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By now, we all know about the iPhone 4’s antenna reception fiasco. Though Apple denies it, it seems to be the result of a hardware design flaw and has led to everything from class-action lawsuits to product-recall demands. Consumer Reports, even though it deemed the iPhone 4 the best smartphone on the market, refused to recommend it due to the antenna flaw, and Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner went so far as to call the iPhone 4 Apple’s “Vista”. Ouch.

All in all, the latest iPhone has been a headache for Apple from the get go. From the leaked prototype to the reception issue, to complaints about discolorations in the “retina display,” I’m sure Steve Jobs would prefer to skip ahead to the iPhone 5 and forget about the past few months.
So the question is, if the iPhone 4 really is all that bad, how come I still want one? How come I would be willing to buy the phone, cover the antenna with duct tape (as CR recommends) and happily drop calls anyway? Am I a blind-loyalist? Have I chosen to cast away all rational thinking and reasoning in the name of getting my hands on Apple’s latest, greatest supergadget fun-panel?
I think I know the answer, and it comes down to the strength of the brand. You see, whether it’s true or not, I believe that the iPhone 4, with all of its imperfections, is still far better (and more importantly) far cooler, than its competition.
This is the power of branding. Even though I know there are critical problems with the product, I’ll trade those for the chance to own it — to further my status in the Apple tribe.
Granted, my iPhone 4 desires will go unquenched because I’m firmly mired in the early-goings of a two-year service contract; I must make do with my primitive 3GS until next summer. That being said, I think it’s a great testament to the power of the Apple brand that I would even entertain the thought of buying one.
So what do you think? Is there a part of you that still wants an iPhone 4? Do you already own one? Can I see it/play with it?

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