On Friday, July 16, in the Year of My Lord and Maybe Yours But Possibly Not So Don’t Get Offended 2010, the mighty Steve Jobs strode into a press conference and announced that Apple Inc. would solve a technological issue related to its new iPhone 4’s antenna by covering it with rubber.
Yes, after a crazed three weeks, which saw the iPhone 4 debut to mass consumption at the rate of three million units sold along with tales, videos and Unsolved Mysteries-style reenactments of dropped calls due to holding the phone at a certain point, the hysteria was finally over. The proletariat sated. The press could finally get back to important things like Obama’s golf game and Lilo’s inability to hire a lawyer or appropriately bedazzle her SCRAM bracelet. And all it took was the promise of free bumper cases for all, and to all a good night.
Seriously, can we all just calm down now? I realize the antenna issue is real and valid. I understand that Jobs’s alleged response of "don’t hold it that way" was akin to a doctor telling a man with a broken leg to simply hop on the other one. But the hew and cry that arose from technoverse was, let’s be honest, a tad silly. After all, if the problem annoyed a person so much, said person was more than welcome simply to return the phone. Which 1.7% of iPhone 4 purchasers did for various reasons. This rate of return, by the way, was less than a third of the 3GS’s.
The issue, it seems, is that people put a little too much faith in their magical pocket phone computer cold fusion device. When said device was found not to have literally been handed down from on high as some sort of immaculately conceived chunk of technological salvation, some people felt cheated. I can understand that feeling. I assume that when I buy something, it’ll fulfill the purpose for which it was intended. Like making a phone call. But if a problem arises and the fix is as simple as putting the phone in a case—which most people do anyway—I tend to get on with my life. And, in fact, most iPhone 4 owners have done just that. Of the eight or nine new iPhone 4s floating around my office (I still do not have one—PayPal donations accepted), the grand total of complaints I’ve heard about it is zero. Most people (and by "most people" I mean "my boss") just wander around taunting non-iPhone 4 owners and rejecting my ideas. Bastard.
Some people thought Jobs would announce a recall. Seriously? Even if a recall was/is needed, I can’t fathom a company—even a company like Apple—being able to engineer a solution and means of fixing three million phones in just three weeks time. And what’s with all the press surrounding Consumer Reports’ "can’t recommended" edict? How many sales will Apple actually lose from that report? Five? Even my mom knows better than to turn to Consumer Reports for advice on technology. That’s why she had me.
Anyway, if you’ve got an iPhone 4, I hope you enjoy your free bumper or third-party case. If you’re still not satisfied with that solution yet refuse to return the phone, I’m thinking Radio Shack will be happy to sell you some solder and an iron. Go nuts.