iPhone

White iPhone debacle shows why Apple is winning

Apple's long-delayed release of the iPhone 4 in white has drawn a lot of snickers and giggles. But, it's actually evidence of why Apple is winning right now. There's also another company that gets it.

When Apple released the white iPhone 4 in April, a lot of people were scratching their heads. Others simply snickered. The product suffered a 10-month delay and a string of broken promises from Apple that it was "coming soon." That's not like Apple, which is usually as efficient as a blood-thirsty dictator.

At the time the white iPhone arrived, most in the tech industry were expecting the next iPhone to be released just a couple months later in June/July, since that's been Apple's pattern for the past four years. In retrospect, the launch of the white iPhone in April along with the launch of the Verizon iPhone in January should have been clear signs that pattern wasn't going to continue this year. The current expectation is that the next iPhone will arrive this fall, potentially sporting Verizon LTE 4G connectivity.

The change in release schedule has certainly given the white iPhone 4 a longer shelf life. But, the significance of this product has nothing to do with the fact that it will likely be on the market for just 5-6 months. It's about the power of "No."

This email promotion for the white iPhone 4 even has Apple poking fun at the delay. Photo credit: Apple

The power of 'No'

The significance of the white iPhone 4 is that Apple didn't release it until it got it right. The company apparently said "No" to the product over and over again because it wasn't quite right and Apple felt that customers wouldn't have been happy with it.

Apple has never specifically said what problems it had with the white iPhone. Its primary statement was a terse press release on June 23, 2010 that stated, "White models of Apple's new iPhone 4 have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected."

However, the most common theory is that the white iPhone 4 suffered from light leakage, due to the fact that white materials are a little more transparent than black. It sounds like Apple experimented with different materials, pigments, and designs to make it look right so that it didn't turn yellow instead of white.

In the grand scheme of things, that doesn't sound very important, and it isn't. But, what is important is that Apple said "No" to the product repeatedly, swallowed its pride, and endured ridicule over the delay. Apple waited until it got it right, or at least right enough.

The same can't be said for many Apple competitors recently. Google, Motorola, and Verizon released the Xoom before the Honeycomb UI was finished and app developers had time to rework their apps. Research in Motion released the BlackBerry PlayBook before Flash, the Android emulator, and several promised apps were ready. Last fall, Samsung released the Galaxy Tab before there was even a version of Android that worked well on tablets. This week we have another good example with Nokia announcing the Nokia N9 running Meego, an OS that Nokia has spurned in favor of Windows Phone 7. Why even release a product running a platform that you don't intend to support in the years ahead?

I review a lot of products every year -- most of the best products in tech. However, I also have a lot of products that come across my desk that I never review because they aren't finished or because they are obviously patchwork products designed by committee or because I simply want to ask myself, "Why would anyone actually release this?" or "Who would use this?"

Steve Jobs on "No"

In recent years, Steve Jobs has famously said, "I'm actually as proud of many of the things we haven't done as the things we have done."

Jobs has said this numerous times and to various audiences. However, this is not a recent conclusion. If you go back to when Jobs first returned to Apple in the late 1990s, he loudly proclaimed that the key to turning things around at Apple and releasing better products was learning how to say, "No." Here's what Jobs told the audience at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in 1997:

"When you think about focusing, you think focusing is saying, 'yes.' No, focusing is saying, 'no.' You've got to say, 'no, no, no, no, no.' And, when you say 'no,' you piss off people and they go talk to the San Jose Mercury [News] and they write a shitty article about you. And, it's really a pisser because you want to be nice... So, you take the lumps, and Apple has been taking their share of lumps for the last six months in a very unfair way and has been taking them like an adult, and I'm proud of that... But, focus is about saying 'no' and the result of that focus is going to be some really great products."

Bottom line

The lesson here is not that companies should always wait until their products are absolutely perfect before they release them. If that were the case, very few products would ever make it to market, and many of them would be too late to make a difference. The key is knowing when a product is perfect enough and when you should hold a product for improvements versus releasing it to get it in the hands of eager customers. That's the hard part, but it's also the thing that great companies do well.

Another tech company other than Apple that may get it right in 2011 is HP. Since the company bought Palm last year, it has been working on a tablet that marries the goodness of webOS with the tablet hardware expertise of HP. The HP TouchPad officially arrives on July 1 and the company has taken some heat for the extended delay. But, CEO Léo Apotheker recently said, "We will not release a product that isn't perfect." Given the trail of incomplete tablets that have littered the market so far in 2011, that could bode well for the TouchPad (look for TechRepublic's full coverage of the TouchPad next week).

