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Apple to hold iPhone 4 press conference Friday about [fill in the blank]

Apple has been inviting journalists to a press conference on its Cupertino, Calif., campus at 10 a.m. Pacific time Friday, the subject being the iPhone 4. But what about the iPhone 4 would require the company to summon the press on such short notice? Could Apple be introducing a new case for its smartphone? Will the company make it in colors besides black and white? Is Apple on the verge of finally granting some techies' fondest wish by introducing a push-to-talk iPhone for Nextel?

iphone_4_antenna_gap.jpg

No, it has to be the same Topic A as yesterday, the day before and the week before: the possibility that the iPhone 4 has a design defect that causes it to lose or drop AT&T's signal when held with a hand covering a gap between two antennas on its lower left side.

(In case you've been too busy with a plumbing job at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico to read the headlines before, please check such prior posts as "Apple blames iPhone 4 reception issue on 'totally wrong' software," "Consumer Reports can't recommend iPhone 4," and "Apple tech-support chatter about Consumer Reports' iPhone snub vanishes.")

Now that this possible problem -- one that many iPhone 4 users don't appear to have encountered -- is escalating to a PR migraine for Apple, what will its executives say at this press conference? I welcome your idle speculation on the issue; I can't offer anything more myself.

But I'd like to ask a different question first:

Why do you all care?

I'm not trying to be snarky or insulting. I am simply puzzled to see every story we post on the iPhone draw the sort of Web traffic normally associated with naked pictures of celebrities (or, perhaps, pictures of celebrities wearing nothing but iPhone armbands). What gives?

First, the iPhone 4 constitutes a tiny minority of the smartphone market today, and all iPhones combined still represent a minority of the business. I doubt that every reader clicks on these posts because they're on the fence about buying an iPhone 4. Some certainly are -- but still, why act as if this possible reception issue represents a tragic fall from grace? Were you expecting this phone to depart from the prior history of manufactured products by shipping in a perfected state?

Second, the sight of Apple possibly screwing up, then trying to blame somebody else, should not amount to a shocking development. It hasn't been that long since journalistic shorthand labeled the company "Beleaguered Apple Computer, Inc." and some Mac user groups functioned more like support groups. Apple may have just scored an own goal, but that's nothing compared to the damage it repeatedly inflicted on itself in the '90s.

Then again ... drawing more Web traffic has become a career-enhancing move around here. So maybe I should pursue a different line of inquiry: Was this post as irresistible as other iPhone stories we've run? Are you not entertained?

By Rob Pegoraro  |  July 15, 2010; 1:50 AM ET
Categories:  Mobile , The business we have chosen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What's on Vint Cerf's mind: security, cloud computing and interplanetary Internet
Next: Verizon's Droid X: differences without distinction

Comments

I believe most of the traffic is the Apple fans themselves looking for reconciliation. Apple is like the Lakers in the tech world-of-sports, and we all just found out Kobe diddled with the hotel employee and got caught. We're taken back. Kobe had to shell out $4 mill to save his marriage and reputation, looks like Apple will have to do something similar...

Posted by: five40josh | July 15, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

On a blog I saw a user who posted over 200 derogatory comments about Apple, iPhones, Steve Jobs, Apple stock, you name it. Anything Apple.

I think to some people satisfied users of Apple products come off as smug. And they can't resist peeing on their parade. Even if they're a bit premature. After all Consumer Reports also rated the Iphone 4 as the best smart phone on the market. And it's not like the phone drops calls, it's just the graphic of the bars on the screen that goes down. I've never lost a call.

Posted by: Kev11721 | July 15, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

The Ombudsman's post was one of the the most depressing things I've read in a while.


Posted by: glibgrouse | July 15, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

On another tech blog I saw a user who posted over 200 derogatory comments about Apple, iPhones, Steve Jobs, Apple stock, you name it. Anything Apple. He was obsessed. Yet clearly never owned their products.

I think to some people the satisfied users of Apple products come off as a little too smug. So they can't resist peeing on their parade whenever they get a chance. Even if they're a bit premature sometimes.

After all Consumer Reports also rated the Iphone 4 as the best smart phone on the market. And it's not like the phone drops calls, it's just the graphic of the bars on the screen that goes down. I've never lost a call. Anyone who's unhappy can return the phone for a refund, but that's not happening. In fact, they can't build them fast enough!

Posted by: Kev11721 | July 15, 2010 2:56 AM | Report abuse

OMG I had to register on this site just to post a comment...

