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

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?

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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

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  • Snow job

    1. "Bar" comparison: Since the algorithms may be very different, this is a meaningless comparison. If Jobs were sincere, he would do an actual signal attenuation comparison. Why didn't he?<br><br><br>2. "There is no problem. All smart phones have this weakness". "So right now the state of the art of the entire industry is that no one has solved this problem."<br><br> Fine.<br><br>"But we will give you a bumper case to solve the problem"<br><br>Huh? If there is no problem, or a problem that no-one in the industry has been able to fix, how can the bumper case solve it? What if they designed a phone with a built in bumper case, then there would be no problem, right? But that is impossible, because all smart phones have this problem, which cannot be fixed with current technology.<br><br>My head hurts.<br><br>Like I said, a snow job.
    Economister
    • Two different issues

      @Economister

      There is not problem technically, but there is a problem with perception. Perception is reality. I understand what's going on here.
      People
      • Yep. The tech media has been frothed up into a mob

        hell bent on a witch hunt. Reminds me of the Alar scare way back when.
        frgough
      • If anyone would reconize a witch hunt, it would be frgough

        he has single handedly let quite a few against Microsoft over any trivial issue.

        Not something as important to a cell phone as an antenna, mind you...
        John Zern
      • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

        @People wrote "There is not problem technically, but there is a problem with perception"

        Oh really? Calls are dropped. That's not perception; it's reality. When holding the phone in a natural position results in dropped calls, there is a problem. Since Jobs now admits that they were aware of a potential problem, why couldn't they have simply moved the antenna to an area where a normal grip would have no effect? That was a technical issue. Hence, this is a technical problem.

        Here's an analogy. Let's say some Mac mice were mistakenly manufactured with the button underneath the mouse. You can still use the mouse to move a cursor. You can even use the button by picking up the mouse each time you need to click. Is there a problem? Hell yeah.
        sdc100
      • Consumer Reports said problem was real

        @People
        And they said the fix offered by Apple was not. They still will not recommend until design flaw is fixed.
        NameRedacted
    • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

      @Economister The free (and refunded) bumpers are PR-related.
      athynz
      • No they are not. Read the CR (nt)

        @athynz

        nt
        Economister
      • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

        @Economister

        They are.
        Deal with it.
        rhonin
    • That feeling is the Apple RDF being turned up to 11...

      @Economister
      Unfortunately, the RDF is a poor substitute for the Jedi mind trick with the Force behind it.

      If it were a common problem, then I would expect my now, nearly 5 year old Motorola A1200 Ming would have similar issues when I held it in my hand using a natural grip. But try as I might, I just can't get it to drop a call using that alone.

      I can, however, almost guarantee a dropped call - all I gotta do is call a colleague of mine who has an iPhone or step into an elevator (Faraday Cage).
      Wolfie2K3
      • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

        @Wolfie2K3
        Why else had the antenna migrated internally and the case is primarily plastic....
        rhonin
  • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

    And instead of fixing the issue they cover it up. Tsk tsk.
    Loverock Davidson
    • They cover it up

      with a rubber case?

      Was that a Pun LD?
      John Zern
      • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

        @John Zern
        LOL not intended and didn't occur to me in that way (especially if you knew how I think) but now that you mention it that was pretty funny
        Loverock Davidson
    • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

      @Loverock Davidson

      Not only was there a semi-cover up, but Jobs' press conference was unnecessarily defiant, arrogant and frankly, obnoxious. But hey, why not -- that's what a cult of personality does to a person. Much of the conference was self-aggrandizing (we're great, and despite this snafu, we're contributing to the entire industry) and a diffusion of responsibility (all smartphones are like this!).

      For those who claim that there was absolutely no cover up, since the issue was known to Apple engineers, why wasn't it mentioned in any of the literature? Why weren't buyers warned that a normal grip can result in dropped calls?
      sdc100
    • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

      @Loverock Davidson, you said it like it is; just a cover up of the problem. Thanks!
      pubillones
  • What we have here is more

    blowing things out of proportion.
    People
    • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

      @People yep...and this time by Apple and Steve. Instead of admitting their mistake, promise to make amends and move on, they continue to tell the people that it's their fault and they have been holding a cell phone the wrong way their whole life.
      Yax_to_the_Max
    • Right -- How dare you want a cell phone to make a phone call?

      @People
      Apple's flawed design is magnified by their even more flawed response.
      NameRedacted
    • RE: How will 'Antennagate' affect Apple's consumer perception?

      @People This is what I wanted to draw attention to. We, the press and consumers (let's face it, mostly the press) have really capitalised upon this issue and may well have scaremongered the ordinary consumer - but it does boil down to perception. You're right - in my personal opinion - but I don't think Apple handled this all too well.
      zwhittaker