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

228 comments
charleyj98
charleyj98

Who woulda thunk it? Two months later, HP has announced that they are dropping tablets, WebOS, AND their complete PC business. All gone!

ben.eliezer
ben.eliezer

Could someone tell me what you will do with a white wedding dress after the big day. This could solve all the white iphone winning tantrums!!!

MacNewton
MacNewton

Get the best of both worlds, get a iPhone for the cool & get a iPhone that has less " snags"

henrik
henrik

In my opinion that white iPhone is nasty ugly. What where tehy thinking? The white makes it so much more evident that it is a huge phone with a small screen on the middle. I'm using HTC Legend in aluminum right now. It has its snags, but at least it looks cool.

Stalemate
Stalemate

If this was the case, Samsung should also be winning, using the same argument, when a slew of cellphones were destroyed in a corporate presentation because deemed subpar. Yet this is not the case. Something else is at work with Apple's popularity. Despite functional devices and aesthetics, we need to factor in something this article is making abundantly clear: Apple has a devoted fanbase, some of which have more vocal means of promoting their appreciation for things Apple-y. And since for Apple, "fans" = "clients", their bottom line is very healthy indeed. Debating whether or not such devotion is warranted is pointless. Why Apple more so than other companies? Marketing, advertising, and public relations - coupled with a (over)restrictive closed garden philosophy where quality assurance is #1 on both hardware and software. There are a number of companies out there that produce quality products, or quality software, but limited are they who can consistently assure product quality the same way Apple can. You can't compare Apple to anything else on the market because there's nothing else like it out there right now. No other company can do what Apple is doing (or if they could, they've been legally hobbled from doing so). Did they revolutionize the MP3 and cellphone markets? They seem to think so, and have been able to convince droves of clients - so that's a "win" from the popularity standpoint. But from a strictly technological perspective there's very little actual innovation outside of their user interfaces, IMO. Heck, their last Macbook Air, besides the SSD drive, uses almost exactly the same tech my old 2009 Lenovo does. As long as people prefer shiny, and as long as Apple can maintain the quality of their systems, the debate will rage on.

rckelley
rckelley

I am not a fanboy, have always preferred PC's to Macs, etc. I have an Android phone and an iPhone. I like the Android for a number of reasons. But all my future phones will be iPhones for two simple reasons. To delete an email on the iPhone is one step. On my Android phone, 3 steps. And it is SLOW! Second reason, web pages are readable on my iPhone. I always have to enlarge the page on my Android phone. I could care less about apps. If and when the Android handles email (in the native app) as well as the iPhone and the web as well as the iPhone, I will consider it.

ITOdeed
ITOdeed

What would Charlie Sheen say...

astroturf777
astroturf777

Getting it right was as much about the second iPad as the iPhone 4. Yu can guarantee the close release date of both products is a result of a joint development. Internals of the iPad Inc. Cameras carry over from iPhone - making it a cost effective and still the best value tablet, . Don't think that 6 months investment in a better white was for one product or product cycle.

bill.andersen
bill.andersen

Another tech company other than Apple that may get it right in 2011 is HP. Since the company bought Palm last year, it has been working on a tablet that marries the goodness of webOS with the tablet hardware expertise of HP. The HP TouchPad officially arrives on July 1 and the company has taken some heat for the extended delay. But, CEO L??o Apotheker recently said, ???We will not release a product that isn???t perfect.??? You have got to be joking! After the disgraceful way HP treated customers who thought they were buying quality products that were perfect, HP refused those customers the right to have their laptops repaired under a design fault where they used motherboards with integrated graphics chips from Nvidia which burned out mostly around the two year mark and therefore left many of them without a computer, you have the audacity to advertise for them on here? And to recommend this company to anyone is a disgrace until they make good the damage they did to their customers! They have never even so much as issued an apology for these inferior products. I for one, will NEVER buy another HP product or anything with Nvidia products inside. How dare you promote this company who abuse their customer base in this fashion!

dcolbert
dcolbert

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tr-out-loud/trying-to-over-accommodate-leads-to-customer-dissatisfaction/2173 I've been applying this argument consistently since I realized how effective it works for Apple. Saying "no" is their secret weapon. But there is a truth to it, too. Too many times business (and, as noted in the forum in my post, politicians) are reluctant to be honest with consumers. Apple is pretty frank with their customers. We can hardly count the times that Steve Jobs has been point-blank and blunt. "You want porn, go to Android", is the first one that pops into my mind. That is a confident statement that says, "I have no intention of backing down on this issue". For everything I dislike about Apple - I admire this quality of the organization, and really, I think it is a reflection of Steve Jobs personal philosophy.