So let me get this straight. You guys (the media) keep writing all these sensationalist articles about the drama unfolding with the Iphone, and your conclusion is that its somehow OUR fault? You chastise us for clicking your link and being interested that the sky is falling? You document the train wreck in detail for all the world to see and then demand to know WHY WE ALL CARE?

Hold on a sec...

BwAhaHahaHAwAhaHahaHAwAhaHahaHAwAhaHahaHAwAhaHahaHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, seriously that's a good one. With material like that you should really try and get a job with Steve. I think he would love you.

Posted by: abru99lol | July 15, 2010 3:09 AM | Report abuse

Warning: comment failure detected

Hey Kev11721, nice double post of the same comment in a slightly different form. Your edit and unintentional re-posting makes you look even more like a shill for Apple than you would have seemed if you had only posted it once.

Posted by: abru99lol | July 15, 2010 3:14 AM | Report abuse

I follow the story because I'm hoping they get things right. I guess I view Apple as a company that in general tries to do the right thing for its customers. I follow what Apple does hoping for evidence that I'm right not to be reduced to cynicism in a mass market world. When they don't, I'm disappointed. When it looks like they might fix things, it's a kind of vindication of idealism. Same goes for Google, Zappos, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and other companies that seem to aspire to ideals in addition to profit. I think their actions are a kind of barometer for the amount of faith we can put in our corporate overlords.

Posted by: fuquafalcon | July 15, 2010 3:44 AM | Report abuse

I keep on waiting on you to figure out how dysfunctional they really are. None of the awful ways they treat developers, or customers some of the time, is new. They're wretched to do business with, dishonest, backstabbing, and stupid.

You couldn't pay me to buy one of their products without some argument on my part, because I just wouldn't want to deal with them at all.

Guess I'll be kept waiting, and checking, while the industry figures out their suck isn't just a one off, but rather a deep cultural problem.

Posted by: Nymous | July 15, 2010 4:24 AM | Report abuse

I think you are all completely missing the point here. Those that read all the articles posted are not the ones who own an iPhone. They're the ones who don't own an iPhone but would love to see the iPhone fail miserably and wipe the smug look off the faces of their co-workers faces!

Posted by: uphone | July 15, 2010 4:53 AM | Report abuse

@Nymous,
"You couldn't pay me to buy one of their products without some argument on my part, because I just wouldn't want to deal with them at all."

Riiiight
I am guessing NO ONE will ever pay you buy Apple products. You will forever be the guy in the Chevy Malibu pointing your fingers at the Lexus owners for being "stupid" enough to buy a Lexus while you drive a Malibu.

There's a deep cultural problem here alright but it is not "with the industry, " but rather with trolls like Nymous.

Posted by: macrhino | July 15, 2010 4:56 AM | Report abuse

I click on these stories because I'm constantly amazed at the stupidity of how writers write about this subject and other technology issues. Including this article... The iPhone represents a major percentage of the smartphone market and the iPhone 4 is important as it represents the continuation.

The so called antenna issue is no different the interference issues I had on my Treo 650, my Verizon Droid, and my iPhone 2 gen under weak signal situations.

I think Apple is calling a press conference to suggest a RECALL of the press.

Posted by: Gepdx | July 15, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Well said! I agree with your insights and comments on this issue. I am interested in what Apple is going to say tomorrow at 10am! I for one think that 4 "IS" the best phone Apple has developed to date and like any other company, they learn from each previous product. Here's looking for 5, 6, and so on for my collection! Thank you for being one of a handful of journalistic writers who merely present without BASHING or NAME CALLING.

Posted by: rcossebo | July 15, 2010 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Comment to UNPHONE... fat chance; smug is in haven't you watched E!??? Also, the nightly news gives one a great insight into the Corporate world of smug. AIG, BP, and dare we state the BANKERS but the list could go on and on to fill my remaining 2734 of charaters!

Posted by: rcossebo | July 15, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

I returned my iPhone4 yesterday after over two weeks, 20 phone calls, and 6 visits to the Orange UK store where I bought the phone. All that trouble because Apple had not acknowledged it as a FAULT, which meant I could not return a phone that was "not faulty" but simply had a bit of incorrect software which was going to be fixed by an update.
Personally I am sick to death of Steve Jobs' lack of integrity. He really gives me the creeps, standing on his stage, smug and lying about his products. This time he has been caught out, claiming this phone has better reception than any of it's predecessors. Last time he was claiming the iPad was the "most advanced piece of technology he has ever worked on" LOL What a bald-faced lie... an overgrown iPod Touch that it is!

