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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No Apple, You're Doing It Wrong

The latest in technological gadgetry came out to a resounding…. OOOh, Awww, Dooohh! The iPhone 4 hit the shelves and even Jason Bateman had to have it so bad he was willing to endure the boo birds as he was given the opportunity to skip to the front of the long ass line. But as people flock and grab and go giddy over this new toy a problem has arisen. The signal may drop from holding the phone.

That’s right. You’re new iPhone may just end up being a smaller iPad. Why? From all the jargon and technical speak I’ve read it seems as though the constraints of building bigger and better devices in smaller spaces has caught up with smart phone makers. Requirements laid out by FCC and other bodies will only allow so much radiation and over scary words to penetrate the body so smart phones have had to move the antenna placement into the bottom of the phones. The iPhone 4 went rogue and put the antenna on the sides along the metal band that wraps around the casing. One side for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the other for cellular reception.

Pretty heady concept, but realistically, I guess it has to make sense since I don’t remember the last time I used a mobile device that had an antenna sticking out of it. Great, now I’ve got nothing to chew on. The problem with the iPhone is that there is a small gap that can be bridged by your hand that may [read: most likely] cause you to drop a call.

Apple owned up to the issue [read: feature] after people complained. For once, AT&T wasn’t to blame but I’m sure people were quick to grab some pitchforks and torches. Nope, Jobs pretty much said that it’s most likely user error. In other words, “We screwed up trying this new idea and we pretty much think you’ll still buy the damn thing because you guys are addicted to crack and Steve Jobs is the biggest dealer around.” And sales haven’t slumped by the looks of it, so people are willing to put up with the possibility that the iPhone may not actually work as a phone.

Now, that’s not to say that Steve Jobs didn’t address the problem and offer a solution. The man who can do no wrong, and I give the guy somewhat of a pass for taking on cancer, has a fix for the masses of angry consumers. “You’re holding it wrong.” Steve, I’m sorry, I must have bad reception, did you say what I think you said? Oh, right, it’s our fault. That makes sense. I mean from every commercial we’ve seen we learned how to hold the phone so I guess we can say, “I learned it by watching you!” The other more MacGyver-y fix is to put a piece of scotch tape over the hole, bridging the gap and keeping your mouth breathing, sweaty palm, window licking self from causing the problem. Or, you could put more money into the pocket of someone by getting a rubber case.

My solution? Buy something else. Vote with your wallet. At least never buy the first version of anything new that comes down the pike. The 2.0 version of the IFailed 4 will probably fix the issue and all those early birds will have to buy a new one. It’s called genius marketing. Put out a device that just makes it worth buying and then bring out another version that addresses all the public’s concerns and at least half of those people will buy the newer device as well. It’s like the home movie industry rereleasing new DVDs of the same old movies, now with more bonus features. How many versions of the same movie do you need to own before the Ultimate-Directors Cut-Unrated-Double Wide version finally gives you what you want from a movie that you will probably watch once and then never again?

So, frankly, my comment to Apple is “You’re Doing It Wrong” yet we still buy the crack because we are all Tyrone Biggums and Apple is throwing a Free Crack Party. I just wish they’d release a phone that actually functioned as a phone. I mean isn’t that why they call it a Phone in the name of the device? Can you hear me now, Steve? Am I holding this thing right?

Probably not.

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