iPhone 4 Press Conference – The Post-Game Wrapup

Man seated inside a really weird blue antenna test chamber, holding a phone.

One of Apple's anechoic test chambers.

Okay, let’s start off with a roundup of links:

I think I said nearly everything I had to say in my Sun-Times piece. But my main goal was to get something useful online within the next hour or so, and my secondary goal was to beat my career high score for grammatically-correct sentences (28%). So maybe I can still add a few bits and pieces.

First, let’s see how well I did with my predictions this morning. I definitely got the broad strokes right. The prepared presentation was short. There was no product recall; Apple defended the iPhone, chiefly by offering hard numbers that indicate that the antenna problem — whatever it is — is being talked about far more than it’s actually being experienced by real users.

I didn’t think Apple would offer free bumper cases. I also thought Apple would give some airtime to all of the iPhone’s spiffy new features, making the point that the iPhone 4 is way more than just a radical new antenna design. But nope, they stayed on the message of the antenna.

I score myself a B+.

On the whole, I think Apple did great. I can’t get myself worked up about the antenna issue. I’m simply not seeing the widespread user complaints that I normally associate with a functional defect in a product. Nobody understands if it’s a design problem, a firmware issue, or just the same articulation of the old problem that all iPhones experience with AT&T coverage in spotty areas. I certainly don’t think it’s a big enough issue to forego all of the iPhone 4’s advantages. I don’t experience the issue when I hold it normally. Plus, when you slap it in any kind of case, the problem disappears entirely.

I do fault Apple for pressing the “all phones have this problem” button so hard. They showed video of several other phones losing signal when gorilla-gripped. Fine, but I experienced this issue with the iPhone 4 moments after unboxing it and I couldn’t reproduce it with other phones. It probably would have been smarter for Apple to simply note that all phones have “dead” spots, and then move on. Though I appreciate that it suits Apple’s purposes to have actual video of other phones losing signal

To Apple’s credit, they did acknowledge that the iPhone 4’s dropped-call percentage is higher than the iPhone 3GS’s, citing statistics they got from AT&T a few days ago. It seems like a marginal difference (it’s worse by one call in a hundred, according to Apple), but it’s definitely there. And if you live in a poor coverage area, the iPhone 4 can be the difference between a phone that rarely drops a call and one which does it frequently.

I’d also say that in retrospect, the post-presentation Q&A was a mistake. They should have deliverred their message, ended the show, and then sent everyone outside for complimentary coffee and danish. During the Q&A, Apple said a lot of things that seemed defensive. Nobody likes it when the prom queen complains that everyone hates her because she’s so very pretty and popular.

Jobs also complained about how the press has handled this story. He did make some valid points, though, and with fresh memories of the head of BP complaining that he “just wanted to get his life back,” I think it has to be kept in perspective.

(Steve did haul his ass away from a Hawaii vacation. Hell, he could have FaceTimed this one in.)

It was…interesting…that he described the publication of his emails to customers as “rude.” I suppose that could be true, on the basis that these people have been sharing his personal emails. But did he honestly expect people not to brag about getting a personal response from the CEO?

Onward:

Steve Jobs didn’t fall to his knees, rend his garment, clasp his hands together, and beg for forgiveness from users and stockholders.

This has upset many people.

These people are idiots.

Consumer Reports, for their part, hasn’t changed their position on the iPhone. They’re still “not recommending” the iPhone 4. I don’t think they’re idiots. But I do think they’re wrong. They’re pointing to antenna tests in which they can cause the iPhone 4’s signal to drop to zero bars by bridging the famous gap between the antennas.

Swell. That fact needs to be reported. But is that the whole story?

