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Cult of Mac spoke with several public relations experts who suggest that a recall of Apple's iPhone 4 is "inevitable" given growing criticism over the device's antenna issues that is spilling over from blog communities into the mainstream media. The PR crisis grew substantially yesterday when the widely-read Consumer Reports review and recommendation magazine failed to recommend the iPhone 4 to potential customers despite the device otherwise topping the rankings of smartphones.
"Apple will be forced to do a recall of this product," said Professor Matthew Seeger, an expert in crisis communication. "It's critically important. The brand image is the most important thing Apple has. This is potentially devastating."

Crisis communication experts contacted by CultofMac.com, including Chris Lehane, former Clinton White House "Master of Disaster," agree: the iPhone 4 reception issue presents a Toyota-style PR crisis for Apple, and the company must respond with a more meaningful fix than a software patch.
Apple issued a press release earlier this month claiming that the problem is merely a software issue that causes the onscreen signal strength display to overstate the actual signal strength, also noting that some attenuation of signal while the device is being held is normal. But Consumer Reports and others have determined through their own testing that the iPhone 4 does in fact suffer more significant signal attenuation than other devices, an issue that would not be remedied by a simple software fix to signal strength displays.

Apple has consequently been taking criticism for not coming clean about the issue or tackling these reports of demonstrable signal laws head-on. In fact, Apple has been going so far as to delete threads in its support forums pointing to the Consumer Reports article rather than allowing an open discussion of the topic or addressing the claims. Meanwhile, some observers hope that Apple's seemingly extended timeframe for pushing out the promised software update to address the signal strength display issue could indicate that the company is quietly working on more substantial software changes to address the issue in some way if at all possible.

Article Link: PR Experts Suggest iPhone 4 Recall 'Inevitable' as Antenna Issue Snowballs
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,597
3,743
The truth hurts Apple. You made your own Vista with this device. Now suffer the consequences and alleviate the issue by admitting to your mistake. Also give away free bumpers. You CANNOT fix this hardware issue. I don't believe a full recall is in order at all. The device works for many people and works better for even some. Admitting your mistake is the best you can do at this point.

It's your move Apple...
 
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CountlovE

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2007
144
0
About time.. I hope they fix the glass top too. Mine already has some bad scratches.

:(
 
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AtariMac

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2004
183
36
Southeastern, PA
This is gonna get ugly. Even my mom commented on how the new iPhone doesn't work. I don't think she even knows how to turn a cell phone on.
 
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joshh2o

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2010
41
0
York, Pennsylvania
Toyota-style disaster, yeah right. No one's lives are in danger, its just a reception issue, people go crazy when they find something wrong with Apple's products. It may be Apple's fault, but they are working on a fix, and I am sure that they will try to get it all worked out.
 
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richdun

macrumors member
Sep 7, 2005
42
0
Meh, at most, we'll just get a coupon for a free bumper.

demonstrable signal laws

Law 1: Thou shalt not report more bars than thou hast.
Law 2: Thou shalt not hold it that way.
Law 3: If thou hast required a recall, thou hast blew it.
 
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MarlboroLite

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
579
5
the 13 colonies
Remember when everyone called the seams on the prototype "un-Apple-like" ??

And hoping Apple would patch those seams in time for launch?

Well it looks like they made a mistake in not doing so. Either adding some kind of coating or putting that antenna under the glass and forgoing ugly seams at the same time would have been the best idea. Who knows why they went the other way and ignored such a blatantly obvious problem.
 
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cpalmer17

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2010
17
0
Connecticut
Short AAPL

If you believe a recall is inevitable, time to short the Apple stock. I mean, what do you think the cost of recalling potentially 2 million phones would be? Oh, and by the way, how about a class action lawsuit related to AT&T exclusivity? Not that that's a guaranteed win for the class, but the specter of losing such an action can't help the profit prospects for Apple.
 
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MarlboroLite

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2007
579
5
the 13 colonies
This is gonna get ugly. Even my mom commented on how the new iPhone doesn't work. I don't think she even knows how to turn a cell phone on.

This.

It's all about the damage it's doing PR wise...not really that this is actually some horrible horrible life endangering cost cutting oversight a la Toyota. That's what people really don't get. Not all publicity is good publicity.
 
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finnns2000

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2006
192
48
Pineapple under the sea
Yeah... it's necessary. Their reputation will be shot to hell if they don't. Sadly, I personally have a couple buddies who think nothing of all the problems and had to buy the phone.

I'm still holding out with a 3G, money ready but noooo way I'm buying the current crop of crap.
 
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Darwing

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2009
407
0
This will be the worlds biggest recall if done, almost 2-million sold already but what's even more messed up is the ones they have prepped for shipment to the rest of the countries that are to be sold later this month... It's unfortunate and I don't know what they are going to do but if they do have a recall not only will that destroy the name of apple, and forever be the butt end of every joke and everything sold apple.

"oh u got an ipad. do u need duct tape to make it work or is apple going to take it from you?"
 
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Tyre

macrumors regular
May 23, 2010
143
0
Baltimore, MD
Meh, at most, we'll just get a coupon for a free bumper.



