This isn't about bumpers or freebies - it's about Apple and its Customers

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by samcraig, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    The brief history (and not out of ego). I'm the one (or one of the ones) who Steve emailed back on launch weekend. He wrote to me the now famous words of "Non Issue. Just avoid holding it that way."

    Since then - the media has certainly had something to say - both pro and against. Apple has been silent - except for a "letter" they released. And now on Friday - finally a press conference. A lot of speculation is going on if you read the threads now as to what will be said. What won't be said. And what will be offered (if anything.)

    At this point though - for me it's not about the fix or the issue. I had/have the issue - but I carry my phone in a case. My bigger issue was the imaging problem I had on both phones (which were replaced) and now works great.

    No - the biggest issue, for me, has been Apple's response. Their stubbornness and unwillingness to admit that perhaps - just perhaps they screwed up. Or that some of their phones do not operate to spec. Or that some phones lacked a coating (urban myth) and they have no idea how they made it out of china...

    Their public letter, to me and others was a farce and smokescreen. Their recalibration of signal strength is a solution to a problem they created a few years back when they re-calibrated the signal to make it look like the iPhone had better reception when it didn't. But they are using that as a smokescreen. And many people don't like it.

    I don't care or want a free bumper. And at this point, I'm content with my iPhone despite it's flaws.

    I care about how a company responds to it's customers. Especially since I'm a PR and Marketing professional.

    So I'll be tuning in on Friday. Eager to see how Apple handles this PR thunderstorm. Not to find out what free offers we might get. But to see and really listen to how this company, Apple, will solve their image and customer relationship problem. And to see how much of that is genuine vs how much is PR double talk/spin as a means to placate "the masses." They have a real opportunity to turn this around or at least quiet the storm. They also have a real opportunity to get in deeper. Time will tell.
  2. random person macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    So you are the original email source? That is quite remarkable!

    I agree with your entire post -- in every particular, completely, and absolutely.

    Let's see what they do now.
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    All Apple needs to do is admit there is a problem and offer a free bumper that resolves the issue, or give full refunds.

    People who want more are greedy.
    People who want a hardware fix are unrealistic (iPhone 5 in 2011) will be the "fix".
    People who whine they want an iPhone in all its naked glory and don't want a case are superficial and value form over function.

    Is it a significant issue...yes. Are all iPhone users having (and I'll bet it is a minority of users affected/bothered). Could Apple have handled it better initially...yes, but I believe they were caught unaware by a design issue uncovered after thousands of real world users with varying conditions uncovered something not seen in prerelease testing.

    However, cynically thinking, they may have known they messed up early on with the form ofer function antennae and developed the bumpers. Hoping to pull the wool over eyes of consumers (banking on a significant number of users using a case and "fixing" the problem). Now caught like a kid with hand in a cookie jar they did what too many corporations do, go into CYA denial mode. Now...will they fess up and take their lumps? We see in a day and a half.
  4. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    A sincere question-
    Do you ever think that you are the cause of a huge amount of tumult, lost sleep, and millions of dollars lost at Apple. I don't mean this in a mean way. I don't think it is your fault- but you somehow got pulled into history with the "don't hold it that way" email that Steve Jobs sent you. You were the first big snowball that started the avalanche- and maybe it wouldn't have happened as fast or as forceful, should your email never have been made public.

    I am so glad you published his email, but if it was me, I know I'd feel a bit weird that so much was happening perhaps because of something I did.

    I think history will show us that what ultimately really set people off on Apple was the "don't hold it that way" email more than anything else.

    So what does it feel like? (not being sarcastic- a true question)
  5. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    The Bumper is not a FREE PASS to the other problems plaguing the phone, which in my mind are far bigger... namely the proximity sensor.
    I have no signal problems... it is all proximity sensor.

    I know that if Apple gives out bumpers, it will be the last thing they do for this phone - and it will do me no good.
  6. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2007
    I don't care what anyone quotes me and says, but for me it's about Apple and how they respond as well.

    I actually really like my Iphone 4, it's amazing. At times I just can't stomach owning it thus far after seeing how pathetic Apple has been responding to this. They are basically lying and covering up things that are so obvious, I just can't accept that.

    If they hit one out of the park on Friday I will remain a loyal customer and continue to enjoy my Iphone 4 and Macbook Pro.

