATE: Video of the press conference is now available from Apple. Plus there’s some interesting spin information on antenna performance available as well.

One Response to “So The Apple iPhone 4 News Conference Has Come And Gone….. [UPDATED]”

  1. Bumpers better than The Steve offering one inch of duct tape to everyone 🙂

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