Questions:

  1. Does Consumer Reports understand the nature of the problem? They claim to have tested the antenna scientifically but haven’t (as far as I can tell) broken any new ground beyond “If you bridge the gap, you lose bars.” Is it a hardware issue? A software issue? A mere ergonomic issue?
  2. It’s a repeatable, reliable demo. But are iPhone users likely to encounter an actual problem? I did a 20-minute phone interview with PBS this afternoon and I did it on an uncased iPhone 4. I didn’t even think twice about it.
  3. Assuming that a specific consumer regarded the antenna problem as a dealbreaker: if there were a way around the problem, would the iPhone then be worthwhile? I say yes, absolutely. Take away “there’s a slightly greater chance that it might drop a call” and you’re left with a phone with a huge laundry list of advantages over every previous iPhone and most other phones. Including, might I point out, better reception than the iPhone 3GS.
  4. Is there a way around the problem? Yes. Put it in a case, which is something lots of people (myself included) were going to do anyway.

On that basis, I think Consumer Reports’ stance is extreme. Though in their defense, there’s a difference between “we’re not recommending it” and “we’re recommending that people not buy it.”

Reading their followup coverage, it appears that they can’t evaluate how well “iPhone with a case” works until they develop a separate test protocol; their standard test policy is to test the phone as-shipped by the manufacturer.

This is why I have occasional problems with Consumer Reports reviews. I think this is another instance in which the magazine is showing more loyalty to their standardized test procedures than to their readers.

Okay. So that’s another thousand words I’ve written about this thing today…on top of about 90 minutes of talking about it. I’ve done it.

And when I say “I’ve done it” I don’t mean “I’ve produced complete and thorough coverage of this interesting tech news story.” I mean “I am finally sick of hearing my own comments about the iPhone 4.” I hope I got there about 400 words ahead of the rest of you.

119 thoughts on “iPhone 4 Press Conference – The Post-Game Wrapup

  1. Jared

    A couple of comments
    1. Steve referenced the number of complaints called into AppleCare as how they were measuring user dissatisfaction. I urge everyone who has this issue to call AppleCare and describe your experience. They seemed genuinely interested in feedback.
    2. One of the better real world tests I’ve seen is where someone has tested his coworker’s iPhone4’s. All were tested in the same exact location. They were held by the tester, held by the owner, and a copper wire was used to short the antenna gap. 5 out of 13 iphone4’s exhibited the death grip. Of the 5, all had been bought on opening day. He needs to sample more phones to be statistically relevant, but I thought it was an interesting trend that no one has been tracking.

  2. Bill Goggin

    @Fred – You hit the nail on the head. It is frustrating to read the posts here from people who happen to have strong signals or naturally hold their phone so the gap is not closed. It is a big deal if you have the problem and Apple continues to be condescending. Other phones may have problems, but not this problem. I’ve owned other phones.

    I enjoy reading Andy’s columns and listening to him on MBW, but I think he’s wrong here. His anecdotal experience does not mean others aren’t having problems.

    Apple’s response is most infuriating. I have been a loyal customer and I feel cheated out of what I had to spend on a case. It wasn’t much money, but I thought Apple was different. This is how Microsoft makes me feel when I have to re-activate the software I paid for, again. I wasn’t expecting this from Apple.

    If you don’t have the problem, it’s the best phone ever. If you do, you’d better not mind using a case. I never did use one and I’d prefer not to, but the alternative is dropped calls and lost data connections before I remember that I have to change my natural grip. I forget every time I pick it up.

  3. icruise

    @Richard Gaywood — Why don’t they put the notch at the top where nobody would touch it? Maybe because the FCC mandates that the antenna be as far away from the user’s head as possible? No offense, but I can’t believe the amount of crackpot advice and speculation that has surrounded this whole issue. Everybody seems to think that Apple just slapped this thing together without any real testing or thought.

    As an iPhone 4 user, I can’t help but shake my head at how this issue has been covered by the majority of the media. I have had no real problems with mine, and I doubt I ever would have noticed the “weak spot” if people hadn’t made a big deal out of it. Apple has sold 3 million of these things, and if they were as fundamentally flawed as people were implying, customers would be returning them in droves. That’s just not happening. I sympathize with people who are having real problems with reception, but they are a very small minority. Apple’s handling of the issue did start out a bit rough, but the press conference and free case solution are pretty much perfect as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never used a case with any of my phones, but I’ll give the bumper a try if it’s free.

