Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How do people buy the iPhone 4 and not feel INSULTED by Apple?

And I thought Mets fans were loyal... talk about customer loyalty... what does Apple have to do to lose a customer these days? Apparently, there is absolutely nothing that Jobs and company can do that will hurt customers enough not to buy an iPhone. It's scary!

For years, the worst part of the iPhone has been the service - not by its own fault but rather because AT&T is the sole carrier for the iPhone and it has horrendous service. Now, in addition to a terrible carrier, the new iPhone also suffers from its own reception issues. There is a tiny band on the left side of the phone that if touched by your hand reduced the signal significantly. How significantly? Scientifically, it's 20 decibels. For those of you (including myself) who don't understand what that means, it basically means that if you're in the middle of a call and you cover that spot, there's a very high chance that your call will get dropped. How a company can produce a product with such a glaring technical flaw is scary, but... anyone can buy an iPhone4 and not feel like they are having the piss taken out of them by Apple is beyond me!

First, Steve Jobs tells us that we're holding it wrong. He claims that all cell phones lose reception when gripped and suggests that we hold in a particular way that doesn't interfere with the little strip of metal on the bottom left corner of the phone. How is that not one of the most offensive things anyone has ever said? Thanks, Steve, I know how to hold a phone. I've been doing it for a good... I don't know... 22 years now. How the hell do you suggest I hold the phone? Barbequing tools? Pliers? I can put my Blackberry on speakerphone and literally grip the entire surface area of the phone with my hands and I won't lose service, yet all I have to do is gently rest the iPhone 4 on my left palm and watch as full bars go to zero.

This isn't a fluke. Independent testing group Consumer Reports isolated the phone in a room with perfect reception and scientifically observed reception fade as the bottom left part of the phone was covered. This does not happen with other phones.

@Steve - there is an accepted standard of how phones are held. If you are making a slightly upgraded version of an existing product, you should probably still be able to hold it the same way... when I went from a BlackBerry Storm to a BlackBerry Tour, I didn't all of a sudden have to hold it with my left foot in order to get service.

Then , Apple announced that it has fixed a glitch that caused the iPhone to report more bars than it should. They claimed that the problem wasn't that clients were losing reception because of their faulty antenna, but rather that they never had service to begin with because their phone was mistakenly reporting service. So once again there is nothing wrong with the antenna.

Hmm... I smell fish.

@Steve - okay, never mind that you are lying about the antenna, because lab tests show that it actually is flawed, but did you just admit to us that you've been lying about how much reception your phone gets? That seems really really convenient, since most people who didn't buy iPhones did so because they heard people got poor reception. In fact, AT&T has been heavily advertising how good its reception is, which means it is bad, because if it were good, it wouldn't need to advertise so much to convince people otherwise!

So far, Apple customers have been lied to about the fact that there is nothing wrong with the antenna, and have been lied to about how much service is actually available on their phones. Let's continue.

Apple suggests that anyone experiencing problems with service (either because their phone is mistakenly reporting too much service or because they aren't holding it correctly) purchase a $29 rubber case that prevents the hand from touching the sensitive lower left side. Really Apple? Really? As if buying a $400 phone (or a $400 iPod touch with a camera if you're left handed) wasn't enough, in order to make it properly work you need to buy a $29 condom for it? If I were an Apple customer I would unbutton my shirt and begin to look for my udders at this point because that is called MILKING clients for money. It's not even done in a classy way. Apple... if you want your customers not to resent you after all you've done, you could at least bundle the rubber case with the phone, even if you charge an extra $30 for the whole thing.

Then, Consumer Reports publishes its findings on the iPhone 4, and when owners try to discuss these issues on the Apple forums, Apple responds by systematically deleting every post regarding the report. Apparently the solution to a problem is to convince everyone there is no problem.

@Steve - Have you read 1984? Have you seen V for Vendetta? They don't end well!

Apple then posts job listings on its websites to hire fucking iPHONE ANTENNA ENGINEERS!!!!!! All while continuing to deny that there is anything wrong with their phone! Are you fucking kidding me?

I return to my original point: how can you possibly buy the iPhone 4 and not feel like the laughing stock of an entire corporation? It's almost like Apple is daring people to buy its phone. I no joke saw an ad for the iPhone 4 that said "this changes everything, again." (which reminded me of Ben Stiller's character in "Scorcher" cooly saying "who left the fridge open?")

Why not buy something like an HTC Evo. A phone that has all the same features as the iPhone 4 but is better in every single way. It runs on Sprint, which is a better carrier, and has 4G technology as opposed to Apple's 3G. It's got a camera on front and back just like the iPhone, and you can even use it to video chat using a 4G connection (as opposed to Apple's service which only works on WiFi, because AT&T is too crappy a provider to support it). It even costs less to own. You can hold it however the hell you want! You don't need to put it in bright pink rubber case for it to work! In the end though, the HTC Evo is not an iPhone. And to some folks, just that is enough to make the difference.

If you feel no shame at being ridiculed and abused by a company after handing them hundreds of your dollars, prefer a phone that is inferior and more expensive than the competition, and are otherwise a mindless lemming who puts brand fashionability ahead of common sense, then by all means, go ahead and purchase an iPhone 4. Otherwise, I really don't see how anyone could do it. I just doesn't make any sense.

Mo out.

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