Apple offered a software fix, plus free bumpers. However, many media observers disapproved of Jobs' handling of the press conference that announced the fix, slamming him for blaming the media, suggesting that the iPhone 4's reception issues were common in the industry and coming across as defensive and combative.
Competitors also took full advantage. Motorola, for example, purchased a full-page ad in the New York Times headlined "No Jacket Required," which bragged than the Droid X phone didn't need a bumper for good reception. RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie characterized Antennagate as "Apple's self-made debacle." And Microsoft COO Kevin Turner even suggested that the iPhone 4 might be Apple's own "Vista."
Apple's Antennagate fiasco was "recreated" in an absurdly imagined but incredibly harsh CGI video apparently created for a Taiwan news program. In the video, Steve Jobs is depicted as an evil Darth Vadar-like figure with an invincibility shield. In one scene, he slices off the fingers of a customer with his light saber in order to improve the customer's iPhone 4 reception.
There's absolutely no question that Apple is having a very difficult summer, at least from a public reputation perspective. The quality of the company's products are being questioned, its loyal fan base is being maligned and the company's leadership and CEO are being slammed as greedy, overbearing and arrogant.
Will Apple bounce back? Of course it will. Apple's reputation has risen in the past to absurd heights, and is now plummeting to conspicuous lows. But the company will rise again. That resurrection myth may yet come into play one more time.
The media darling of spring and whipping boy of summer are still the same company. Apple is and will remain what it has always been: A vaguely controversial company that makes great products, tightly controls its ecosystem and either thrills or enrages users depending on how they feel about Apple's approach to computers and gadgets.
The big picture is that millions of people love their iPhones, the iPad is transforming how people use and think about computers. And the publishing industry will soon have plenty of choice for publishing platforms.
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