Apple customers expect better, much better; that’s why heads are likely to roll at Apple

“Tim Cook must be furious,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “You can imagine the tension among those who’ve been called into his office in the last 24-hours… The introduction of the new iPhone, Apple Pay and the Apple Watch should be the moment his dominion in Cupertino turned years of criticism around. Instead somehow his staff have delivered not one, but two PR disasters inside a day: Bendgate [and] iOS 8.01. Can you imagine how he feels as his company is forced to put its name to this apology? ‘We apologize for the great inconvenience experienced by users, and are working around the clock to prepare iOS 8.0.2 with a fix for the issue, and will release it as soon as it is ready in the next few days.'”

“I suspect there’s a streak of ice emanating around the company right now as Cook attempts to get things on track again. He has to,” Evans writes. “There’s no way Apple’s customers (beyond the most hardcore loyalists) will accept that the iPhone 6 shouldn’t be carried in a trouser pocket. Where else do you carry a phone? In a little posing pouch suspended around your neck? In a surgically-added pocket just below your chest? You see, no one cares if other metal phones bend. This is an iPhone. It’s the consumer electronic equivalent of a superhero, and much more is expected from the device.”

“Much more is expected from Apple,” Evans writes. “It’s been a painful few hours. But let’s not be too unreasonable — we all know that sometimes things go wrong. The test of a great enterprise isn’t solely in ensuring there are no mishaps — a company sets its reputation by the way it deals with problems when they happen. It’s up to Apple’s top brass now to execute damage control. Heads are likely to roll.”

MacDailyNews Take: An army of 1,000 quality control engineers could be paid $1 million per year to guarantee the highest quality hardware and software releases the world has ever seen at the cost of $1 billion per year.

Apple currently has enough cash on hand to continue such a pointedly and intentionally exaggerated QC program for the next 160 years. Every 90 days, Apple currently generates enough cash to tack 7-10 years onto said Quality Control effort.

Apple has a culture of excellence that is, I think, so unique and so special. I’m not going to witness or permit the change of it. – Tim Cook

We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers… – Tim Cook

Read more in the full article here.

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45 Comments

  1. It’s one of the thinnest lightest phones in the world. You cannot compare it to other metal phones that are half an inch thick!! That video is so stupid!

    Flat screen TVs are flawed because you can snap them in two. I cannot do that with my cathode ray tube TV. That cathode ray tube is so much sturdier! What were they thinking making a flat screen? Why should I be careful not to break it. I never had to worry about my cathode ray tube TV before. My kids can hit their heads head onto it and I never had a problem. Now my kid does it one time to my new one and it’s destroyed. That’s the manufacturer’s fault!!

    (Moron.)

    1. You do not usually carry a TV in your pocket, or do you? This is a huge PR problem for Apple. It has become a laughing stock. Many in this country love to see the biggest fall. Sad day for Apple, they pulled the update, they will lose a fortune if the pull the plus.

    2. Flat screens aren’t put in your pocket. That’s a flawed analogy.

      A phone this thin should probably have been a prime candidate for Liquid Metal. My guess is that Apple considered and went:
      a) lower-risk on a material they knew
      b) lower-cost for higher profit margins

      In fact, Apple recently has been far lower risk as of late.

      1. The flawed analogy is being stupid enough to sit you fat ass on your iPhone 6+.

        As for folding the iPhone 6+ in two with your bare hands, that is a monetary payoff from Samsung.

        1. It’s the thinnest phone out there. That’s the problem you dumbass! It doesn’t need to be that fucking thin! There’s no reason for it. Consumers are not demanding a thinner phone. It’s all driven by Jony Ive. It’s as simple as that. Quit making excuses. You’re embarrassing yourself.

        2. To be fair, Aluminum is a fairly good heat conductor and becomes much more malleable at lower temperatures than other metals used for phones. Due to Aluminum’s property, almost no heat dissipation while pocketed, and heat from the human body and phone internals I would think the iPhone has a good chance of undergoing bend stress just from walking around let alone sitting.

