Apple iPhone 4 Antenna Flaw Requires Recall:10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-07-15 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

News Analysis: Apple's iPhone 4 is becoming a major problem for the company. It's also becoming increasingly clear that a recall is what it really needs. The sooner Apple fixes the problem the sooner it will put this customer relations disaster behind it.

The iPhone 4 was supposed to be the most successful iPhone to have ever hit store shelves. After all, the device is well-built, runs iOS 4, and includes a front-facing camera that allows users to have video chats over WiFi with other iPhone 4 owners. It's a major upgrade over its predecessor. There is just one problem: its antenna.

During the first week of availability, Apple was fielding questions from angry customers asking why, upon holding the new iPhone, they were losing signal. Steve Jobs and his PR team attempted to quell the unrest by saying that it was simply the way users were holding the smartphone. It wasn't enough. As more people bought the iPhone 4, the complaints grew louder. All the while, Apple wouldn't admit that there is a design flaw in the device.

Nearly a month later, issues with the iPhone 4's antenna continues to plague the hardware company. And as hopes for a recall to fix the iPhone 4 increase, Apple has instead decided to go silent on the issue. Apple's stance is unfortunate. And it's making the company look bad. Whether it wants to admit it or not, the iPhone 4 has an antenna problem. And it needs to be recalled. Here's why:

1. It's the smart move

Although it's the last thing Apple wants to do, recalling the iPhone 4 seems like the best move right now. There is a growing number of consumers buying the iPhone 4 and experiencing antenna problems. Although Apple keeps saying that there are some folks in areas where signals are stronger that are enjoying better reception, they are few and far between. Unlike every other iPhone that came before it, the iPhone 4 is having a connection problem with AT&T's network. To say that it has nothing to do with the design of the device is a mistake. Recalling the iPhone 4 now would show that Apple really does care about its customers, and will do what it must to set things right. It might be a costly endeavor, but it's a necessary one. And the company should accept that.

2. The outcry is building

It should be interesting to see how long Apple will allow the outcry to continue before it finally has enough and decides to address the iPhone 4's antenna problems. So far, Apple has been content to simply wait it out and hope that the complaints die down. But that hasn't worked. As more customers buy the iPhone 4, the complaints continue to grow. A recall would quell the unrest and get Apple back to selling smartphones. Isn't that what it wants?.

3. The longer it waits, the worse Apple looks

As the complaints start adding up, Apple is making itself look worse and worse by saying little about the iPhone 4's antenna problems. As much as it might want to ignore the issue, and make everyone else forget about it, it can't. Consumers expect a solution sooner rather than later. By recalling the iPhone 4, the company will finally show that it has heard what its consumers are saying, cares about their happiness and will work toward rebuilding its relationship with its customers. By waiting so long, Apple is making some wonder if it really cares. And that could significantly hurt the company's revenue going forward.

4. It seems like the only way to fix it

Apple has said that if users hold the iPhone 4 differently or use a case, they shouldn't have any trouble using the smartphone. But most folks want to be able to hold the device any way they want. And to simply use a case, which adds money to the prospect of owning an already expensive smartphone, is unacceptable to some customers. Rather than turn the problem into a potential revenue generator, Apple should fix it. The iPhone 4's problem is that the antenna is on the outside of the device. With some small design changes, the company can fix that issue in no time. There is no reason to wait any longer.



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, 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 http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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