No recall, Apple give free iPhone 4 cases

Posted on July 16, 2010 by


Steve Jobs

Today at 10am PST Steve Jobs and co went on stage for a press conference about a faulty antenna, causing poor reception on the iPhone 4, which has been coined by the tech press as Antennagate.

I’m not going evaluate if Jobs’ approach was good or bad; such an opinion is pointless, we will see if iPhone 4 refunds increase, or sales drop; or not.

Before getting down to the issue Steve Jobs boasted about the sales figures, and who can blame him; 3 million iPhone 4 sold in 3 weeks! Wow. It took the Motorola Droid 75 days to reach 1m sales and that beat the iPhone 3GS. Will it be a sales war or a production speed war?

Apple’s leading man kicked off by showing other smartphones and how they also suffer from the same antenna issues. It must a be a first for Steve Jobs to show off the Droid, Samsung and Blackberry to the world’s press! The point being made is that all smart phones have a signal that decreases in strength depending on how the phone user holds the device. Steve had last week written a letter referencing Nokia mobile manuals that illustrate how to hold the phone. 15 minutes was dedicated to delivering the single message – it’s a smartphone industry problem.

Steve also shared their $100m investment over 5 years in antenna design. There was a tone of pride about the antenna design despite the bad press. Apple revealed that the iPhone 4 does drop calls more frequently than the iPhone 3gs by 1%.

Before getting on to what Apple will do about the problem there was a diversion, Apple will release the white version of the iPhone 4 on the 30th July.

Now the session moved on to what Apple will do for the customers that they (in Steve Jobs’ words and slides) “love”. Since 0.55% of iPhone users have complained there will be free cases for all customers or a full refund and cancelation of an AT&T contract. I can’t find anything yet about O2 contracts.

Before the q&a Jobs made it clear that the issue was minimal. That all phones do it. He was very clear that the press had made this issue bigger than it really was and were ‘out to get’ successful large companies such as Google and Apple. During q&a he went as far as to state that the article ran by Bloomberg suggesting Apple knew about the problem was “crock” and pointed the finger at the New York Times for making up facts about the problem and the fixes.

Well, it was interesting to follow. I cannot get my iPhone 4 to drop a call, I must be really lucky? The cost of free cases for all is nowhere near as high as a recall, which Jobs stated had been considered but the data did not warrant it. 3m cases is significant but nowhere near the reported $1.2bn for a recall.

I do not believe that this over hyped issue will effect sales. I know someone who purchased one today knowing about the PR. Our local O2 Store manager states they have not had any signs of sales slowing, they get 50 phones a day and are sold out by lunch.

I am far more interested in the Proximity sensor bug that Jobs referred to and informed everyone there would be a fix in the next OS update, coming soon. I keep putting calls on speaker phone with my cheek!

I am sure there will be many Apple bashing articles within hours, and an equal amount of Fan Boy articles. For recruiters wanting to engage with Mobile get iPhone or Android, but don’t let this nonsense affect your choice!