    If they fail to do what's right for their customers on Friday I will be returning my Iphone 4 and getting the Samsung Captivate. Not sure what I'll do with my Macbook Pro.

    I will miss the iPhone, but I'll feel better about not supporting Apple until they make some changes.
  7. intervenient macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    This is exactly how I feel. It's one thing to release a phone with a problem, it's another to completely disregard this customers and act like it's a problem with them.
  8. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    If you are expecting apple to come out and admit the hardware issue, then prepare to be disappointed. Apple might acknowledge the issue as small user problem, but it will not come out and say it is hardware issue. I would be very surprised if they did.
    Apple will most likely issue store credits to people who bought iphone 4 and offer free bumpers to future iphone 4 buyers. It's either that or they will just continue to tell people to wait for software updates.
    There are a lot of things on stake here. It is not just about customer service issue. If they just come out and admit the mistakes, then they will not be able to release iphone 4 on other countries until they revise the hardware. Apple will most likely tell people to deal with it.
  9. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    I am in the corner that can't believe Apple's response thus far.

    I was getting coffee this morning and the barista says, "how's the new iPhone treating ya?" I showed him in 30 seconds the bars drop from 5 to 1 no rehearsal, just applied my thumb to the seam.
  10. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Hardware issue? Maybe. They could just blame it on Foxconn. They'll never admit it's a flawed design though (whether it is or not).
  11. mgamber macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    In what way is the phone lacknig a coating an urban myth? I must have missed something there.
  12. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    That's an interesting question and one that I really have thought too much about. For one - It appears that Steve Jobs (or someone who uses that email alias at Apple) wrote to more than just me. I don't know how many got the same response. At the time I notified Arn, I think there was just me and another person.

    I originally reported the response because I found it interesting and not necessarily in the good way. I've been a PR and Marketing professional for just over 20 years. Not claiming to be THE consummate professional - but I have been "around the block" so to speak. I also have a few years under my best working for one of the largest phone manufacturers. I was both intrigued and like I said "interested" in Jobs' response to my email (of which there were two he replied to in succession). Both as a customer who had noticed the issue (but use a case anyway) but probably more so from the ingrained PR side of me.

    I contact Arn here because there were reports coming in about the reception issue and that I thought that perhaps the members of this board would want to know (and had the right to know) what Apple's official comment on this issue was. Facts are always better than speculation.

    Did I realize the wildfire it would start? No. Do I feel any guilt, glee, pride, whatever about it - not really, no. As I said - it wasn't about me - it was about providing information I had to the members of this forum who since I've joined have always been very helpful whenever I've had an issue.
  13. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I am unaware if anyone has confirmed or denied that there was or is a coating that is supposed to be on the antenna and that some phones have either no coating or a problem with it. That's why, in my opinion, it's an urban myth at this point. If someone has conclusive evidence as to this coating - feel free to post/share it. Not being doubtful - I sincerely just haven't seen an official word on this.
  14. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Iphone 4 is so magical that you can make your ****** AT&T network even worse in less than 30 seconds. The crappy reception just got worse like our state of economy in this country. The future looks brighter than ever.

    Anyway, I think Steve jobs will say something like this.

    "So, few of our users and I mean very very few...
    These folks are talking about their drop calls issues on iphone 4 and we have been conducting our own test at our labs. Guess what? There isn't any design or hardware issue we have found. We did find a software issue, so we are going to release the software update by end of this month. It's going to be different, trust me. We are working with AT&T to make sure these issues will be addressed in the next iphone. I mean, most of you keep your iphone for like what? A year? And haven't you all got used to getting drop calls by now? Give us a year and we promise you that we will fix it with new hardware.
  15. Shasta McNasty macrumors 6502a

    Shasta McNasty

    Jan 5, 2010
    Southern Cali
    All I want is a free bumper in the color of my choice, and to be able to upgrade my line next year. Please and thanks.
  16. mgamber macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    Ah, gotcha, I hadn't heard that there was supposed to be any kind of coating although I've suggested in several places that to fix the phone properly Apple needs to replace the current metal band with an identical band that's been coated with some non-conductive material that doesn't flake or chip easily. I can assure you that there's no such coating currently on my phone as there was no resistance to speak of when I checked it.