    3. Also note that the clock on the phone in the video goes from 2:22 backwards to 2:00 by the end. Just thought that was a neat trick. Also, most of the photos posted yesterday were proven to be photoshopped. Trust me, the tech blogs tried like crazy to reproduce this in a meaningful way because what an $amazing$ story that would be. They could not. Which is why the headlines fell off of page 1 for all except those bankrolled by Samsung or proven clickwhores like BI. This is not a thing.

    4. So maybe we didn’t need/they cannot make a phone so thin.

      Personally I think even the 6 is abominable (though I bought one and probably will keep it). We have iPads ! We don’t need huge phones in our pockets. Fine, if some want that, let them have it, but most of us did NOT want a larger phone…the 5s was as near perfect ergonomically as I can imagine, why not stick to your guns, apple…you have been telling us it was perfect and it was!!! Just put the new features in the old form factor and more loyal customers are happy…what’s not to like?

    5. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

      A TV is something that sits on a shelf. You touch it every once in a while to clean it off, and maybe control it if you can’t find the remote.

      A phone is something you carry on yourself all the time in your pocket. You reach into your pocket at least 20 times a day to pull it out and use it, and then put it back in. As such, the priority in a phones design should be its ability to survive being in the average persons pocket.

      I’d rather have a phone that’s half an inch thick and survives my pants pockets than a phone that’s extremely thin and breaks when I sit down.

  2. QA is one thing. Designers taking QA suggestions and actually applying them is quite another. Can you imagine a QA guy saying… hey guys… in testing we found out that this phone is just too thin, given the materials used. You’re going to have to stiffen it up somehow. Make it thicker or use plastic.

    Would. never. fly.

    1. Exactly what I came to say. There have always been engineers who warned Apple about potential flaws that popped up such as the iPhone 4 antenna issue. The question is whether someone like Jony Ive will heed that advice or discard it for the sake of form over function. If Jony wasn’t obsessed with creating super thin devices there would be no Bendgate.

  3. Wait, you’re actually buying this bending iPhone story MDN? You realize it’s got no legs because it’s pretty much not reproducible in the real world, right? Also, 8.0.1…remember 2.0? Introduced the App Store and apps that when launched, would completely brick your phone. Was a crashtastic trainwreck. On Steve’s watch, no less. Heads did not roll. Remember next year’s iPocalypse? 3GS, 3.0 and MobileMe launched simultaneously. Activation servers ground to a halt for hours at a time. MobileMe straight up didn’t work for weeks and 3.0 was bug-ridden. Aside from the MobileMe team getting axed in a very public way, Apple just put it’s head down and got back to work. THOSE were real controversies. Not the manufactured “Bendgate”, which was actually coined back in 2012 with the iPhone 5. That one was accused of bending in pockets too, remember? Didn’t think so.

    1. It happens. We’ve seen some pretty crappy updates released and pulled by Apple and everyone else over the years. It’s technology. Remember some of the Mac updates that actually caused data loss? iPod updates that caused the devices to stop charging properly?

      1. There was even a BSOD “plague” on iPhone 5s last year. These things are commonplace and always blow over—after the glee bunnies have milked them for all they’re worth.

  4. Most objective article i have read in the past few days regarding Apple’s somewhat dodgy execution for the very very high standards that they have set and deliver 99% of the time. Most articles either over-looked Apple’s ability to deliver most of the time or people defended Apple by saying these are not issues at all. Article captures it perfectly. This is not what we expect from Apple but we love Apple. We have to move forward be compassionate and give this 1% leverage to the company that we love. Hope the % does not go up, that is the actual concern of most people who are disappointed too. Apple i am sure Tim Cook in particular would be livid and take appropriate steps because bad habits can creep in and change things very quickly.

