I just finished watching a liveblog of the Apple press conference where supposed antenna problems with the iPhone 4 were discussed. Steve Jobs persuasively pointed out that all smart phones have similar problems, and very few users of the iPhone 4 are dissatisfied with it.
In my recent post about how I like the iPhone 4 after playing around with it for five days, I said:
When I put my finger over the crease on the bottom left side that Consumer Reports has identified as a lowered signal strength culprit, one bar appears to drop off. To me, that's no big deal. I haven't had any problem making calls on my iPhone 4, and I rarely hold the phone in the offending manner.
Yes, Apple should have recognized this problem during its testing. And we iPhone 4 buyers deserve some sort of recompense for dealing with the antenna issue. But my basic attitude is nobody's perfect, but the iPhone 4 comes damn close.
Proving that Steve Jobs and I are on the same wavelength (about a few things, at least), here's what the liveblog reported him as saying:
"You know, we're not perfect. We know that, you know that. And phones aren't perfect either."
"We knew that you could see bars drop on the phone when you hold it in a certain way, it's a fact, phones aren't perfect. But people are reporting better reception with this antenna than they've ever seen before."
"Most smartphones take a hit exactly the same way. These were all tested in areas of relatively weak signal strength. This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren't perfect. It's a challenge for the whole industry. Every phone has weak spots."
Apple has gotten way more bad press on this antenna issue than it deserved. I think Apple-bashers became all gleeful when the best technology company in the world was suspected of having a serious problem with the iPhone 4.
Except... Jobs demonstrated that the problem isn't serious. Still, Apple will give free bumper cases to anyone who wants one, and offer refunds to people like me who bought on their own.
I like Apple's open, honest, and assertive response to this tempest in a mini-teapot. Now, let's see how all the other smart phone companies deal with their fact that their own devices have similar reception problems if the phone is held in a certain way.
I suspect Apple is coming to come off looking much more customer-friendly than them, which is a big part of why I like Apple products so much.