    The band, if I've read correctly, is stainless steel. If that's the case, I doubt there was any plan to coat it because it's stainless steel, why would you coat it? If there was thought given to the possibility of the problem at hand, it would be coated and it would be sort of pointless to use stainless steel which is somewhat expensive. So it seems more logical, to me at least, that there was never a plan to coat it.

    For what it's worth, I'm equally interested in how Apple acts as a company on Friday. I already purchased a case, I couldn't really care less about any freebies or rebates or anything else except how Apple acts as a company. Does Jobs disconnected, trite reply to your inquiry really represent Apple and it's corporate culture? Apple has a history of creating products with problems and then lying about the problems while quietly fixing or replacing the products for the very problems they deny exist. I have several of those products and it's gotten really old. I've already replaced a 9 month old faulty iMac with a much better PC that cost less than half that of the iMac and a Macbook Pro and two Macbooks are next to be replaced. Do I buy new ones or do I buy another manufacturer's products and save myself a small fortune in now meaningless premiums demanded by Apple? Friday is when I find out.
  17. Domino8282 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 22, 2010
    Southeast USA
    Very well said. I'm one of those crazy people who acknowledges that there's an issue but still loves my phone dearly. I already paid for a bumper, and I don't care about freebies at this point. I just want to see how Apple responds.

    My gut tells me, Steve wouldn't set up a press conference unless he had wonderful news. He doesn't seem like the type who would hang his head in shame in front of cameras.

    So my hope at this point is that they acknowledge that there have been problems, but have either 1) an ingenious, blow-your-socks-off fix, or 2) an amazing, blow-your-socks-off compensation. I don't really care whether it's #1 or #2, so long as they acknowledge there have been problems and apologize.
  18. davyreins macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ann Arbor
    I agree. I'm interested to see how they respond after their first response wasn't enough. I've been on the fence about buying an iPhone 4. How they handle this might determine whether or not I decide to buy one.
  19. TB07-NJ macrumors 68020

    Jul 7, 2008
    I don't even have my phone yet ... however I strongly disagree with this comment.

    Some people purchased the phone like they purchase a designer pocketbook, or a specific style of furniture, or a style of shoes or a style of a car. Part of Apple's "thing" is it's design.

    If you bought a car would you expect to drive it around with a canvas cover over the roof because it leaks? It is still fully functional even if the roof has a designer tarp on it. If you bought a recliner for your den, would you keep it if had plastic trim instead of the leather you paid extra for when you ordered it? It's still fully functional. Sorry .. the design of this device is as important as it being fully functional to many people.

    Personally, I don't care but there are those who buy it for it's "aura" as well as it's functionality.
  20. Makaveliarts macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010
    I definitely would not mind being able to upgrade two lines and get two iPhones at Subsidized pricing next year. ( I rotate upgrades with my second line to get the Next iPhone every year. )
  21. zizo79 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2009
    QQ Part
    I agree with samcraig's post and I think that Apple should be honest with us and admit that they screwed up. They should also put some pressure on AT&T to upgrade their network because it isn't the greatest IMO ( I am one of those "2%" who are suffering from really slow)
  22. samcraig thread starter macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I'm not sure which will be more interesting - the prepared statement or the Q&A afterwards.
  23. bigscotal macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2008
    Apple are surely caught in a dilemma with the likes of this though?

    Sure, what you say may be an incentive to people like yourself who have contract handsets, but for others, like myself, that bought the handset outright SIM-free, or PAYG, direct from Apple, there is no appeal to an offer like this at all. Any offer needs to be a "one size fits all" deal I reckon.

    Free bumpers get offered and there's gonna be an uproar from those that have already shelled out for one. Yes, they could have another free, but who needs more than one.

    I love my iPhone 4, and even with the reception issues, I'll be keeping it. I was desperate to get my preorder in, and was overjoyed when it arrived on launch day.

    Whether or not I, and probably many many others, will be so keen to do the same again when the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 etc arrives I think largely depends on what Apple say on Friday. So far, their attitude towards their customers, who are experiencing a genuine problem, is undeniably poor. Unless they now stand up and deal with this properly, I believe customers faith in them as a brand will have been irreparably damaged.
  24. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2007
    I just don't see Apple offering a bumper as a solution. That just leaves them open to the competition. I still think a recall is going to take place.
  25. Deadman64 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Free bumpers are not a fix, and if Apple does do that as their 'solution' then that's just as bad as not saying anything.

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