Monday, July 19, 2010

Jobs’ Response: Almost Perfect

Kudos to Steve Jobs on most of his press conference in response to the antennae problem that impaired signal strength and sometimes caused dropped calls. He did right by his customers in offering free bumpers and even total refunds on the phone if they were still not satisfied. His apology was appropriate, as was his comment, “We are human, and we make mistakes sometimes.”

Where Jobs went wrong, in my professional opinion, was attacking the competition, saying that “every” smartphone suffers from similar problems (regardless of the fact that he was able to show videos of other such phones as evidence). Whether his claim was valid or not, this strategy immediately put him on the defensive. The question was not about the competition, and therefore he needed to keep the focus where it belonged: on the iPhone 4. Even if there had been the time and research to make a comprehensive case for the lapses of his competition, who would benefit? Certainly not Apple! By going down the competitive road, he weakened his offense — two wrongs never make a right.

The reality is that Apple will get over this small hurdle, even though Consumer Reports, according to The New York Times, is taking a cautious approach and is holding back its “recommended” status to see “what else Apple will come up with.” The fact that Jobs came out and addressed the problem openly before the media, albeit perhaps a little later than he should have, still wins Apple major points from customers. That is most likely what will be remembered, rather than the insertion of an unwarranted, ineffective defensive tactic.

Technorati Tags: Steve Jobs, Apple, smartphone, iPhone 4, Consumer Reports, communications, public relations, Makovsky

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