After hemorrhaging $23 billion in market value, Apple plays defense

“Apple Inc broke its silence on complaints about bending iPhones, hours after withdrawing a glitch-ridden software update as the company struggles to restore momentum to the rollout of its latest phones,” Arathy S Nair and Sam Adams report for Reuters. “‘With normal use, a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus,’ Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said in an email.”

“Apple shares closed down nearly 4 percent at $97.87 on Thursday, wiping out nearly $23 billion in market value,” Nair and Adams report. “Apple said its iPhones feature stainless steel and titanium inserts to reinforce high-stress locations and use the strongest glass in the smartphone industry.”

“Apple was also forced to withdraw a faulty update to its latest operating system after some users of its new phones complained of call service disruptions,” Nair and Adams report. “Apple released a new software update late on Thursday to fix the problems, which it said affected fewer than 40,000 devices. ‘I do believe this speaks to execution issues at Apple,’ said JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna. ‘At the end of the day I believe this too shall pass, but we are noting with concern that the miscues pile up.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has more work to do to get its house in order in software quality control.

Squatting out the iOS 8.0.1 turd atop the as-yet-unaddressed “bendygate” FUD was Microsoftian. Apple customers don’t settle for Microsoftian. Hopefully a strong message has been sent from Cook that prompts every Apple employee to up their game.

One thing Cook needs to make very sure is that quality assurance testers have ALL hardware, including the most recent models, in their possession for testing. Doubling down on secrecy at the expense of quality, if that’s part of the problem, is a crucial policy mistake that needs to be fixed immediately.

So this whole mess is the result of a hardware non-issue (likely a planted FUD attack from rivals; strike the match and watch it rage out of control) and a minor point iOS update that affected Apple’s newest iPhones and was quickly remedied.

That’s the reality. The problem for Apple is the perception. To quote Andre Agassi for Canon: “Image is everything.” Perception (as we told you would tar Maps for a long time) is not so quickly and easily remedied. Now every iPhone 6/Plus owner can look forward to idiots asking if their phone bends, if Touch ID works (also not good for Apple Pay’s rollout), or if it can make phone calls. Wonderful.

With the “bending” nonissue, we believe Apple has begun to do a effective job on addressing the usual FUD storm that greets each major product release. With the very rapid iOS 8.0.2 release, it’s obvious Apple understood the importance of quickly addressing the issue. Hopefully Apple is fully prepared for the Category 6 shitstorm of FUD that’s coming with the Apple Watch launch.

Related articles:
Apple opens testing facility to reporters, details exhaustive iPhone 6 Plus durability tests – September 25, 2014
Apple’s so-called ‘quality assurance’ manager responsible for iOS 8.0.1, was also responsible for Apple Maps – September 25, 2014
Apple releases iOS 8.0.2 – September 25, 2014
Apple’s gauntlet of five durability tests that iPhone 6 Plus passed with flying colors – September 25, 2014
Samsung, HTC, BlackBerry, and others mock ‘bendability’ of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus – September 25, 2014
Apple: Only nine customers have complained about bent iPhone 6 Plus units – September 25, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s banana skins: U2, ‘Bendygate’ and iOS 8.0.1 – September 25, 2014
iOS 8.0.1 fiasco: Apple exec responsible for catching bugs before release has a ferocious door-slamming temper – September 24, 2014
Apple pulls iOS 8.0.1 after users report major problems – September 24, 2014
If ‘bending’ is all Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus rivals have left, they’re roadkill – September 24, 2014
SquareTrade Breakability Tests: Apple iPhone 6 earns best score ever, iPhone 6 Plus not far behind – September 24, 2014

26 Comments

  1. Quoting a guy talking about image who wore a wig to play tennis isn’t a good point. Hmm, I thought it was about quality product, not image.
    I agree the perception of a problem is a problem, but suddenly becoming a PR machine that they’ve never been will also look like they’re afraid.

  2. Seriously 23 billion – a blip to Apple. With all this bullshit going around about Apple you would think they killed someone. any ass that puts that big phone in their tight pants is asking for it. How dumb can they be ?. Apple still have the best system and product in the market .Like it not thats the truth

  3. Excellent take, MDN. Apple must get beyond their famous arrogance that has led to these stumbles. The notion that the company is so great that nothing can hurt it is a very dangerous one when their competitors are so very capable of making the most of the slightest misstep and knowing how the media will have such a field day with.

    Numbskulls on television “news” reports breathlessly describing some hiccup as a crisis as they all want to see the company join the ranks of all the others as “ordinary.” Tim doesn’t seem to recognize this nor has he shown any sign that he is at all prepared to deal with it because he too supports the continued culture of arrogance

    Is there anyone at Cupertino who can lead a transformation in the culture? If there was anyone, would Tim listen? If not, then …

  4. MDN, I agree, it’s a matter of perception. Antenna-gate, Bend-gate, Nude-gate… These FUD campaigns are manufactured as such:

    1. FInd a perceived weakness in Apple product (it doesn’t have to be real)

    2. Locate a pre-existing social media vehicle such as a video. This is not hard to do, because there’s always someone out there creating a vehicle that fits with the agenda. Should no vehicle preexist, then have someone legit create one — video is best but also blog, news articles and tweets can work.

    3. Orchestrate a fast moving viral internet campaign that ultimately reaches the mainstream media.

    4. Use the perception created by the campaign in paid advertising and legit PR to cement a negative perception of the Apple product in the public’s mind despite Apple denials or truth.

    This is being done over and over. Favorite target: Apple. Who’s behind it? Just ask who doesn’t like Apple or who benefits from their demise… (hint: there are several candidates with the resources)

    How to fight it: the truth. But Apple needs to respond fast, before the FUD moles create a public perception that is impossible to unravel. Apple is a big, shiny, target for those that believe that false campaigns are fair game to create the illusion of a public outcry, and thus actually create a public outcry over nothing at all.

  5. Mdn.. Stop this Apple should do this or that..
    They did a great job responding to a massive attack by the competition in 48 hours.
    And thank god they took time to think first before they reacted.
    I Repeat..” THINK FIRST BEORE REACTING ”

    Now on the other hand maybe you guys can post more articles and expose the how undignified , fraudulent and lowlife the completion like Samscum and google are !!!

    1. and perhaps instead of MDN telling Apple what it should do, they should instead fix their broken APP so it might actually work on iOS8. Until they do, anything they say that others SHOULD do will fall on death ears.

  6. Apple shares closed down nearly 4 percent at $97.87 on Thursday, wiping out nearly $23 billion in market value

    Note that this statement is referring to AAPL stock and NOT Apple Inc the company. There’s a vast difference between The Company and Its Stock. Where the $23 billion in market value disappeared was in daft day traders who dumped AAPL for no sane reason. Then, of course, the savvy stock watchers bought it up in a hurry, restoring that $23 billion into their own hands. Manipulation games. Herd behavior. Moo moo. Bah bah.

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