Apple’s reputation could be in a lot of trouble.
A LOT of trouble.
No, I’m not talking about the antenna issue, the screen issue, or even the issue with the proximity sensor. While each of those are big problems, Apple could have avoided a reputation crisis by simply offering to fix or replace phones that were suffering from any of these issues.
Even a total recall of all iPhone 4s would not be as much trouble as the crisis that is looming on the horizon for Apple. What could possibly be bigger than these hardware issues?
Simple. Did Apple knowingly lie to its customers?
You see, Consumer Reports–an unbiased, neutral observer–just stated that it can’t recommend the iPhone 4 due to the antenna issue. More than that, it is questioning the validity of Apple’s explanation:
Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4’s signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that “mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.”
Wow! Did Apple lie?
Its official announcement categorically stated that the issue was due to a software glitch. What if it turns out that this is a massive cover-up by Apple? What if it has to admit that there is in fact a hardware issue. It could try and claim that its initial testing missed the defect, but it would be hard for the company to convince anyone after stating:
We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same— the iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped.
If Apple now has to admit that there is a hardware issue, it won’t be the cost of the recall that will weigh heavily on the company’s bottom line, it will be the cost of losing the trust and respect of its most loyal customers.
Before you comment, know this: I currently own an iPhone 4, iPad, Macbook Pro, Macbook, Mac Mini, iPod Touch, iPod Shuffle. So, no, I am not just another Apple hater. 🙂