Akilestar
Akilestar

Never knew this site strokes apple so much, in no way is a 6 month delay "winning" like someone on here said, their marketing department just found a way to trick fanboys like they do every six months. Oh now your iPod has a camera, so did my cell phone almost 10 years ago.

sipeki
sipeki

Apple should have released the White One i4one for Scotland only. The sun only shines, at best, one day a week here during the summer, so no problems with long term exposure to UV here.

tavent
tavent

I will state up front that I work for HP. Maybe that makes me prejudiced, I dunno. But the bottom line is that I still lug around a heavy laptop with all of the doodads in a rolling case with a handle on it. And I still use my cell phone as a PHONE and fairly often as a camera/fax-machine. So far I have not seen a device that truly does both functions well enough to get rid of one of them. I more or less get the concept that "time to market" is king to some people, but frankly some techno-nerds will buy ANYTHING just because it is new, no matter what a piece of crap the gadget turns out to be. Blessed be they for they are called Beta Testers and I have no desire to become one of them. Blessed further are those who write a good, technically based, product review without having to buy the device outright and still manage to do this without being unduly influenced by the product vendor's marketing onslaught. Mostly I appreciate what they do for us in the consumer market because I do not want to have to do it myself. Personally the power of "No" is my approach to waiting until what is being sold AND SUPPORTED, is good enough to convince me that "cool" and "practical" are converging with "price" and "competitive pressure" so that we can get a good gadget and a service plan that does not send the ATT or Verizon CEO's kids to fancy Ivy League schools on my dime alone.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

There's another very interesting quote from Steve Jobs in that WWDC 1997 presentation (it's from the Q&A). I didn't put it in the article, so here it is: "I think this whole notion of being so proprietary in every facet of what we do has really hurt us... There's a lot of smart people that don't work at Apple, too." So what happened to change Steve's mind? Apple certainly appears to have gotten even more proprietary since then, right? Keep in mind that he was talking primarily about the Mac here. If you haven't seen it, here's the link to the full video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEXae1j6EY&feature=mh_lolz&list=FLeBAlT6gurXs

eric0626
eric0626

Did you forget that Iphone 4 black was not perfect ENOUGH when it came out? Did you forget the signal problem iphone 4 had, and Apple wouldn't admit it?

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

I think the fanbois and fangurls would buy the iPhone 4 even it was in pink with black poka dots. IE - They'll buy anything Apple.

tarose.trevor
tarose.trevor

really? thats what held it up that long? ...i would not see that as a sign of confidence in their design process or design team that it took them that long to solve such a simple problem, they didnt need to change the type of plastic used at all to block the light, and i think they only thought this, because they wanted to keep the manufacturing process the same for white & black while just changing the colour of plastic used... so why not just do that & line the inside of it with a coating that blocks the light? there you go, simple, and done in no time, and the fact the black one doesnt need it is irrelevant, because the cost of doing so to both models is going to be a lot less than the cost of your lost sales over all those months. what a ridiculous notion that this is a valid reason to hold up production so long... to me it doesnt show competence at all.

digital riverrat
digital riverrat

I second the thinking that Apple requiring you to use iTunes is a reason to not buy an i-toy. Having only one place to go to buy apps and games for something is idiotic. Apple's forcing their morality on their customers is immoral, also.If I buy something, paying MY good money for it, *I* should be the one to determine what I get to put on it, not the company that makes it.

jonrosen
jonrosen

I still have yet to see iTunes be anything but a drag on a non-mac. that most i-toys tend to require iTunes, is a reason not to get them in the first place for me. Guess what, I'm not a mac person. Yes, I use Microsoft.. not particularly by choice, but for me it's simply the best (for me) out of poor options. And as for apple.. they still haven't gotten 'right' their app approval system.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

This article is about the power of learning how to say "No" in the course of product and project development. It's a bummer that so many TechRepublic readers completely missed it. It's all Apple's fault! Or, Microsoft's. Take your pick. :-)

progresivo
progresivo

Maybe in the US an iPhone is accesible for everyone, but in the rest of the world is an inaccesible phone, it's like a BMW, just for an elite, so to say that Apple is winning is a very narrow minded conclusion and certainly doesn't get the big picture

Ternarybit
Ternarybit

You compare a bunch of tablets (aka, bleeding edge technology), to a smartphone. Which of Apple's smartphone competitors bombed on the same metric? Your analysis is apples to oranges.

khumaer
khumaer

its about the POWER OF "NO"

pagotti.v
pagotti.v

I dont think that a iPod with a 0.7 megapixel camera is a perfect product! Apple has a lot of virtues, but in some cases behaves like a common company.