  4. MJK

    Iphone 4 has the best antenna design yet but it drops more calls then the 3GS.?????

    All phones have this problem so there is no problem???

    That test lab is stupid. No actually uses a phone in there so why test there.

  5. Hunter

    @MJK – sounds like maybe you don’t really understand the test lab. It’s not ‘stupid’ and some of the labs do include human subjects, yes.

    They said yesterday that they consider the slightly higher drop rate compared to the 3GS to be a unacceptable – they said they are working to understand why and see what can be done about it.

  6. tomhayes

    Andy,

    Can you tell us what’s up with the TWiT network, and why have they seemed to have lost their MINNDS.

    Leo says the phone is awful, drops calls all the time, accuses Apple of making a bumper because they knew of the problem – which he also says they didn’t know about because they didn’t test it enoguh – and he still hasn’t returned his phone.

    The Today in Tech hosts spend an awful lot of time saying how distasteful they think Steve Jobs thinks this is, and how even though it’s a problem for a very small percentage of users that the phone is fundamentally defective.
    They seem to not like Steve’s attitude –no – Steve . And that STRONGLY colors the “reporting” on huim on TwiT.
    Is it because he once gave Leo the “gas face”?
    And MacBreak weekly had a guy who kept saying “Mac OS X is the best operating system, but since Apple doesn’t care about it, they should open source it so I can buy cheap PC hardware to work on it.” I guess he doesn’t relaize that his beloved OS is one of Apple’s core business – AND if they “open sourced” it the same people workign on ubuntu will introduce they stuff he doesn’t like into revisions.
    He can’t have his cake, have it open sourced, and eat it too.
    TWiT has gone INSANE.
    They seem much more like a “coffee clutch” or non critical thinking idiots/echo-chamber more than tech reporters.
    And the stance on Jason Chen is inane. They’re all disappointed that the case against him ISN’T going to be used as a precedent for blogger’s rights. [sic.]
    Next they’ll says Steve Jobs invented the Internet before he voted against it.
    What happened?
    I’m serious, and I’d love to get a reply.

  7. Bignick

    I agree, Leo have started loosing his mind and Tom who seemed very reasonable and well articulated have become a disapoitment too. I’ve been listening to Twit and MBW since the very first shows, however I’m considering unsubscribing if the nonsense keeps going on. Wonder why Leo gets offended by Jobs arrogance when he has become arrogant to his co-hosts/guests on the show (with Don Mcalister for example). Guess what there is no Verizon nor T-Mobile where I live, should I blame their phones for that? How many of the people who are expiericing problems with iPhone 4 are new to AT&T and are suffering from the network rather from the phone itself? All the numbers should be factored in, otherwise we will never know how big is the issue. Thank for your coverage Andy, keep up the good work!

  8. Pat Murphy

    Just some of my thoughts:

    First and foremost, I just wanted to reiterate what many others have said. I really appreciate your opinions and presentation on technical issues. You have an approach that appeals to my engineering logic. The mass media generally gets technical issues wrong, so wrong sometimes it is actually cute. Even if I disagree with something you say (which is rare), I respect the basis of the point.

    I had an Original iPhone and now have a 3GS. Rarely am I able to make and keep a call, while inside, holding the phone in my hand. This is why I purchased multiple headsets or use the provided ear buds. Touching any iPhone attenuates the signal badly. I blame this mostly on AT&T and hope there coverage in Central Ohio improves. Every engineer I know, knows the GSM spectrum that AT&T uses doesn’t get into buildings very well. They claim they are upgrading.

