Share This

Technically Geeking: Stop Whining Steve

Did you see the Apple press conference last Friday? It was His Steveness himself trying to explain to the lowly public how the reception problem on the iPhone 4 is all good, we’re going to give you free cases, it’s really no big deal!

Well, actually it is a big deal or you wouldn’t have called a huge press conference. In typical Apple fashion, they tried to brush it off ¬†for as long as they could, then when major blog sites started posting videos of the easily reproducible problem, and more importantly, the share prices started dropping, then they decided they’d better sort it out and show off how cool they are for doing so.

The press conference was not a pretty sight. Yes, they are doing the right thing by offering free cases and full refunds, but I really didn’t like Jobs’ whiny tone in the presentation. He reminded me of George Bush defending one of his bad decisions. “It’s not like Apple had its head in the sand for three months on this, guys.” Look at our competitors, he said, BlackBerry, HTC, Samsung all have the same issue. It’s not just us – everyone went to that party dad! Look at the awesome testing facilities we built, he said, do you think we could try any harder? I don’t know.

All I know is that I got my iPhone 4 today finally, and the reception definitely drops off fast when gripping the phone in a normal everyday way. This was not the case with the previous models. Steve admits that they were aware of the issue, but they didn’t think it would be a problem because “all smartphones have this problem.” It is much more plausible that they discovered the issue after too much had been invested in R&D and retooling of factories in Shenzen.

When it comes down it, Steve Jobs has been on a winning streak for 10 years, and he doesn’t know how to talk about failure gracefully. He’s used to giving impressive presentations of new products that are the envy of the industry, not apologizing for them. And it showed in the nerd-god who appeared in the form of a defensive teenager trying to explain to his parents that the teacher doesn’t like him, that’s why he got a C on that math final.

No, I will not be returning my shiny new iPhone, but I am disappointed that I can’t get any kind of case for it right now, even if I was willing to pay for it. Apple’s Bumpers are not available while they work out how to make them cheaper so they can give them away, and no third parties have made any cases yet, because Apple didn’t want to share the new (& improved?) design with anyone for fear of leakage. How’d that work out? Oh yeah.

Other than this reception problem, however, the iPhone 4 is like Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way. And maybe this is a good thing – we still don’t know if cell phones cause cancer, and the best way to use the new device is with earbuds or a headset – not in your hand.

PS. This video of Darth Steve’s Reality Distortion Field is an instant classic.