geek goddess
geek goddess

Apple wins because techno peasants can use their products with little to no understanding of computing and technophiles who fight with technology all day (Windows) can use their products for their basic home use without all the ongoing issues that Windows machines seem to have. You just turn them on and they WORK! I think this has to do with their expensive hardware. On the other hand, when I used Windows machines at home I always felt like my laptop was old when it was under a year and when Microsoft came out with a new version of Windows it was pretty much cheaper to buy a new machine than to upgrade the OS. Currently working on a MacBook Pro a couple of years old, upgraded with $29 OS when Snow Leopard become available combined with iPhone 3GS and none of it feels like I need to replace it yet. But I am kind of coveting a new MBP running Lion - maybe one of my kids will switch to Apple and take my old MBP. Customer service - My power adapter died - it was only about 5 months old - I had bought a new one while travelling and left the old one in the hotel. I did not have the receipt and I usually have Apple send my receipts to email so they can find them for me when I need them but when buying this power cord they put the charge through before I could opt for email. End result - a FREE new power cord from Apple and a smile from my sales person as I left. My children have windows machines and both of them have needed new power adapters. End result - pretty much $100 for each of them and one was such a hassle to buy direct from the manufacturer that I have sworn off their products for life. I guess I'm an Apple fanboy even though I'm a girl. . . .

XWingz
XWingz

Apple's goal not to improve quality, but to make more money, and they are NOT the same. Here's why: A) Apple uses tons of dirty business tricks to make sure that their users cannot get the full experience unless everything they own is Apple. For example, in every other USB ports, "ground" means 0 Volts. Apple, however, changes this to 2.5V, for no other reason other than preventing users from spending less money and buying a non-Apple USB charger that is not vastly overpriced. B) Apple forces their users to use iTunes. One may argue, "Thats because Apple wants to give users a better experience." However, that argument is severely flawed for several reasons. One, iTunes for Windows is unnecessarily bulky for its purpose. If Apple cared so much about their quality, why don't they use their "power of no" to say "NO" to their crappy iTunes software, and improve upon it? Two, having to go through iTunes to connect to the iPhone means that users cannot access files that are on the device. Again, one may make a counterargument, "Apple does this because it prevents users from modifying important configuration files or stealing music from their friends' iPhones, which is illegal." However, the former part can easily be dealt with -- allow only rooted users to access configuration files. As a former IT manager, you should know this is very easy (a simple "chmod 700 file_name" should do the trick). As to the latter part of the counterargument, mp3 players have been allowing users to access their music without softwares such as iTunes for so long, and they will haven't been accused of doing anything illegal, so I fail to think of any reason that Apple would be accused. C) Antenna problems. Say what you want about how "great" an iPhone is, but it is, first and foremost, a PHONE. A phone should therefore have a good antenna. What's the point of spending all this money on making it look pretty when their antennas have problems? The only answer I can think of is that it will help the iPhone sell better. There are so many different antenna designs, and if Apple truly cared about quality, then they should spend more time on ensuring that the antennas on their phones are the best that they can be. The article is by no means a bad article. I do respect Apple's desire to make their devices look better, as aesthetics are a very important aspect in engineering as well. However, aesthetics is nothing if the most important parts do not function well. As the Editor in Chief of TechRepublic, a former IT manager, and an award-winning journalist, I would expect you to be better than the article you just wrote.

JJFitz
JJFitz

I agree that it is a pain to delete non GMail messages on an Android phone. Why don't they have a "permanently delete" option in the inbox. or a "delete everything in my trash folder" button or at the very least, "select all" then delete. How many times do you accidentally open a message in the trash when you wanted to select it for deletion? I'm not planning to jump ship for an iPhone though. I don't want to be locked in to an Apple products only ecosystem. I like rooting my Android. I like choosing my own ROMs. I like making it work for me.

markavo
markavo

The email application on Windows Phone 7 is far superior to the one on the iPhone. The current performance of the IE browser on my Windows Phone 7 is superior to Safari. The speed at which my phone boots is more than half the time of iOS and half the time of Android. I can open my camera, take a picture and upload it to my favorite social network in 5 seconds. I have over 20,000 apps to choose from on the fastest growing apps market and I have XBOX live integration. I've used all 3 of the big ones. I've had a RIM product and my wife's used a Palm Pre Plus and HP Pre 2. Windows Phone 7 is amazing and nothing like the prior thud that was Windows Mobile. I promise you WP7 is a better option but that's my opinion. If you're really leaving Android for the iPhone, given the reasons you posted, try WP7 before choosing the iPhone (oh, and I can move a message in 1 step while iOS takes 3).

JJFitz
JJFitz

I don't know if that is a good example. As mentioned countless times after Jobs said, "You want porn, go to Android.", it's true that Apple will not allow porn related apps in their store. However, the iPhone browser will serve up porn. So, "You want porn, go to Android or use iPhone's Safari". It is less of a "No" and more of a "Not this way but that way works". Spoken like a true politician, Steve.

