Skip to comments.Notes from Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference—iPhone 4 owners will get free Case
Posted on 07/16/2010 11:37:21 AM PDT by Swordmaker
Steve Jobs takes the stage.
First, a 15-minute presentation
"We're not perfect. Phones aren't perfect."
"We want to make all our users happy."
3 million iPhone 4 units shipped to date
iPhone 4 is #1 smartphone according to Wired, Engadget, PC World, Consumer Reports
iPhone 4 has highest customer satisfaction of any iPhone or smartphone
Antennagate. "Apple's been working our butts off for 22 days "
Attenuation "not unique to iPhone 4."
Happens with many phones: BlackkBerry Bold 9700, hold it in a normal way, 5 bars go down to 1 bar.
HTC Droid Eris: 4 bars to 0 bars.
Samsung Omnia II: 4 bars to 1 bar.
"Phones aren't perfect" (theme of the day so far, reinforced - MDN Ed.)
This is a challenge for the entire industry
"We had a reporting error.. screwed up our algorithm "
We've corrected that with recent software update
You'll still see a drop "we haven't figured a way around the laws of physics yet."
Apple tests in a state of the art facility with 17 anechoic chambers, a $100 million investment, 18 PhD scientists and engineers
"Smartphones have weak spots."
AppleCare data: 0.55% of iPhone 4 users have called about attenuation (illustrates the hype/FUD - MDN Ed.)
AT&T return rates: iPhone 3GS - 6.0%. iPhone 4 - 1.7%. "That's 1/3 of the 3GS."
AT&T call drop rates: iPhone 4 does drop more calls than iPhone 3GS: iPhone 4 drops less than 1 additional call per 100 calls. (illustrates the hype/FUD, again - MDN Ed.)
"iPhone 4 drops less than one additional call per 100 than the iPhone 3GS. Less than one."
Jobs attributes the very slight call drop increase to lack of iPhone 4 cases available. Only 20% of customer leave Aple Store with iPhone 4 bumpers because Apple can't make enough quickly enough.
"Even though the issue affects a small percentage of users, we care about every user."
Free Apple bumper case for every iPhone 4 (users get choice of color)
If you've already bought an Apple bumper, you'll get a refund
For every iPhone 4 purchased prior to September 30, 2010.
Proximity sensor issue will be fixed in next software update
White iPhone will start shipping at end of July
On July 30, Apple will launch iPhone 4 in 17 more countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland. Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
"We love our users. We try very hard to surprise and delight them."
"We love our users. Macs, iPods, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, App Store, "
"We love our users. We connect them with great Apps and content."
"We love our users. They reward us by staying our users."
"We love our users so much that we built three hundred Apple Retail Stores for them in order to to give them the best buying experience in the world: With Genius bars, and seminars. We had 60 million people through our doors last quarter."
"If users are having a problem, it's our problem." Working hard to understand the issue, so when we solve it,we really solve it to customers' satisfaction.
"The data supports the fact that the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone in the world, and there is no Antennagate. There is a challenge for the entire smartphone industry to improve its antenna technology so there are no weak spots. So, today we're going to take care of our customers."
Q&A: Tim Cook and Bob Mansfield join Jobs.
Q: How's your health? Steve Jobs: "I'm doing just fine I was doing better earlier this week while on vacation in Hawaii."
Q: Considering any iPhone 4 antenna design changes? Jobs: "We're pretty happy with this. If we were at fault with the iPhone 4 antenna, it'd be that we waved a red flag by putting the 'touch me, grip me here' lines on it."
Q: I can't get my BlackBerry Bold to drop right now, maybe you can show me how to do it? Jobs: You may not see it in certain areas.
Q: Bloomberg article said you were told of antenna concerns? Jobs: "It's a total crock Total bullshit."
Q: Will you apologize to investors? Jobs: To investors, you invest in the company, so if the stock goes down $5, I don't think I owe them an apology.
