Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

Summary: When Consumer Reports says you need to put a strip of duct tape on the product to make it work, that's shoddy.


Oh, man! When Consumer Reports, the most-trusted name in consumer product evaluations, pans your flagship product, you know you're in trouble.

When a federal court judge drops the gavel on a class action lawsuit that could collapse your predatory (and universally hated) business model, you know you're in trouble.

Or do you?

Consumer Reports actually recommended against buying the new iPhone 4 because, well, it doesn't really work as a phone (unless you stick some duct tape on the side).

A federal court is now seriously looking at the question of whether the AT&T lock-in (and a bunch of ancillary aspects of the cellular phone business model) is kosher.

Does anyone think Steve Jobs will learn any lessons from this? Does anyone think he cares at all?

Of course not. Apple has billions in the bank and Steve himself is worth billions more.

To Steve and his Apple Dumpling Gang, the complainers are just mere bumblers trying to edge in on Apple's good fortune, hard work, and its employees' good looks.

Will these attacks break Apple?

Of course not. To millions of customers, Steve is Jesus. The iPhone, as imperfect as it is, is Excalibur and the Holy Grail all rolled up in bonded black and silver. It seems almost, that to the Apple faithful, merely touching the iPhone lets them touch an aspect of the deity and is truly a religious experience.

But it's not a religious experience.

Apple is a giant, multi-national company trading off its reputation and the love of its strangely brainwashed masses. It's a company that shipped a product that fails (we can forgive that) and refuses to admit it (this is the unforgivable sin). Apple is a company that is not putting its customers first.

It's a shame, really. The iPhone 4, like most of Apple's new products, is breakthrough engineering. Unfortunately, the company doesn't label these breakthrough products as "beta".

As a result, millions of gullible, trusting consumers are being duped into buying products that don't perform their primary function and then, when they're told they're simply too stupid to hold it right, they turn towards Cupertino, bow their heads, and repeat in a monotone: "Thank you Steve for all thou hath given us."

Don't be goin' off about the word "shoddy" in this article's title. When Consumer Reports says you need to put a strip of duct tape on the product to make it work, that's shoddy. Oh, what the heck. Let it rip.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, CXO, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

    Agreed. Oh the double standards that permeate everyday life. Microsoft or Android pull something like this they would be hanging from the gallows.
    • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

      @tbensen@... Bring back the Gibbet.
      Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • You have that backwards


      Actually, you have that backwards. Microsoft (Kin, Windows CE) and Android (HTC Magic, HTC Tattoo, HTC Lancaster, Motorola Droid, etc., too many to list), do this all the time and get away with it. They just keep rolling more phones out so you forget about their prior failures.

      The iPhone is better than any of them, but gets no slack because of it. That's the double standard you were looking for.
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

        @zd-crap Agreed. Apple is held to a ridiculous standard. Microsoft has been releasing crap products for 20 years and deserves all the hate.
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?


        Not exactly. Apple fanboys "set" the standards and woe to any non-fanboy who dares to question the perceived quality of anything Apple produces. It's irrelevant whether it's hardware or software. If Apple makes it, it's the bestest.

        It's a rare fanboy who will point and say that the Emperor has no clothes. And he's immediately excoriated by the True Believers for his apostasy. I offer Jason D. O'Grady as evidence of this--every time he points out a worm in the Apple, his oh-so-faithful readers do their best to rip him a new one.
        M.R. Kennedy
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

        @zd-crap What? Where was this failing with the Droid? I have one of these and the phone is great! In case you didn't know it was out selling the 3Gs until other Android phones hit the market.

        As for Apple being held to an incredibly high standard, that's BS! They hand their manufacturing to Foxconn and they keep getting burned on it... Look up the iMac display issues, the 17" Display issue, the Macbook wifi issue (should I go on?) and you'll see that this isn't an isolated incident! Crud, this is probably the first time Apple customers didn't have to litigate to get their problems resolved!

        Believe me, I build my machines and I don't use Foxconn products so guess what? My hardware never dies on me and if something like a hard drive does die, I just go back to the vender and they replace it (3 to 5 years is a typical warranty for many parts).

        Anyway, I think you get the idea that Apple isn't being held to a standard, by their faithful, and they're still failing to deliver all the time.
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

        @zd-crap As much as I love my iPhone - dude Android didn't have too many failures... lots of obnoxious fanbois but no real failures unless you count the whole Nexus One tech support fiasco. WM... yeah I'm with you on that one. Kin... yeah that one was a fail from the beginning - there were simply too many other and better offerings out there both Android and iOS based.
    • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?


      To put it another way: if the MS Kin had *antenna issues, would anyone give a sh8t (including MS)?

      *Alleged issues, I own one, I can't reproduce it; and I don't read Consumer Reports for the hard science.
      • Hmm, interesting...

        @zd-crap That's what a friend of mine said as well regarding his iPhone 4... I reproduced it for him in under 20 seconds, did you want to bring your phone over and I'll show you that the flaw is by design and you will see it without some type of insulation?
    • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

      @tbensen@... On the contrary, there were a lot of problems in Android devices too, but invariably people said that it could only improve and be great. And I remember Page comments about multitasking problems on Android devices. Basically that he did not care at all.
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?


        Not to mention the Nokia N97 - which would not do anything once you had used a few of the features - because the Multitasking chewed up all the RAM and refused to launch the next one.

        So Did Nokia stop selling their phones? No!!!

