iPhone 4

Apple tries to throw competitors under the bus, but they won’t go quietly

Apple’s press conference last Friday was a notable event for the company. Not simply because Steve Jobs took the stage, but because the purpose of the press conference was to address problems being reported with an existing product, the iPhone 4.

It was unfamiliar territory for Apple and Steve Jobs. Jobs, of course, is used to introducing new products, not dealing with an existing one that is the subject of customer complaints, class action lawsuits and a media firestorm.

Apple offers free cases for iPhone 4. But few apologies.

Today Apple did something momentous — the iPhone maker held a press conference for the first time that was not meant for a new product launch. Instead, CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to announce that Apple would be sending all iPhone 4 owners cases to fix a problem with the phone. But if you look at the company’s own metrics, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong at all.

Apple’s internal customer service platform may be good for a lot of things.
But gauging consumer outrage is not one of them.

Consumer Reports versus Apple: proof authority still matters

It has been a tough week for Apple. The world’s preeminent tech company, which could once do no wrong, finds itself on the defensive amidst a PR nightmare the likes of which it has arguably never experienced before. For that, it can largely blame Consumer Reports.

Although discussion about iPhone 4 reception problems have been ongoing, and class action lawsuits have already been filed against Apple, Consumer Reports’ refusal to give the iPhone 4 “recommended” status, its claim that the problems are indeed caused by a hardware issue, and its argument that Apple needs to solve the problem for customers, have clearly forced Apple into a corner from which it must now try to extricate itself.

Apple, consumers, the Reality Distortion Field and the iPhone 4

Imagine: you’re getting crummy reception on your brand new smart phone when you hold it a particular way. You fire off an email to the CEO of the manufacturer. To your surprise, you get a response back: “Just avoid holding it in that way.

Soon, you learn that you’re not the only one having problems. But you also discover that the company, rather than admit to a problem, has allegedly instructed its customer service representatives to use “positioning statements” to ensure consumers that everything is fine.