    1. Just to re-emphasise how professional and caring is Apple towards their customers. Take a look at the below link. If we all ask ourself or re-collect all our experiences that we have had with customer care of various companies i am cent percent sure Apple would rank the best by far day night different to others. I am sure there are many who bent their iPhone 6 Plus on purpose like the person who supposedly reviewed all phones including Samsung and HTC did. But he incredibly biased towards non-iPhones. When i saw that video it was pretty obvious to me that he was softer while bending other phones compared to iPhone.
      http://www.cultofmac.com/297708/apple-isnt-ignoring-bendgate-will-replace-affected-devices/

  5. MDN, why join the irrational furor? 1000 additional QA engineers isn’t the answer, for they’d just gum up the process further. Just the meetings to assign testing areas alone would push a 24-month product cycle out to 36 months. (Apple develops the next product at the same time they’re developing the follow-on product, which is what a 12-month product introduction cycle equates to a 24 month development cycle, and those release cycles are timed on an annual basis because of the sales cycle which society has built to be annual).

    1. MDN’s example of 1,000 QA engineers at $1 million/year obviously wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

      The point is that Apple, of all companies, has the wherewithal to do much, much better and actually deliver the premium products that Apple customers expect and deserve.

      iOS 8.0.1 isn’t what Apple customers expect or deserve.

      1. It wasn’t meant to be taken literally? The spent a lot of column inches conducting a math exercise — but I’ll agree with you that their intention was to display financial wherewithal.

        8.0.1 isn’t what customers expect or deserve. A phone that’s no longer a phone is a terrible mistake. Period.

        Now let’s do math on the size of the problem. iOS devices that can run iOS 8.0.1 number in the several hundred million. Apple sold 10M iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices over the weekend, which includes the preorders that are just starting to arrive.

        The iOS 8.0.1 bug that turns a phone into an iPod affected an incredibly small percentage of Apple customers who expect and deserve better, largely because Apple pulled the flawed update quickly, but also because iOS auto-update wouldn’t have occurred until the evening, so it was the early adopters who were affected and the competitors who turned it into a media firestorm.

        So MDN’s take didn’t carry perspective regardless of the math or the intention.

    2. The point is, Apple has the resources for this not to be a problem. If it’s a case of piling on man hours to just physically grind through the problem, they can easily afford to do it. There should be no excuse for a company of Apple’s size and exacting standards (standards which they sell themselves on) not to be as close to 100% perfect as they can be. These recent issues are seemingly rather glaring problems that should have been caught. By making things bigger you do increase the chance of them bending, but you know people are going to put them in their pockets, if you can’t make them strong enough based on how thin the design is then you surely shouldn’t make them that thin?

      1. To be fair, the bending thing happens on other phones, but we all know that the media likes to jump on Apple as an easy target, so they should be aware that they have to be even more on top of these things than might reasonably be expected for anyone else.

        1. mxnt41 – that’s a cheap cop out. you can’t have it both ways. non-objective blowhards on this board and elsewhere make it a daily habit to bash all other manufacturer’s products. Now when Apple rolls out stuff that has just as bad if not worse problems than the competition, all of a sudden the excuses start flying. That is pathetic fanboy behavior that only reinforces the stereotype that many Apple users are a religious cult who turns off their brains whenever it suits their narrow outlooks.

  6. The iOS update glitch is a real problem and Apple bears responsibility. They should be judged on how quickly and how well they respond. The tarnish will quickly buff off the Apple if they perform as expected. The bending fiasco is owner stupidity amplified by Wall Street and the media (no doubt with financial encouragement from Apple’s competition) into a FUD campaign. Perhaps Apple has too high an opinion of the average purchaser. As they expand their market share should they adjust for different expectations? I say no. That path leads to mediocrity.

  7. I hear MS has some office chairs Tim can have to throw!

    If heads will roll will it be Kim Vorrath for the iOS 8 foul up or Jony Ive for the bendable iPhone?

    Well since Apple has been more in tune with the PC crowd what with Gay Pride marches, environmentally proper products and manufacturer plants, and diversity among its executives, I guess there is only one thing left to say to just another old, bald white guy with a funny accent… “Nice known’ you, Jony!’

  8. I flagged this to MDN from the BBC, no less yesterday debunking bendgate. Look here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29349998. MDN has chosen NOT to run it. Has anyone asked how much the people who are complaining about this actually weighed and how they actually sat down. Gently or a total collapse under no control. If a combination of the two, I’d say most phones metal or not, will bend. Nuff said!

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