        Did anyone scream about Nokia having a 'Shoddy' product? No!!!

        Was this a real problem for the users - Yes!!!

        So the double standard is alive and well here.
    • The irony of this...

      is that Apple is getting sued over the American cell phone market business model. You notice that there are dozens of other exclusive-to-the-carrier phones (BlackBerry Storm, Motorola Droid, dozens of HTC phones, the HTC Google phones on T-Mobile) and yet the lawsuit is going after AT&T and Apple. I'm sure that if Apple could have signed a shorter exclusivity deal than 5 years, they would have. However, AT&T had the foresight to see that the iPhone was going to become THE phone that the mass market wanted. The only reason why the me-too phones are selling is because of this deal. However, had Apple released the iPhone -<br><br>- On Verizon's network, the App Store wouldn't be nearly as varied as it is today.<br><br>- On T-Mobile's American network, coverage would blow and 3G data would perform even worse than it already does.<br><br>- On Sprint's 3G network, Sprint wouldn't exist because of iPhone users leaving for a network that actually works the way it should (back in 2007, Sprint didn't even work properly in it's home town).<br><br>- And Apple would still be in a lawsuit over the iPhone if there was an exclusivity deal!<br><br>The lawsuit isn't so much about iPhone as it is unfair marketing practices. If you want to sue the correct parties, you should be going after the major cell phone carriers and not the manufacturers, in order to reshape the American cell phone market to be more like the one in most of Europe (open and unlocked).
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

        @nix_hed I'm glad someone else saw this... but sure, APPLE is the bad guy for doing a lock in just like everyone else...
    • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

      @tbensen@... <br><br>I just laugh at you people - where do you all get off.<br><br>This story is actually based on a series of lies.<br><br>The iPhone 4 does by all accounts work as a phone with or without any tape.<br><br>Find evidence otherwise - then this story makes some sense.

      But even then the issue is not universal from all reports.

      And the issue is still awaiting a possible software fix.

      So it's too early to call as 100% in Apple's favour - but it is way off being shoddy and a product requiring tape to work.

      The real question still is - why do the Microsoft and Android cheer squads write so much garbage, and so many lies to knock down Apple!!!

      No - this is not a fanboy comment - this is based on the available evidence not matching up with the articles written and the blog posts.

      I am more than prepared to accept that Apple may turn out to have a real issue with the iPhone 4 - they have stuffed up before with a simple 'nice' feature resulting in the product failing - but on the available evidence now this appears to be a simple software issue misleading the user into panic about the level.

      Do consumer reports have the tools to measure the actual signal level inside the phone? I bet they don't, and I bet they didn't do that.

      This is as bad as the myth perpetuated about Objective-C and the iTunes store being the only way to get apps onto the iPhone. The journo's here perpetuated that, then suddenly when Google releases a web App - they discuss the relative merits of Web Apps - and even then make wild incorrect statements.

      But it all gets you Apple haters posting and creating page impressions which make ad revenue for ZDNet - so the journo's get paid well for keeping the hate fires burning. Truth would not help their cause at all.

      And plenty of Apple haters eager to use the opportunity to try to destroy.

      So I will be going off about the use of the word shoddy - and quite frankly that is what the purpose of this article is:

      <i>Oh, what the heck. Let it rip.</i>

      @David Gewirtz

      And we have - and so you will get paid for writing lies that in my country would possibly get you sued.
      • You Are Sooooo Scary...

        Your statements about there being no proof there is a problem are so insanely stupid. This is a nuclear text bubble over your head that screams "I honestly think people can ignore the mountains and oceans of evidence, and believe me when I blatantly lie to them"
        Oh My God Gomer Pyle !
        Consumer Reports doesn't need to measure the signal level inside the phone !!!!! When they hold the phone like Homo Sapiens hold telephones, the signal dies and the call is dis-connected !!!!!!!
        What part of that do you and the rest of the koolaide kids think you can get intelligent people confused about ???????
        Oh My God Gomer Pyle !!!!!!!!
        Every one of you who defend the i4, and say "mine doesn't do it, so this is a lie" are accusing 500,000 people of lying ??????
        Oh, damn, I'm sorry, you're probably not bright enough to do any math other than repeating "apple sold 1.5 million iPhone 4s in one week..."
        You and your brother fan boys may not be able to read, write or count, but when you don't drink the apple koolaide, it's really easy to add up the problems and accept that they're real.
        Quit shaming yourself...
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

        How much is Apple paying you write such crap?
    • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?


      Steve is safe, as long as he issues a recall and says "My bad." That is what I read he is going to do.

      Well, is Apple going to recall the iPhone4 or not? According to this article, the decision has been made.

      Read this article, it is hysterical.

      Apple Recalls iPhone 4?Very Fondly; Announces It Will Apply Same Rigorous Standards to Four New Product Launches


      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

        Yes, that was funny.
    • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

      @tbensen@... <br>Funny, I distinctly remember the Evo having a problem with the screen separating and HTC said it was a "minor" annoyance, then there was the <br>non-responsive touch screen issue, then there was the yellow vertical line issue, then there was the latest clusterfluck where the users phones were bricked during a software update...I don't see hardly a mention about any of that...There's plenty about it on the web, but it's suspiciously missing from the media...But I guess you android fanbois consider those things "perks" since you're so used to sub-standard crap from MS...
      • RE: Will shoddy products tarnish the cult of Steve Jobs?

        @GENESIS667@... what does Android have to do with substandard crap from MS?