Steve Jobs blames the media for the iPhone 4’s antenna problems, stating that Apple’s data proves that consumers were not dissatisfied with the device since the return rate was one-third of the iPhone 3GS's and that reporters made it out to be a bigger issue than it actually was. Oh, the whingeing.
Mr. Jobs said that 0.55 percent of iPhone users called to complain about the antenna or reception problems. The Apple CEO claimed that iPhone 4 is not the only smartphone that has this reception problem.
“It's being called Antennagate — it doesn’t seem like a good idea if you touch your phone in a certain way and the bars go down,” Mr. Jobs said, according to gdgt live’s live iPhone 4 press conference coverage at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA. “But one of the first things we learned: It’s certainly not unique to the iPhone.
“We did our own testing — let me show you an example of some other smartphones,” he said. “First, BlackBerry Bold 9700, perhaps the most popular business smartphone ...”
Mr. Jobs showed a video to conference attendees with a BlackBerry Bold 9700 losing signal bars when gripped a certain way.
“Pretty much identical to the videos on the Web about the iPhone 4,” Mr. Jobs said. “This is life in the smartphone world.
“Phones aren’t perfect,” he said.
Mr. Jobs then spent the next couple of minutes illustrating signal imperfections of Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Google's Android-based smartphones.
“We could have gone on and on, but most smartphones behave exactly the same way,” Mr. Jobs said.
About 15 minutes into the conference, the room of attendees still did not know what Apple planned to do about the imperfections in the iPhone 4.
Then the blame game began. Mr. Jobs did admit that Apple was not perfect, but said that the media has definitely made a bigger issue out of the iPhone 4 reception/antenna problem than it actually is.
“It’s a challenge for the whole industry, and we’re doing the best we can,” Mr. Jobs said. “But every phone has weak spots.
“Now, we’re not perfect: We made that very visible with a little help from some of our friends from certain Web sites,” he said.
But every cloud has a silver lining.
About a half hour after a huge PR-filled run-around on the issue at hand, Mr. Jobs finally addressed the problem.
Apple’s release of iOS 4.0.1 apparently fixes some of the bugs with the company’s algorithm. Apple recommends that every iPhone owner update to it.
Additionally, Consumer Reports stated that a bumper case addresses the issue. Mr. Jobs said that every iPhone 4 user can apply for a free case on Apple’s Web site. Those who have already bought a case can get reimbursed.
“And, if you’re still not happy even after getting a case, you can bring your iPhone 4 back undamaged for a full refund,” Mr. Jobs said. “We are going to take care of everyone.
"We want every user to be happy—and if we can’t make ‘em happy, we’ll give them a full refund,” he said.