Sunday, July 18, 2010

I was wrong about iPhone 4 response

Just under a week ago I predicted Steve Jobs and Apple would ignore the furor about the iPhone 4 antenna-shielding issue and a proximity sensor issue:

Steve Jobs (and the public relations management for any problem of this magnitude is going to be under Jobs' control) isn't going to acknowledge that this is a design defect. He's going to assume Apple can respond the same way it responded to the debacle of the third-generation iPod: by doing nothing.

By now, most of us know that Apple held a press conference, with Steve Jobs presiding, to discuss the antenna problem. In that press conference, Jobs not only admitted there is a problem, but also announced that Apple would provide a free case to everyone who had purchased iPhone 4. He also said that Apple is investigating the proximity sensor issue.

I was wrong. Ah well. Hope you didn't have a bet riding on it.

In passing, I'd like to note that Jobs is a master of spin. It goes beyond the reality-distortion field. He can marshal data like nobody's business. He got statistics on dropped calls from AT&T. He had stats from AppleCare and the retail stores. These numbers, which Jobs took pains to present slowly enough to ensure reporters could jot them down accurately, told a compelling story. It's not necessarily the truth -- Jobs must present Apple in the best possible light, after all -- but it's compelling.

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