JJFitz
JJFitz

All children are attracted to bright and shiny objects. Tell your kid "no" and he wants it even more. Give it to him and he will quickly become bored with it and look for the next bright and shiny object.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Steve correctly realized that without support from some big third parties like Microsoft, the Mac could not survive as a platform - without MS Office for the Mac, business sales would plummet, for example. But the other devices don't have as much dependancy. While many people try third party apps for the iPhone, most users spend most of their time using the main functions of the phone and not the third party apps. You may or may not recall that at one point Apple licensed Mac clones. That was after Steve had been given the boot from Apple and had started NeXT. When Steve came back, he quickly moved to kill the clone licensing agreements. It wasn't hard because they weren't making money anyway.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

Good point Jason. Not just Apple, but look at all the suppliers that own majority (or most) of a market segment, it benefits them (short term only IMHO) to block competition and leverage their advantage. Back in 97 Apple had a very small share of the PC market and they were hindered by MickeySoft's "anticompetitive" behaviour. Now the shoe is on the other foot, in the tablet and smartphone markets so Apple is doing the same thing (making the same mistake in my opinion). The cost of being open is high. Look at Android and the extra time it's taking to accommodate everyone, compromises being made, custom branches of the OS creeping in. Gauls me to see the tech politicians claiming the moral high ground but that's the nature of the beast.

JJFitz
JJFitz

Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy in 1996. Having just risen out of the ashes, they couldn't afford to be so proprietary. What changed things? The iPod

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I remember the 'Flower Power' CRT iMac and all the fruity-colored ones. People enjoyed buying a computer that complemented their decor. Considering all the iPhone/iPod covers on the market now, some people have a pretty garish taste in decor. Oh, and you just verified my point from above. Thanks.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

"...i would not see that as a sign of confidence in their design process or design team that it took them that long to solve such a simple problem," Let's see. How about first considering that the back of the iphone is glass not plastic? Now, exactly how opaque is white glass? Second, how do you block translucent light bleeding through that white glass so it doesn't affect the camera's sensor, especially if you're using the LED flash? Your 'simple problem' becomes much, much more complex. Yes, they could have used a short cut and put white plastic on the back, but it wouldn't look or feel the same as a black one and Apple would have received nothing but grief from the masses for taking such a short cut. To me, the effort could be a waste of time and money if the next version iPhone doesn't use the same glass backs, but it does prove that Apple is all about the whole product, not just its myriad parts.

JJFitz
JJFitz

in a different color to drum up additional sales on a device that will most likely be replaced in 6 to 8 months. It's a marketing strategy not a statement about quality. Let's not kid ourselves.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

look Jason, if you made any tangible points and arguments, people would be discussing them, but in lieu of substance it comes across like another advertisement for Apple and then the religious wars break out having nothing to do with the fluff in the article. Read the comments on your iCloud article and you'll see exactly the same thing. the reason is because there is very little fact and just a bunch of (in my opinion) biased opinion, or even speculation would describe it better. Just like with discussions on God (which are also lacking tangible facts) it turns into two sides entrenching positions on fundamental views unrelated to the topic. (the topic was kindof a make work effort on a low news day from what I can tell). I don't know who funds TechRepublic but......from what I've read.......you should maybe do a bit more technology research......

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

You're describing Jason, the Editor in Chief of "TechRepublic" when you talk about techno peasants who couldn't figure their way out of a wet paper bag. Apple has comparable software problems, customer service problems, hardware glitches. Have you seen the well documented procedures to recover from a hung iPod connected to iTunes....arghhh, iTunes..... And their hardware is about twice the price for comparable power. You could hire a computer geek on call to fix your non Apple products and still come in cheaper. Oh yes, there's that other point that I have about 10 times the choice of hardware for open platforms (video cards, power supplies, cpus, memory, disk drives, flash drives etc). Of course why would you want choice when you're a lemming. edit: Future Shop Salesman when selling the iPod. "you should get the $80 battery enhanced service plan with this iPod" customer: "hunh, why". Salesman: "well, most fail within two years and its engineered so you can't replace your own battery. It costs $80 plus shipping to fix." customer: "Apple is not smart enough to engineer a replaceable battery?". Salesman: "they are, but their battery service is a profit center"

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

A) I charge my Apple products (iPhone, iPod, iPad) using standard USB connectors on hubs and chargers. I never run into an issue of a charger not working unless it simply cannot provide enough current (iPad needs 1 full Amp, not the 0.1 most other devices use). B) I'll accept that Apple forces their users to use iTunes. I've found it to be the easiest, most reliable and fastest way to create and synch playlists onto my iDevices. Nobody else, as yet, has matched that simplicity or reliability. C) Say what you want about Apple's so-called 'Antennagate', I haven't had an issue since I bought my iPhone 4 and with an approximate 98% of iPhone 4 users keeping their iPhones despite that so-called issue, I'd say it's not an issue at all. If the issue were even half as severe as the hoopla made it out to be, there would have been far more returns than a mere 2%. It's not just asthetics that make Apple's products more popular, it's the overall quality of the products as evidenced by the fact that Apple has maintained an 80% or better customer satisfaction rating for products and service compared to the average 65% of their competitors.

