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Oh Apple… What did you get yourself into now?

Kari Brownsberger

Apple gives me a headache.

Recently there’s been some commotion around our office (not to mention the rest of the country) about the newly-released iPhone 4.  A few Walker Sands staffers have purchased the hotly-debated phones and have said that the alleged antenna problems are no big deal.  I’ve heard others say, whether they own an iPhone or not, that people are making something out of nothing with the antenna debacle – that of course everyone wants to jump all over Apple the moment that they have even the slightest glitch or problem.  Poor, picked on Apple.

Now a little disclaimer before I go any further: I personally am not a big Apple fan.  I have an HP at home and use a Dell at work. I’m on my second Creative Zen MP3 Player, download music on Amazon, and listen to it with Windows Media Player.  I have never owned an Apple product, so my distaste is not a matter of how well I think their products work.  I’m sure they work fine.  My dislike for Apple is really based on their branding.  Those commercials with Justin Long and the unknown pudgy guy drive me crazy.  Ah yes, you’re a Mac. You’re young, effortlessly cool, and virtually flawless.  You wear Converse sneakers and listen to undiscovered indie-rock bands.  Your counterpart, the PC, is so clueless with his Windows operating systems, not to mention his stuffy shirt and tie. Get over yourself and give me a break.

But, before I digress any further and start sounding like Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes, I’ll get back to the point of my post.  Yes, the iPhone 4 antenna problems were made into a big issue.  But, Apple chose to brand themselves as the ultimate tech powerhouse.  Their press releases actually call their Macs “the best personal computers in the world.”  So, if you’re willing to put yourself out there as the best in the world, then you better be willing to take the heat when one of your products is less than “the best.”  Or in other words, don’t let your mouth write checks that you can’t cash.

I’m not really commenting on how Apple handled “Antennagate” – that’s a topic for another post.  And I realize that other phones supposedly have similar antenna issues.  What I am saying is that if Apple, or any company for that matter, wants to brand themselves as the leader of their industry, the best of the best, they better back it up.  Yes, Apple might be scrutinized more than other brands, but they’ve put themselves in that position.

So do I think the iPhone 4 issues were blown out of proportion?  Not for a second.  Let Apple feel the pressure and remember that simply claiming to be the best in the world doesn’t actually make them the best.  They have to deliver on that claim if they want to hold the title.