Published on: July 22, 2010Now available on iTunes…
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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe and this is MNB Radio, available on iTunes and brought to you this week by Webstop, experts in the art of retail website design.
So, let’s follow up on last week’s rant about how Apple seemed to be behaving in a way that threatened its long-term brand equity. I expressed some concern about what appeared to be a certain arrogance in coping with complaints about the new iPhone’s reception issues.
At the end of the week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs held a press conference to address the iPhone issues.There was lots of speculation about what would happen, ranging from expectations about a possible recall to how much of an apology Jobs would issue. I know what I thought - that Apple needed to do something radical in order to reinforce its consumer credibility.
Well, there is a reason that I’m me and Steve Jobs is Steve Jobs. He had his press conference, all right, and let me see if I can boil down his message to eight simple points.
One. Sure, there’s a problem. (Couldn’t deny it...even Consumer Reports said so.)
Two, the problem has been exaggerated by the media.
Three, Apple has sold three million of the new iPhone, and the return rate has been way below past versions. So there.
Four, the problem has been exaggerated by the media.
Five, the reception problem can be fixed with the use of a simple rubber bumper that prevents the user’s hand from touching the metal antennae. Apple will give the bumpers away free to iPhone purchasers, even as it works to resolve the problem on future phones.
Six, the media exaggerated the problems and blew the whole story out of proportion.
Seven. It isn’t just the iPhone that has such problems. It is other smart phones, too.
Eight. Did I mention that this whole thing is the media’s fault?
Did he apologize? Nope. Institute a recall? Uh-uh.
In short, the whole thing was masterful. He took responsibility for the problem without conceding the enormity of the problem...and in fact managed to convince a lot of people - me included - that we’d all fallen victim to a bit of hysteria. Thought to be honest, I have a feeling that I also may have fallen for a bit of executive sleight of hand...really, really good executive sleight of hand.
I am sure of a few things.
One, I’m pretty sure that this won’t happen again at Apple, at least not for a long time. A lesson has been learned.
Two, it helps the company that so many of us are predisposed to love its products and share what we believe to be its attitude toward the world of technology.
And three, a lot of sins get washed away when just a few days after the press conference, Apple is able to announce a third quarter revenue increase of 61 percent and a profit increase of 78 percent - all due to the popularity of both the new iPhone and the iPad. The stock price is up more than 20 percent for the year ... and these numbers cannot be misinterpreted ... even by a hysterical media.
So how long is the wait for one of those new iPhones?
For MNB Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.
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