rckelley
rckelley

I also have to deal with a Blackberry for corporate email which is okay (not great) for email. But since all they will buy us are Curves (small screen, no touch) as well as a poor browser, I rate it less than either the iPhone or Android. When my contract is up, I will check out WP7 and who knows, I might like it.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

You are right that when Steve returned to Apple he needed some outside help to kick-start the company in the right direction again. However, I think he's gone out of his way to prevent that kind of dependence again, though I truly hope he's got a backup plan in the event China shuts its doors to trade or a catastrophe happens at Foxconn that shuts the entire plant down for any length of time. You've seen what happened to Toyota, Honda and Subaru when that earthquake hit Japan; imagine what a similar event would do to Apple, HP, Dell and others. Even the Mac no longer has the software dependency they had just then.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

"The cost of being open is high" Absolutely. It's like living in a democracy. It takes forever to get things done and a general faith in humanity. And, honestly, sometimes it doesn't always work well. But, when it does work, it creates things that can be a lot better and more powerful -- see Internet, Linux, American Constitution.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Apple wouldn't have made multiple promises that the White iPhone was "coming soon." The whole White iPhone thing was definitely a debacle, and reflected badly on Apple. But, most companies would have given into the pressure and just released the product (flaws and all).

spaul940
spaul940

Vulpine - are you sure that that is your real name or is it Jason?

XWingz
XWingz

A) I have owned an iPhone 3GS. It was okay (by no means a bad device), except an error message kept on popping up saying it has a "non-Apple accessory" connected to it. I researched the error, and apparently it was because some pins in there are being shorted out. I tried every fix suggested, but nothing worked. Understand that there is nothing physically wrong, because it can sync with iTunes and get charged without a problem... just that it blocks out the iPod app (so I can't play any music). Vulpine, why don't you try googling the problem? Actually, I'll do it for you: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2476041?threadID=2476041 B) I thought I made it clear that my main problem with iTunes is that it's "bulky" (i.e. very slow and eats up my RAM like there's no tomorrow). But sure, vulpine, let's play your game. I'll reply to one thing at a time. (1) Making playlists: Have you ever tried using a software called "Amarok?" Not only does it let you create/save playlists, it lets you queue up your music. It's quite useful when you don't really want to save your playlist each time. I don't know about you, but if I create a playlist each time I want to hear some songs in a certain order, I'll end up with 100+ playlists saved. Yes, it's for linux. But there are other OS than than Windows and OS X. (2) I have >16GB of music in my hard drive. Despite what Apple may want you to think, none of us actually listen to 20GB of music. I already have my music organized nicely in my music directory, so choosing the ones I want by dragging it to my android is a piece of cake. With iTunes, however, I had to first let iTunes sort through all my music, and then click on "manually manage my music", and then go through that entire list. I'll take a step back here, and admit this: if the way you organize your music is a total mess, iTunes will organize it for you. But there is a word for that lack of organization -- laziness. So I'll openly admit that for lazy people, iTunes is good. So I guess it really comes down to whether you think the control of organizing your own music should be in your own hands, or in the hands of some guy who at one point refused to drive with a license plate (http://gizmodo.com/5503004/steve-jobs-and-eric-schmidt-spotted-together-again-photos). Keep in mind though, if you want to sync more than 16GB of music, you have to pay an additional $100. It's just the price of laziness. C) You said it just like an Apple fanboy. Just because you don't experience the issue doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I never have any problems with viruses on my Windows computer because I used to be an infrastructure intern at my university's IT department so I know how to avoid virus, but that doesn't mean computer viruses don't exist. I never, in any part of my comment, said that Apple products were of bad quality -- in fact, Apple does many things right. However, Apple's strength lies in marketing, not innovation. I have nothing against marketing, but if marketing is what they do, they shouldn't use the word "innovation", as that is a slap in the face to engineers who truly work their asses off in order to innovate something.

MikeChablis
MikeChablis

it's funny to see the apple zealots ignoring the bias or even the context of the article to praise other aspects of the iPhone. Suggesting that the colour change delay proves a careful, thoughtful supplier after the millions of phones with the serious antenna problem is beyond logical. You think more than 2% of Toyotas have problem brake issues? A: ah,great, normal usbs sometimes work... but not very often. Point made B: iTunes is a horror show, possibly worst music mgmt software ever made, and on my top two list of most annoying software products in any category. C: vulpine's rewriting history now. what problem with the antenna? that was a computer generated picture of Steve admitting (finally) that there was a problem. thank god for the lemmings. no question Steve is the pied piper. Brilliant marketing that can win over the lower intellect masses.

