Make-it-or-break-it times for Apple

Make-it-or-break-it times for Apple
As every major company that has reached sky high with its own products, Apple is on a buying spree. Google was at the same spot since it became public. After becoming the undisputed king of organizing the world's information, it was snapping up smaller companies with expertise different than their own.

Well, it is now Apple's turn to have reached that pivotal state. After turning the smartphone from a geeky gadget for suits and the IT crowd to a status symbol everyone craves, they hit a small, but revealing hurdle with the fourth generation of the iPhone. Pressed hard by the Android camp, they wanted to come with something truly innovative again, and the steel-and-glass iPhone 4 surely is a looker. Unfortunately, despite warnings from the outside and even their own engineers, they rushed the product to meet the “one iPhone per year” tradition, and, as a result, customers are now experiencing the infamous signal bars loss when holding the phone in a certain way.

After the bitter overreaction of people, and some initial denial on Apple's side, we are waiting on them to announce the solution that will calm everybody down. Consumer Reports magazine, the guys that bashed the iPhone 4 the other day for its reception issues, have now confirmed that the Apple's bumpers, which cost $29 a piece, can completely disperse with the problem, proven in official testing. The folks at Cupertino are holding a press conference today, after issuing an update to iOS 4 to developers the other day, so shortly all eyes will be on Apple.

People will try to determine if the company has lost a bit of luster, peaked, and become arrogant and complacent, or if it is the same innovative trend-setter we all know. If we recall correctly, for the first generation of iPhone, early adopters received $100 in-store credit if they had bought the phone at $599, before Apple cut the price to $399 a few weeks after. They were still young and foolish in the smartphone market, and weren't sure of the iPhone's success then, but customers really appreciated it. Will they do the same now that they are rolling in cash, considering that the iPhone already represents 40% of their sales?

Apple's maturity is put to the test these days, and it looks that the company has been focusing on expansion and development lately more than product testing. For its 34 years of existence, it has been buying less than a company a year. Now for a year it bought six. Google bought its way into the smartphone market when it purchased the startup company Android five years ago, and it's been a mobile success story ever since.

Apple bought Intrinsity – the guys that developed Samsung's Hummingbird chipset, to lock in the A4 architecture for the iPad and the iPhone. In a tit-for-tat purchase, Apple acquired the mobile advertising firm Quattro Wireless on the heels of Google buying AdMob. They also obtained the mobile application developer company Siri, Lala streaming music, mapping service Placebase, and just this week - Poly9 – a Canadian 3D world mapping startup.

All of these purchases clearly have one destination – Apple's mobile business. Google successfully walked the path from being simply the best search engine to the all-encompassing behemoth it is now via snapping up smaller startups with innovative ideas, which is as good a way as any. Apple is facing the stiff Android competition to its somewhat closed ecosystem, and seems to be doing the same. Now that they have surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization, it seems that they are coming out of adolescence and are poised to continue riding the tides of the American dream. The way they deal with the iPhone 4's technical glitches will probably be revealed at the press conference today, and we will certainly listen for signs they haven't changed from the company we know and appreciate. After all, still more than half of ChangeWave's survey respondents plan their smartphone purchase to be an Apple iPhone in the next few months, regardless of the antenna issues.

iPhone 4 Specifications | Review

sources: SFGate, Reuters, CIO

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25 Comments

1. android_hitman unregistered

i don't think steve will admit a fail in the iphone's design ... he will offer free bumbers for those having the antenna problem and the new iphones that are in production will be fixed in the assembly line. apple will never admit .. people should stop buying apple products.

3. DonkeyPunched

Posts: 321; Member since: Jan 10, 2010

I think that they might with all these reports going out. You are being too negative about apple. They might be over hyped but the company itself has issued out replacements of it's products before. Though the iPhone sales are massive, they wouldn't want to build a reputation of products that don't work properly, especially the one product that most people are likely to buy.

6. iheartblueberry

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 26, 2010

Even Microsoft was able to admit they were wrong with Windows Vista by allowing free upgrades to Windows 7! It's about time that you do the right thing Apple!

10. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

what gets me is the worlds slimmest phone is no longer the worlds slimmest phone when sporting a big rubber. the design luster is lost. the craftmanship is nothing more than "Crocks" when a bumper is added. it is unfortunate. i'm not an iphone user, but the design looked pretty good. you won't see it or feel it with a bumper, no matter how nice or pricey it is. stick with what works, that you can show off, that you can be proud of, that feels good....

12. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Honestly, I think the blogosphere and we tech nerds are making a bigger deal about the iPhone 4 than general consumers. I know I am going to get buried for saying it because the cool thing is to be against Apple, but folks are still ordering the iPhone 4 despite the antenna issue. Mostly because they intended on getting a case or bumper anyway. We are the ones freaking out. Apple will probably just issue bumpers. Honestly, I think that's what should have gone down from the start. The phone is amazing and I don't think anyone should take that away from Apple. But I think Apple should have just issued bumpers...probably the cheapest thing ever and avoided some of the backlash.

13. *HOVA*

Posts: 564; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Amen to that. Hit the nail on the head with that statement.

15. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

agree with that. but offering free bumpers is saying there is a design error, and this is needed. Apple (i presume) will not admit to such a oversight. but we will see what happens today. would love to hear an enthisiastic "Whoops, Who would like a bumper!?" as playfully as during the keynotes he began with: "stop me if you've seen this before."