    I was one of the few people that had and reported problems with iPhone OS 3.0 – it continually locked the signal strength meter. It would say five bars when I had none and calls would be turned away. Then it would lock in this mode until it was reset. And believe me it is a trick knowing you need to reset your phone in this situation. Usually only after your wife sends an email saying she has been trying to call all day. This actually caused me problems with my customer who spent a day not being able to contact me in an emergency. When I tried to discuss the problem in the apple forums, just to debug and find a workaround, I was called an idiot by the fanboys. I didn’t appreciate that.

    I just loaded the new 4.0.1 firmware on my 3GS phone. Sitting at my desk at home, the signal displays pretty consistently as two bars. When I pick it up, it drops to one. Previously, it would go from five to one. This just confirms that I am in a weak spot, but I would rather have the two real bars than the fake five.

    So why do I keep the iPhone? I travel internationally for work and IMHO it is the best GSM phone out there. So I suffer voluntarily. (no doubt part of my irish catholic upbringing ;)

    Will I get a iPhone 4? I’ll probably wait for rev b, or until next summers model. This is mostly a financial decision.

    Two other random points:

    Everyone knows consumer reports is not objective. This goes back to the 80’s and their longstanding Toyota bias. In this case, they are just trying to insert themselves into the issue for PR. Their product has been mostly dead since the advent of the web. They have credibility with the masses, but I take everything they say with a grain of salt.

    Leo’s position and comments on this issue are damaging his credibility with me. If he is just trying to take the contrarian position, I can appreciate it. As a grumpy old engineer, I know the value of that position. But based on others comments on this thread, maybe you should take your colleague aside and let him know what you are hearing.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  9. FoW

    The glib “return if unhappy” policy from Apple is terribly flawed, because their app EULA concurrently prevents the transfer of app licenses to others if we are having issues with the iPhone 4. They use this policy like shackles to keep us in the iOS ecosystem.

    I have noticed a repeatable and persistent drop in call quality while holding it in my left hand. This phenomenon was not observed with my original iPhone, iPhone 3GS or the myriad of other phones I’ve had since the late 90’s. These are my empirical observations; I have no testing equipment, Faraday cage rooms or elaborate materials and methods. All I have to go on are callers telling me I’m fading out while holding the iPhone 4 in my left hand.

    However, leaving would come with a significant economic hit – due to Apples policy of not allowing the transfer of app licenses. If you leave the OS X ecosystem, you can transfer your app licenses on software purchased, same thing if you leave the Windows ecosystem. I would like the same freedom with my iOS apps, the ability to sell my old apps on the open market, and then transfer the app license to another party.

    Here is an analogy. Lets say you buy a home, but the left side of the house leaks. After complains, the seller says “sure I’ll take back the house…but you cannot sell the furnishings you bought for the house. You can buy another one of my houses, and experience a litany of issues if you like, but under no circumstances will I let you sell the furnishings you bought for the home.” Sounds fair? No it does not! This is exactly what Apple is doing, and its just not right. I’m sure its legal, but something legal does not automatically equate into something that is right or fair.

    If Apple cannot provide me a handset that is suitable to the functions of a telephone, I guess I will have to suck it up and take the loss on the apps I have purchased. However, if that happens, I’ll soon be vacating the OS X ecosystem with my next computer purchase.

  10. Mr Grinch

    It just illustrates an overall helplessness demonstrated by the average nerd. At some point you have to grow up and understand that things don’t always go the way you’d like. You have to adapt, be a man, and deal with issues instead of whining and crying and seeking attention for the website you run on your laptop sitting in your mother’s spare bedroom because you still live at home as a thirty something.

    I loved the moron who raised the question of whether Jobs’ should apologize to investors over the stock price. YGTBSM, a stock that is up fifteen fold over the decade? I am supposed to assign weight to the self-important people who run these blogs?

    The above is what Andy is stating, albeit far more eloquently and tolerantly than I believe the infantile, helpless wusses deserve.