Law 1: Thou shalt not report more bars than thou hast.
Law 2: Thou shalt not hold it that way.
Law 3: If thou hast required a recall, thou hast blew it.

This is fabulous. I agree that Apple will release something on the matter (when they get around to it), but I really don't see a recall.

But if there is one, I can only hope it is magical, revolutionary, and changes everything.

Again.
 
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Mike Nassour

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2009
10
0
Meanwhile, some observers hope that Apple's seemingly extended timeframe for pushing out the promised software update to address the signal strength display issue could indicate that the company is quietly working on more substantial software changes to address the issue in some way if at all possible.

OK, let's get something straight....

This has absolutely nothing to do with frickin' software.

Any first-year electrical engineering student can tell you that if a person grasps an electrically-charged antenna capacitance will result. Translated to English...if you grab an antenna, the signal drops.

Period. No question. It's simple.

$1,000,000 bet says that somewhere in the design process, there was a cover for that "cool" antenna that Jobs opined about during the intro, but it was cut for cost reasons. That cover could have been a simple coating (as we saw for years on the metal antennas of CDMA phones) or something as elaborate as a bumper.

This bloody phone is defective in design. Apple, for once you demand for coolness and low cost of production have jumped up and bitten you.

Recall it. Now.
 
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A little Apology and we all good cuz'

If a company makes an honest design mistake...life moves on (unless its a renegade, brakeless Prius from Hell). Just own up to it and make it right. We bought apple products (at a premium) for a reason.

I personally would appreciate a Harry & David's pear basket with a hand written note from the VP of design.

"The iSorry Pear Basket is truly a Magical Device"
 
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Vertigo50

macrumors 65816
Apr 11, 2007
1,200
132
Apple really doesn't know how to deal with this kind of PR nightmare. They've been the golden child for so long, and they have basically been above criticism, because Apple users will always come to their rescue and believe almost anything they say.

Unfortunately, this is too big of a problem to be swept under the rug, and it's becoming more and more obvious that this is a serious design flaw.

Apple thought they could make a simple statement and go back into hiding like they usually do, and that was a big mistake. Now, even if they come out and admit the flaw and do a recall, it sort of makes them look worse, because it looks like they lied.

I don't see Apple coming out looking very good after this, and that's what these PR people are pointing out. There is pretty much no way for Apple to save face now, because they lied about the issue.

By the way, Apple stock dropped 10 points in the first two hours of trading this morning. It recovered some, but it shows how the market is reacting to some of these stories.
 
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swarmster

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2004
627
90
Apple issued a press release earlier this month claiming that the problem is merely a software issue that causes the onscreen signal strength display to overstate the actual signal strength, also noting that some attenuation of signal while the device is being held is normal. But Consumer Reports and others have determined through their own testing that the iPhone 4 does in fact suffer more significant signal attenuation than other devices, an issue that would not be remedied by a simple software fix to signal strength displays.

Why does Apple's statement keep getting misconstrued like this?

They're not saying the attenuation is caused by a software bug. They said the only signal-related "issue" is how the strength bars are calculated. The fact that the antenna attenuates when smothered is completely normal. One side effect of improving reception by having an external antenna is that it becomes much easier to disturb (in this case, by touching a one millimeter slot on the side of the phone).

So, again, the software patch won't fix any kind of hardware attenuation "issues", and Apple's never claimed it would. The potential for higher attenuation is a fact of life with external antennas, but I (and apparently Apple) think the trade-off is fair for better reception in the vast majority of situations (i.e., when you don't touch that part of the phone, or use a case).
 
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PorterRocks

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2010
342
1
Idaho
This isn't good for our beloved Apple. I hope this issue gets resolved quickly. However, I have traveled many places (in my own state) and have yet to experience even the slightest bit of signal loss. Perhaps my iPhone 4 is an anomaly? Or perhaps AT&T reception is just great here.
 
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alphaod

Contributor
Feb 9, 2008
22,181
1,234
NYC
I can reproduce signal reduction on every since device I own when I touch the antenna.

So I don't see what the fuss is all about.
 
Comment

phineas

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2006
213
0
South of the Border I-95
Remember when everyone called the seams on the prototype "un-Apple-like" ??

And hoping Apple would patch those seams in time for launch?

Well it looks like they made a mistake in not doing so. Either adding some kind of coating or putting that antenna under the glass and forgoing ugly seams at the same time would have been the best idea. Who knows why they went the other way and ignored such a blatantly obvious problem.

Obviously the testing was not sufficient.

I have seen people with them in the mall and they have said they do NOT have the problems that others have, bad batch of antenna's.

Who knows ? I do know that Verizon is looking really good right now because of a far superior network and there devices will include the iPhone in time. AT&T is just too F'd up to deal with along with the new iPhone also.

So glad my contract has expired
 
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msduncan

macrumors 6502
Jan 27, 2010
498
0
Cue the usual crowd in this forum that will tell us there is 100% NOTHING WRONG with the phone.....

3.....2.....1........
 
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NinjaHERO

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2008
942
1,139
U S of A
Wow. But I guess this phone really is a full redesign. Which means it's kinda like a first gen model. And we all know apple takes a generation or two to work out the kinks. The January model should be fine. :D
 
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