Notes from Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference

Notes for Apple’s press conference which was held today beginning at 10am PDT/1pm EDT.

Notes are in reverse chronological order.

• End of press conference.

• Jobs: Okay. Thanks for coming. Has this helped? I would have liked to have done it in the 1st 48 hours after launch, but then you wouldn’t have much to write about.

• Q: Beyond September 30th? A: We’ll evaluate.
• Q; Does free Apple bumper offer extend outside U.S.? A: Yes, it does.
• Jobs on email message being posted online: “It’s a bit rude. And now the most recent thing is to just make them up (which is why we said Jobs had to stop doing it – MDN Ed.) Jobs: “Don;t believe everything you read.”
• Q: Why is San Fran AT&T reception so poor? Jobs: In Texas, it’s 3 weeks to get a cell tower approved, but in San Fran it could take up to 3 years because everyone wants better coverage, but nobody wants a cell tower in their backyard. That’s the single biggest problem AT&T’s having.
• Jobs: We can’t make iPhone 4 units fast enough.
• Apple is selling very iPhone 4 unit it can manufacture right now.
• Cook: Apple has sold well over 3 million iPhone 4 units to date.
• Q: Any impact on sales, you think? Cook: We’ll announce our fiscal Q3 financial results next Tuesday and give fiscal Q4 guidance then, too.

• Q: NYT article says there’s a possibility for a software fix? A: Scott Forstall asks for Mic and says that article info is “patently false.” Can we tune the phone to finely adjust the holding calls? Yes, wWe do that all the time. Says the NYT article though is “patently untrue.”
• Q: Was recall ever considered? Jobs: The way we work is data driven. We tried find out why customers were experiencing what they were experiencing and we sent people all over the country to figure this out. We get emails from all over, I dispatch these emails, and we send teams out. Literally, two days after their email, they get a knock at the door from a bunch of Apple engineers. ‘Can we plug this in? Can we test your phone? Can we log this?’ Mansfield: “For the record, we told them we were coming.” Jobs: “And we didn’t bash down any doors!”
• Jobs continues: I guess it’s just human nature: when some group or some organization gets successful, there’s always a group of people who want to tear it down. I see it happening with Google, people trying to tear them down, and I think to myself: why are they doing this? Google is a great company… And now they’re doing it to us… I don’t understand it… What would you prefer, that we were a Korean company, that we were here in America leading the world with these products? Maybe it’s just to get eyeballs for these websites, people don’t care what they leave in their wake. I look at this whole “Antennagate” thing, and I say: ‘Wow. Apple has been around for 34 years; haven’t we earned the credibility and trust from the press? I think we have that trust from our users, but I didn’t see it exhibited from some of the press. It was blown so far out of proportion. Not saying we didn’t make a mistake – we didn’t; know we were putting a bully on the phone (line on lower left corner for users to try to cover) but this has been so overblown. But to see how we could do better is going to take some time.”

• Jobs continues: Some people want us to go faster, but I don’t think we could have. I’ve seen cars in the parking lot all night and we’ve got people sleeping oncots in the engineering building. I don’t think we could be working any harder to get to the root cause…
• Q: Anything you’d do differently or that you’ve learned from this? Jobs: Don’t know yet. We need to get a bit of distance. I kno wone thing we’ve learned: How much we care about our customers. We were embarrassed by the Consumer Reports thing, but we didn’t need it. We didn’t say anything for a week because we didn’t know anything yet. All of the data I shared earlier, we got that just 3 days ago…
• Q: Do any of you use bumpers? Jobs, Mansfield, and Cook all hold up iPhone 4 units without bumpers. Jobs: I don’t and I hold it like this (so-called “death grip”) and I never see problems.
• Q: Why didn’t Apple give case makers iPhone 4 specs before unveiling? Jobs: If we tell people what our next product is, they stop buying our current products. Sometimes websites buy stolen property and they get out there… and case makers have a history of showing off their new cases for our new products. The case vendors haven’t had a history of helping to keep our work under wraps.
• Q: Does the refund apply only to Apple branded bumpers? A: Yes, no refund for third-party cases
• Q: Why September 30th cutoff date? Jobs: We’ll reevaluate then. Maybe we’ll have a better idea. “Maybe Eminem will come out with a band-aid that goes over the corner and everyone will want that.”
• Jobs: We aren’t perfect. We try to make the best possible phone, but it is not possible to make a cell phone without weak spots.
• Q: Will AT&T offer refunds; can people get out of their contracts? A: “I believe so, yes.”
• Q: Did you make a choice between form and function (MDN Ed. – Obviously not a question from someone who’s ever designed anything; there’ always a tradeoff somewhere). Jobs: “We try to have great design and great performance.”
• Q: Will you apologize to investors? Jobs: To investors, you invest in the company, so if the stock goes down $5, I don’t think I owe them an apology.
• Q: Bloomberg article said you were told of antenna concerns? Jobs: “It’s a total crock… Total bullshit.”
• Q: I can’t get my BlackBerry Bold to drop right now, maybe you can show me how to do it? Jobs: You may not see it in certain areas.
• Q: Considering any iPhone 4 antenna design changes? Jobs: “We’re pretty happy with this. If we were at fault with the iPhone 4 antenna, it’d be that we waved a red flag by putting the ‘touch me, grip me here’ lines on it.”
• Q: How’s your health? Steve Jobs: “I’m doing just fine… I was doing better earlier this week while on vacation in Hawaii.”
• Q&A: Tim Cook and Bob Mansfield join Jobs.

