Apple’s iPhone 4 Death Grip Press Conference

My first blast from the past is from a few hours ago.  Enjoy!

death grip.png

So, everyone’s been talking about the iPhone’s “death grip” issue–that is, the issue in which holding the iPhone 4 in a certain way causes you to lose your signal. Of course, none of the people making these complaints actually own an iPhone 4. Well, I am both left handed and I actually own one, so I’d like to explain what the issue is, why it’s not really an issue, and we should probably talk about Apple’s press conference they held today (in a word: wow).

So, first off, I will say that yes, if you hold the phone in a certain way, reception will drop a couple bars after a few seconds. 

But you probably don’t hold it that way.

I don’t hold it that way.

And my iPhone 3GS lost signal when I picked it up if I was in an area with poor signal. It’s just that there weren’t steel bars to make it easy to notice where to touch it to make the signal degrade.

The thing is, iPhone 4 has an issue that previous iPhones (and other phones) have. The problem can be manifested in a way that perhaps is more noticeable for people holding it a certain way. But iPhone 4 gets better overall reception due to this design change. So, Apple is sticking with the new design.

And, if you’re still not happy with that, Apple’s going to give away bumpers so that you can hold the iPhone in that forbidden way and not be affected. It seems like a kludgy solution, but then again, you can’t accommodate every single way a person wants to hold the phone. This offers something for that user who wants to hold the iPhone in that (really weird) way. 

But I don’t think Steve Jobs was really the best person for this situation. And I really don’t even think a press conference was appropriate here. Apple would have been much better off had they just e-mailed customers saying what they were doing. Because Apple used this press conference to try to tell the press that they were being dicks, spreading misinformation, while at the same time feeding out cherry picked statistics about the issue to try to tell people they’re wrong. And seriously, Steve Jobs? What is some of the random crap you’re saying here? My two favorites are when he mentioned that Apple built over 300 retail stores out of love for customers (apparently not to sell Apple stuff), and he made some odd comment saying “would you rather we were a Korean company?” I didn’t understand that one.

Steve did point out that over 3 million iPhones 4 devices have been sold so far. And that, to me, is a real sign the media’s blowing it out of proportion. If there really were a problem, people WOULDN’T BE BUYING THE DAMN THINGS. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that Steve Jobs isn’t one to fess up when he did something wrong, except during that backdating scandal when he was potentially facing jail time, at which point he was quite candid in admitting that illegal things happened under his watch. But if Apple has truly screwed something up, you can bet your ass they aren’t saying a word. Remember when all those iBook G3s had dead logic boards? Not a word from Apple besides silently extending repair programs. Such has been the case with a number of hardware failures Apple has had over the years. 

But you’ve got to admire their style. Apple isn’t the ass kissing kind of company. In fact, they’re quite the opposite. And that’s why I am a happy customer of theirs. They don’t do focus groups. They don’t ask customers what they want and implement whatever got the most votes. Instead, they focus on the whole experience, and they find smart, thought out solutions to problems. And they stick by their guns about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *