The First Step: Admit Theres a Real Problem

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-06-28 Print this article Print

5. Stop the complacency

Since the iPhone 4 hit store shelves, Apple has seemed complacent. The same way it's treating Adobe and developers who want to use Flash, Apple is expecting customers to acquiesce to its demands. The company ostensibly believes that it's right and that consumers will need to learn to hold a phone in a different way than they do now. And it believes that if it sticks with the game plan of changing how customers hold phones, this problem will eventually go away. Apple's strategy is nonsense. Complacency isn't doing any iPhone 4 customers any good.

6. A recall is the last resort

Some rumors over the weekend of June 26 suggested that Apple might recall the iPhone 4 to fix the problem. A recall should be the absolute last resort. Although it might be the easiest way to address the iPhone 4's problems, it's the least ideal. By recalling the iPhone, Apple would force customers to find another phone to use until their iPhone 4s are returned. And for many who switched to AT&T from a different carrier, that might be impossible. A recall is an extremely bad idea. Apple needs to find a way to address the situation without requiring users to send their smartphones back.

7. Fix it in the white version

Apple was forced to delay the white version of the iPhone due to manufacturing problems. That might be a good thing for the company. If Apple's smart, the iPhone 4 white version will ship with the fixes in place to ensure that those customers don't have the same reception troubles when they finally get their hands on the smartphone. It won't solve the problem for those who own the black version of the iPhone 4, but it will help keep the issue contained.

8. Don't be Apple

Apple is in danger of repeating history with this recent antenna snafu. Time and again, Apple has basically bullied consumers, partners and just about everyone else simply because it has an ego that no other company in the market can muster. This is not the time for Apple to play the same game it always has and treat customers poorly when it doesn't want to admit defeat. The iPhone 4 has antenna problems and they need to be addressed quickly. That should be Apple's goal right now.

9. A small discount would be fine

It might be a highly unlikely scenario, but perhaps Apple should offer a rebate on those iPhone 4 units that were affected. It doesn't need to be substantial, but a $50 rebate might be in order. It wouldn't be the first time Apple followed such a strategy. The company offered a $100 Apple store credit to first-generation iPhone early adopters that purchased the device before the company cut its price. Although it isn't a price-drop problem, Apple could address the antenna issues with some money back. Even an Apple Store credit would be nice.

10. Keep communication lines open

If Apple plans on addressing the iPhone 4's antenna troubles, the company should keep a line of communication open with its customers. Current iPhone 4 owners have every right to know what kind of progress is being made in addressing the problem and should be able to ask questions as they come up. Apple has been a notoriously secretive company, and for years, that has worked. But in this case, that approach could come back to haunt Apple. The last thing Apple should do is close off its iPhone 4 fixes from the world. This issue is now shared with consumers, and it can't keep them out of the loop. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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