You might have heard about the iPhone 4 antenna problems in the blogosphere recently. This article was posted by Gizmodo, with a video of an iPhone 4 user losing signal bars when he held his phone a certain way. That video – and the topic as a whole – made its way around the internet, and internet heroes (read: commenters on popular blogs) have been suffering from a bad case of cryabetes ever since.
Today, Apple held a press conference regarding the antenna issue. They admitted there is a problem, researched the problem (to the tune of at least $100 million), and are now offering a free case to every single owner of an iPhone 4 – or refund cases already purchased– whether they’re experiencing the problem or not. You know how many people called AppleCare about the problem? 0.55% of owners. That’s right – only one half of one percent of users has even called Apple about this problem, yet Apple is still issuing a free case (or refund) to everyone.
About three million iPhone 4’s have been sold to date. The bumper case costs $29. Apple is willing to take a hit of $87 million to please the customers. That’s damn impressive. Although I don’t always agree with giving the CEO of a company more credit than the sum of the individuals who make up the company, it’s obvious that Steve is the visionary on this team. It takes a true class act to handle a situation like this (which has obviously been blown out of proportion) with such finesse.
I bought my first iPod (5gen) in 2005, and I bought my first MacBook in 2006. I don’t have, nor do I want, an iPhone. (I’m an Android guy.) I haven’t been an Apple customer as long as the extremely loyal fans have, but I am happy to be a member of such a satisfaction-driven, customer oriented company. Apple almostalways delivers top-quality products (I’m looking at you, non-unibody MacBook Pro), and it’s tough to find a company that does that. If you’re looking to start a business, or if you’re already running one, Apple’s a good role model for customer satisfaction. Here’s a fantastic quote from the press conference.
Q: Are you willing to make an apology to investors?
Steve: You know we hear from customers who love this phone and have a great experience with it, and we’re doing a lot to help them with any issues they’re seeing. To investors, you know, you invest in the company we are, so if the stock goes down $5… I don’t think I owe them an apology.
Thanks for the inspiration, Steve et al.