JJFitz
JJFitz

saying "coming soon" tells people to wait for the next big thing. It's marketing.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Considering they bought cases for their previous phones as well.

JJFitz
JJFitz

due to the fact that most people buy cases for their iPhone anyway?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

I still don't believe it was near the issue the media made it out to be, especially when you consider it had almost no effect on sales even after the fact.

JJFitz
JJFitz

They gave into pressure and released a product that had a serious antenna problem that they knew about - didn't they?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

A) Apple spends their resources so that the user gets a GOOD experience from their use without the hassles of having to dig into every setting to make it work. I'll grant that it's not the same "full experience" you describe, but when I read so many negatives about how, for instance, Flash kills the battery life or the phone has to be rebooted on a daily basis or an app crashes constantly, to me that simply isn't a good experience. I want my devices to work reliably all the time. B) I consider Windows 7 the best of all versions of Windows. You yourself just pointed out that it still has QDOS at the core (why else would Microsoft issue a patch for Win7 to a Win95 vulnerability?) On the other hand, you prove that you don't really understand OS X or FreeBSD because FreeBSD was a full, accredited version of UNIX, not Linux and OS X has gained that accreditation for itself as a UNIX OS. The differences may be subtle, but Linux is not a UNIX and isn't likely to be for some time to come. I'm not saying Linux is bad, only that most people using it regularly are the types that like to tweak their systems all the time. Eventually even the old hands get tired of that and revert to either Windows or OS X. C) Up to a point you are right about Android. However, at least one article (http://nexus404.com/Blog/2011/06/23/android-phones-most-likely-to-have-hardware-problems-year-long-study-shows-android-phones-most-likely-to-have-hardware-issues-and-you-wont-believe-whos-least-likely/#comment-169851) points out that there is a higher percentage of Android hardware failures than of any other platform while other reviews give Android an "incomplete feeling" on otherwise excellent hardware. Apple doesn't get the top rating for hardware in the article linked above, but every review points out that Apple's iOS devices "feel" polished and "finished", even if it's lacking some feature or other. "Love is Blind"? It appears that hate blinds people to truth.

XWingz
XWingz

A) So what you're saying is, it's "okay" for Apple to spend their resources making sure that their users can't get the full experience, instead of using that resource to fix other problems, such as making iTunes better... or do you seriously think that Apple's products are perfect and can't get any better? B) Of course windows 7 isn't the best, because it started off as QDOS (quick and dirty operating system) that Bill Gates bought from some guy. Apple's OS X started with Free BSD... oh wait, but that's just linux. Have you ever tried using that, because everything you can do on Macs, you just do it on linux. It takes more work, so most people are too lazy to put in that extra effort. Nothing wrong with that... I don't use Gentoo because I don't want to compile every single program I download -- I enjoy the fact that all Debian based systems package the compiled files in .deb format. But that's not the reason most people buy Apple products... it's because Apple products make them "cool". C) Where did I ever say anything about android? But since you brought it up, I hope you know that "android phones" means nothing, right? It's almost like saying "windows computer sucks," because android, like Windows, is an operating system, and how great the phone works is severely limited by how great (or how bad) the hardware is. If you buy the cheapest android out there, it will just crap out on you, because the hardware is a piece of crap. Apple, however, has total control of everything, and as our friendly neighbor spiderman even knows, with great power comes great responsibility. Using the power to screw with users isn't exactly responsible to me. Apple fanboys, it's time to wake up. Apple is NOT the best thing that happened to the world since bread and butter. Apple is great at advertising and great at UI (I myself look to their UI for inspiration at times). But when it comes down to the gritty stuff, Apple just doesn't cut it.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

