iPhone 4 recall could cost Apple $1.5 billion

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  • Reply 41 of 110
    Right now, nobody is sure how wide spread the reception issue might be but it?s there for some and not for others. One thing I thought of with this is a potential parallel between the iPhone 4 and the Xbox 360?



    Both products launched with much anticipation, with both selling out on their initial production runs and continuing to sell very well after. Both were praised for what they offered in terms of features and considered to be the best in their class at the time. Both, almost out of the gate suffered from a nagging issue that affecting some but not the majority?The Xbox 360 with its ?red ring of death? and the iPhone 4 with its ?death grip? reception issue?



    Right now, with Apple and the iPhone 4, we have no idea where this will go and what its resolution might be but something telling can be learned from Microsoft?s experience in dealing with the ?red ring of death? problem?I?m going to quote a snippet from this article here: http://red-ring-of-death.blogspot.com/



    I?ve added some things in bold?



    "In the end I think it was fear of failure, ambition to beat Sony (Apple wanting to beat Android and maintain it?s lead?), and the arrogance that they could figure anything out, that led to the decision to keep shipping. That management team had made some pretty bad decisions in the past (Apple hasn?t made many bad decisions but small ones?27? iMac displays, Time Capsules..) and had never had to pay a proportional consequence. I'm sure they thought that somehow they would figure it out and everything would end up ok. Plus, they tend to make big decisions like that in terms of dollars. They would rationalize that if the first few million boxes had a high failure rate, a few 10's of millions of dollars would cover it."



    Let's hope Apple doesn't go down the same road...
  • Reply 42 of 110
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    I suspect Apple knew there was an issue with reception. So instead of spending Apple's money to fix it, someone came up with the brilliant idea of charging customers money to fix it - thus the bumper was born. Less than a dollar to manufacture, sell for $29. Then they can tell anyone with problems to buy a bumper to fix it. Genius!
  • Reply 43 of 110
    sendmesendme Posts: 567member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienvenom View Post


    How are only 25% of the users affected? If it's a design flaw (and I'm not suggesting it is) wouldn't it be more like 100%?



    75% of iPhone users simply use one of the many cases available for the iPhone, so they don't have any problems. One the software update is released, this whole thing is over.
  • Reply 44 of 110
    sendmesendme Posts: 567member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbonner View Post


    Bumpers don't fix the proximity sensor issue. Really tired of my cheek hanging. Not a Apple hater, just want my phone to work.



    You can use the headphones and leave the phone in your pocket.
  • Reply 45 of 110
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stonefree View Post


    I suspect Apple knew there was an issue with reception. So instead of spending Apple's money to fix it, someone came up with the brilliant idea of charging customers money to fix it - thus the bumper was born. Less than a dollar to manufacture, sell for $29. Then they can tell anyone with problems to buy a bumper to fix it. Genius!



    Well that was a massive mistake because if they almost certainly will have to give a certificate for a iP4 cover. They wont be able to give their bumper away for free. which means the actual cost is now more like $29xNumber of iP4's sold which is already upward of $60m



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SendMe View Post


    75% of iPhone users simply use one of the many cases available for the iPhone, so they don't have any problems. One the software update is released, this whole thing is over.



    Software is unlikely to fix the problem for 2 reasons



    1 - This is most likely a physics problem

    2 - Apple are focusing on changing the display bars





    The only way software can fix the problem is if the dropped calls etc are because the firmware switches from 3g to edge to gprs too slowly to maintain the call. In this case software COULD make a significant difference.
  • Reply 46 of 110
    sendmesendme Posts: 567member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post


    I am little annoyed by Apple's approach







    Aren't you being kind of harsh?
  • Reply 47 of 110
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 847member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    I'm just curious about what cost there is to Apple if they don't fix it? I mean, the tarnished public image can do major financial damage. The best course is to investigate, and if it's real, fess up and fix it, IMO. If you deny it, and it's real, you could end up doing more harm. If it's truly not real, then investigate and make a public statement about proof that it's not real, and not because Steve says it ain't so.



