13 Things Apple Shouldn't Do on Friday ... But Might Anyway

Last Updated Aug 13, 2010 12:14 PM EDT

Under heavy fire, Apple (AAPL) has announced a press conference tomorrow to discuss the iPhone 4. The last straw seemed to be when Consumer Reports reversed its previous stance and recommended that readers not buy the phone because of antenna issues, even though it scored at the top of the smartphones the organization tested.

Apple is being tight-lipped as usual. Some wonder whether Apple will announce a recall. Others think that the company will provide free bumpers that fix the problem, according to Consumer Reports. However, I think Apple should worry more about what not to do.

Whether you think the criticism of the iPhone 4 is reasonable or overblown, it's hard to argue that Apple has shown a tone-deaf PR ineptitude that is as bad as the company's design reputation is good. I mean, when you give a Microsoft (MSFT) executive an opening to compare your product to Vista, you know you're doing something wrong.

In a gesture of good will, I thought it could help to point out a few things that Apple should refrain from during tomorrow's press conference:

  • Introduce Apple's new customer satisfaction manager: Dogbert.
  • Announce the iPhone 5: An iPhone 4, only wrapped in duct tape.
  • Use the phrase, "This changes everything. Again. Again."
  • Note that when Chuck Norris holds the iPhone, AT&T has an outage. (Or is that when anyone holds an iPhone?)
  • In honor of the fourth generation of the iPhone, offer a $4 discount on the $29 plastic bumper.
  • Utter the word "Vista" in any way, shape, or form.
  • Call an antenna fix the Apple upgrade for lefties.
  • Have Steve Jobs say, "You're getting sleepy. Veeerrrry sleepy."
  • Announce the acquisition of Consumer Reports.
  • Say that AT&T has users' voice mail hostage and won't let it free until you stop complaining.
  • Roll out the Google answer: iPhone 4 is a beta.
  • Skype. iPad. Deal with it.
  • Tell people to borrow Nick Denton's iPhone prototype.
After all, when you've put as many feet in your corporate mouth as Apple has so far, why try to top yourself? On a related note, David Letterman had some fun at the iPhone 4's expense the other night. Here's a video of his top ten


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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.