I, for one, am changing over to Android. I am tired of the hype, and this disappointment takes the cake.

Posted by: fredphoesh | July 15, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Ah,

I don't really care. I read this article because I think it is funny that all the techy and hipsters paid what $400.00 (or more for, no idea how much it costs..don't care either) something that does not work? Apple is turning into the car industry. They make products that people think they need to have for status and to be self inclusive. The funny thing is, consumers actually buy the crap.

Now they have this I-Pad, that is just a bigger I-Phone, that does not even sync with an I-Phone. So if you want music on both, you have to buy two songs. I am with SNL, next they will make the I-Rack, I-diot, and I-dea. They will say they are hip, new, and awesome, and people will buy it.

Here is to thinking for myself!

Posted by: duckie86 | July 15, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I read these posts because I'm on the fence about when to upgrade my iPhone 1.0. The antennae issue stinks, but it doesn't deter me much, despite being lefthanded, as it's an easy fix. Woohoo, a product has a minor design flaw. Most products do, and as someone else noted, it's hardly the first phone to have reception issues. Calm down everyone, and put down the pitchforks. Apple's own reputation for quality has set an unrealistic standard. I'm just waiting for the fix or a drop in price before buying now.

Posted by: capsfan16 | July 15, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Yes, some of us are entertained by collecting information.

Nice to see that you recognize drawing web traffic is the motive for many of these articles. In addition to entertainment, you also actively encourage social interaction as a method of drawing web traffic.

As for me? I'm on the fence about the iphone. I have yet to make the leap to a blackberry or any other sort of multi-task phone. My company has been suggesting one for a little while now, and I have been resisting, I guess I like an old fashion work ethic. As with any tech improvement, we want the technology to help solve some problems, not create more.

In any event, maybe the fascination has more to do with the age old question, 'Is the grass really greener on the other side?' This question is more relevant to a much bigger audience than any of your suggestions.

Posted by: thomp | July 15, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I switched from Palm & Blackberry products to iPhone two years ago, and won't go back. Apple postings do interest me, as I also own a MacBook Pro, and won't go back to Windows for laptops, either. Once the antenna issue is fixed, I will probably upgrade from 3G to the 4. Yes, Apple products cost more, but I don't have to worry about viruses and daily security fixes.

Posted by: HRMgr3 | July 15, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

In 1985 I bought a Mac and it always had a heating problem. I bought an external fan for it that mounted on the top of the pc. The PC failed at the 11 month mark so the store replaced it. Come to find out a few years latter Apple admitted they had a heating problem, but would not own up to it.

Posted by: economy48 | July 15, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

My problems with the Iphone4 has not been dropped calls; but a lot of software, i.e.,in camera roll, a black screen appeared; had to perform reset; then backlight stayed on all the time; another reset; e-mail problems, required a reboot using I-tunes; didn't work; another reboot required doing all for new reset; another failed e mail; 3 calls to apple support; one trip to apple store. Would definitely not recommend this phone.

Posted by: BamaBelle | July 15, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Some of us loathe Apple, their vertical monopoly, the fetish cult they foster, and the customer abuse that seems to have become weirdly Stockholm syndrome-like... witness the forced Cadillac customer service options driving up the price on every Apple product, Apple fans deciding the lack of Flash support on the iPhone means they didn't want to visit the universe of Flash sites in the first place, and countless other such things.

We're looking for assistance in deprogramming our friends and loved ones. Thank you for your help in these trying times.

Posted by: hayesap8 | July 15, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

ok is anyone thinking , if apple does fix the "software" showing correct reception bars , wouldn't the attention shift to at&t? .. i purchased my iphone and switched to att because the reception had 5 bars in my condo , now if it goes down to 1 or 2 bars , would i be able to cancel my 2 year commitment?

Posted by: ebosco3 | July 15, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse


The Droid X destroys the iPhone 4, feature for feature, in any performance category you care to measure.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 15, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Apple Stores are now giving away a roll of Duct tape for every iPhone 4 purchase to fix the antenna issue. If you have already picked up your iPhone 4 from the Apple store you are encouraged and instructed to stop by the crApple store so an Apple technician can install the small strip of Duct tape on the problem area.

