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Apple – are they really an arrogant company?

Even if you tried really hard, it would have been almost impossible to avoid the iPhone 4 antenna issues which have been dominating the news on almost every publication for the last two weeks. We look today at recent press coverage and ask ourselves, are Apple really an arrogant company? Do they give a damn about their customers?

Clearly the iPhone 4 has problems, there has been too much coverage across the globe to dismiss these issues out of hand. The first reports of reception issues hit the press right after the iPhone 4 went on sale. There was so much drama around these reports that Apple felt the need to hold a press conference in Cupertino a few days ago. KitGuru was at this press conference.

So how did Steve Jobs address the press? Did he hold up his hand and admit there were issues, even if they maybe are being ‘exaggerated’ by headline happy press?

Jobs said “This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren’t perfect. It’s a challenge for the whole industry, Every phone has weak spots”. I find it hard to listen to a CEO saying that ‘phones aren’t perfect’ in defense of a rather serious iphone 4 issue.

Let’s get straight to the chase, the iPhone is not an ordinary phone, it has an antenna that the user can actually touch. Other phones have a thin strip of plastic or other non conductive material between the skin and actual antenna itself. The real question in my opinion should really be, has the new Apple design caused the iPhone 4 to be more prone to signal loss than other designs with the antenna on the inside?

Steve Jobs didn’t really address the problem directly with the press, and this is the main issue most of us are having. The dancing around the point, rather than directly answering it. We are used to this kind of behaviour within politics, but I would like to hope that the CEO of a multi billion dollar company would have the guts to address the problem directly.

As editor of several technology sites, I always get annoyed when a PR rep replies to one of my questions with a half assed ‘generic’ response which doesn’t actually answer the question. When this happens, I can generally assume that the answer is exactly what I thought it was in the first place. There is a problem, but the PR guy hasn’t got the guts, nor the authority to admit it.

Maybe if I play with this iPad they will all go home.

Steve Jobs then said “Apple’s been around for 34 years. Haven’t we earned the credibility and trust from some of the press to give us a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, of our motivations, the fact that we’re confident and will solve these problems? I think we have that trust from our users, but I didn’t see that in the press. This thing was blown so far out of proportion. But I’m not going to say we’re not at fault. We didn’t educate enough.”

Again, I find this kind of reply rather offensive, not just because im a member of the press, but because the only blame Jobs is accepting is the fact that they haven’t educated the public enough. What exactly does this mean? They haven’t explained how to hold a phone? Aren’t we all smart enough to hold a phone correctly? Maybe not according to Steve.

So how does Apple solve this ‘non issue’ with the iPhone 4? Well its clear, get a case. But you don’t have to buy one, Apple are giving ‘bumpers’ away free now to people who have bought an iPhone 4. First time I have ever heard of a company giving away a product to cure a problem they say doesn’t exist. Perhaps I need reeducated on the matter, I hope Apple have another press conference to enlighten me later.

KitGuru says: Move over Microsoft, Apple are the new king in town.

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