Yesterday, Apple had their big press event about the iPhone 4 and its antenna issues. While Uncle Steve never explicitly admitted a problem, they did say they’d give away cases and bumpers to placate their customers. Seems a bit of doublespeak, but that’s besides the point. I’d like to focus on a few things that were said during the Q&A session afterwards. It came when someone asked what Apple had learned from this whole issue.
“We were stunned and upset and embarrassed by the Consumer Reports stuff.”
“I guess it’s just human nature, when you see someone get successful you just want to tear it down. … But sometimes I feel that in search of eyeballs for these web sites, people don’t care about what they leave in their wake.”
I have almost no sympathy for Uncle Steve or Apple. Every single day there’s another article out about how some company messed up. Maybe it’s what Microsoft did wrong this time, or how some Google product doesn’t work well. Two days ago, the big deal was about the Droid X’s eFUSE. All companies are criticized in the echo chamber of the Internet. But suddenly Apple was the focus, and now Steve is hurt by the negative comments? Poor baby.
What about that time when Apple ran a multiyear advertising campaign about how the Mac was so infinitely better than the PC? That was okay, but when it’s people on the Internet calling Apple out (rather than running an ad) it’s not okay? How is that fair? Why can Steve dish it out all he wants but not take it?
Further, I find it particularly lame that Uncle Steve had to drag other phones into the mix. It’s like one sibling crying to his mom about how it’s not fair that he was singled out when the other sibling was doing the same thing. The people at RIM, incidentally, released a statement about how it’s unacceptable that Apple dragged their phones into this “self-made debacle”, and how Apple’s claims are “distorting” public perception.
All of the iPhone 4 marketing was about how it was the best phone of all time for myriad reasons, and when Engadget writes an article about how it’s not perfect and that you’re on the same level as other recent phones, it’s suddenly a big deal. I just don’t get it. Everyone in this world has to accept criticism. It’s just a fact of life: you somehow mess up, someone calls you out on it, you admit your fault, and you move on. I don’t see why Uncle Steve or his company would be exempt from that.