It has been rumored that Steve Jobs was high on crack when he provided a statement to the media explaining that this is a software issue when everybody else (except crApple developers) know is a hardware issue, proving the point that Steve Jobs is a misleading jerk and thinks that all his customers are morons and that they have to buy his product AS IS.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/07/14/apple.iphone4.problems/index.html?hpt=C2

Have a wonderful day, AND NOOOOO, DONT HOLD THE PHONE THAT WAY!!!! JAJAJAJAJA!!

Posted by: riceldi | July 15, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't own an iPhone and probably won't (unless they come to Verizon), but I just thought it was funny title given all the media surrounding the phone.

Posted by: michellejs | July 15, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it's one single variable that drives people to write to excess about the iPhone and/or comment about the iPhone. But, reduced to basics two things seem to stand out.

1. Ever since the Macintosh computer was introduced over 20 years ago there has been a chasm between users of that platform and users of the MS/DOS (and subsequent Windows) platform. Smug, knowing, worldly, arrogant, upscale Mac devotees just irritated the hell out of the masses of poorer, younger, less erudite users of much less expensive computers using the Microsoft system. As the latter was a quantum mass of more users they constantly vented their schadenfreude and plain jealousy over the smarmy Mac crowd. This has carried over to the iPhone as this phone is basically a miniature Macintosh.

2. Nearly everybody (young, old, rich, poor, educated, uneducated) can relate to the common telephone. Simply stated, opinions are like telephones, everybody's got one. Thus, it's easy to participate in this pointless debate on all aspects of this currently coveted object of American culture. Who wants to talk about the merits of BP oil rig nozzles or NASA telemetry issues when we can just all jabber about the sound quality of a common telephone. People always opt for the simple and the common. It's human nature.

Posted by: mosthind | July 15, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I was never a user of Apple products. My first Apple product was the iPod video. It was by far the best digital music player in the market. I was very skeptical of the first iPhone. I had several junk phones through by Verizon and get fed up and finally got the iPhone 3G. It is a great product, I am thoroughly satisfied. I had a XP desktop that crashed and burned twice in 2 years. I used MS products for 12-13yrs. I got sick of fixing crashing PCs I got an MacBook Pro, best investment I've made in computers.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I am a convert not because I am a fanboy, but a believer through personal experience. Apple makes great products at a premium price. It has pretty good customer service. Apple products are worth the hype.

Posted by: jabreal00 | July 15, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I have a Mac. I love it. I hate the snotty attitude I get when I walk in a mac store or deal with anything mac related. I hate the Mac "genius" (btw its amazing a genius is working in a retail store on weekend giving back the common man) who has told me lies ranging from mac usb products don't work on other devices and vice versa, to its impossible for a mac to get a virus. These are just lies. Their marketing for their phones is good at tricking uneducated people into wanting their phones, but thats it.

Their fanboys are also impossible to deal with. The Evo vs Iphone 4 cartoon on youtube perfectly describes whats wrong with apple and its consumers.

Posted by: Natstural | July 15, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It's fun to watch Apple chase their tail. That's the sole reason I check in every now and then. Usually they're pretty polished; it's reassuring to me that even the most highly-regarded companies can stumble every now and then on something incredibly simple. Like schadenfreude but not as bitter.

Posted by: random-adam | July 15, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

what is attracting "clicks onto links" for me is the fact Steve Jobs denied the problem and then came up with the bogus software issue about the display of connection bars. i was extremely disappointed that Jobs & Apple would decide not to come clean. and when did they come up with the bumper? seems to me this is the first time they rolled out something like that for any of the other iphones; seems as if they realized the problem but too late (post-production) and they decided it would cost too much to delay rolling the phone out on schedule. this will AND SHOULD adversely impact Apple - stock price, market share, etc. i came along kicking & screaming to Apple after trying the original iphone. i then proceeded to purchase the other upgraded iphones as they were introduced. the iphone was such a fabulous piece of technology i decided to try a macbook. now my macbook (2 yrs old) is in the shop for a $300 repair & one of my iphones (3G) lost its capacity for wi-fi after two yrs - unfixable the tech indicated for less then a new phone would cost. maybe Apple is not any better at manufacturing products than other companies. design, however, is pretty amazing except for this antenna issue (i would think someone got fired over this one).

Posted by: crash52 | July 15, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Apple are having their "intel Pentium floating point" moment. Arrogance. Silly excuses. Really lame support site editing of all that is wrong.

And of course many Apple Kool-Aid gulping fanbois excuse these problems.

