Steve Jobs: iPhone 4 Problems All in Your Head, Here's a Free Case Anyway

Last Updated Jul 16, 2010 1:51 PM EDT

So what's really going on with the iPhone 4? Here are some interesting factoids, straight outta Steve Jobs:
  • All smartphones suffer from grip-related signal issues.
  • Only a tiny percentage of customers have called AppleCare to complain about reception.
  • Only 1.7 percent of buyers have returned their iPhone 4 -- versus 6 percent of 3GS buyers.
  • The iPhone does drop more calls per 100 calls than the 3GS -- but it's still a tiny number overall.
  • The reason the antenna has received so much attention is that so few people bought cases for the iPhone 4 (because so few were available at launch).
  • Everyone who wants one gets a free case. People who bought a case already can get a refund.
Frankly, this echoes my thinking all along, which was that blogs and the media were making way too big a deal out of the issue, and that 99 percent of users normally keep their phone in a case anyway -- which effectively negates the problem.

On the other hand, Apple's PR department did a terrible job handling the media. They might have been following orders from upstairs, but it doesn't matter -- the damage has been done. For the foreseeable future, Apple will have to live with the perception that it doesn't "love its users" like it says it does.

There, I've said my piece. What do you think? Did Apple handle this appropriately? Are you satisfied with the free/refunded case? Or is all this too little, too late? Vote in our poll!

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.