    Get a case or return the phone- either way, shut up. You have not earned the right to demand anything from anyone, much less a damned handheld device that will be obsolete and forgotten in eighteen months…

  11. Barry

    Thank you Andy for your even keeled analysis. I have worked with engineers all my life and have been in countless design reviews and we all strive to work on facts and not emotion. I revel when people let clear technical analysis to take center stage. The talking heads and their emotion have obliterated any rational analysis. I have owned all the iPhones and this is the best one yet and it makes phone calls. They have an issue they need to address but it is not by any stretch a deal breaker. Since you know a bunch of these so called “idiots” like the big guy on MacBreak Weekly, I look forward to you balancing out his childish emotion. Thanks Again

  12. Al

    Hey Andy,

    In your Sun Times column, you mention that the Cube was never heard from again. You know much more about this than I do, but I rather thought Apple hid the Cube under a half volleyball, attached it to a flat-screen on a stick, and sold a gazillion of them.

    Keep those columns coming!

    AL

  13. -wsn

    Wow I thought it was just me that had found MBW weekly taking a turn for the worse. I use to wait with baited breath for it to download into iTunes, but now not so much. I love Andy and Merlin, but for a guy with a mouthful of Google Kool-Aid, Leo sure has a ton of time to make crazy not based in fact complaints. If it wasn’t for Andy and the occasional Merlin I would have un-subed already. Andy tell Leo to “Lighten up Francis” … or please start your own podcast. I miss SB also being on there as he understands how companies and the market(s) really work.

    Ok, enough said. As always a big thanks to you (and Gruber) for great reporting :-)

  14. Doug

    Totally agree with comments re: MacBreak Weekly. Don’t make stuff up! I know there is not a lot of news out there re: Mac and there has to be some discussion over iPhone. Keep up the good work.

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  16. Dean Massalsky

    I am piling on here as well..Leo seems to have Turned a Tad ‘Evil Leo”…I have listened to fewer and fewer of his shows, because they are pretty much into a Rat Hole within 5-10 minutes….I love Leo, but the bagging on the iPhone, TALK about the iPhone and just the rambling nature has really been turning me off as of late…And, it pisses me off when Merlin is on and talks OVER Andy, who, gentleman that he is, waits his turn instead of a sugar whacked hipster talking over everyone…for the record, I LIKE Merlin (wtf happened to you Look Nice Today?), but damn….Andy needs MORE air time, as most times, he is the only one on task, on topic and succinct enough for a radio show…

  17. MisterK

    I apologize for piling on with this Leo thing, but there is definitely something going on here. Today I heard him say that the iPhone 4 “isn’t that good of a phone, anyway”. Now I know that he loves his Droid phone (not really sure why) but one has to admit that the iPhone 4 is pretty incredible, despite the antennae issue. Best screen, best camera, best OS, best app store, and now that it comes with a free case, there aren’t the same dropped call issues as before.

    In other news, my mom was talked into getting a motorolla droid phone. She found out that her “smart phone was too smart for her”. I made her return it, telling her that the software developers where the ones not smart enough to make it useable by non-nerds. She bought a 3GS on sale… Absolutely no problems getting started after I gave her the instructions “just touch what you want to do and if you find yourself somewhere unfamiliar, hit that one button”.

    You can’t praise Apple without taking a lot of grief and no other company has so many rooting and cheering for it to have problems.

  18. Al Wingate

    I have to wonder about Leo Laporte? He seems unusually bitter about Apple products these days. He stated that the iPad was “just candy” in his Google Podcast. He seems to be way too emotional about Apple in general and the iPhone in particular. So, I wonder about his motivation. Why has he jumped off the ledge?

  19. Al Wingate

    I also want to say that Apple has been excellent in its response to the problem. I don’t see how they can be faulted? They will give you a full refund on your phone. They will give you a free bumper. What else should they have done. Chuck Shumer is a dunce.

  20. WhereIsTheRealLeo

    Yeah, I heard Leo say that on his radio show today too…

    The guy is entitled to his opinion like anyone but if he really doesn’t like the iPhone anymore, he should return it instead of bitch about it on every show.