    People have selective memory and with APPLE this issue will pass before you know it. Remember people were preordering the IPHONE4 before anyone really saw it in real life.

    When Apple releases its fix lets see the reaction.
  • Reply 48 of 110
    justflybobjustflybob Posts: 1,337member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Glgbnaf View Post


    Good apple deserves every bit of a loss finally!!!! I'm one of the 1.7 million who got scammed on a flawed device!!!! Heck with Steve jobs ya he is termally I'll maybe this will enhance more to pay him back haaaaaaaa what comes around goes round!!!!!!!!!



    Good grief. Where are the idiot police when you really need them?
  • Reply 49 of 110
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alienvenom View Post


    How are only 25% of the users affected? If it's a design flaw (and I'm not suggesting it is) wouldn't it be more like 100%?



    It seems potentially 100% of owners could be affected, but consider what fraction of owners at any given point in time are experiencing a failure due to the antenna design--and not just any failure but a failure that actually matters?



    Roughly speaking, it would be the fraction of users who do not currently have their iP4 enclosed in a case, who are holding it in a manner that bridges the antenna gap, who are presently in a location of low-moderate signal strength, who perhaps don't have an alternate (e.g., EDGE) frequency to fall back on for cellular communications, who are actively trying to make a call or use cellular (not wi-fi) data or for whom someone is trying to call them, and such that the communication is actually important.



    On average, how often does an iPhone owner find themselves in such a situation, what fraction of the time do they not know it (and therefore don't know to adjust their grip), and what fraction of that time does it matter?



    In spite of how unlikely/infrequently it may seem to matter on average--a figure Apple may be looking at to assess their liability--I prefer not to worry about signal drop at all and to hold my iPhone 4 any way that's most comfortable: I enclosed my iPhone 4 in a bumper, a bumper that I had little desire or intention of ever buying, especially when it interferes with the $29 Apple dock I had already bought for the iPhone 4 and is incompatible with a retractable charger cable I often use. My work desk is a prime location (with 4-5 bars) for dropping signal entirely when the phone is held comfortably but "wrong". That was more than enough reason for me to jump on the bumper I didn't want.
  • Reply 50 of 110
    icyfogicyfog Posts: 338member
    It's early yet, just a couple of days, but I haven't noticed any reception issues with mine, knock on wood. Heck ... even AT&T customer service has been OK.
  • Reply 51 of 110
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Launch day- Australia, I'm getting one, I don't give a stuff about what ten million whining American bloggers have to say.



    I have been monitoring my day to day iPhone 3G usage and I do not touch that area of the phone.
  • Reply 52 of 110
    ouraganouragan Posts: 437member
    Quote:

    Examining the longer-term consequences for Apple, Sacconaghi turned to "the emerging pattern of hubris that the company has displayed, which has increasingly pitted competitors (and regulators) against the company, and risks alienating customers over time."



    As some examples, the analyst noted Apple's "limited disclosure practices, its attack on Adobe's Flash, its investigation into its lost iPhone prototype (which culminated in a reporter's home being searched while he was away and computers being removed), its restrictions on app development, and its ostensibly dismissive characterizations of the iPhone's antenna issues (i.e., phone needs to be held a different way; a software issue that affects the number of bars displayed)."



    Sacconaghi further speculates that "these issues may, over time, begin to impact consumers' perceptions of Apple, undermining its enormous prevailing commercial success."





    Only a fool would ignore the seriousness of the iPhone 4 antenna and reception issues. Deleting message threads mentionning the Consumer Report article is childish and definitely not the leadership that iPhone buyers are expecting.





