This Week in Apple June 22 – July 2

Well this week in Apple has been dedicated, surprise, iPhone 4 issues.  The week went from Apple looking for a few good antenna engineers, to apologizing for the reception issues to attempting to dodge class action lawsuits.  Needless to say it was another busy week for Apple but unlike weeks prior this one seemed to be all about damage control. Wanna know more?


Apple – Wanted: Antenna Engineers

In the wake of the many complaints made by iPhone 4 customers regarding antenna and reception issues, Apple has started looking for a few good antenna engineers to join their team.  Obviously nothing (design-wise) can be done with the current iPhone but maybe this new talent can help sort out some of this generation’s blunders so next generation we won’t have to worry about holding our phones with two fingers and a foot in the air just to make a phone call.  Good luck to those who get the job, talk about pressure!

Class Action Lawsuits?

It seems some people are not content to complain about their new devices on the forums.  Earlier this week we found out there were a handful of angry iPhone 4 customers who decided to take legal action against Apple claiming breach of warranty and various forms of misrepresentation.  The class action lawsuits popped up in both Maryland and California.  The general premise of the lawsuits is that Apple knowingly falsified advertisements for the iPhone 4 and that the antenna issues presented by holding the phone in the “death grip” prevents users from using the phone the way one would normally expect to use it.  Finally, included in the lawsuit is a complaint about the 10% restocking fee Apple charges for returning it’s hardware.  No official word on how Apple is responding to these suits however we have seen some other interesting public gestures made by Apple.

Apple Apologizes

On July 2, Apple released a letter to the public stating they are aware of the reception issues and that they are related to software not displaying the correct number of reception bars based on actual signal strength.  Throughout the letter they make sure to let us know that not everyone is experiencing this issue and they maintain that the iPhone 4 is still the best phone they have created (I have to agree).  Also included in the letter is a solution:

We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

Hopefully this software update will be the fix that everyone is looking for.  Personally, I just popped a case on mine (which everyone really should do anyway) and my reception problems disappeared.  While the apology was a nice gesture, the consensus is that it might be too little too late for some iPhone 4 customers.

New Return Policy

Included in the “apology” from Apple was a statement indicating they will be waiving the 10% restocking fee for returned iPhones and are extending the return window from 14 days to 30 days for those not satisfied with their new devices.  I’m not sure if this really solves the problem and I doubt many consumers are interested in returning their phone for a complete refund, instead I’m pretty sure people just want to have an iPhone that “just works” (the way all other Apple products do).  Nevertheless the change in policy is a nice gesture, I wonder if I can take back my black phone and return it for a white one.

So it was damage control all over the place this week.  Fortunately, damage control isn’t anything new to Apple and they really are pros at public relations and customer satisfaction so I have no doubt this will all blow over soon.  Hopefully next week the focus will be placed back where it belongs – on the fantastic, innovative new features that make the iPhone 4 the best phone Apple has created to date.

How do you feel about Apple’s apology, was it sincere enough for you?  Are you going to return your phone with the new return policy in place?  Let us know in the comments.

Josie is an avid tech junkie and Apple fangirl who loves writing about anything related to Web 2.0, social media, gadgets, and, of course – Apple.  You can read more of Josie’s work on her website, Geekulous and on Twitter – @geekfab.