How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

Summary:Apple admitted the iPhone 4 has got an issue with the signal and reception. Do you think the perceptions of Apple have changed negatively as a result of today's events?

Apple admitted the iPhone 4 has got an issue with the signal and reception. Steve Jobs took to the stage earlier and pointed out quite blatantly where the problem is.

As ZDNet editor in chief Larry Dignan pointed out during the live blog of the event, "perception is everything" (10:06). It's not necessarily about who is right or wrong, more so how the young, impressionable consumer perceives the company after this public relations screw-up.

Catch up with today's event on ZDNet's live blog of the Apple iPhone 4 press conference, as well as MobileCrunch's coverage which has photos too.

View the ZDNet photo gallery of today's press conference.

Apple struck a cord with the younger consumer in that they created beautiful, sleek devices which appeal to the materialistic nature of the Generation Y. There is a reason this blog is called the 'iGeneration', in that Apple's effect - whether good or bad - is huge on us.

The press may well have blown this out of proportion, and indeed only 0.55% of iPhone 4 users may have called in regards to reception issues, but it doesn't matter. Even if Apple had not done anything wrong whatsoever, the CEO cannot stand up at a surprise press conference and say that 'nothing is wrong' or by focusing on the similar issues with rival smartphones (10:12).

Even if Apple were completely in the right, they are almost negating the fact they need to maintain their perception of which they have clearly worked so hard to maintain.

They'll give out a free case for every iPhone 4 and a refund (10:30) if you have already bought a bumper, but it doesn't seem to make that much difference now. He stood on stage and said, basically, that it's not us - it's you, the press and the consumer (10:29).

It feels like being slapped in the face then cuddled and told "it'll be alright". Had he skipped the part in the middle about how the press and the consumers have panicked about something that may or may not have been an issue, then perhaps many would have come away from it feeling that they had truly taken care of its consumers.

What concerns me now is not Apple losing out in numbers, or even its direct perception being blown to another degree; it's how the younger generation of which who have grown up with this technology feel about Apple now. To me, it feels like my parents telling me that, actually, for the last twenty-one years they've never loved me.

It's kinda' heartbreaking, actually.

How do you feel as a result of today's press event? Do you think the perceptions of Apple have changed negatively as a result of today's events? Have your say.

Topics: Apple, Browser, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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