iPhone 4 Glitches: 10 Reasons Why Apple Keeps Passing the Buck

News Analysis: Apple's iPhone 4 will soon be updated with revised software that fixes how it displays signal strength. But by passing the buck, Apple is showing that it feels just fine blaming other companies for its smartphone's woes.

In a statement released last week, Apple acknowledged that the iPhone 4 is having issues. But rather than pointing to a flawed design or issues with the software and how it handles signals, Apple said that the way in which the iPhone's operating system calculates signal strength is all wrong.

It's currently working on a software fix to make sure the signal-strength display shows fewer bars than it once did. But as consumers continued to have trouble connecting to AT&T's network when they covered the two antenna lines on the side of the phone, Apple keeps saying that it wasn't its problem.
It was a sad statement and an even worse position to put consumers in. There is absolutely no debating that the iPhone 4 has a problem that needs to be addressed. And although Apple wants the world to believe that the issue is due to AT&T's poor signal strength in certain areas, some owners of the device know all too well that something doesn't add up with Apple's explanation.

Rather than admit there is a real problem and take responsibility, Apple is doing little more than passing the buck. It's unfortunate. And by the looks of things, it won't stop doing so anytime soon. Here's why:

1. It's Apple

Apple isn't like any other company in the tech industry. The firm doesn't need to deal with the sort of scrutiny that companies such as Microsoft do. It's also beloved among consumers that are consistently impressed by the products the company puts out. Realizing that, Apple wants to do everything it can to maintain that comfortable position. It doesn't want to risk it by admitting that it created a flawed product that limits reception. It's understandable. After all, such an admittance could have a profound impact on its bottom line. But it doesn't necessarily mean it should have passed the buck to AT&T. Apple might be Apple, but it doesn't mean that it can't be wrong.

2. There's no reason for it not to do so

There isn't a very good reason for Apple to simply admit that it was wrong with the iPhone 4 and offer a rebate or free Bumper case. At this point, the company likely wants to do a lot more research before it even comes close to admitting that the iPhone 4 has a design flaw that its needs to fix. Plus, with most consumers ignoring the problem, it doesn't seem all that likely that Apple's decision to pass the buck is all that damaging to its brand. If there isn't a good reason to admit a design flaw, why do so?

3. The iPhone keeps selling

Much to the dismay of some iPhone customers that want to see Apple get down to fixing the iPhone 4, the company's latest smartphone continues to sell well. The company has sold millions of iPhone units since the device launched last month. By the looks of things, those sales continue to grow, regardless of the potential antenna problem. Realizing that, Apple has every reason to pass the buck to AT&T and make that company look bad in the meantime. Yes, it admitted that its signal calculation is off, but that problem is irrelevant to most consumers. With more iPhones leaving store shelves, it's simply the better tack to blame AT&T than to risk consumers thinking twice about picking up the smartphone.

4. There isn't any worrisome competition

If Apple was really worried about Google's Android platform or any other device on store shelves, the company would have been far more proactive when addressing iPhone 4 woes. Instead, the firm took its time to find the problem, said it was the way in which iOS calculates signal strength, and in essence, made AT&T look bad. The reason why it felt that it could follow such a strategy was simple: the company didn't have to worry about competition that could make it look bad. So, rather than acquiesce to the demands of disgruntled customers, Apple simply said what the problem was and moved along, not even considering offering a free case or rebate. But if the company was worried about the Droid X, it surely would have done more to make customers happy.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...