I would suggest a bit of lacquer or nail polish would be a solution (but I haven't tried it ... ).

Posted by: AlanBrowne | July 15, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

What?!?
A company not admitting they've made a defective product?

Q:Who do they think they are?

A:A car company.
A drug company.
A (YOUR FAVORITE HERE)____________.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | July 15, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Your question, "I am simply puzzled to see every story we post on the iPhone draw the sort of Web traffic normally associated with naked pictures of celebrities (or, perhaps, pictures of celebrities wearing nothing but iPhone armbands). What gives?" is easily answered.

Apple has employed extremely sophisticated public relations methods to develop an intensely, almost religiously, loyal cult whose members identify their own effectiveness as human beings by their Apple-osity. It matters that their products, while oozing ever-so-hip stylishness, are overpriced and less capable than products offered by other, less exalted manufacturers.

For this cult, to own the latest-and-greatest Apple product is to achieve an exalted status that cannot be obtained otherwise.

When Apple fails, as with the latest iPhone, its failure is not a COMMERCIAL failure (they have sold whole BOATLOADS of the things at a very tidy profit to the true believers who accept Apple products on faith), but it calls the very self-image of these Appleites into question. It is telling them that "there is no God," and thereby sparks intense controversy.

True believers in the divine doctrines of Appleism will not tolerate the devil-inspired observations of the rest of us infidels.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | July 15, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The problem is real. I have seen it on every single iPhone 4 I have encountered, inlcuding the two in our household. I think the emotion on this actually comes from Apple loyalists, and it is a natural emotion. People don't want to admit that they waited in line hours/days for the newest gadget - and shelled out a decent amount of coin to get it - only to have been duped by their favorite CE vendor. Unfortunately, it's clear Apple rushed this to market after that poor (former?) employee lost the prototype, because sales of the iPhone 3GS were probably at zero, since everyone simply waited for the new phone. It's also clear that they created this "software bug" to try to conceal the antenna design problem. And finally, and sadly, it's becoming clear that Steve Jobs forgot the "Phone" in "iPhone", but seems to have remembered the "I", as in HIM. Here's hoping Apple doesn't play games tomorrow and does in fact recall it's defective phone. A free case/bumper is not a satisfactory solution to the problem.

Posted by: independent70 | July 15, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

First, as to the web redesign, I don't think Technology is a subcategory of business. I think it is its own category.

Anyway, maybe people care because Apple tries to be so perfect, and this is, and will be seen as, a major design flaw. So, people are more surprised than the typical defect. It is not like dead pixels on the screen, short battery life, or the usual things people complain about in support forums.

A 20 dB loss that Consumer Reports measures in their quick test is significant. I have an iPhone on order, and depending on Friday's announcement I may cancel the order. Now, I plan to use a case a I always to so I think it will be fine.

Another reason for the big response is the timing of your postings. You wondered why you didn't have much response to a Steve Ballmer post a few days back -- well, it was because after posting it you shortly thereafter posted an iPhone piece. Reverse the order and you would not have so many iPhone comments.

Posted by: Bob_Dobbs | July 15, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Rob, good point you bring up. It's simple. Apple's one of the few tech companies that engenders an emotional investment in its products. Case in point, the new FaceTime ads. They're toying with your emotions. This means drama.

So people will react to it strongly, for better or worse. They tend to react to other tech companies only as it reflects their feelings about Apple. They feel the need to defend their chosen product. Acer owners are more likely to say, "I hate Macs," than "I love my Acer." Apple owners are more likely to say, "I hate Google," than Google users are to say, "I love Google."

Myself, I follow because I'm interested in understanding this overall dynamic as a 1) designer and 2) Apple shareholder.

Posted by: jkestner | July 15, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

To answer the question of why we click, well for me, I want to know how Apple is going to handle this problem, but I have no doubts that they will handle it. Yes. I drank the kool-aid over 18 years ago and am so glad that I did. I even feel sorry for people who have not had a taste. And if you think that is smug, it is, but we know we have a reason to be. I have the new iPhone 4 and I am having minor problems but it does not affect my thoughts about Apple at all. I know what kind of products Apple creates.

Posted by: jtsw | July 15, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Rob, are you going to have a post about the Droid X today?

Posted by: midanae | July 15, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Wow. InfoWorld is running out of adjectives reviewing Windows Mobile 7: "appalled, flummoxed, stupefied, pig"

Posted by: Bob_Dobbs | July 15, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Hey Rob - If you really want to boost your page views maybe you should write a story about how the Russian spy Anna Chapman or Bristol Palin feels about the iPhone4!

