You know that an issue with a device has hit the mainstream media when Jeremy Clarkson works it into an introduction for The Stig on BBC’s Top Gear! For those that don’t know “The Stig” is a legendary, almost mythological character who never takes his racing helmet off, and test drives cars for the UK based, but internationally famous, and fantastically irreverent car show. According to Clarkson The Stig “doesn’t work unless you hold him correctly!”
Top Gear pokes fun at the iPhone 4 Death Grip
We reported yesterday that the popular Consumer Reports website had withdrawn its interim recommendation of the iPhone 4 after conducting its own “technical analysis” of the device’s reception issue. Regardless of whether their analysis is accurate or not, Consumer Reports holds massive sway for US consumers. Consequently the internet is alight today with bloggers claiming that even their parents, and in some cases grandparents now know the that iPhone 4 has a fatal flaw!
Not everyone, however, is as convinced as some of the validity of Consumer Reports’ findings. Blogger Bob Egan, who spent much of his career as an electromagnetic engineer working on exactly the kind of issues that now face Apple on the iPhone 4, had this to say:
Consumer reports ‘RF’ engineers should know better than to think they can run an engineering grade test for an issue like this in a shielded room. And certainly not one with people in it.
To even reasonably run a scientific test, the iPhone should have been sitting on a non-metallic pedestal inside an anechoic chamber. The base station simulator should have been also sitting outside the chamber and had a calibrated antenna plumbed to it from inside the chamber.
Bottom line. From what I can see in the reports, Consumer Reports replicated the same uncontrolled, unscientific experiments that many of the blogging sites have done.
But still Cult of Mac have collected a band of “PR experts” who are baying for Apple to initiate a recall for the iPhone 4 immediately, or according to them face forever tarnishing their brand image!
All of this noise, and Apple ruffling more feathers today by apparently culling complaints about the iPhone 4 from their own web forums has caused this story to pick up more and more inertia. And now this story is well and truly finding its way onto more and more main stream media outlets.
Off the back of this noise AAPL (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock dropped around $10 earlier today. 3% down in a market that was overall around 1% up.
“To date, we have not seen any overwhelming evidence of iPhone 4 units being returned,” Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes wrote.
“Ultimately we believe this PR black eye takes away some near-term upside, but it does not change the long-term trajectory” of the iPhone 4, wrote PiperJaffray’s Gene Munster.
Overall pretty much everyone from the markets seem to think that a product recall is “highly unlikely”.
And Citigroup’s analyst Richard Gardner still predicts a target price of $330/share for AAPL. And as the day draws on AAPL is on the rise again.
One thing that pretty much everyone on both sides of the growing divide between those that feel the iPhone 4 is flawed and should be recalled, and those that feel that this is a storm in a teacup, agree on the fact that Apple’s continuing silence, and their overall handling of this situation to date is extremely disappointing.
So, after weighing all the evidence so far perhaps you’d like to take part in our Poll?
Or share your thoughts in the comments…