ZDNet’s Dignan: Apple’s unwinnable war with iPhone unlockers puts reputation at risk

“Apple is clearly in a war with hackers over the iPhone and its most loyal fans could take a few hits,” Larry Dignan blgos for ZDNet. “Today’s angst over iPhones becoming iBricks because they were modified is really just the beginning. There are a few reports of non-hacked iPhones going dark following Apple’s latest firmware update.”

MacDailyNews Take: Why is there any “angst” at all for modded iPhones becoming iBricks when Apple warned users ahead of time (and during the update process)? Is it logical to expect any company to support unsupported hacks? Of course, not.

Dignan continues, “The iPhone update is just the latest example. Consider the following moving parts:”

• Apple cut the price of the premium iPhone by $200 just weeks after die-hards waited in line to pay $599 for it. Steve Jobs met these early adopters half way and gave them a $100 store credit. Where’s the other $100? If Steve really cared about you perhaps Apple would have made you better than whole, say a $250 credit.

MacDailyNews Take: Some portion of 0.33% of the U.S was upset that they paid the price on the box and then it changed. The other 99.67% of the U.S. population only sees a much better price. How many other companies offer $100 store credits when they change prices. Take your time, we’ll wait…

• The iPhone sticks you with one carrier–AT&T–that few people want. Why? Apple got the best deal from AT&T. We aren’t privy to the math behind the AT&T and Apple deal, but we do know none of these hacks to unlock the iPhone would be necessary if we had carrier choice. What’s the cost differential between adding a few carriers to the iPhone and wasting time developing software to outflank hackers?

MacDailyNews Take: Interesting question. However, assuming that Apple didn’t use Excel to do the math, one would tend to believe that the differential was great enough to have to sit through half-witted online petitions calling for Apple to change their product and nix their business deals, the fulminations of so-called tech reporters, etc. This is the way Apple has chosen to market the product they developed. AT&T in the U.S. is currently part of the product’s specs. If you don’t like it, there are other (lesser) so-called “smartphones.” It is not an unalienable right that everyone has an iPhone. If you want to deal with what unlocking the iPhone entails, then more power to you. But you shouldn’t complain when unsupported mods go unsupported.

• Apple has the best tech support in the business and could put it at risk over the iPhone. According to Consumer Reports June 2007 rankings Apple had a reader score of 81 out of a possible 100 when servicing desktops and laptops. On laptops the next best score was Lenovo’s 66 and Dell’s 60. One theory behind Apple’s score: Apple owners are an elite–some would say elitist–club. These folks will get whatever Apple pumps out of the product pipeline. Consumer Reports bases its scores on reader surveys. In these surveys perception matters. With the iPhone Apple is going mass market scores for Apple are only going to decline based on the laws of large numbers.

MacDailyNews Take: Another, more logical theory: Apple’s products are more reliable than other companies and Apple offers better tech support than other companies. Radical ideas, we know.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The more customers a company gets, the more complaints it will receive, as the percentage of “unsatisfied” customers is likely to remain constant despite growth. Apple should do whatever they can to improve support, quality, and their business decisions as they grow in order to protect their good reputation. Apple is not without fault – and can do better with some things – but the worries presented by Digan strike us as more than a bit overwrought.

106 Comments

  1. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Will all you people just take a breath.!!!
    All these back seat business man (and women) who run huge successful companies and are so totally sure what will work and what will not!!! BITE ME! When you actually run a large company, then you may speak with such assurance.

    And the obvious trolls,,, you know who you are “Wow! I was just about to jump in and buy an iphone this morning when I heard a customer complain agitatedly about his iphone dying. I put my visacard back and left the store. I’m glad I did so. I’d been feeling hesitant anyway. I think I’ll upgrade my Nokia!” You post such stupid comments that you must think that we are Microsoft users!!! Cheeeeezzzzzeeee.

    I am going to go back to bed now and cover my head. I hope that you will all be gone by the morning. Like the hang over I am planning on having. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    en …….. hick!

  2. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Will all you people just take a breath.!!!
    All these back seat business man (and women) who run huge successful companies and are so totally sure what will work and what will not!!! BITE ME! When you actually run a large company, then you may speak with such assurance.

    And the obvious trolls,,, you know who you are “Wow! I was just about to jump in and buy an iphone this morning when I heard a customer complain agitatedly about his iphone dying. I put my visacard back and left the store. I’m glad I did so. I’d been feeling hesitant anyway. I think I’ll upgrade my Nokia!” You post such stupid comments that you must think that we are Microsoft users!!! Cheeeeezzzzzeeee.

    I am going to go back to bed now and cover my head. I hope that you will all be gone by the morning. Like the hang over I am planning on having. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    en …….. hick!

  3. Remove “self interest” from all the complainants’ posts and none of you would have anything to say. It is amazing how many people sit on their fat arses and complain that they can’t enjoy, free, the product of someone else’s labour. Its an American thing I think. Somehow Americans have been brought up to believe that they are entitled to anything they want. Me me me me me…

    Grow up.

  4. MacademiaNut’s comment: “And don’t try to buy a product thinking that you can make it do what you want to…” is interesting. I say it is exactly like a woman marrying a man THINKING that she will be able to change him and his bad habbits. It never works.

    What the iPhone, what ATT is and all was out there for all to see before the purchase. It you don’t like AT&T;, don’t buy the iPhone. All sorts of companies make these deals every day. This is nothing so special. Everyone complaining are spoiled children. They what it their way or they start crying. BOO HOO.

    I was Verizon for years. Loved Verizon. BUT, when the Treo 650 came out, Verizon did not carry it so I switched to AT&T;because they had it. Frankly, I have no problems with AT&T;. It works fine or at least as good as Verizon. In fact, I am SAVING money. Internet access on a Treo was $39.95 so but on the iPhone it is $19.95. That is a $20/month saving which is the main reason my wife let me buy it.

    She knew I would anyway. She had been trying to change me for years!

  5. I think way more people used 3rd party apps on the iPhone than Apple realized. I did not “brick” my phone. I just used AppTapp to install apps that made my iPhone much more useful and fun. I did not like the 1.1.1 “upgrade.” I reverted my phone back to version 1.0.2 and all is well again. My iPhone is much more functional and useful at 1.0.2, so that is where I will stay. No problem, Apple does not force you to upgrade to 1.1.1. Three out of four iPhone users I know all reverted back to 1.0.2. I am an Apple fan, but they blew the 1.1.1 update. I will be more careful next time.

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