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Look into my eyes… there is NO antennagate


Steve and Co. at Apple have just been on stage explaining that there isn’t a problem with their antenna.

They are offering all iPhone 4 customers a free case to mitigate the problem. And, of course, a refund to anyone who wants one.

I think this is the way ahead. I think it’s right to highlight a 30-day full no quibble return policy too.

This should kill off the ‘iPhone is broken’ story in the tech media.

But, as I wrote earlier, I think the damage is already done. I think this could have been fixed faster and sooner by Apple with the same ‘free case’ response.

Instead it’s leaked into the mainstream and correcting the mainstream viewpoint is going to be quite a challenge.

Still, broadly speaking, I think Apple did a good job of dealing with the issue. As others have commented today, other industry players should most definitely take note of how Apple handled the problem — i.e. swiftly and with a decent solution (free case).

If you’d like to read through was was said/shown at the press conference, check out Engadget’s live blog.


  1. I don’t think it has been handled well at all telling people how to use their phone and claiming there is no problem. It has also been slow to offer the free case on a very profitable piece of kit.

  2. Damage to the brand is what Nokia did when they released the N97, I paid £500 at launch for it, and it was singulary the worst phone I've ever owned, and it got worse day by day as more of the miniscule c drive got eaten up.
    In comparison my £600 iPhone 4 has been fantastic, yes you can force it to drop bars, just like my Nokia E71 used too, but rarely happens in the real world.
    So has antennagate affected what I think of Apple, would it stop me getting another iPhone? Nope, not at all, the device is a sheer joy to use. But after the disaster that was the N97, Sadly I can't see me owning another Nokia in the near future. I won't say never, but I won't be paying £500 to beta test another device for them.

  3. Bit defensive there eh Nick? Glad you like your iPhone 4. You clearly are very forgiving of Apple. Looking at the less fanboyish view across the media though, people are indeed questioning why there is a need of a free bumper if there is no problem, why people need a bumper at all – clearly a hardware design flaw along with various other iPhone 4 problems:
    why Apple are making their users live with the flaw, and why Apple feel the need to blame the rest of the industry when this issue has not come up before. Apple screwed up here, big time. Consumer Reports in the US who did objective tests on iPhone 4 found they couldn't recommend it – which would have been a major nail in the iPhone 4's coffin if Apple hadn't taken major action with their propaganda, sorry PR conference.

    I am sorry to hear that you are so filled with Nokia hate. They stumbled sure, but I think you will find they will be leading Apple by miles in smartphone sales, device quality and innovation for many years to come.

  4. Ewan you also wrote earlier “Giving free plastic bumpers to all iPhone 4 users won’t cut it either. It’s a fix. But it’s a clear statement that the actual phone design is awry.”, which is essentially all that Apple have done here.

    Great comment on Digg about this issue (…) : “Steve Jobs must have swallowed his bladder saying, 'We're not perfect! Phones aren't perfect!'

    The hardware fix will come before 1st of October. It will either be an antenna coat, which is very hard to do due to the nature of the metal, or it will be an internal insulator. I am waiting until the jailbreak community and sites like iFixit disassemble the new units and associate the first few digits of the serial number with the hardware fix before I buy. Some rumours say that it's happening now since orders are delayed by weeks.

    Steve is giving free Bumpers and 3rd party cases because he does not want to postpone sales until the hardware fix. The entire presentation was insulting. Notice that he would not divulge the AT&T dropped calls percentage but only the delta between 3GS and iPhone 4. By his own words, even though it's 'the best antenna ever', it drops more calls than the 3GS.

    If 'so few consumers are actually complaining', how come you have to delete threads from your online help forums?

    The 'every phone has this problem' and 'it's not actually a problem' rhetoric was insulting. They don't show any hard data. Doctored photos of a bar or 2 dropping is not data. He could have brought an Android phone and showed it live. The iPhone 4 requires one finger to kill data reception. The other phones, if true, require the entire hand.

    Steve Jobs felt hurt from the backlash. He really thought that all customers were iSheep fanbois. At this point, Steve Jobs is a liability for Apple. 20 minutes of rationalisation and blaming the media is Nixonian at best!”

  5. ….you're clearly very forgiving of Nokia.

    If any Nokia devices were as high profile as the iPhone (and none of them has been, especially not in the US), then I'm sure there'd be the same amplification of any percieved issue into a major problem, regardless of its impact on daily use.

  6. Well a.) this is about Apple, not Nokia and b.) the negative press Apple is receiving is largely due to their arrogant response and denial (not to mention lies) that people are thank goodness seeing straight through (apart from blind fanboys).

  7. I am not full of Nokia hate, and after the N97 did actually purchase an E52, two 5800 and an N97 mini, all new and at bargain prices. Sadly none of them really cut it in the modern smartphone world, and nothing I've seen of Symbian^3 convinces me that the N8 will, yes it has a great camera, but there is more to a device than it's camera.


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