  • Reply 53 of 110
    macarenamacarena Posts: 365member
    Dear iPhone4 Customers,



    Over the last couple of weeks, there has been enormous amount of hysteria about Antenna reception issues related to the iPhone 4. The number of customers actually impacted by this problem is quite minimal, because it only affects people in weak signal areas, and only if the phone is held in certain ways. However, at Apple, we have always believed in delighting customers, every single step of the way - right from the experience while you shop, the experience when you unbox the product, the experience using the product throughout its life. If there is the slightest problem in that experience, real or perceived, it will not be an Apple experience any more.



    We wish to offer our customers the following options -



    - Extended risk free return period upto 365 days if you have purchased the iPhone4 before 31 Jul 2010. Instead of the usual 30 days, please feel free to try out the product over 365 days. At any point, if you are not satisfied, you can return the product to the nearest Apple Store for a full refund of purchase price. Or just register at the Apple Website and we will arrange to pick up your phone from you, and refund your money. We will also work with AT&T to waive your 2 year contract, if you choose to return your phone. You will however have to bear the AT&T fees for using the phone for the period you choose to keep the phone.



    - In addition, if you have purchased an iPhone4 before 31 Jul 2010, you can get free bumpers - just download the "iPhone4" app from the AppStore, select two colors of bumpers, and we will ship those 2 bumpers to you FREE. You can get more colors for $4.99 each. In addition to this, in the same app, you can enter your MobileMe subscriber details, and select Extend Subscription to get 1 year of MobileMe subscription for Free - if you are not currently a MobileMe user, you can sign up for a new MobileMe account free for the first year. If you still decide to return the iPhone 4, you can still continue to use the MobileMe service for free.



    - We know iPhone 4 works well for significant majority of customers, and with the bumpers, should work well for pretty much everyone. However, we still realize that the last couple of weeks have been hard for the Apple faithful - especially early adopters. For all our early adopters, here is a special offer - if you have bought an iPhone 4 before 31 Jul 2010, you can exchange your iPhone4 for the then latest release of the iPhone for FREE, 24 months after you purchased the iPhone4. Effectively, when it is time for you to upgrade your current phone, the upgrade is free.



    (the above offers are applicable to customers who have purchased an iPhone4 before 31 Jul 2010. All iPhones bought after 31 Jul 2010 will not have the antenna reception issue).



    Thanks,

    Apple Customer Care



    -- This is a hypothetical mail - something I think Apple can and should send out, to mitigate the Antenna issue. Firstly, this way of response will work out a lot cheaper for Apple. Giving a 365 day risk free return costs very little effectively - most people will choose to keep the phone, with the free bumpers. The bumpers themselves should cost Apple just 10-20 cents each in volume. There is already lot of talk of MobileMe becoming free, so giving away MobileMe also will not cost Apple much. In all likelihood, Apple can extend iAd program to MobileMe as well and recover their costs easily. Also, because of the free upgrade to iPhone6, the resale value of the original iPhone4 will likely be a lot higher than the return value of the phone - so in all likelihood, even a dissatisfied customer would rather sell the phone on eBay than return it to Apple!



    The only real cost to Apple would be the free upgrade to iPhone 5 on launch - but even this is not really a cost to Apple - because this will be an exchange offer - an Old iPhone4 can be refurbished and sold contract-free, for $299 - so if it costs Apple $100 to refurbish these phones, they can easily sell the old phones back after fixing the antenna issue, and changing some external components - like glass, stainless steel, etc. They could possibly even change the battery to give better battery life. Even if Apple decides not to refurbish these phones, and just recycles the materials, the fact that 10 million phones are not flooding the second hand phone market will give a great boost to iPhone sales in 2012.



    The beauty of this solution is that it costs very little in reality, allows significantly higher sales of iPhone4 - I would expect several million people signing up for iPhone4 before 31 July, if they can get a free upgrade to iPhone6 in 2 years. This is one way for Apple to convert a crisis into an opportunity, and regain the trust of customers. Rather than spend $1.5B today, Apple can get more customers today!
  • Reply 54 of 110
    I think the iphone 4 deathgrip issue is probably linked to fat left-handed people with sweaty hands.



