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Apple on the Rocks

The customer isn't satisfied.

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CUPERTINO (Rixstep) — Reactions to Steve Jobs' 75-minute long 15-minute press conference have been overwhelmingly negative with the Apple media coming out strongly against both the so-called 'fix' and the irrational attitude of Steve Jobs himself.

Apple may find themselves on the rocks.

BBC News

Susan Watts explains why Apple's reaction and fix won't wash and why the media won't buy it either - it's about the 'iconic' nature of Apple products.

Ordinary gadgets can get away with the occasional annoyance but if you want to achieve iconic status then you can't have defects glaring your customer in the face.


The Register

El Reg aren't at all kind. Rik Myslewski really didn't appreciate Steve Jobs' 'bullpucky'.

In addition to his 'we love our users' statement - accompanied by a huge presentation slide with that text, by the way - Jobs went out of his way to express his personal involvement and emotional attachment to dealing with the Judas Phone debacle.

'We take this really personally', he said. 'Maybe we should have a wall of PR people keeping us away from this stuff, but we don't, we take it really personally.'

Your Reg reporter has covered Apple - with Jobs, then without Jobs, then with Jobs - for over 20 years and finds the pure unadulterated bullpucky of that 'PR people' statement to be breathtaking.

 - Rik Myslewski

Rik also reacted as most in the media to Jobs' general 'non-approach'.

Just keep in mind that if you think that there's anything wrong with your iPhone 4, it's the media's fault.

In fact, according to Jobs, nothing is Apple's fault. Cell phone reception problems? All phones have them, Jobs said. Congestion problems in major cities? That's due to persnickety local regulators.

Inside Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field™ there's no problem with the iPhone 4 that any other smartphone doesn't have.

 - Rik Myslewski



Nokia weren't happy about Steve Jobs' unethical attack on the competition. Being the first company ever back in 1998 to release a cellphone with an internal antenna, they had a lot to say and good reason to put Jobs and Apple down.

Antenna design is a complex subject and has been a core competence at Nokia for decades, across hundreds of phone models. Nokia was the pioneer in internal antennas; the Nokia 8810, launched in 1998, was the first commercial phone with this feature.

Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior, including how people hold their phones for calls, music playing, web browsing and so on. As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

In general, antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held. That's why Nokia designs our phones to ensure acceptable performance in all real life cases, for example when the phone is held in either hand. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.

 - Nokia

Apple have in fact been following Nokia's lead all along - and are in fact involved in several lawsuits with the Finnish company - but with the iPhone 4 they ventured out for the first time on their own into 'uncharted territory'.


Consumer Reports

Perhaps most importantly: Consumer Reports gave a 'thumbs down' on the Apple 'solution'.

Consumer Reports believes Apple's offer of free cases is a good first step. However, Apple has indicated this is not a long-term solution, it has guaranteed the offer only through September 30th, and has not extended it unequivocally to customers who bought cases from third-party vendors.

We look forward to a long-term fix from Apple. As things currently stand, the iPhone 4 is still not one of our Recommended models.

 - Consumer Reports


Cult of Mac

John Brownlee and the others at Cult of Mac weren't particularly flattered at Steve Jobs' approach to the crisis either and attacked back for his 'cheap shots'.

If one thing was crystal clear from Steve Jobs' remarks during today's iPhone 4 Antenna Press Conference, it was that he blamed the tech press for 'overblowing' the iPhone 4's reception issues, and was downright contemptuous of tech journalists as a whole.

Fielding a question from Engadget about a recent New York Times report, Jobs further attacked tech writers. 'Go talk to the Times because you guys talk to yourselves a lot. They're just making this stuff up.'

Even Steve's parting shot was aimed at the credibility of the tech journalists. 'Thanks for coming. I wish we could have done this in the first 48 hours, but then you wouldn't have had anything to write about.'

 - John Brownlee

The spin's out of control, the customer isn't satisfied, Steve Jobs is in the doghouse. Apple are on the rocks.

Thanks for coming. I wish we could have done this in the first 48 hours but then you wouldn't have had anything to write about.
 - Steve Jobs

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