Apple Counts on Forgetful Consumers

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-07-06 Print this article Print

5. Consumers tend to forget

The best part of this problem for Apple is that most consumers forget about issues over time. Yes, it might be annoying that iPhone 4 owners can't hold the device in a certain way, but to many, it's a small issue that doesn't trump all the benefits of owning Apple's latest smartphone. And since those benefits far outweigh the problems, it won't take long before Apple updates its software and the issue, seemingly resolved, is forgotten by the vast majority of users. Apple doesn't mind passing the buck on iPhone 4 issues because it knows that in the end, this will be long-forgotten problem.

6. It's easier to blame AT&T

The best aspect of Apple's relationship with AT&T is that the hardware company can blame these issues on the carrier and each time, customers will believe it. Think about it. Apple is one of the most beloved companies in the world. AT&T is well known for its sub-par connectivity. Wouldn't it be easier to blame the company no one likes than to make the firm that everyone loves look bad? It's common sense. In the end, it's easier to vilify the bad company than the good company.

7. Who can prove it?

Some iPhone 4 owners are saying that Apple isn't doing enough to address the smartphone's problems. In fact, they say that the company is simply applying a band-aid to a problem that is much greater. But proving that the iPhone 4 really does have a hardware issue when Apple continues to say it doesn't is a tall order. As many studies might come out, they mean little if Apple keeps insisting that its product isn't to blame. In the end, Apple will never stop passing the buck until it admits that its hardware is flawed. And so far, the chances of that seem awfully slim.

8. It has conflicting reports

Apple isn't totally wrong in this antenna problem. The company said in a recent statement that although some folks have said that they're having trouble with their iPhone 4's signal, others have said that the device is offering better connectivity than any iPhone that came before it. Realizing that, Apple might have reason to believe that the smartphone's problems are only related to its software. After all, if some users are happy with the device and others are not, maybe the iPhone isn't inherently flawed, as some critics have said. The longer there are conflicting reports about the iPhone 4, the more it becomes likely that Apple won't point its fingers at itself.

9. Steve Jobs has a legacy to protect

There's a key component in Apple's decision to pass the buck that consumers and critics can't overlook: Steve Jobs is extremely concerned with his legacy. Prior to Jobs' most recent stint with Apple, things didn't go so well for Jobs. He was ousted from Apple because his views didn't match those that were entrusted with a leadership position at the company. But upon his triumphant return, Jobs changed everything. He revamped his company and image. The last thing he wants to do now is sully either of those with an admission that the iPhone 4 has an antenna problem. As long as Jobs' ego plays a role in Apple's decision making, expect the company to pass the buck.

10. No one is holding Apple accountable 

Why should Apple hold itself accountable when no one else is willing to do the same? Although consumers are complaining about the iPhone 4, and Apple has been hit with some class-action lawsuits, there is no widespread outcry over the iPhone 4's antenna problems. No one is threatening to boycott Apple products. At this point, Apple's antenna complaints are limited to Web stories and a few trivial lawsuits that probably won't go anywhere. Until consumers start banding together to make Apple accountable, the company has little reason to address the iPhone 4's antenna troubles. At this point, consumers have done little to make Apple pay.

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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