Q: Did you make a choice between form and function (MDN Ed. - Obviously not a question from someone who's ever designed anything; there' always a tradeoff somewhere). Jobs: "We try to have great design and great performance."
Q: Will AT&T offer refunds; can people get out of their contracts? A: "I believe so, yes."
Jobs: We aren't perfect. We try to make the best possible phone, but it is not possible to make a cell phone without weak spots.
Q: Why September 30th cutoff date? Jobs: We'll reevaluate then. Maybe we'll have a better idea. "Maybe Eminem will come out with a band-aid that goes over the corner and everyone will want that."
Q: Does the refund apply only to Apple branded bumpers? A: Yes, no refund for third-party cases
Q: Why didn't Apple give case makers iPhone 4 specs before unveiling? Jobs: If we tell people what our next product is, they stop buying our current products. Sometimes websites buy stolen property and they get out there... and case makers have a history of showing off their new cases for our new products. The case vendors haven't had a history of helping to keep our work under wraps.
Q: Do any of you use bumpers? Jobs, Mansfield, and Cook all hold up iPhone 4 units without bumpers. Jobs: I don't and I hold it like this (so-called "death grip") and I never see problems.
Q: Anything you'd do differently or that you've learned from this? Jobs: Don't know yet. We need to get a bit of distance. I kno wone thing we've learned: How much we care about our customers. We were embarrassed by the Consumer Reports thing, but we didn't need it. We didn't say anything for a week because we didn't know anything yet. All of the data I shared earlier, we got that just 3 days ago...
Jobs continues: Some people want us to go faster, but I don't think we could have. I've seen cars in the parking lot all night and we've got people sleeping oncots in the engineering building. I don't think we could be working any harder to get to the root cause
Jobs continues: I guess it's just human nature: when some group or some organization gets successful, there's always a group of people who want to tear it down. I see it happening with Google, people trying to tear them down, and I think to myself: why are they doing this? Google is a great company And now they're doing it to us I don't understand it... What would you prefer, that we were a Korean company, that we were here in America leading the world with these products? Maybe it's just to get eyeballs for these websites, people don't care what they leave in their wake. I look at this whole "Antennagate" thing, and I say: 'Wow. Apple has been around for 34 years; haven't we earned the credibility and trust from the press? I think we have that trust from our users, but I didn't see it exhibited from some of the press. It was blown so far out of proportion. Not saying we didn't make a mistake - we didn't; know we were putting a bully on the phone (line on lower left corner for users to try to cover) but this has been so overblown. But to see how we could do better is going to take some time."
Q: Was recall ever considered? Jobs: The way we work is data driven. We tried find out why customers were experiencing what they were experiencing and we sent people all over the country to figure this out. We get emails from all over, I dispatch these emails, and we send teams out. Literally, two days after their email, they get a knock at the door from a bunch of Apple engineers. 'Can we plug this in? Can we test your phone? Can we log this?' Mansfield: "For the record, we told them we were coming." Jobs: "And we didn't bash down any doors!"
Q: NYT article says there's a possibility for a software fix? A: Scott Forstall asks for Mic and says that article info is "patently false." Can we tune the phone to finely adjust the holding calls? Yes, wWe do that all the time. Says the NYT article though is "patently untrue."
Q: Any impact on sales, you think? Cook: We'll announce our fiscal Q3 financial results next Tuesday and give fiscal Q4 guidance then, too.
Cook: Apple has sold well over 3 million iPhone 4 units to date.
Apple is selling very iPhone 4 unit it can manufacture right now.
Jobs: We can't make iPhone 4 units fast enough.
Q: Why is San Fran AT&T reception so poor? Jobs: In Texas, it's 3 weeks to get a cell tower approved, but in San Fran it could take up to 3 years because everyone wants better coverage, but nobody wants a cell tower in their backyard.
Jobs on email message being posted online: "It's a bit rude. And now the most recent thing is to just make them up (which is why we said Jobs had to stop doing it - MDN Ed.) Jobs: "Don;t believe everything you read."
