Apple’s much-publicized ‘Antennagate’ press conference is over and done with. It was all over the news yesterday. But is it all over for Apple’s quality image?
Apple’s solution to the antenna problem – a free Bumper Case (or a refund to those who have already purchased one); iPhone 4 users will be able to return the phone for a full refund, with no restocking fee within 30 days.
Although the free Bumper Case is a ‘cover up’ of the antenna design flaw, Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs maintains it is not a flaw. He went out of his way to say that AppleCare has received a very small number of complaints over the antenna issue. His attitude at the press conference also hinted on a ‘brushing off the issue’ mentality, especially when he and the other two executives at the conference held up the case-free iPhone 4’s that they use as proof that this problem is not really a problem.
So, what exactly did Apple accomplish at the press conference?
Had Apple called the bumper case an interim fix until its engineers came up with a permanent hardware fix, the company would have a chance at regaining its quality image in the eyes of the customers.
One competitor, RIM, the company that manufactures the Blackberry smartphone, did not appreciate Jobs’ demonstration of the signal deterioration with the Blackberry.
As published by CrackBerry, RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie published the following statement together in response to Jobs’ comments:
“Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.”
Steve Jobs said early in the press conference, “We’re not perfect.” No ‘cover up’ there, thankfully.