Posted by: buffysummers | July 15, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Simple: Schadenfreude.

Posted by: h3h3 | July 15, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Why did I click on your post? Was definitely going to buy the new iPhone. Finally transitioning from BlackBerry. Likely will still buy one, but am now holding off to see if Apple makes amends.

Posted by: rposner | July 15, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Was this post as irresistible as other iPhone stories we've run? Are you not entertained?
-----
More sex and violence, please.

Posted by: ozpunk | July 15, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Good Question Rob,

I'm a big fan of articles about Apple, Steve, and the Iphone. I own no apple products and no smartphone.

I have a great appreciation of early adopters of technology and the people who write about new technology. Let's me know what's ahead for me when it's all cheaper.

I'm also rooting against Apple and for the open source movement. Therefore I don't like to miss a good faceplant.

I keep thinking the world will soon realize it doesn't want to live in Steve's world, or pay Steve's prices, or put up with Steve's barriers around his world. When that happens I may have the chance to short his stock.

BD

Posted by: bdbdbd1 | July 15, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Simple. Apple customers think the coolness and reliability of Apple products somehow reflects something about their own personal characteristics. So a loser iPhone means a loser "me". That's why the infatuation with the issue and the need to cut Apple slack at all opportunities.

Frankly, the whole tech infatuation with 'phones in general astounds me. I have never run into anyone who has meaningfully increased productivity or profitability because he or she has cool "apps" or can scan face book at will.

In that regard, I miss the good old days when programming environments and database tools and so on were discussed in tech journalism. Now, it's just repeating press releases of products for people to buy.

Hey, that's life in America I guess.

Posted by: xSamplex | July 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse


Here's the problem, iPhones are simply the best smartphones on the market, period. If you have also used the Droid or HTC EVO, you already know this. But, a defective product is still a defective product. Mr. Jobs needs to talk to Mr. Toyoda, Chairman of Toyota Motors. Companies get too big, too quickly, and then the arrogance sets in. Now, a little humility, please. Apple has bucketloads of cash. So, make the customer whole. Show everyone you stand behind your products and the brand. Recall the phones, install or replace with the hardware fix, and give everybody now with the phone a $100 Apple/iTunes credit. Problem solved. So, the stock price goes from $250 to $200 a share, if even that. But, Apple will have shown the world what kind of company they really are. Not to do this, but to "spin" it instead, will be a sad commentary on a company starting down the downward slope.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | July 15, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, you in the MSM write or talk new apple products to death. You build up expectations (and Apple loves you for it), and when they have a misstep, many people think it's funny because Apple is supposed to be perfect (according to the MSM). The bigger question is why on earth you think it's surprising people are interested. Just like at a Nascar race, people are more interested in seeing the wrecks than see a bunch of cars keep turning left for hours.

Posted by: tojo45 | July 15, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The problem is real. I have seen it on every single iPhone 4 I have encountered, inlcuding the two in our household. I think the emotion on this actually comes from Apple loyalists, and it is a natural emotion. People don't want to admit that they waited in line hours/days for the newest gadget - and shelled out a decent amount of coin to get it - only to have been duped by their favorite CE vendor. Unfortunately, it's clear Apple rushed this to market after that poor (former?) employee lost the prototype, because sales of the iPhone 3GS were probably at zero, since everyone simply waited for the new phone. It's also clear that they created this "software bug" to try to conceal the antenna design problem. And finally, and sadly, it's becoming clear that Steve Jobs forgot the "Phone" in "iPhone", but seems to have remembered the "I", as in HIM. Here's hoping Apple doesn't play games tomorrow and does in fact recall it's defective phone. A free case/bumper is not a satisfactory solution to the problem.

Posted by: independent70
------------------------
First, not everyone waited in line. I ordered online. It took under 10 minutes total (probably most of that was me trying to remember what the heck my password was). Try it next time.

Second, while the problem is real, it doesn't affect everyone. I'm a "lefty" but doen't hold the phone at the bottom left edge I've learned.

Third, I agree with you that Apple's initial response about some software about the bars they got "totally wrong" was rather sophmoric. That announcement was probably written by the type of dope who would take his company's prototype to a bar and drunkenly leave it behind.

Fourth... what does the "I" in "HIM" stand for? And for that matter, what does the "H" and "M" stand for too?

