Last Updated Jun 24, 2010 4:33 PM EDT
There have been some decided, if sporadic, disappointments as those outside the Chosen Early Recipients and Reviewers (CERRS -- the influential few who can drive additional sales) have received their iPhone 4s:
- Hold the iPhone by the antenna band that surrounds the case and you may seem to lose reception. A lot of reception. In some cases that translates into dropped calls.
- Some screens have yellow blotches or lines.
- The first cases of the supposedly super-tough glass cases breaking on an accidental drop from a short height have started to appear. And the glass has already, in a very short time, begun to scratch for some.
This shouldn't surprise anyone, because Apple has a long history of delivering hardware products with major flaws:
- Apple had to stop delivery of 27-inch iMacs because of display graphics faults.
- Since the introduction of the iPhone, consumers have experienced major overheating problems. In some white models, cases discolored as a result.
- Apple first shipped the Snow Leopard version of the Mac operating system with significant problems.
- The 3.0 version of Apple TV shipped with some serious bugs.
You can't innovate if you can't deliver, and as Apple shifts from its traditional fans to a broader consumer market, this becomes a bigger and bigger issue. People don't want to hear excuses. They want to purchase something that works the first time. Why buy Apple if it's a hassle?
I'm not giving a pass to any other company in high tech. The high tech industry has a terrible habit of delivering first generations of products that are buggy and flawed. It's one reason that I refuse to purchase dot oh versions of anything. But why? Being first may be good, but as Google (GOOG) has shown with Android, being second -- or third or fourth or fifth -- doesn't mean that you're locked out of the market. It's time for all these big companies to grow up and ship products that work from the start. Or at least for some of them to get smart and market on proven reliability.