a) Lost/stolen prototype leading to a public criminal investigation. b) WWDC - iPhone 4 fails to work properly at demo. c) White iPhone 4 delayed indefinitely due to manufacturing problems. d) Major problems and crashes during iPhone pre-ordering. e) The antenna issue. My theory: intense competitive pressure. With the first iPhone, Apple spent years developing and testing the product to ensure everything worked smoothly. When the product was released, Apple had the touchscreen smartphone market largely to itself. When the 3G and 3GS were introduced, Apple's competitors were still scrambling to catch up. Today, other smartphone manufacturers are much closer to offering a real iPhone alternative, and in some ways they have surpassed what the iPhone offers. The pressure on Apple was intense to create a 4th generation iPhone that was significantly improved. The pressure and hyper-accelerated time frames (manufacturers introducing competitive products every few weeks) meant Apple stretched their resources much further than before... leading to oversites, undertesting, and the some of the problems we see today.