Looking back on yesterday's presser

The way I see it, with the iPhone 4 antenna issue is there’s an existing (perceived or otherwise) that the antenna issue is the worst thing to hit the tech market since Windows ME. Apple’s response is needs to hit two key points: what we are going to do about existing users; and what we’re going to do about future models.

Apple’s giving out free cases solves the problem with the existing users. There was no way Apple was going to issue a recall.

Apple was hedgy on the future plans. During the Q&A Jobs said, “we’re keeping an eye on it.” Frankly, I didn’t expect much. The last thing Apple wants to do is get people to wait on a hardware revision.

I get the feeling people were thinking Jobs’s conference was addressed to users. I don’t think it was. This whole presser to me was directed squarely at Wall Street. Even the timing was for Wall Street; it was timed to be over before the market closed.

In full disclosure: I don’t have an iPhone 4. Due to when my contract expires, It’s unlikely I will ever own one — I’ll just get the iPhone 5. My statistical data is from a very small sample set. The two people I have talked with that own an iPhone 4 both have the signal drop issue.

Jobs went out of his way to explain this problem affects all cell phones. I’ve had my iPhone 3GS since March and I’ve never been able to replicate the problem. Once I heard about the problem I’ve gripped my iPhone every way imaginable and can’t make the problem happen.

I tend to believe Apple’s numbers on returns and calls to AppleCare are true, with one caveat — Jobs said 0.55% of all calls to the AppleCare line are about this issue. Now, you can really spin this: does this involve all calls to the AppleCare line, or just the iPhone 4 support line. If Apple is really spinning that number based on all calls to the AppleCare line (i.e. people calling in MacBook issues, etc.), that number affects a larger number than Apple is letting on. Update: Jobs indeed did say 0.55% of iPhone users. Nothing to see here.

Jobs went out of his way to denigrate the tech press. It was pretty clear he holds the tech press with disdain, and I don’t blame him; I hate us as well. The problem with the tech press it this: some site comes out with a half-sourced or patently false story. This story gets grabbed with “so and so is reporting that…” and then a major news site grabs the story, which then gets circulated with “so and so is confirming…” and when you track down the story line, the original story is one that won’t stand up to a basic fact check. Which then leads to “It’s not our fault; we’re bloggers, not journalists.”

I do believe this is issue — for whatever reason — has gotten blown way out of proportion in the press. I do not believe it’s the gigantic problem that it’s being lead to believe. Twenty four hours later, when I ask if I feel the presser was satisfactory, I’m inclined to say yes. Apple was addressing the existing issue. I would not be surprised to see this brought up again during the Apple September iPod Event.

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Satire: My predictions for tomorrow's Apple presser

  1. Steve Jobs will show us the proper way to hold the iPhone.
  2. Apple will single out Brian Lam and say “this is why we can’t have nice things … or at least test phones.”
  3. They will give out free Bumpers to everyone, but they will be of the “purple polka-dot bikini” variety.
  4. Apple will blame AT&T saying, “their More Bars; More Places” advertising campaign was behind the code that was overly generous on reporting signal strength.
  5. Steve Jobs will say, “It’s not a big deal. People just don’t use phones anymore”