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Update: Apple CEO Jobs: We aren't perfect, other phones have problems too

Update: Following Jobs on television and live blogs

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, said Friday in a press conference that the problems of the iPhone 4 aren't unique. And he said about 0.55 percent of all iPhone 4 users have called AppleCare customer service to complain.

Here are highlights so far from his speech, which is taking place now and will be followed by a question and answer period.

"We’re not perfect, phones aren’t perfect,” Jobs said.

-Consumers who aren’t happy with their phone can return them. -Apple has sold over 3 million since we launched it three weeks ago -Other smart phones have the same signal strength issue depending on which way you hold them.

In case you haven’t heard already, Apple will be announcing at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST its solution to its iPhone 4 antenna debacle. And Washington will be watching how the company handles its technical misstep and tries to correct the poor publicity it's created.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Thursday asking for a clear explanation for what went wrong. He noted that the company’s description on why voice reception was glitchy differed from that of Consumer Reports magazine, which investigated why the phone dropped calls.

“Given the discrepancy between Consumer Reports' explanation of the reception problem and the explanation provided by Apple in its July 2 letter to customers, I am concerned that the nearly two million purchasers of the iPhone 4 may not have complete information about the quality of the product they have purchased,” the lawmaker said in the letter, obtained by CNN. “The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device.”

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that Apple probably won't recall the phone.

On Monday, Consumer Reports said careful testing has confirmed user reports that holding the phone over a particular spot drastically reduces the signal strength it receives. Covering the spot with duct tape or a case alleviates the problem.

Apple hasn't commented on Consumer Reports' finding yet. Company watchers are speculating that the company may give iPhone buyers its "Bumper" case, which normally costs $29.

The phone went on sale three weeks ago and outsold previous iPhone launches in its first three days, with 1.7 million units sold. Complaints about the signal strength soon followed. And my colleague Rob Pegoraro this morning recapped reports on what Apple did and didn't know about its faulty antenna before launching the product. Rob will be covering the announcement.

From a regulatory perspective, the Federal Communcations Commission doesn’t have jurisdiction over device issues. The Federal Trade Commission, with its mandate to protect consumers, would have more interest in the issue, if complaints are filed that consumers were deceived when buying the device.

Like most Apple events, whatever the company has to say won’t be streamed live over video, but there will be plenty of live blogging in Cupertino, Calif.

With contributions from The Associated Press

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 16, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
Categories:  Apple  
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It is just amazing the amount of media coverage being dedicated to spotty signal strength on the iPhone 4 !

My God, put this in perspective !

Posted by: mosthind | July 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

What business is it of Charles Schumer if Apple puts out a bad product? Dropped calls are not a public safety hazzard. If the product stinks, people will go somewhere else and buy a different product and Apple will suffer. It's call the free market Chucky! Sounds to me like he wants more campaign contributions from Apple to keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: LivinginthePromisedLand | July 16, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Just wait a minute. The kind of people who buy iphones don't buy them to MAKE PHONE CALLS on them.

Posted by: sexgun | July 16, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

this is so funny, i can't help but laugh.

Addicted to the gadgets to begin with.
Biotching about the reception, when MY GOD, if you don't have your toys one gets all mad and your world falls apart.

Now the press conference on how they are going to handle it.

It's simple. Recall.

Some people waited in line for 2 days to get these bacdly manufactured things.

The only thing I spent 24 hours waiting in line for (back in the late 70s) was a major Led Zeppelin concert to promote Physical Graffiti. At 10.95 a ticket.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 16, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

What business is it of Charles Schumer if Apple puts out a bad product? Dropped calls are not a public safety hazzard. If the product stinks, people will go somewhere else and buy a different product and Apple will suffer. It's call the free market Chucky! Sounds to me like he wants more campaign contributions from Apple to keep his mouth shut.
Posted by: LivinginthePromisedLand | July 16, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

It’s called consumer fraud ret@rd.....