A) If the phone is capable of detecting something as simple as a broken wire, don't you think that error might indicate a hardware problem with the cable after that year? Jumping to conclusions that the phone is at fault without at least testing the cable itself is expensive. Since I don't remember you mentioning that the phone was a year old at the time (and no, you didn't) I had to guess that you were talking about a new, out of the box iPhone--especially since you can buy a 3G(s) at Walmart* and Target for only $50. B) I will agree that Windows 7 is the best version of Windows on the market. I will not agree that it's the best OS on the market. C) Since you want to put perspective on the argument, how many Android phones are now in use? According to Android Guys (http://www.androidguys.com/2011/05/10/android-numbers-100-million-total-activations-45-billion-apps-downloaded/) there were some 100 million Android devices active by May 5th of this year with approximately 400,000 more getting activated daily. Since that's roughly 6 weeks, that means another nearly 17 million. At the time of the article that reported the 2% query/return figure for Antennagate, that same article pointed out that it was lower than any Android rate which averaged 5%. Now, if there are 1.7 million iPhone 4s out there and 2% of 1.7 million is 34 thousand then 5% of 117 million Androids is... That's right, 5.85 million. Even if I reduce that starting number to just the estimated amount of activations for the last 6 weeks thats 890 thousand units queried or returned in a mere 6 weeks. Now personally I think Android Guys is a little optimistic with their numbers since I do know that the average quarterly rate of iPhone activations pushes 6+ million in three months and previous Android activation estimates were in the 200,000 per day range. However, even if we assumed exactly equal sales of iPhones and Androids, it would mean a query/return of 85 thousand Androids vs 34 thousand. Add to this a report I viewed just today at TFTS (http://nexus404.com/Blog/2011/06/23/android-phones-most-likely-to-have-hardware-problems-year-long-study-shows-android-phones-most-likely-to-have-hardware-issues-and-you-wont-believe-whos-least-likely/) showed that Android phones had the most hardware issues of all the mobile platforms and, of all platforms, RIM comes out as the most reliable in a year-long study.

XWingz
XWingz

A) You're completely wrong -- every single part. My iPhone was fine, until one day that error message popped up (conveniently past the 1 year warranty, but I'm not saying Apple was at fault there). If someone switched the cable by mistake, shouldn't the problem occur since the beginning? The only reason the error occurs is that Apple makes the extra effort to ensure that they can make more money can forcing users to buy more Apple products -- that's poor design (monetary gain over quality). The reason something like this was even able to slip by Apple is that QC didn't know about it when it was testing -- that's poor QC. B) So by your argument, Windows Vista is the best OS out there, because even though it unnecessarily eats up your RAM, it runs on every hardware, and it's even more secure than Windows XP. C) Let's put some numbers into perspective here. 98% of the people didn't *report* the issue. Let's make a huge assumption here that everyone who didn't report the problem didn't have any problems (a huge leap of faith in my opinion, since a good number of people simply don't take the time to report the problem), that's still 2% who definitely have problems. A quick google search tells me there are currently 1.7 million iPhone 4's in the market. 2% of 1.7 million is 34 THOUSAND people. So those 34 THOUSAND people spent $200 (or $300) and bought a phone that doesn't work. As a developer myself, I don't aim to my code to work for 99.9% of the people, because that means for every 1000 people who use it, there is 1 person who doesn't work. If Apple is some no-brand company, 98% is great. But for a company of Apple's caliber, being "great" is simply not good enough. But instead of trying to go beyond to realm of greatness into perfection, Apple is too busy trying to screw users off by making sure their devices can't connect with any non-Apple products. That just doesn't sound like a company that truly cares about its users.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

C) 'Just because 98% of the people don't have or report the issue doesn't mean it doesn't exist.' If you will look at my previous rebuttal, I pointed out that there was a problem, but it wasn't an issue for the vast majority of users. As I said earlier, if it had been as bad as the media and zealots made it out to be, Apple would have recalled the iPhone 4 and resumed production on the 3G(s) while they redesigned it. Since only 2% of iPhone 4 buyers even bothered to contact Apple about the problem, it simply wasn't an issue and the noise went away even after Apple stopped issuing their rubber bands. (I, for one, didn't buy one of those vinyl bands when I bought my iPhone 4.) B) You say you have a library of some 12GB of music/video. My library exceeds 60GB and there are very, very few tunes that haven't been played at least once. I use Apple's "Genius" to create playlists based on a specific tune as well as creating playlists of my own arrangements. These playlists can be transferred individually or en-masse to my 80Gig iPod, my iPad or even my iPhone or simply played anywhere through the house via wireless--even on my TV. One piece of organizing software that meets almost all my music needs on multiple, if related, products. I'm not saying there are no other products, I'm saying there are none that can do the same things. Even you pointed out that the app you're using is Linux-only--usable on only 2% of the computers now on the internet (as compared to Windows at roughly 86% and OS X at roughly 12%). At least iTunes runs on Windows as well as OS X. A) I've seen that error message myself, but in every case it was due to connecting a device to my iPhone that wasn't intended for that purpose--like the Camera Connection Kit plugins or an iPod speaker unit that can't handle video. Based on that experience, I would guess that someone in the packaging department inserted the wrong cable for the device or the user simply used an older cable. I'm not saying mistakes can't be made, only that at least from my point of view more mistakes are made by users than by manufacturers--no matter the brand. Where the brand is at fault, it's either due to poor design or poor QC. I'll let you run with that as you will.

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