Photo courtesy of allthingsD
This morning, Steve Jobs started by saying how great the iPhone 4 is, so great in fact that Apple has sold 3 Million so far, or about 1 Million per week. He also said that this was not unique to the iPhone 4 and showed the same thing happen on a Blackberry Bold 9700 (I have not been able to reproduce this on mine). He added that HTC, Nokia, Motorola and others were not immune to the problem either and showed photos of the same Death Grip issue on the HTC Droid Eris and the Samsung Omnia II. This is a fact of life, Steve Jobs says.
Apple also said that it has been testing its products extensively in a state of the art facility at a cost of $100M and 18phD engineers. The more interesting statistics is that Apple says that only 0.55% of customers have called the support line about the reception problems. We suspected that it was few, but not that few. The second piece of information is the AT&T return rate on the iPhone 4 is 1.7% compared to a 6% return rate for the iPhone 3GS (during the same period after launch). Then, Steve Jobs talked about the AT&T call drop rates (from the AT&T logs): the iPhone 4 drops less than 1% more calls than the 3GS, but yes, it does drop more calls. “Now, even less than one is too much for us. We want to find out why. But this does put it in perspective”, Steve Jobs says.
“Iit’s hard to escape the conclusion that there is a problem, but that problem is affecting a very small number of users” (Steve Jobs). Apple wants to make every customer happy, so -just as we expected- Apple will give away a free case. If you already have one, you’ll get a refund. This will be valid for every iPhone bought from the launch to September 30.
If this still doesn’t work for you, return the phone within 30 days, and Apple will give you a full refund, without any restocking fee (assuming that the phone is not damaged).
On that note, we’re back to other iPhone 4 news: the White iPhone is shipping late this month, and the iPhone 4 will launch in a bunch of countries on July 30: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Apple ends with “We love our users”.
I suspect that there’s going to be a second round of tests from various media outlets to prove or debunk what Steve Jobs has said, but basically, it’s a free case or you can return the phone. As for the Sep 30 date, I’m not sure if it means that Apple will improve the situation permanently (see rumor), or if it just means “you’ve been warned, so no more free cases”. Don’t miss our in-depth review of the iPhone 4.
Update: Steve jobs has commented about yesterday’s Bloomberg’s story that Apple knew about the issue (and implied that Apple did not deal with it). “That’s a crock, and we’ve challenged them to show proof that that. If anyone had said this thing has problems, we would have dispatched people to deal with that issue.” (Steve Jobs)