Posted by: askgees | July 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

just announced
everybody gets a free case.

i'd go with the duct tape. it "The Duct Tape" phone now.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 16, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

If Motorola or HTC or Google or Samsung have any marketing smarts, they'll come out with a grunge smart phone called the Duct Tape.

Posted by: angelos_peter | July 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Per the NYT apple will give every buyer a cover to help with the signal problem. Where's the WaPO?

Posted by: tojo45 | July 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe this Schumer dedicated time and attention to this matter. Seems to trivialize his position just a bit...You know, there are two wars, oil in the gulf, an ongoing financial crisis...Anything for votes I guess.

Posted by: 123cartoon | July 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The real story is in the investment. Apple was aware of the problem but put it out anyways for profit expediancy.

GM did the same thing - put out crappy product with defects known making monster profits & then came along the German and Japenese competition releasing superior product to eventually put GM into bankruptcy.

Seems to me "we're not perfect" is a cop-out that's somewhere in between mediocre & waste product. Does this new image of Apple aspire to the likes of GM?

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | July 16, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Apple fanboys must be crying. At the same time, I doubt any of the fanboys would care about the glitch when it is so important to have/worship anything that Apple puts out.

Posted by: miknugget | July 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"We’re not perfect, phones aren’t perfect,” Jobs said.

Of course the fact that they knew about the iPhone's antenna's issues well before it was introduced doesn't seem to bother Jobs.

Perhaps Apple needs to start thinking more about servicing its customers instead of making every last penny on it's products.

A poor product on top of AT&T's pathetic coverage shouldn't endear customers to either product.

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | July 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The Motorola Droid X completely destroys iPhone 4, feature for feature, in every performance category. Not even close.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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

Hold it differently.

Posted by: ibidibid | July 16, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I called Chuck Schumer on my iPhone, and he didn't pick up.

I'm a take the damn thing back. You know I'm sayin? Shazizzle.

Posted by: pressF1 | July 16, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jobs is right, he's not perfect, and neither is his phone (and neither are a lot of similar smart phones from Apple's competitors). But he has handled this situation very poorly from the beginning ("It's AT&T's fault, it's how you hold it, it's man-made global warming" (okay, I made this last one up)). C'mon, already! Just 'fess up, fix it, and move on!

Posted by: c0lnag0 | July 16, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Where's the news about the FREE CASE to fix the problem???

Does WaPo have a time lag problem here?

What happened to STOP THE PRESSES!!!

Or is my internet on a time-delay -- which is possible, given what I have reported here:

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 16, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Owned the Original iPhone, 3G, and now the 4. No probs whatsoever. If anything, dropped my 3G in the potty and inadvertently dipped in the ocean (beach) with 4 in pocket during 4th of July. To date, both work like the fine toys that they are. Note: Wifey doesn't know the hand-me-down 3G she got went in the drink ;0

Posted by: SportsFan4Ever | July 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I love Kang's "from a regulatory perspective!" Next thing we'll know the government will appoint a Cell Phone Czar (to work within DHS?) and Eric Holder will institute a criminal investigation of Steve Jobs. Congress will pass the Universal Phone Care act, requiring everyone to have a cell phone (with government-issued phones for those who "can't afford" one). Come on, Schumer! Keep your supercilious meat hooks off Apple. They're one of the few places in America where people still make things rather than sell insurance to each other. And maybe we can get all the pompous media people, who can't write a complete article in correct English, and probably can't spell "antenna", much less know what it is, to lay off the indignation. It's not a big deal. It will be corrected and, if not, the competition will thrive.

Posted by: gauthier310 | July 16, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Good political savvy by Schumer to write to Apple asking for accountability on this matter. Why does the FTC have to get written complaints before they act? Apple's customers seem to be so in awe of the product and the company that they are unable to recognize that they have been had. Did Apple knowingly release a defective product? That question bears some impartial investigation. Saying that all of their products have problems is an easy way of ducking responsibility on this particular "event".

Posted by: vpucsekberman | July 19, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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