iPhone 4 Issues Now an Issue of Trust

Steve Jobs at the iPhone 4 presentation in May.

Amid growing complaints about the reception on its iPhone 4, Apple has scheduled a news conference for tomorrow to address issues. Analysts predict the final outcome to be either a product recall or free bumper cases for any disgruntled users. (The bumper cases are believed to fix the issue, but they run $29.99 a pop.)

I picked up my iPhone 4 exactly two weeks. I used it throughout our drive from Portland to Minneapolis. There were certainly areas with little to no reception, but that’s because of AT&T’s limited coverage across, say, rural Montana. For the most part, reception has been great. I haven’t experienced any of the notorious antenna interference issues. I’ve found the 3G speeds – yeah, laugh it up, Droid owners – to be snappier than previous versions of the iPhone. I’m pleased.

I’m probably among the majority, too. But Apple’s issue is no longer about the reality, but the perception. This is a company that’s built its reputation on epic releases and game-changing technology. They may continue to load future versions of the iPhone with all the bells and whistles they want, but the anntenna issue paired with the perceived negligence on behalf of developers has led even the most devout Mac addict to question the thoroughness of Steve Jobs & Co.

In all likelihood, Apple will roll out some program that leaves everyone feeling warm and fuzzy. However, any existing skepticism will show come the next major release, be it the next iPad, iPod or iPhone. Problems like these make one less likely to wait 18 hours in line to spend $500 on a dud.

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One thought on “iPhone 4 Issues Now an Issue of Trust

  1. Back when I was in retail, one of my boss’s mantras was “Perception is Reality.” As you say, it doesn’t matter anymore whether this is a majority issue. Becasue it has been so widely covered, it has become the received wisdom regarding the product, and has pushed Apple into reaction mode, a place they never want to be. Hopefully they can make it right emphatically enough that this doesn’t haunt them for years, but the various crises of the iPhone 4 saga has certainly taken a lot of the shine of the magic pixie dust machine that is Apple.

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