Gartenberg: ‘The misplaced schadenfreude of antennagate’

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!Writing for, Michael Gartenberg addresses “the misplaced schadenfreude of antennagate.”

“What was most interesting to me about ‘antennagate’ was the response of Apple’s competitors, most of whom argued that their products were superior to Apple’s design while at the same time denying that any similar problem occurs with their devices,” Gartenberg writes. “(In fact, a number of phones do indeed come with warning stickers about where not to touch them if you want to keep a strong signal.)”

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“While the media, analysts, press and pundits will likely continue to weigh in on every single aspect of the situation—the merits of Apple’s design, the language and tone Steve Jobs used at the Apple press conference, the timing and departure of Apple executives—and debate a multitude of conspiracy theories, I’d advise Apple’s competitors to use caution in their tone and how they react,” Gartenberg writes “It’s important to understand this: the mass market appears completely unaffected by this story. As I write this, it’s still quite hard to find an iPhone 4 to purchase.”

Gartenberg writes, “Rather than focus on Apple, antenna design, and attenuation, Apple’s competitors in the smartphone business should be telling more compelling stories about why their devices and platforms are best-of-breed. That’s the only argument that will ultimately win the hearts and minds of users, period. Bashing Apple’s devices simply won’t work.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s so-called “competitors” don’t have “best-of-breed” devices or platforms. That’s why they jumped on “Antennangate,” which, by the way, was recycled FUD that had already been tried once before. It failed, too:

Additional testing of Apple iPhone’s 3G antenna again shows completely normal results – August 27, 2008
Apple iPhone 3G antenna test verdict: completely normal – August 25, 2008
Apple hit with lawsuit over iPhone’s 3G speed and reliability – August 21, 2008
• Apple: iPhone 2.0.2 Software Update ‘improves communication with 3G networks’ – August 20, 2008
• Apple releases iPhone, iPod touch 2.0.2 Software Update – August 18, 2008
• Steve Jobs: iPhone 3G reception issues affect 2% of total units shipped; software update coming soon – August 18, 2008
• iPhone 3G reception issues could be fixed via firmware update as early as this week – August 18, 2008
• WSJ: Apple preps software fix for iPhone 3G reception issues reported by some – August 15, 2008
• ABC News, Associated Press propagate iPhone FUD – August 15, 2008
• Nomura analyst Richard Windsor and his extraordinary knack for sniffing out Apple iPhone ‘issues’ – August 14, 2008
• Software fix on the way for iPhone 3G reception glitches – August 14, 2008
• Aussie telco source blames Apple secrecy for iPhone 3G reception issues – August 13, 2008
• Apple and AT&T investigating reports of iPhone 3G connection issues – August 12, 2008

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. I don’t remember any other time when the CEO of a company that produced a defective product came out and admitted the defect, offered a cover up as the solution and then grinned as the masses continued to fork over big money and kept on buying the device that did not work as originally promised and not even as good as the earlier version that it was suppose to replace.

    Whatever else you may say about Steve Jobs’ genius (most of it pop culture hype) he is absolutely the master of marketing. We haven’t seen the likes of such since P. T. Barnum who famously said, “there’s a sucker born every minute”.

    Steve must of heard him and proceeded to the next level in taking advantage of the fools.

  2. @ Remarkable,

    I can’t believe you had that spew canned and ready to post at a second’s notice. You obviously didn’t even read the posted parts of the article or MDN’s take.

    The article was all about you, not Steve. What a fool you are. Your name was up in lights, you foolish FUD spewer, and you missed the parade in your honor.

  3. @Remarkable Jobs

    “must of”? You must of been drinkin’ dat der same liquid delerium that the rest of yas guys have done drunk. You think your perception of Steve Jobs is spot on? You need to clear the cataracts from your eyes. Your part of the “heard” mentality, i.e. you heard it somewhere else and repeat it without even contributing an original thought.

  4. @Remarkable

    Nice smear post.

    You don’t want to face the fact that the antenna issue was a non-issue in the eyes of most consumers anyway, due to two reasons:

    1) most people could not replicate the issue.

    2) even if there was a widespread problem, people trust Apple’s long term reputation for creating easy to use reliable products, and they are willing to give them a pass once in a while. A single event does not make a trend.

  5. “the mass market appears completely unaffected by this story”

    How does one engage in schadenfreude when there is no misfortune over which to gloat? The sound and fury in the media simply doesn’t matter and cannot be taken seriously as misfortune. In fact, I’d go further to say that the louder the noise, the less newsworthy the “story” is likely to be.

  6. @Remarkable Jobs:

    Data in fact shows that customers rate the iPhone 4 as better than the 3GS model, and tests show it to be true. So you’re simply wrong. Your attitude makes it clear that you’ve never used an Apple product and that you’re simply jealous of those who have the money and more importantly, the courage to step out of the Microsoft/Dell herd and use equipment and systems that simply work.

  7. I went to the mall this weekend to swap out my iPhone because of the proximity sensor thing. When I came up to the Apple Store, there was a line of about 60 people waiting outside… they were all waiting to buy the iPhone.

    That is just amazing.

  8. The funny thing is me and my sisters fiancé had a debate about just this story a few weeks ago… He said the reason he hates apple is because of how jobs had handled the situation. ie. “saying there was no prob with iPhone 4’s antenna” blah blah… But now that it’s on more phones woo hoo I can throw that in his face.

  9. @Remarkable Jobs

    Do you really believe what you wrote, or are you trying to bait the readers of MDN?

    A device that “did not work as originally promised”? In what way(s) does it not work as promised? What promises have been unfulfilled? The “Antennagate” issue was (and in some media circles, continues to be) way overblown. Most of the articles I now read about this issue acknowledge that there was an unnecessary media frenzy about it. The “flaws” (if there are any) have more to do with AT&T than Apple. And the fact that Jobs carefully explained the issue and offered a full refund to people who were unhappy with the iPhone, or a free bumper/case to those who wanted one is pretty remarkable in today’s world. He knows that the buck stops with him and he took steps to deal with the issue. In my mind, that’s a positive thing, not a negative thing. He took ownership. He provided leadership. He was forthcoming. What more could he have done? (Look at how the top execs of Toyota were scrambling for cover and prevaricating over the whole braking/accelerating issue.)

    And, “…not even as good as the earlier version that it was suppose (sic) to replace.” In what ways is iPhone 4 not as good as what it replaces?

    I’m not being sarcastic or vindictive. I’m just really curious. My wife and I both have the new iPhones (16 gig) and they work flawlessly. We’ve found that whatever promises have been made by Apple about the device have been fulfilled.

    And is it really only about marketing? No amount of marketing could overcome people’s buying decision if the device turns out to be fundamentally flawed, or if it didn’t fulfill the manufacturer’s promises. The most famous example of this is the Ford Edsel. Millions of dollars (lots of money back then) were spent to advertise the Edsel, but because it was indeed a fundamentally flawed product (and not to mention ugly) the thing flopped in the market place. Skillful advertising (which Apple certainly has) does not trump a poorly designed or flawed product.

    Your thoughts?

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