And, fifth (finally), a recall for something that you can still break the contract too? Sorry, that isn't happening. Apple will give a free cheapo bumper to buyers who request it within 30 days of purchase, which meets CR requirements. Apple will also waive the restocking fee for anyone who wants to return their iphone 4 within 30 days of purchase. Note: EVERY iphone 4 is currently within 30 days and eligible. That's what you're getting tomorrow. Nothing more.

Posted by: prokaryote | July 15, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Why does Apple get so much press.... Well, for one, it generally is the market leader in how computers and tech will develop - what it does is copied by the industry and has been for going on 30 years now, of course, its what's happened in the past 10 that's really interesting, with the iPod and move to electronics beyond computers. When Apple moves, its a bellwether for things to come.

As well, with any popular product, there will be a large population that just "hates". Doesn't really matter what it is - it could be the Yankees, Jeff Gordon, Microsoft (if you remember the 90s) - the more people that love it, the more people that hate it.

People, whether they love or hate Apple, will read about it, and that feeds into yellow journalism and sensationalism. Want some page hits, post 'Apple' in the subject line.

Apple also has a reputation for superior quality and user experience - anything that highlights a chink in the armor will be wildly discussed. Look at Toyota - remember the brakes fiasco? After the media storm, it turns out every case was attributable to driver error or in the original case, improper use of a floor mat. It had nothing to do with the electronics systems that was so widely discussed.

So, people love to discuss and follow Apple - its a sensation no matter that people like it or not. It is a look into the future of how we use technology, and it is a reputable company facing an uncharacteristic problem with one of its products (not the first time this has happened, but a bigger deal is being made as Apple grows). What Apple does effects us and it matters, and Apple has a reputation for not being subtle when it wants to be, so this Friday should be interesting.

Fwiw, I fully agree with the poster above that Apple quality is slipping with its retail stores, but that is part and parcel of becoming more popular. Apple is no longer the brand of the educated and artistic professionals that it once was.

Posted by: macross2 | July 15, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Another thing I don't understand. People pay at least $200 for a phone. Sign up to pay at least $70/month for two years. That's $1880 minimum... and there's whining over paying $30 more for a bumper! Rationally, the outcry makes little sense. (However, I will gladly take my free bumper when it is explained tomorrow how to get one.)

Posted by: prokaryote | July 15, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I would say ATT already drops calls all the time anyway with or without the new iPhone. I have a 3G and if an ambulance drives up next to me, picks up their walkie talkie , my phone signal is gone, etc I have talked with ATT numerous times. ATT admits the problem is theirs period at least in Houston which is their supposed largest market. This is text back in may from ATT rep = "The medical center specifically is a hard area to cover. We are doing the last phase of our Medical Center rollout which should be completed this month. Although all companies have issues there, I completely understand your frustration. ... We do have the fastest 3G network and are launching a new upgraded 3G network in the next few months. "

Posted by: nja_houston | July 15, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Fwiw, my last iPhone lived its whole life in a case, and so will my new iPhone, so the touching the side kills reception issue doesn't really apply for me. Same for all the rest of the users that also use cases. Is it a problem - yes. Is it a problem that effects me - no. Overall, the new iPhone seems great so far.

Posted by: macross2 | July 15, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I upgraded from the 3G to the 4. I never had any problems with dropped calls. With my 4 I am now dropping calls and having people ask me to repeat myself. I'm hoping that Apple is going to announce that they will be giving free bumpers to everyone. $35 for that bumper is more excessive than the data cost for a text message.

Posted by: cvogt1 | July 15, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I read about Apple faux pas with the hope that, one day, Steve Jobs will reap the rewards of his particular hubris and condescending attitude toward his customers. Charging half-again for the same capabilities shows additional disdain for the consumer. The man has no integrity, either. A relative worked for Apple during the Mac development, and despised Jobs for just these reasons.

Posted by: vnhc | July 15, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't there a device that used the human body as it's antenna?

Posted by: TimHitchcock1 | July 15, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

On some radios, touching them improves reception.

Why can't this work likewise?