17. htc_prep

Posts: 303; Member since: Oct 09, 2009

Jobs knew what he was doing when he designed the bumper, especially since he had been advised of the antenna situation way far in the past. It's a ploy for money. When considering an additional 30 per sale of an iPhone4 that's a lot of money. Especially when it only takes a sliver of duct or electrical tape. I'm sure that he knows the solution and will start to implement going forward... sometime in the future.

20. *HOVA*

Posts: 564; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Considering what just happened at the press event, you couldn't be further from the truth.

2. richk

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 23, 2010

this will be interesting im not going to hear the results from this apple conference till after 7/8pm uk time :(

4. ilia1986 unregistered

Hmm.. I don't recall Apple ever making a press conference about anything after launching it already. This will surely be interesting. 8 PM for me - in 5 hours, 15 minutes. Hopefully this will end the whole antennae issue - one way or another.

5. oldfash33

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 15, 2010

Rock it is all.

7. cc16177

Posts: 312; Member since: May 09, 2010

"After the bitter overreaction of people, and some initial denial on Apple's side, we are waiting on them to announce the solution that will calm everybody down." Bitter overreaction of people? It's a phone that can barely make fucking phone calls. I don't even have the phone and it pissed me off that they would release a phone with such a ridiculous flaw.

21. *HOVA*

Posts: 564; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

You would be a bitter fanboy who's never had it. It's such an over-dramatized situation it's not even funny.

22. cc16177

Posts: 312; Member since: May 09, 2010

Maybe for you, I have personally used two iPhone 4's in the last two weeks and both times I tested the issue for about 20 minutes. Trust me, maybe in your personal experience it's "over-dramatized" but I PROMISE you that for some people the issue happens every single time you put contact on the left side of the phone and every single time it drops at LEAST the data connection. And i'm not a fanboy of any sort. I would be with whatever carrier I honestly thought had the best phone/coverage. Currently that's the Droid X on Verizon.

23. cc16177

Posts: 312; Member since: May 09, 2010

I will add to my comment that the issue DOES NOT happen every time if you have a very good signal, but when you only have 2-3 bars the issue is easily replicated every single time you put contact on the left side.

8. NOVAinc

Posts: 99; Member since: Jun 24, 2010

I'll just say it and go somewhere because each time I say something here 200 droid fanboys appear (that are even WORSE than apple fanboys... Anyway I hate them both) to say "fuck you apple sucks". I have been thinking about the reception thing last night and I arrived to this thought: "Doesn't it make much more sense that this is a production issue and not a design issue?" But really... Just think about it. First, they had more than a year to design this. Such a big company with such great designers just can't make such a mistake, because really, it's not an issue that you discover in certain occasions, it affects the phone all the time and affects the daily use, there is no way that after more than a year of design they didn't notice such an issue. Also, remember those yellow spots that disappeared whitin some days? Isn't it a proof of how in a hurry the people at fixconn had to manufacture the phones? It makes a lot of sense that they missed a step in the production, a step like the antenna coating, or just replaced the material it was supposed to be for a cheaper one. Think of it, china has MANY registers of doing this. Do you remember the huge recall the last year because Chinese sent some toys and used on the LEAD painting when they were supposed to use non lead pain? After all, they get the design and are in charge to assemble it, and it's much probable that they can make mistakes building something this complex. And now, that would explain why they looked for antenna engineers one day before the release. When the first units started arriving people started noticing this, and Apple knew something was wrong and needed antenna experts to see if they could solve this somehow but dodging a recall. It also explains why they didn't want to comment about it, it explains everything. But seriously, it makes a lot more of sense than it was a production problem rather than a design one. It just doesn't make any sense that in one year of designing and testing they didn't notice this, no way in the world. And no, I'm sorry android fanboys but no, apple is not dumb at all, you can say they are arrogant or whatever but they are definitely not stupids, they grew the company into the most valuable tech company whitin some years and they sold over 2 million units in the first week. So think what you want, but there is no way they were stupid enough to not notice this.

9. markemark11

Posts: 47; Member since: Jan 07, 2010

its a cool toy but for a phone...FAIL.

11. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Stop yer whining - you have thirty days to return the phone - site the CONSUMER REPORTS report when returning it to avoid the return fee....lol

14. jtucker1987

Posts: 89; Member since: May 06, 2010

I'm watching the live blog right now and so far it seems they are just comparing other phones antenna problems :(....sounds like no recall or free bumpers!! I think I might just return it now and get the droid x to save the embarrassment....

18. JeffdaBeat unregistered

See, that's the problem. Instead of waiting for the actual announcement, you run and post. Free bumpers...

19. jtucker1987

Posts: 89; Member since: May 06, 2010

haha oh well!! we all make mistakes :(

16. jtucker1987

Posts: 89; Member since: May 06, 2010

free bumpers!! still getting the droid x though....

24. wade1968

Posts: 224; Member since: Apr 12, 2010

ITS broke now. Hello even steve Jobs won't be able to pull off a giant dream this time. Why is it older generations and younger ones can't see what is happening at apple?

25. ellistiu911

Posts: 30; Member since: Jul 18, 2009

if steve jobs didn't had his 1st blow job with the apple i4 things would go smoothly. . but no. . he still wants to blow his job away. . stupid effing sh!t

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