Friday, July 16, 2010

iWhoas

The best part about blogging? This is my platform. I get to say some things no matter how trivial or trivia inducing they may be. I will admit this is pretty trivial, it's also smartphone market related in light of today's Apple press conference. Deep breath, and begin.

Steve Jobs, Apple CEO and apparent lone spokesmen for the company came out today to apologize and offer free bumpers for owners of their newest line of iPhone hardware devices. The back story is here. Basically the antenna on these new phones face interference from human contact and apparently putting the antenna connection point on the lower left of the phone may have been a bad idea. These bumpers place enough of a barrier between the human hand and the air to prevent it from losing signal strength.

To me, this sums up the problem most people have with Apple products. They work great on their own. They are used by creative people to do amazing things. Their fans love the way things work in OSX and now in the iOS, but their love for the look and design may become their own undoing. Most people do or did not want the bumpers on their phone. These bumpers covered up a beautiful design and made the product look very generic. I wouldn't.

Apple users have always been guilty of putting style over substance.

At the Apple store a couple weeks ago I got to hold the new iPhone and it is a very pretty phone. I would not want to deface it with a cheap twenty cent bumper. What amazes me the most in this whole debate though, are the apologists, the fan boys that come out of their own shadows long enough to justify and excuse paying large amounts of money for their now admitted flawed hardware. These are the same people that scowled and mocked anyone using Windows and experienced any failure on their platform. Those tables have now turned.

The response and conventional wisdom from the faithful seem to be to place the blame and aim their furious anger at AT&T for these problems. I don't feel the need to point their rage at this carrier, their other phones work just fine and don't need bumpers to work. But these people cannot look back to Apple and demand broader carrier support for their products on one hand, while spending their life savings on this phone with the other. Apple could easily sell this product on any carrier they choose. Their incompatible marriage with AT&T will not go away anytime soon and why should it? They're encouraged by their flocks who will torture themselves with a less than quality product, the phone has sold phenomenally well.

Maybe that's the culture these days. Apple didn't just make a defective product, we (and by we I do not mean me) supported it just by purchasing it. By eating it up...buffet style. To them and their stockholders, massive sales mean much more and dishing out very cheap bumpers to put a very large band aid on this very trivial problem.