Q; Does free Apple bumper offer extend outside U.S.? A: Yes, it does.
Q: Beyond September 30th? A: We'll evaluate.
Jobs: Okay. Thanks for coming. Has this helped? I would have liked to have done it in the 1st 48 hours after launch, but then you wouldn't have much to write about.
End of press conference.
I attempted to put in a new battery in my Iphone. I broke the screen while doing this.
I sent my iphone to http://ubreakifix.com for repair. They did a great job and very affordable.
If I had known about this company earlier, I would have had them do my battery swap instead.
I think we should all stand up and cheer that a CEO of a major company has the guts to get in front of his customers and air the dirty laundry. Most other corporations would never send out a CEO in this situation, they'd instead send some anonymous flack out there to take the heat. But not Apple and certainly not Steve Jobs.
The announcement of everybody getting a free case is pretty exciting. I can't wait to get mine. Even though I already have a case for my phone, I could always use another one. What other company out there would make such a grand gesture? Would Ford Motors pinstripe your car for free if it was recalled for some glitch? Would Microsoft give you a free mousepad for a glitch in their software? I think not! Only Apple would bestow free stuff on their customers like that.
I think Steve Jobs was very down-to-earth and modest in his presentation. He freely admitted that he and his company are not perfect. However, all us loyal customers are willing to settle for near-perfect.
I only wish I had a billion extra dollars lying around so I could invest it all in this company. This Apple company is definitely going places.
Please ping me when a picture of the free case is posted somewhere. Can't wait to see what it is going to look like.
State of the art testing facility with 17 anechoic chambers costing $100 millions dollars manned by 18 PhD scierntists.
Pretty cool, huh?
The thing that people don’t understand is that the problem manifests itself only in low-signal areas.
For the iPhone, this issue is exacerbated by two things:
1. AT&T’s network has a lot of low-signal areas compared to some other networks.
2. Apple had an error in computation of how many bars the phone should be showing for a given signal strength - ie, they were showing more bars than they should have before the signal attenuation, so the problem looks more dramatic than it is. That is to say, the s/w error might show five bars prior to the attenuation, then drops to 2 bars, when it probably should have started at four bars and dropped to two.
Perhaps Apple had a deal with AT&T to show more bars in low signal areas so AT&T wouldn't look so bad? Not computation but deliberate?
For every iPhone 4 purchased prior to September 30, 2010. “Is a new, fixed, version coming out then?” Possibly the same basic item with a rubber bead around it, kind of a built in bumper ? Avoid the first problem and stick it to those third party case manufacturers again.
I have a couple 2G iPones and can reduce the signal by using the death grip. On my new G4 I can kill all the bars but still seem to be able to call out.
Truth is the problem is minor to me and I doubt I will put a bumper on it.
On the plus side I don’t need Tom Tom’s car kit to run navigon anymore, it works fine laying on my lap. As does the iPad by the way.
The problems to me are minor, to some they may be totally unacceptable, and I can see why they may think so. But it isn’t the end of the world.
I don’t know if Apple had a deal, but I do know a little bit about computing field strength and signal levels, and I could envision a situation where AT&T had more RF engineers than Apple did in the early days (and Apple stated that they’ve been mis-computing the bars since the very first iPhone), and AT&T gave them an incorrect algorithm.
Remember the AT&T ad campaign of “more bars in more places?” It wasn’t just about iPhones.
With Apple now having major-league RF design chops, I’m sure one of their guys was tasked to look into this issue when the reports came out and discovered the faulty computation. For most of the software jocks, they would have glossed right over that code, because the computation within made no sense to them - as long as it seemed to work, it was good to go.
RF engineering is hard. A lot harder than it looks. When I ditched all the RF studying I did in school to become a software geek, I was able to teach myself everything I needed that typically comes with a BSCS or BSCE degree in about a year of reading books.
I’ve never met anyone who taught themselves fields and waves for their own amusement.
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