A tale of two problems

Unsurprisingly, Apple takes the fascistic approach to information about the iPhone’s quality problems:

Consumer Reports, the non-profit magazine, on Monday published a review online that stated it had tested three iPhone 4s in controlled settings and found that touching the lower left corner “can significantly degrade” the signal, causing dropped calls. Apple deleted references in several online discussions to the consumer group’s online posting, leading VentureBeat and investment blogs to pounce on what they described as censorship in the Apple-hosted forums. Apple declined to comment on the forum issue; it has previously intervened to eliminate records of criticism on other topics….

Apple had earlier fanned the flames by denying there was any reception problem. It originally said the real culprit was software that displayed a higher number of “bars” than appropriate, indicating greater signal strength than was warranted. Touching the left corner therefore showed a precipitous drop in connectivity instead of a minor pullback, Apple said, and it promised to fix the display issue with a software patch.

I can sympathize with Apple’s irritation in having to deal with this mess, but not their response. After shipping our new product, our customers discovered three hardware problems, which were primarily the result of the factory not following the design closely enough. Not our fault, but definitely our responsibility. We immediately reported these problems on our site and expect to be able to announce how we plan to resolve everything for our customers to their satisfaction by the end of this week.

Apple, on the other hand, prefers to obfuscate and deny. Perhaps that’s part of what makes them a great and successful company, but I don’t agree with that support strategy any more than I agree with their technofascist approach to design.