Report: IPhone Problems -- Foes Rejoice, Fans Stay Unquestioningly Loyal
August 31, 2008 10:00 AM
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The rough ride of Apple's iPhone is exciting Verizon and others, but Apple fans are unmoved
Apple's iPhone went 3G and was met with great enthusiasm from Apple's fans. Within a week of its launch, it had hit a million units sold. The frantic pace of sales, began to slow, but still Apple managed to reach the 2 million mark, not long after, according to analysts.
complaints about call quality, dropped calls
defects have created
somewhat of a public relations nightmare for AT&T and Apple. For the signal related problems,
Apple and AT&T have rolled out a fix
, the details of which were finally
leaked by an AT&T employee
. However, that has not stopped
Verizon from seizing on public ill-will towards the iPhone
and running new advertising campaigns specifically attacking it.
"A phone is only as good as the network it’s on,"
Verizon's ad blasts
, and in an email to Wall Street analysts, a Verizon executive chided, "So much for a ‘new’ way of doing business at the old AT&T — your father’s phone company."
Part of what has left Apple and AT&T so vulnerable to such attacks is that they have done little to explain what is causing the problems. This has created an air of uncertainty around the iPhone that is perhaps unjustified, but largely the fault of the pair's silence.
Aside from the technical details of the problem, one additional aspect may simply be logistics. AT&T's 3G network covers only 310 cities of 100,000 people or more, though it plans to add 40 more cities by the end of 2008.
Phil Marshall, of the research firm the Yankee Group, believes this lack of network coverage and the pair's corporate tendencies are wreaking havoc on the iPhone. He states, "It’s hard to launch an iconic device like the iPhone on a network that it is not yet fully deployed. As they build these networks they will need to make more improvements or the complaints will persist. Both companies are accustomed to controlling all aspects of the delivery of its products. It illustrates the culture clash, when you create an environment where you share the responsibilities between them. Then you have problems."
Marshall is equally sick of the almost daily emails from Verizon's management blasting the iPhone. He bemoans, "I get almost one a day. It’s almost like, hey, quit spamming me."
However, for all the bad news for Apple and AT&T, one piece of good news is that reports are indicating that through thick and thin
Apple's fans are staying loyal
to the company. Peter Fader, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania describes the phenomena stating, "The objective reality is that Apple does plenty of wrong. Very few companies have this kind of iconic status where anything they do, even if it is mediocre, will automatically have a halo around it."
Kern Bruce, a 25-year-old Web designer in Boston, Massachusetts, was among those die-hard Apple fans who waited all night in line to be among the first to receive a 3G iPhone. He's had lots of problems with it since -- overheating, program crashes, and such poor 3G that he has turned the feature off. It's not his first problem with an Apple product either. He had to return an overheating MacBook Air and his Apple cinema display monitor is failing, having image burn-in. Still he says he would never turn his back on Apple.
He states, "They're skimping on materials, on testing things to gain market share, but they're kind of pushing away people who have been with the brand even when [it was] struggling. (However, Macs are) a lot better than the alternative in terms of stability, viruses, being able to do high-end graphics work. I wouldn't tell people to stop getting Apple products. They make very good products."
Baba Shiv, a professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business says that
such business phenomena
are not unusual. He argues that most Harley Davidson bikes are inferior to their Asian competitors in terms of price and quality, but they still sell well in America. He states, "In the public domain, the coolness factor matters. (Once loyalty forms) the transgression has to be so egregious for someone to completely change the narrative. If something like this had happened to Microsoft, the long-term impact would be much more for Microsoft than for Apple."
Apple and partner AT&T have their fingers crossed that Apple's fans stick with it, through thick and thin as they silently try to resolve the iPhone's problems.
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RE: 1st Gen iPhone user
8/31/2008 1:15:31 PM
I travel from city to city. I live in a medium sized city in the SE. I have no problems with this phone besides the same usual limitations I have experienced with all phones with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and Nextel.
Verizon has not a single phone can that come even close to the functionality, capabilities and interface that the Iphone has. All while they watch 10 million Iphones and new contracts go to AT&T. My Iphone works nearly flawlessly. and I press mine to the limit.
I really don't think this uproar the article is trying to suggest or that Verizon is throwing millions of ad campaign dollars into is the view from Iphone (sorry not Apple, nice try) "loyalists". There is a lot to love on this phone. Read reviews of the Iphone for yourself. And then if you don't like the phone or the network vote loudly with your wallet instead of coming here and trumpeting anecdotal opinions because you have some axe to grind with a product you "hate".
RE: 1st Gen iPhone user
8/31/2008 1:17:48 PM
Sixth. I should have made that a new post. Mine wasn't meant to be contrasting yours.
RE: 1st Gen iPhone user
8/31/2008 1:21:58 PM
Yeah, I am an I-Phone owner, but I am contemplating making a move away from AT&T and the iphone. It was "cool" for a while, but still lacks functionality that many of the enterprise style phone have and just a number of other things that are rather annoying like EXTREMELY slow browsing speed, the phone is glitchy and locks up at least once a day..... I could go on, but there is no point really. I am going to start looking into possible upgrades from my iphone to a different maker, and a different network.
RE: 1st Gen iPhone user
9/1/2008 3:16:12 AM
The iPOS is nothing but flash.
I voted with my wallet, bought a mogul and buying a touch diamond as soon as its available.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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