Posted by: TimHitchcock1 | July 15, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I read the articles / posts as my provider is AT&T. For better or worse when my ancient Palm died, I wanted something that would synch my contacts and calendar. The iPhone does that well. I like the voice control. I do not like how Apple intentionally or negligently crippled the iPhone, but certain aspects have gotten better, such as the iBooks support for PDF files. I was very anxious for folders so I could keep my important business uses / applications separate from entertainment apps that are useful at other times or for other users, such as a bored family member. Unfortunately, the implementation was not as good as my decade old Palm. Not only is it very limited in scope with 12 apps per folder, it works only in a very time consuming way. Perhaps Apple greed / business necessity--take your pick--will win out as they may want to sell more apps. I personally stopped buying (paid) apps until Apple made it easier to use the ones I have. I had in the past, and I MIGHT now do so, but would be even more likely if I could arrange them in an easier fashion, without capricious restrictions. I recall fondly the ability on my 8MB (!) Palm the ability to call up Main, Games, Docs, and All. Apple could keep it simple, say two layers of folders, and still make it so much more functional. And of course make sorting much easier, at least when done in iTunes. Why limit one to screens little bigger than the iPhone. A little honesty on the part of Apple and responsiveness would go a long way too. My wife was looking for a laptop just after I got my iPhone. The purposeful difficulties engineered into an otherwise good device kept us from seriously considering an Apple laptop, as if they were made as difficult, I did not want to be bothered. Come on a modern phone that could not handle mp3 ringtones, such as the one I created for my prior cellular phone, but needed its own special format, m4r. What a waste of time! So many things to like and admire, too bad there is also so much beach sand in there.

If you are tired of reporting the glitches how about some articles explaining what we do have, e.g. default locations where iPhones place their files / apps / music. That should be in the manual somewhere, but I must have missed it. What type of files it can use, say if you want to add a podcast from ones computer as opposed to iTunes, etc. Some comparisons with other systems such as the Android, which I have not seen.

I'll probably upgrade when the new version goes out of beta, or at least any glitches are detailed by Apple, and it goes to 64 GB. Meanwhile despite some gripes I'll continue to use my iPhone 3GS....well if 4.01 ever finishes upgrading from 4.0 .;-) (Thanks to whoever mentioned above that the .01 update was out.)

Posted by: donald-w | July 15, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Why I'm interested you ask? Morbid curiosity. The Apple PR train wreck is like watching...well, a 10 car pile-up on I-5. You don't really want to watch, but you just can't help seeing if anybody lost an arm or broke their neck. I'll enjoy watching the ambulances/police arrive at the scene tomorrow morning and attempt to clean up the mess.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go play with my awesome, new, and working-just-fine-thank-you iPhone 4.

Posted by: sasharintha | July 15, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Executive Summary:

Professional fan-guy has a complicated personal experience writing an article about (real or perceived) Apple shortcomings.

Is, furthermore, confused about why people aren't interested in observations about the state of the free lunch buffet at Microsoft's development conference. Or whatever else is supposed to be the more interesting news of the day.

Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman.

Posted by: fakedude1 | July 15, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Executive Summary:

Professional fan-guy has a complicated personal experience writing an article about (real or perceived) Apple shortcomings.

Is, furthermore, confused about why people aren't interested in observations about the state of the free lunch buffet at Microsoft's development conference. Or whatever else is supposed to be the more interesting news of the day.

Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman.

Posted by: fakedude1 | July 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

What to do if you hold Apple stock, which has dropped 7%?

Hold it differently.

Posted by: ibidibid | July 16, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

There is no question that Apple makes some of the most beautiful products in the PC world. At issue is whether they have ignored direct presentation of form factors that are vital to Content Producers as well as Content Consumers. We have prodded them along since 2007 in an effort to get one device that we could carry that would allow videographers to quickly record events that pop up in our lives. We have used virtually every form of video apparatus since 1970 and have come to know that "the classic Leica" for 21st Century Prosumers [SONY term] has not yet arrived.

We published this article in Spring 2007. Many of the links went silent in ensuing years but the story stands as a document untouched. See: http://vidiots.us/2007/04/videography-micro-workstation-vmw.html

We watched over the past 3 years as Apple gradually improved features and Apps developed like hot cakes.

When Steve Job's announce the iPhone 4 we expected big things. We got a half baked product that does not address some of the major issues that would make the iPhone [or any self proclaimed "classic" mobile device] live up to it's hype!

So we decided to use the theme of the Windows 7 ads to shock people into considering the vital features that are needed for such a device when we published:
"We are PC-ers and iPhone 4 is our Idea"
at http://vidiots.us/index.php/2010/07/we-are-pc-ers-and-iphone-4-was-our-idea/

We will be listening very carefully to Steve Job's "grok" in 1 minute.

Posted by: Videography | July 16, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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