Apple Hates to Admit Defeat: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-10-28 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Apple hates to admit defeat. Time and time again, the company has proved that it would rather come up with a solution that benefits it, rather than give in to critics' demands.

Apple's white iPhone 4 won't be available until the spring, the company announced recently. With that announcement, Apple has now delayed the device three times. And there is some speculation that it could continue to see manufacturing "challenges" persist into next year, causing yet another delay of the smartphone.

As Apple continues to delay the device, some are wondering why the company won't simply admit that the product isn't worth developing and cut its losses, rather than suffer the embarrassment of delaying it for another time. Of course, the reason why is simple: Apple doesn't want to admit defeat. It doesn't want to tell the rest of the world that it couldn't follow through on a promise. 

That's a common response from Apple, one that has helped define the company.  

Here are the reasons why Apple hates to admit defeat. 

1. It's Steve Jobs' focus 

Steve Jobs is an interesting person. He might be viewed as one of the most successful CEOs in the technology industry, but his ego is well-known in that space. The very thought of admitting that he wasn't able to deliver something that he promised is something that would make this executive cringe. Simply put, retreating is not something Steve Jobs considers. As long as he is at the company, Apple will never admit defeat. 

2. Apple rarely needs to admit defeat 

When someone objectively views the mistakes Apple has made in the past, he quickly comes to the conclusion that the mistakes are few and far between. For the most part, Apple has an impressive track record of delivering products that work as the company said they would. As a result, Apple hasn't often had the experience of admitting defeat or apologizing for mistakes.  

3. It knows consumers don't care 

Although consumers might not like when a product doesn't work right or the device they've been promised gets delayed, Apple fully understands that those complaints typically fade away quickly and are soon forgotten. That was especially evident when the iPhone 4's antenna woes became big news, but quickly fell from headlines as consumers stopped caring so much. Throughout that ordeal, Apple still sold millions of iPhones. 

4. Its fan base 

One of the luxuries Apple enjoys is a cultlike following. Apple's fans are true to the company until the end. They will tenaciously defend it against criticism. So, when complaints break out or Apple makes a mistake, it's easy for the company to lean on its following to gloss over its mistakes. 

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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