    Japanese people don't see this problem because they have long learned how to text with their right thumb only...and are skinny.



  • Reply 55 of 110
    I wish everyone would read the article in Anandtech on this issue. Anandtech is one of the most respected sites for information technology. Brian Klug & Anand Lal Shimpi did pretty thorough testing. The article can be found at: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/t...one-4-review/2



    Excerpt:

    "The Antenna is Improved

    From my day of testing, I've determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar). Previously, dropping this low all but guaranteed that calls would drop, fail to be placed, and data would no longer be transacted at all. I can honestly say that I've never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4, so it's readily apparent that the new baseband hardware is much more sensitive compared to what was in the 3GS. The difference is that reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 in actual use.



    With my bumper case on, I made it further into dead zones than ever before, and into marginal areas that would always drop calls without any problems at all. It's amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS, and issues from holding the phone aside, reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS."
  • Reply 56 of 110
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    Rather than speculate on the cost, I'd like to see someone come up with a fix.



    The question is not whether it will cost a billion to recall the phone. It's whether the issue can be fixed with a simple adaptation of the existing design.



    Because redesigning the interior of the phone and remanufacturing supplies will take at least 18 months, and having this drag out that long will do more damage to Apple than any recall.



    This is a Toyota-kind of issue for Apple. If their reputation for design leadership and quality takes a public hit, Android and RIM are suddenly back in the game.
  • Reply 57 of 110
    ibillibill Posts: 400member
    Stock manipulation anyone?
  • Reply 58 of 110
    Quote:

    As some examples, the analyst noted Apple's "limited disclosure practices...



    How they run their own business is, frankly, their own business.



    Quote:

    its attack on Adobe's Flash



    Flash sucks (esp. on Apple products) and I'll be glad when it's dead. It can't even play a 480p video on a dual-core MacBook without causing the fan to turn on. I'll be damned if I'm putting that crap on my phone, especially if I have no way of blocking Flash ads.



    Quote:

    its investigation into its lost iPhone prototype (which culminated in a reporter's home being searched while he was away and computers being removed)



    You mean "the police's investigation into multiple felonies" in a case in which Apple was the victim.



    Quote:

    its restrictions on app development



    Again, their own business.



    Quote:

    and its ostensibly dismissive characterizations of the iPhone's antenna issues (i.e., phone needs to be held a different way; a software issue that affects the number of bars displayed)."



    Finally, a valid point. Their handling of the obviously widespread iPhone 4 issues has been absolutely abysmal.
  • Reply 59 of 110
    ibillibill Posts: 400member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Launch day- Australia, I'm getting one, I don't give a stuff about what ten million whining American bloggers have to say.



    I have been monitoring my day to day iPhone 3G usage and I do not touch that area of the phone.



    Most American consumers don't appear to "give a stuff" about what the bloggers have to say either, as the demand here for iPhone4 remains well ahead of supply.



    I think the reality is that the bloggers are driven more by Apple's competitors in the mobile phone space than by consumers. Testament to how well Apple is doing with iPhone and how scared the competition is. This blogger blitzkrieg over alleged iPhone antenna issues is for the most part an all out attack on Apple by its competition.
  • Reply 60 of 110
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member
    If you go to cnn.com right now the headline is: iPhone 4 can be fixed with duct tape. This is well beyond Apple's competitors and a few discontented bloggers.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iBill View Post


    Most American consumers don't appear to "give a stuff" about what the bloggers have to say either, as the demand here for iPhone4 remains well ahead of supply.



    I think the reality is that the bloggers are driven more by Apple's competitors in the mobile phone space than by consumers. Testament to how well Apple is doing with iPhone and how scared the competition is. This blogger blitzkrieg over alleged iPhone antenna issues is for the most part an all out attack on Apple by its competition.



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