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Friday, July 9, 2010

Cluelessness is catching

I last blogged about three head-scratching examples of a complete lack of awareness about image and reputation -- General Stanley McChrystal, The French national soccer team and BP. Now it would seem that Apple is trying to join this elite group by telling its customers that the iPhone 4's poor reception is due to the way they are holding it. I've never seen a mobile phone with specific gripping instructions. Are we supposed to hold it with just the index finger and thumb as if it were a dirty diaper about to be thrown in the trash? Maybe rubber coated barbecue tongs with do the trick? Once again we see a problem, in this case poor reception, being aggravated by poor communication. Essentially Apple denied there was a problem and implied users should modify the way in which they hold their iPhones. Then they said the way in which they calculated reception strength was wrong. What Apple should have done was acknowledge there was a problem and try to provide some practical and in-expensive remedies. By practical and inexpensive I don't mean the almost $30 iPhone case or the software update for the reception signal. I've heard putting a fat rubber band around the iPhone 4 fixes the problem. Is this true or is it an urban legend? It would be nice for Apple to come clean and weigh in this and other possible practical and low-cost solutions.

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly Apple have - very tacitly - acknowledged the problem. As Silicon.com pointed out last week, their "Jobs at Apple" page now features 3 positions for iPhone/iPad antenna engineers: http://www.silicon.com/technology/mobile/2010/07/02/the-weekly-round-up-iphones-poor-reception-and-the-tweeters-guide-to-cv-success-39746062/

    On a more serious note, I do agree with your recent blog posts about the serious amount of "cluelessness" that major organisations seems to demonstrate when dealing with image, reputation and communications issues. Another good reason to add to your list of "Why you need a PR agency" (http://www.3pointcommunications.com/Beyond%20the%20Arc/blog.php?id=6644527791582988478). Some honest, objective advice wouldn't have gone amiss.

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