Apple ditches video evidence
Drops antenna clips in bin, walks away whistling
Apple has expunged videos of competing cellphones exhibiting comparative reception problems, perhaps hoping that if it can just stop talking about the problem then everyone will forget it happened.
Having told everyone that the iPhone 4 doesn't have reception problems, and that every cellphone exhibits the same symptoms, Apple has now removed videos demonstrating the latter point. Techcrunch noticed the videos vanishing from the company's site and YouTube channel, with the former now displaying details of Apple's shiny new antenna development suite (except in Canada for some reason) instead of badmouthing the competition.
It's possible that such thinking is behind Apple's decision to remove the videos of their competitors' products; a more positive approach, or perhaps Cupertino is nervous of looking foolish in the face of increasing evidence that the iPhone 4 does indeed have a problem. The competitors have risen to the challenge, with robust denials and comedic advertising, which is playing in Apple's court.
And that's probably the motivation here – Apple thrives by saying that its products are simply better than everyone else's, and anyone who can't see that is clearly not cool enough. Running down the competition is very uncool, and it's not the Apple way of doing things.
Pictures of antenna labs do look cool, and don't risk looking foolish – the real question is why the comparative videos went up in the first place. It seems the antenna issue rattled Apple into rushing out damning videos to support Steve's assertion that there was no issue, and it's taken the company a while to get back to the business of reminding everyone how marvellous it is. ®
Common Sense Kicking In?
Has someone taken the Apple PR team out over the weekend, put them up against a wall and shot them? (A better fate than most PR teams deserve IMHO)
This is what Apple should have done in the first place, rather than increasing the shit storm of controversy around their new product, they should have just kept their heads down and quetly got on with fixing the problem. Of course I'm making a major assumption that this is what they are now doing....
The beginning of the end
or at least the end of the beginning.
Most of the ppl I know with an iPhone 4 are now embarrassed to admit it. if anything goes wrong, all they hear is "You're holding it wrong" or Death Grip jokes.
For the first time, Apple's customers have actually started to realise that it's just a good UI on a mediocre product ("lipstick on a pig" springs to mind)
From now on, I suspect Apple will have to compete on how their products work - They've lost the ability to trade on "It's Apple ergo it's the best" - Which should be interesting. Hopefully they'll be pushed to a new range of products worth owning.
There will of course be a few die-hard fans who will buy anything from them but everyone has those.
"The comment "a good UI on a mediocre product" misses the point that usability is fundamentally part of the product your selling. Think of the opposite a technically great phone with appalling usability, who'd want to own it?"
Anyone with any technical skills.
I'd rather have a phone let me program my own custom UI than be locked into one developed by the team in the ivory tower. I'd wager that anyone running a Linux box at work or home would agree.
Is that a "mass market" strategy? No. Obviously companies are going to market to the average person. Unfortunately for the intelligent among us, the average person is akin to a fourth grader on roller skates. They need a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads, etc to protect them from themselves.
Why do people hate Apple? Because Apple products are akin to a shiny metallic helmet and a new pair of kneepads with flames on them, yet they purport their products to be "magic".
Just as the flames on the kneepads do not make you skate any faster, the idiot-proof Apple UI doesn't make the product "revolutionary" or "magical". At best it makes you gullible, at worst, a pompous ass.
Does anyone want to lay a bet that Apple will be back to an internal antenna for the iPhone 5?
Technical skills are no antidote to a rubbish user interface. A poorly designed user interface can be dangerous or result in data loss or accidental deletion of data.
Think poorly labelled buttons, badly layout of buttons, lack of confirmation messages (accidental button pushes do happen, especially on a phone) and other such things.
I think you seriously need to go back to 1996 prior to the launch of the iPhone and look at the sorry state of smartphones back then. It was all crude UIs on top of Windows Mobile, or phones based on Symbian S60 or UIQ. Shocking usability, slow clunky interfaces and about attractive as Windows 3.11.