Welcome to the forum. While I don't agree with everything you've stated it's well thought out and reasoned.
Originally Posted by ishanb
The issues here are not complicated:
1. Apple created a phone with an exposed antenna. They either did not apply a protective coating, or misapplied it on some or all iPhones. It is common knowledge that an exposed antenna when touched will attenuate the signal
Possibly. It's a reasonable theory, nonetheless.
2. Apple did make substantial improvements in overall reception. Those improvements are in large part nullified by (1) above.
That hasn't been by experience at all, nor from the people I know with iPhone 4s (two of which did return there for non-"faulty" units).
3. Apple also decided selling bumpers was a good idea, for the first time. They also disabled the ability to measure actual signal strength. Both suggestbut don't provethat they knew they had a problem on their hands.
Still a reasonable theory, as stated.
4. Apple's PR has been subpar.
Agreed, but Jobs emailing has finally shown the potential harm it can cause, especially if the BGR report is indeed fake.
5. Their software fix for the signal strength display problem will do nothing to improve reception. The fact it will take a few weeks for this software fix suggests they will also try to address the antenna problem via software. I don't know if that is possible. Even if they do, they will not announce that part of the SU.
Agreed on all counts.
6. Recalling all the iPhones sold to apply a coating to the antenna is prohibitively expensive. Giving away a black bumper for black iPhones and a white bumper for the upcoming white version would take care of the issue for now, and regain customer goodwill.
It does seem expensive, but I'm not sure if a class action lawsuit which now has something to hold on to, plus the long term damage to their company and brand would be cheaper. And that isn't a fix, it's a Band-Aid at best.
7. Apple is almost certainly altering iPhones currently being assembled so that the antenna is protected from contact with skin. Finding the best, cost-effective antenna coating will take some time. They probably will not announce this modification publicly. Most consumer electronic companies don't, for legal and other reasons.
I would think they are resolving the issue. Whether that means fix a TriQuint driver that get confused when certain types of interference are added, if that means making the RF output more powerful which requires a resubmit for regulatory testing, reworking the assembly line so that the coating can dry, or whatever. There are too many options to consider at this point which could potentially resolve the issue.
I agree that they will likely say nothing.
8. Apple should extend their warranty and allow returns at no charge until their software fix has been released. They are admitting to this defect, after all. AT&T should also waive the restocking charge, as should all other retailers who are selling the new iPhone. Apple should be willing to absorb the restocking fee for all resellers.
In case you are not aware, if you return the undamaged product within 30 days (at least in the US) there is no restocking fee and your contract is dissolved. Now, if you are on AT&T and canceled your previous contract to get on the new one, then your old one because active again. I think 30 days is more than sufficient for no risk trial.
9. For those who sold or otherwise disposed of their current phone to buy the new iPhone and are unhappy with it...well, part of that responsibility is yours. If your business depends on it, return the phone and buy a 3GS (if you want Apple) or any other phone, and wait for the release of the software fix. You can then decide, once it's out and tested by third parties, whether you want to buy the new iPhone again. If you don't, there are many many alternative choices on At&T and other carriers.
10. For those who have iPhones on order, cancel the order. That's what I did with my iPhone order for four iPhones. Do you really want to gamble on $200 or $300, and more importantly, the value of your time if the phone does not meet your expectations? Alternatively, budget for a bumper or case of some kind to nullify the antenna problem.
If you have any doubts and don't want to take the risk that is a valid, but from my PoV this issue is blown out of proportion. Next year, it's likely to be even worse as the number of reported issues will reverberate throughout the internet to an even larger degree. All things being equal, if Apple drops production issues by half but more than twice as many units are sold the issue could appear to be even greater, even though the percentage of faulty units has dramatically declined.
11. The BOD for Apple should ask Jobs to stop responding to emails; the same applies to those who answer emails for him. This is a business decision. Most of the email responses have been a bit condescending, and that is bad PR and could a) affect the share price and b) further jeopardize Apple's legal strategy when dealing with lawsuits.
12. For those who want to try out the new iPhone, Apple should (as in the past) report stock availability at each of their Apple stores, updated daily. They should also make sure that they have plenty of black bumpers in stock right now and sell them for $5 (or give them away gratis, as a thank you gesture for choosing the iPhone).
Agreed with the first part and unsure why they haven't set up that site again. Perhaps the unit numbers are so low that it's pointless right now. Clearly they haven't stopped all supply.
I wholeheartedly disagree with the last part. Lowing the price or giving them away doesn't fix
the issue (assuming that is the cause and not just a symptom of another issue), gives the lawyers something to grab onto, and would likely cause lawsuits on another front from those who have invested in making iPhone 4 cases themselves. Remember what happened when MS gave away IE, giving away bumpers to all iPhone 4 users could be considered anti-competitive.
This controversy is not only leaving a bad taste in the mouth for Apple loyalists, but diminishing brand perception. By doing 1-12 above, there may be a negative impact on the quarterly profit for a quarter or two, but long-term negative trends in stock value should not occur.
I doubt Mr. Jobs wants his legacy at Apple to end on this very negative final note. The photos of him with Medvedev shows a very sick man (I'm a physician familiar with end-of-life issues, but it doesn't require an MD to see the pronounced muscle wasting apparent). Do the right thing, Mr. Jobs and when you leave the company, we can celebrate all you've done for Apple for the past 25 years. You have every right to be proud, but a little humility now would help an awful lot.
As Apple grows this won't be the worst of it. It wasn't too long ago that people were up in arms about iMacs having issues. Every month it's a new thing yet every month their sales skyrocket. It's a compound issue that really only seems like the sky is falling if you read tech blogs and forums, other than that it's just the problem with being popular and having all eyes on you. It's not a bad place to be.