Steve Jobs Gives Consumer Reports the Bird

Today Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at a press conference to talk about the iPhone 4 antenna issues. In case you missed the 15 minute presentation here is what Jobs said (paraphrased by yours truly):

“This new iPhone has killer reception even after we corrected the bars being displayed – in fact this new phone is so good that there are less returns and more sales than we ever expected. There is a problem but every smart phone we tried has this problem. To make this right everyone gets free cases and we will refund money to those who bought a case already (bumper cases). Also be sure to check out this futuristic chamber that we test the iPhone in so that you can see just how serious we are at Apple.”

Consumer Reports forced Jobs to give out cases for free – in fact the media as a whole forced this, so you can thank them for your free case. The egg however has shifted from being on Apple’s face to being on the media’s, specifically Consumer Reports’ face. Apple didn’t provide a ton of data showing that the iPhone is fine even given the problems with the antenna (they did show some) – what Jobs really showed was that the antenna problem is a non-issue as evidenced by the sales, returns, and lack of dropped call increase (the increase Jobs showed really is not statistically significant).

Basically if you got Consumer Reports and Jobs in a room here is how the discussion would play out:

CR: This new iPhone is better than anything else.

Jobs: I agree, our best phone yet.

CR: Yeah it tops our charts, but what is this about Gizmodo saying the antenna is flawed?

Jobs: It’s not flawed, they are showing something that happens to all phones. There is no problem.

CR: Just because it happens to all phones doesn’t mean that there is no problem.

Jobs: Still the iPhone is less problematic than other phones. Just put a bumper case on it and all will be fine.

CR: Well we tested the problem by watching over 30 YouTube videos, so given all that data there is just no way we can recommend this phone to our 10 readers. We will write an article about this and send it to you and every email address we can.

Jobs: Isn’t your job to tell consumers to buy the best products?

CR: That is what we do everyday.

Jobs: But you said this is the best phone and here is a crap load of data to support the fact that this problem is being blown out of proportion. (insert press conference data)

CR: Can’t change now – we are get way to much attention about our article.

Jobs: OK here is my AMEX I will buy you and every iPhone 4 owner a case.

CR: …

Jobs: One more thing… (uses left hand to give them the bird) Boom.

Yeah that conversation sounds about right to me.

Originally posted for members on: July 16, 2010
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