    Today he called himself a journalist. I see him more of an entertainer but if he’s really going to be a journalist, he needs to work on being more objective.

    He seems to have different opinions for different audiences – compare what he says about Apple on MBW to Windows Weekly to TWiG… Does he not realize that many of his fans listen to all of his shows? The dramatically shifting stance between shows (sometimes in the same week!) makes him sound a bit silly… and bitter.

    It almost feels like he’s enjoying taking Apple down a couple of notches.

    I just want the old Leo and MBW back.

  21. Al Wingate

    I want to say to Leo Laporte: Stop whining and sell you iPhone or return it for a full refund. Or get a bumper. In the meantime, tout the droid phones because they are “open.” Well, they may be but there is a price for open and a price for closed. The price for open is finding software that you did not want installed on the Droid X which cannot be removed? Did I read that right? And, closed (Apple) means better battery life, apps that work as advertised and no porn. That is my choice.

  22. Al Wingate

    Just wondering what apps Pat Murphy has that is keeping him/her from getting rid her the iPhone. Curious? How many dollars of apps do you have Pat?

  23. Al Wingate

    I thought I was the only person that noticed Leo Laporte’s attitude change. And yes, he does sound silly touting one thing on a given show, then reversing course on other shows. He derisively called the ipad “candy” while on this week in Google, but today on “The Tech Guy” told a listener he loved his iPad. Guess he loves “candy.” Perhaps he is taking too much flak from his Windows buddies? Only Leo knows for sure.

  24. Al Wingate

    To Dean Massalsky

    I don’t think it is piling on Dean. It is a consensus. So many of us have noticed the negativity in the reporting of a person I once thought was a genuinely nice guy.

  25. Steve

    Yeah, I was taken completely aback by Leo’s histrionics in re the iPhone 4. I stopped listening to that Macbreak weekly and TWIT, and probably will not listen until he stops talking about the iPhone 4. Even with the RF Engineer telling him that he had it all wrong, he continued with the heavy-handed rhetoric. Normally Leo is so reasonable, I’m not sure why he went over the wall on this one.

    Keep up the good work, Andy. I enjoy listening to you and reading your work.

  26. Ulf Dahlen

    Great summary. I personally feel Steve Jobs was close to a BP moment (not understanding, being arrogant), but he avoided it and the press conference addressed most of my concerns. Regarding the transformation of Leo Laporte into an Apple hating Google loving partisan, it’s true and really sad. TWiT and MBW used to be the best podcasts out there. Now Leo’s attitude is such a problem I consider unsubscribing.

  27. greg

    Gotta put my 2 cents in. I have an iPhone 4 and I am having no reception problems at all. I live in the Chicago area. My phone was naked for a couple of weeks till I got the bumper and I had no problem with reception at all. I had got the bumper only because I tend to put a case on the phone anyway and there wasn’t much of anything else out there. As for Leo it is amazing how much he has descended. He is no journalist just a showman who has turned out to be so arrogant. His rants are obsessive, over the top and melodramatic. Is this the way to increase your viewership Leo? Not just the iPhone but that facebook debacle was carried on for weeks. He has lost any credibility with me, not someone to trust anymore.

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  29. Nathan Weiss

    “Nobody understands if it’s a design problem, a firmware issue, or just the same articulation of the old problem that all iPhones experience with AT&T coverage in spotty areas.”

    That’s simply not true.

    Go ask any electrical engineer and he’ll tell you that this is a plain hardware issue due to Apple’s innovative yet risky and obviously faulty antenna design in iPhone 4.

    There’s really no surprise here. Do you think Apple’s engineers integrated this ugly gap (the isolator) in the antenna’s design just for fun, considering Apple’s faible for nice looking industrial design? The purpose of the gap/isolator is to isolate the antennas, no more and no less.

    So, please don’t be surprised that bridging that gap with by holding the iPhone accordingly hurts the antennas’s signal strengths.

