Should you be concerned with using the iPhone 4 in your business?

As I write this article, Apple is trumpeting very loud and clear how well they are selling the new iPhone 4.  Considering the results (easily over 3,000,000 sold), they have every right to do so.

However; they also have a PR nightmare on their hands.

Legitimate confusion, or glorified hubris blinding themselves about the issue with the antenna reception?

Actually, probably both.

In all fairness, I own an Apple 3GS.  I have owned Windows Phones, and a Blackberry as well.

I came back to the iPhone.

I have tested the iPhone 4 in the Apple Store.  Frankly, I came away thinking I am in no rush to upgrade – especially considering I am under contract and would have to shell out the $$ for a new phone.

However; back to the antenna issue.  I have read the reviews, listened to the pundits (both qualified and not-even-closely qualified to speak about the subject) and come to these conclusions.

1) Is there an issue?  Yes

2) Is it enough that there should be a class action lawsuit?  No.  Frankly, Apple has a 30 day return policy to see if you like it.  Be an adult, stop whining and take it back.

3) Did Apple make things worse with how they handled the situation?  Yes.  Steve Jobs is not perfect, and he accomplished proving this when he explained to “just hold it a certain way”.  Please, be reasonable, you hold your phone with a grip, not three fingers so don’t suggest I should hold it in a special way.

Do other phones have this problem?  Certainly.  I’ve noticed it over 10 years ago with a Motorola I owned.  The problem is not new.  Apple has multi-million dollar testing facilities so I suspect they knew about the problem, just not the backlash they would receive.

Do I care about putting a case around the phone to solve the issue?  Not particularly since I have one on my phone presently.  I am also human, and I drop the expensive little thing from time to time.

I believe there has been a bigger issue not discussed when they talked about the reception bar calculations.  Remember when Apple said “Oh My!  We have our reception bar calculations wrong, we are going to adopt the ‘new’ AT&T calculations”?  Basically, I have to think they knew this all the way back to the 1st gen iPhone.  Does this mean much?  Not sure.

However; remember, these are digital phones.  Meaning, they either HAVE connectivity or DON’T have connectivity.  The bars are little more than warm fuzzies a lot of times.  The question is you either “can hear me now” or you can’t.  No amount of bars helps when the line is garbled.

Come to think of it, I was on a phone call with lousy reception yesterday, on the 3GS, with 5 bars which kept cutting out… Wonder why that was?

In summary (and to close this wordy article), I believe the iPhone 4 is a great product with a serious set of black eyes  caused in part by individuals who made more out of a situation which, while a problem, wasn’t the end of the iPhone world.  This was exacerbated by Apple not quickly laying out the issues and instead talking around the direct issue.  America is (now) a very cynical nation.  We don’t trust our government, we don’t trust our leaders, and we certainly question large corporations.

Apple is not only playing with the ‘big boys’ again, they ARE the big boy.  If you doubt this, check out their balance sheet sometime.