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Friday, July 16, 2010

Can Apple Save Face?

Three weeks ago I wrote about The strength of Apple's brand as evidenced by the wildly successful launch of the iPhone 4.  Since then, however, Apple's brand appeal has taken an incredible hit as the millions of newly purchased phones began dropping calls.  The cause of the reception problems are a result of the antenna design, and this report on suggests that Apple may have known about the problem long before the phone was introduced to the public:
Last year, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple’s management the device’s design may hurt reception, said the person, who is not authorized to speak on Apple’s behalf and asked not to be identified. A carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before the device’s June 24 release, according to another person familiar with the situation.
The article also indicated that Apple is planning to hold a press conference later today, though Apple has not indicated what will be discussed.  Is there anything Apple can announce that will satisfy their customers and reaffirm their commitment to quality?  Apple had an opportunity to do this previously and failed:
Soon after Apple released the iPhone 4 in June, some customers complained about losing their signal. Apple last month advised users to buy a case or avoid holding it in the lower- left corner “in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band.”
It's no surprise that this response didn't delight iPhone 4 users.  I'm looking forward to today's announcement, and I'm hoping that Apple will accept responsibility, fix the design flaw, and apologize for letting their customers down.  Anything else and Apple may be in trouble.  And I'll be buying a Blackberry.
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