    It’s so obvious one shouldn’t even have to argue about this. This is a hardware issue and not a software or firmware issue. And it’s not an issue of AT&T’s coverage either, no matter how bad/weak that may be.

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  31. Shawn

    We had a saying at my old job: “add it to the design spec and a bug becomes a feature”. All Apple needs to do is add “Do not block the antenna” to the manual and no one can complain. Maybe there is space between “Do not use underwater” and “Do not drop”.

  32. Moeskido

    Apart from your work, I’ve been very amused at the tech press’ reaction to Consumer Reports’ iPhone ratings. It’s as though very few people indeed had ever glanced at the magazine and understood the point of view that drives it.

    As I’ve explained elsewhere, CR is a quirky, balkanized collection of departments. Each has its own level of expertise based upon a particular idea of objective appraisal, but not necessarily the right kind of smarts for testing particular products. There are certain things I believe that magazine has no business publishing ratings for, such as high-tech consumer electronics whose appraisal requires subjective reporting as well as functional analysis.

    One thing all of their testing groups do have in common is the ratings scheme itself. For a product to get high ratings, it merely has to get high points in specific performance categories, many of which can be objectively measurable.

    But for any product to get “Recommended,” it needs to somehow achieve an editor’s Platonic ideal for the product category; a sometimes contrived set of theoretical standards for cost and performance that might not actually exist anywhere in currently-available goods, but which they judge against nevertheless. Lots of products CR tests get great ratings, but not nearly as many will get their Recommendation.

    I believe this is the basis for a lot of the current misinterpretation of CR’s apparent dismissal of the iPhone, compounded by linkbaiting headlines and lazy writing.

  33. Valan Chan

    A good report and a slick read. You are correct when you say it is enough.

    I won’t comment on Leo since it must be quite embarrassing to read some of the comments here but I must say that you do bring objectivity to the MBW podcast.

  34. Jim H

    I think Leo is a teenager in his second childhood, with Mustang gas-guzzler and all. I like him, but this silly utopian “open = Google” thing is ridiculous. Google is a very big business, not the second coming of the hippie utopia. Of course he loves the Droid X, esthetically the phone for every pimply-faced nerd the world around. Big bloody eyeball and all.

    I used to listen to all of the podcasts. But the whole network is beginning to echo one man: Leo.

  35. Barry

    I agree with you Jim H. Leo has turned his network into an exercise in partisanship. This should not be coming from a full grown adult. Technology infers engineering, design, precision & accuracy, these words Leo has no intimacy with. I will seek alternatives.

  36. Ulf Dahlen

    When Leo had Spencer Webb from AntennaSys on, he barely let him speak and interrupted him all the time and didn’t listen to what he said.

    Shawn King (Your Mac Life Show) made a much better interview when he spoke to Spencer two weeks ago. Spencer made some very good points about how all this could have been avoided. Go and check out Shawn’s show, its quite good.

  37. instig8r

    I had a very real issue with my iP4 from the first moment I picked it up. The antenna issue is not overblown. If you are not in a high signal strength area, how you hold the phone significantly affects your ability to make calls and access data. I upgraded t0 4.0.1. I put a case on it. Problem still there. I can drop a call by the way I hold it. FACT. It’s a problem. SJ is the biggest jerk for telling me to take it back and get a 3GS. I don’t want last year’s model. I want the company’s flagship tech. Oh, there is no bigger Apple fanboi than me. Also a fact. But I am really disappointed in how Apple (SJ) is handling honest complaints.

  38. Hunter

    @instig8r – you still have problems using a case? That’s certainly not typical, based on personal experience and everything I’ve read from others.

    Perhaps there’s something else going on in your case?

  39. Rick

    I think Leo’s problem is that he’s forgotten how to be a host and is too obsessed with airing his own opinions rather than encouraging other members/guests to air theirs. His worst trick is the one where he asks a question and then stops for a moment, appearing to cede the floor, then comes back in as soon as someone else has started talking, putting a stop to whatever they were saying. Andy and Merlin are skillful enough to get their ideas in most of the time, but guests like Don McAllister aren’t.

