It was not the perfect press conference. Apple may have been on the defensive throughout the event, but it finally came good by offering free iPhone 4 cases to everyone. After all, if Apple can’t fix the antenna, the least it can do is offer a solution to its customers. While Steve Jobs was not ready for Apple to accept all the blame, he did announce that there will be free “bumpers” available to those who sign up for a new iPhone by September 30th. Those of you who have already picked up your “bumper” cases will receive a refund.
Apple has admitted that it underestimated the problem. The company knew that gripping the phone a certain way could affect reception, but it did not think it would cause such an uproar. Steve Jobs claimed that Apple was embarrassed by Consumer Reports’ assessment of iPhone 4, but admitted that Apple and iPhone are far from perfect:
You know, we’re not perfect… And phones aren’t perfect either. But we want to make all of our users happy. And if you don’t know that about Apple, you don’t know Apple.
He didn’t stop there:
Most smartphones behave exactly the same way… Now these phones were tested in areas of relatively weak signal strength, as other testers have reported. This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren’t perfect.
One has to feel for Steve Jobs and Apple. The company may not have the absolute best products on the market, but it is passionate about the way it markets its products. Regardless of the flaws in iPhone 4, there is no doubt the company has spent a lot of time developing the phone to what it is today. So, we can’t blame Apple for being defensive. As Steve Jobs explained, the company may deserve the benefit of the doubt as far as its intentions are concerned. But, the way the problem was handled at first was shocking and disappointing to say the least.
Apple is a victim of its own success. The company has set the bar very high for its products. Its super marketing campaigns have not helped its cause either. People who see all these marketing materials and buy into the hype expect to get their hands on a “perfect” phone. iPhone 4 is nothing close to that.
There will be lawsuits against Apple over iPhone and people will discover more problems with its products. It’s not the end of the world for the company. Let’s hope Apple has learned its lessons and pays more attention to its engineers’ concerns next time around.