iPhone Fans Facing the Music

Depending on who you ask, the iOS 4 and iPhone launches have been a disaster. Steve Jobs swears everything is okay, but that is to be expected. A lot of the fanboys I’ve talked to who have not yet upgraded to the iPhone 4 have also wisely opted out of the iOS 4 upgrade. It seems that both the upgrade and the new phone are having a lot of issues right now.

As we discussed before, the iPhone 4‘s issue list has been rising. iOS 4 hasn’t fared much better.

To date, the iPhone 4 suffers from a number of issues. Here’s the short list:

  • Yellow blotches on screen (May resolve with use as the adhesives dry)
  • Loss of signal while holding in left hand (Steve Jobs – “Don’t hold it that way”)
  • Glass is easy to shatter
  • Exchange is not syncing correctly

Apple’s response? There is no issue. Not Apple’s smartest move, but considering the loyal fan base, it can afford to snub people. What about the iOS4? Here are some of those issues:

  • Upgrade freezes midstream
  • Upgrade process runs really slow (Over 1 hour to upgrade in some cases)
  • Upgrade bricks the phone
  • Wipes out data, not recoverable through backup
  • Backup won’t roll back to previous OS (you have to reinstall iOS 4)

One customer I know now has to make an appointment with the Apple Store to see if there is any hope to recover data. The backup failed and she lost everything. My wife had to reinstall the OS, due to most of the issues in the above list. The web is full of such stories. While some are clearly a case of piling on, there are a lot of legitimate gripes.

Apple’s management of the problem has been dismal to date. There is a document floating around with a support script which denies there is a reception problem. Steve Jobs says people should hold the phone a different way, even though he held it the “wrong” way at the launch event. Apple customer service tries to sell a $30 case to fix the problem.

Apple has relied upon blind loyalty for a long time. It is in a powerful position. Many customers feel Apple can do no wrong. Some of these customers are finding out the hard way how wrong they were. Of course, there are those whose phones work as advertised. Good for them, they are the lucky ones. For the rest of the crowd, there is tension in the air. Will Apple make things right? Will there be a mass exodus? If history shows anything, both answers are “no.” Apple has enough loyal fans to ride out this storm. Hopefully the plight of its customers causes at least a little angst in the board room. Otherwise, this won’t be the end to the problems iPhone customers face. Apple doesn’t have a scapegoat this time. It can’t blame AT&T. This is hardware and software under complete Apple control. Let’s hope Apple can make things right, for the sake of its customers.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.