• “The data supports the fact that the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone in the world, and there is no Antennagate. There is a challenge for the entire smartphone industry to improve its antenna technology so there are no weak spots. So, today we’re going to take care of our customers.”
• “If users are having a problem, it’s our problem.” Working hard to understand the issue, so when we solve it,we really solve it to customers’ satisfaction.
• “We love our users so much that we built three hundred Apple Retail Stores for them in order to to give them the best buying experience in the world: With Genius bars, and seminars. We had 60 million people through our doors last quarter.”
• “We love our users. They reward us by staying our users.”
• “We love our users. We connect them with great Apps and content.”
• “We love our users. Macs, iPods, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, App Store,…”
• “We love our users. We try very hard to surprise and delight them.”

• On July 30, Apple will launch iPhone 4 in 17 more countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland. Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
• White iPhone will start shipping at end of July

• Proximity sensor issue will be fixed in next software update

• For every iPhone 4 purchased prior to September 30, 2010.
• If you’ve already bought an Apple bumper, you’ll get a refund
• Free Apple bumper case for every iPhone 4 (users get choice of color)

• “Even though the issue affects a small percentage of users, we care about every user.”
• Jobs attributes the very slight call drop increase to lack of iPhone 4 cases available. Only 20% of customer leave Aple Store with iPhone 4 bumpers because Apple can’t make enough quickly enough.
• “iPhone 4 drops less than one additional call per 100 than the iPhone 3GS. Less than one.”
• AT&T call drop rates: iPhone 4 does drop more calls than iPhone 3GS: iPhone 4 drops less than 1 additional call per 100 calls. (illustrates the hype/FUD, again – MDN Ed.)
• AT&T return rates: iPhone 3GS – 6.0%. iPhone 4 – 1.7%. “That’s 1/3 of the 3GS.”
• AppleCare data: 0.55% of iPhone 4 users have called about attenuation (illustrates the hype/FUD – MDN Ed.)
• “Smartphones have weak spots.”
• Apple tests in a state of the art facility with 17 anechoic chambers, a $100 million investment, 18 PhD scientists and engineers…
• You’ll still see a drop “we haven’t figured a way around the laws of physics yet.”
• We’ve corrected that with recent software update
• “We had a reporting error.. screwed up our algorithm…”
• This is a challenge for the entire industry
• “Phones aren’t perfect” (theme of the day so far, reinforced – MDN Ed.)
• Samsung Omnia II: 4 bars to 1 bar.
• HTC Droid Eris: 4 bars to 0 bars.
• Happens with many phones: BlackkBerry Bold 9700, hold it in a normal way, 5 bars go down to 1 bar.
• Attenuation “not unique to iPhone 4.”
• Antennagate. “Apple’s been working our butts off for 22 days…”
• iPhone 4 has highest customer satisfaction of any iPhone or smartphone
• iPhone 4 is #1 smartphone according to Wired, Engadget, PC World, Consumer Reports
• 3 million iPhone 4 units shipped to date
• “We want to make all our users happy.”
• “We’re not perfect. Phones aren’t perfect.”
• First, a 15-minute presentation
• Steve Jobs takes the stage.

• Apple’s press conference begins with this video:

Other sites offering live coverage include:
AllThingsD
– Ars Technica
– CNET
– Engadget
– MobileCrunch
– San Francisco Chronicle

84 Comments

  1. I want to apple to give us all ( loyal iPhone buyers) bumpers!!!! That would blow the socks off competitors , all of the other cell phone makers would or couldn’t !! So apple make us proud as always!!!!!!

  2. I’ve had my iPhone 4 for about 16 hours now and I’m pretty sure my reception is BETTER than my 3G iPhone. I tried my darndest to drop a call with the death grip and it didn’t. yes…the bars go down when i hold it but it doesn’t seem to affect the actual signal or call in any way. LOVE my new phone by the way!

  3. Now when we look at this data, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that there is a problem”
    -S. Jobs

    MacDaddy, are you still in full denial that this is a REAL problem? Jackass.

  4. @Genius
    Who’s the “genius” now? Your naysaying and hyperbole have been squashed by real data! And, yet, Apple goes the extra mile for their customers (and, to be honest, to get the damn media off of their back).

    The voice of reason is usually right. That about sums it up.

  5. @DS
    You are taking the statement out of context. You must live your life out of context. It’s over – you were wrong. Accept it or go to therapy. Vindication sure does feel great!

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