There’s no hiding it: I’m an Apple geek through and through. Apple at home, Apple at work, Apple when I travel. Personally, I own 2 iPhones (3G and 3GS), 3-4 iPod shuffles of various sizes, an iPad, and a MacBook Pro as my primary home computer. Now, I’m not crazy enough to stand in long lines during launches; I know I can get what I want just a few days after release. But suffice it to say, I’m an addict for Apple hardware.
However, I’m damn glad I waited on the iPhone 4. Display issues, reception problems, instructions to hold the phone a certain way or to buy a “bumper”. This release has been a big flop and that’s unusual for Apple, especially in the past few years. Following on the recent footsteps of the phenomenal release of the iPad (which I personally wouldn’t recommend to most people), this release of the new iPhone has been laden with bad mojo. Apple’s initial response was “you’re doing it wrong”, but now even Consumer Reports says they can’t recommend the iPhone 4.
As innovative as the case-as-antenna is, I can’t believe this design made it out of Apple. The average user immediately saw the limitations once the device was in hand. This is what happens when you’re too close to your project. You know how to hold it, you know how to click its buttons. I know Apple has vigorous testing of their software, but have they ever really had to do so with the physical case? I find it hard to believe they tested the physical phone case itself as meticulously as they do the software — or they did, but decided to let it out in the wild anyway with crossed-fingers, hoping that no one would notice. Steve Jobs is obviously not beyond hubris, so this is a possible scenario.
Then again, done is better than perfect. That is a mantra that the IT world has to stick with, or nothing would ever get released. You can release patches, fixes, and new code to push towards perfection. But how do you do that with hardware like the iPhone case?