Keeping Steve Jobs in Touch with Consumers

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-06-29 Print this article Print

 5. Apple should know there are alternatives worth considering

Apple seems to believe that no matter how much trouble its products might have, the company is in no danger of losing those customers to a competitor. It should be made abundantly aware of the fact that there really are alternatives available right now that can do a fine job of appealing to consumer desire. One such alternative is Google's Android OS. The operating system might not have the polish iOS boasts, but it's awfully close. And if consumers start picking up more Android-based devices because of problems with the iPhone 4, Apple will need to take notice.

6. It's time to try something new

If nothing else, Apple's handling of the iPhone 4 antenna problems show that consumers need to try something new to get Apple to start caring more about them. In the past, simply ignoring the company's faults because its products were so nice might have been fine for some folks. But that mentality has contributed to the issues customers are having today. Apple is simply expecting history to repeat itself, and customers, so far, are allowing that to happen. It's time to speak out and try something new. It's worth a shot, right?

7. Apple should set the standard, not detract from it

Apple is the most important tech company in the industry. It not only has brought the tech sector to the mainstream in a major way, it has ensured that going forward, well-designed and desirable products will be making their way to store shelves. It has set the standard in software and hardware design. Perhaps that's why customers should take issue with the company. Apple is supposed to be the standard-setter, not the company that doesn't live up to its end of the bargain with consumers. As nice as Apple's products are, the hardware company should handle situations like this just as effectively as it creates smartphones.

8. It's good for Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is one of the more interesting CEOs in the tech business. Unlike so many other executives who like to stay in their office and out of the limelight, Jobs thrives on praise being heaped on his company. Any chance he gets, he takes the stage to deliver all the good news Apple wants to share with the world. He has basically created an image and star-like status that no other CEO has been able to muster. But maybe he needs to be taken down a little too. He might have the vision that no other CEO has, but he's not infallible. And as his recent decisions have proven, there is work to be done. It's about time consumers remind him of that.

9. It will happen again

Rest assured that without making a fuss over the iPhone's antenna troubles, there will be more problems with the company's devices. If nothing else, Apple's antenna design problems were overlooked by the company simply because it knew that it wasn't big enough for customers to stop buying the iPhone. But what other simple quirks will find their way into future Apple devices? If customers don't make Apple know that the antenna problem is much bigger than the company wants to admit, they will have a hard time limiting such problems in the future. This is a test for consumers. And it's up to them to respond.

10. It hurts late adopters

If nothing else, consumers should put pressure on Apple today to help those late adopters that will be affected by the iPhone's problems at some point in the future. In every tech release, early adopters pick up devices first. They are not concerned with potential problems and freely accept them if they arise. But late adopters wait until they believe the device is ready to be purchased. If early adopters turn a blind eye to the iPhone's woes, late adopters will be forced to deal with the same problems when they get their hands on the product. Customers should stick together. That means looking out for those that have yet to get an iPhone.

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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