    The shows hosted by Alex when Leo was away were much better: Alex would set the stage with a short monologue and then say someone’s name to invite them to take the floor for however long they needed to, then someone else could come in and do the same. Alex also could do the same when his time came around, but by making it fairly clear when he was wearing his host hat and when he was wearing his member/pundit hat he made the show go much smoother.

    I’m sure Leo’s a really nice guy, so the guests don’t take it personally, but I wish someone with influence could tell him he’s gradually ruining MacBreak Weekly.

    Sorry to be off-topic, but I don’t know where else one can air opinions on MacBreak Weekly.

  40. John Simpson

    Andy thank your for your continued even-handed reporting. I continue to listen to MBW but count me as another who is growing tired of Leo’s babbling. I stopped listening to TWIT for that same reason and I am only sticking with MBW because of your presence. Please do whatever you can with Leo to get the program back on track.

  41. Clarence C

    I haven’t heard much from the MSM or blogosphere covering whether there is a antennae/drop-call issue for international users.

    I am a long time TWiT and MBW, and noticed the complains from various hosts about iPhone reception/ATT coverage issues. However for us oversea listeners (I live in Hong Kong), these kind of issues just doesn’t happen, as we do have much better cellular coverage in Asia (and I guess Europe too).

  42. Tom

    Toyota accelerator press conference:
    We are responsible and will fix this at no cost.

    Apple version:
    All cars have defective accelerator pedals, and we are working with the automotive manufacturers to find a solution.

    World class spin Steve.

  43. Ulf Dahlen

    Yes, Tom, but isn’t it now generally accepted that Toyota was unfairly blamed and that many of the issues raised were not Toyota’s fault?

    In any case, I’m still not 100% sure what’s going on here. My guess is that the iPhone 4 antenna is unusually sensitive and that there is a real problem for some, but that other handset models also have this issue, but perhaps not to the same extent.

    The biggest mistake by Apple, in my opinion, was Jobs’ initial arrogant dismissal (“you’re holding it wrong”). They are now paying as much for their attitude as for the real problem.

  44. Tom

    Ulf,
    I think Toyota replaced a part but that didn’t stop a few people from trying to make $$$.
    My problem is Steve’s Wall Street’s “privatize gain socialize losses” ideology. I wish he would man up to the fact his company put form before function. How many times did he mention beautiful design of the metal band during the initial iPhone 4 presentation.

  45. Pingback: Crisis Management – learn from Apple — SupportUX

  46. iRateCustomer

    Well if the antenna issue is overblown and many people are unfairly targeting Apple does anyone wonder why people are doing what they are doing?

    May be people are pissed off with Apple and their holier than thou attitude? May be people don’t like to be told what to do and what not to do? May be people are fed up with Apple ignoring their needs? May be people are realizing that Apple retaining too much control over the iDevices is unhealthy?

    If Jobs doesn’t do anything about it – it will be history repeating itself all over again. Apple will have no customers left _ only fanbois. In no time. The company needs to refocus if it wants to avoid treated as more-evil-than-msft.

  47. Al Wingate

    I do not get this “holier than thou thing.” If anything, judging from the press conference, Apple was rather humble and was making an attempt to correct what problems exist with the iPhone. Saying you love your customers and want to delight them is a far cry from “holier than thou” Tom. I would say Steve’s answers to some questions were rather abrupt and could be construed as condescending. Perhaps the one where he says don’t hold it that way. While maybe true, it does come across as arrogant.”

  48. Al Wingate

    iPhone is hardly a “need.” Not in the way I think of need. Food, clothing etc. Those things needed to sustain life. An iPhone is a luxury. Some people can rightly claim they find it useful in their day to day business. Perhaps even essential. But, hardly a need.

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