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Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

Posted July 16, 2010 at 2:29pm by iClarified · 34192 views
11:25AM Gdgt:
Steve: Thank you for coming! Has this helped? I wish we could have done this in the first 48 hours, but then you wouldn’t have had so much to write about.
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

11:25AM Gdgt:
Q about Steve’s email habits.
Steve: I get a lot of email, and my address is out there. I can’t reply to all of these emails — I have a day job. Some people post them on the web, which is kind of rude, but the most recent phenomena is people just making them up! But they’re our customers, and I want to communicate with them.

11:22AM Engadget:
Q: You released a software update for the iPhone about two years ago which improved the signal. You say now you've got a long-standing bug that doesn't show the right bar data. Can you square those two things?
Steve: Well let me say something about Apple. We didn't want to get into any business where we didn't own or control the primary tech, because if you don't the people who do own it will beat you. Our big insight about 8 years ago, was that it was going to shift from big displays or optical pickup heads, or radios being the most important component, we thought it was going to be software. And we're pretty good at making software, we showed that in the iPod... other people are good at it too, like Palm, but we brought great software to the smartphone space. We've been able to create and distribute major updates to this software since the iPhone was released, and we've made the product better and better for free. Everyone is copying us now, but we were the first ones to do it. To answer your question, the formula we use the calculate bars has been off since the beginning, and the new update fixes that for the iPhone 4, 3G, and 3GS... I don't know if I understand the other part of your question?

11:16AM MacWorld:
Jobs: John Markoff! Nice to see you. Markoff: I've had an iPhone in a heavily congested cell in SF for a long time. I'd like to know if the handset has any role in congestion management. Separate from the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3 issue. Does the stack play no role in the management of congestion?

Jobs: When AT&T wants to add a cell tower in Texas, they say it takes about 3 weeks. When they want to add a cell tower in SF, the average time to get approval is 3 years. Not all of us want cell towers in our backyard, but we all want good reception. They've tried to make them look like banana trees, but still, it's a problem.

11:14AM MacWorld:
Hank from Marketwatch: Has there been a slowdown in sales? Due to shortages? Or an impact in sales in the past week? Jobs: We were able to build up a supply before the launch date, but the run rates we were at weren't 1.7 million every three days.
Cook: The 1.7 was a fairly precise number. This number is "well over 3 million." Jobs: I'm just trying to give you a feel for the fact that this is our most successful product launch and demand looks beyond what we're capable of supplying, and that hasn't changed. Cook: We are selling every phone we can make right now.

11:13AM MacWorld:
Ben from Mashable asks: What kind of impact do you think this will have on the bottom line?
Cook: We'll be announcing Q3 results on Tuesday and will be giving guidance on Q4, and we'll hold financial stuff till then.

11:11AM Gdgt:
Q (Josh, Engadget): NY Times says this might have a software fix, is this something that can be helped with software?
Steve: We just spent the last hour going through how the iPhone 4 drops only 1 more call per hundred than the 3GS. … Go talk to the Times, because you guys talk to yourselves a lot, and they’re just making this stuff up.

Forstall jumped up on stage: “That statement is patently false. Can we continue to tune the way the baseband interacts with the network? Yes, and we do this all the time. But that statement is untrue.”
Steve: “One many statements lately that fall into that category.”

11:05AM MacWorld:
Q: Did you consider a recall?
A: When you love your customers as much as we do, nothing's off the table. But the way we work is to be data driven. We want to go find out what the problems are. We've sent people all over this country to visit customers. I get e-mails, "My phone isn't working right, I don't have reception," I dispatch them to my engineers, they've sent teams all over the country, visiting these people in their homes. These people literally get a knock at their door from Apple engineers with a bunch of equipment and want to plug it in and test reception. We're really serious about this. So again, that's who we are. And we try to find out the truth of the matter. And then we do whatever it takes to take care of our customers.
Mansfield: For the record, we told them we were coming. Jobs: And we didn't bash down any doors.

11:03AM MobileCrunch:
Q: Can you reiterate this point about the hardware redesign? Is there a hardware redesign that is possible in this generation that can get rid of the problem?
A: What i'm saying is that you can go on the web and find pictures of Nokia phones that have stickers on the back that say "Don't touch here! Don't cover here with your hand!". You can go on youtube and find these things. Right now, the state of the art of the entire industry is that no one has solved this problem. Would I love apple to be the first? Yes. Can we make our situation better? Maybe, we'll see.

"For users who are experiencing it, they're seeing it in test mode, when they're duplicating what they see online. They're not seeing it in use. And for those who are? We want to get them a case."

10:58AM MobileCrunch:
Q: Is there anything you'd do differently, or that you've learned?
A: I dont know yet. I think we need to get a bit of distance from that. I can tell you one thing we've learned. I think we've learned how much we care about our customers. We were stunned. We were upset. We were embarrassed by the consumer report thing that came out this week -- but we didn't need that. The reason we didn't say anything for a week? Because we didn't know anything yet. All of this hard data, we got that 3 days ago. In a few more weeks, we'll have even more data that'll help us hone in on this problem.

"Some people want us to run a little faster, I dont think we could. I've seen cars in the parking lot all night; we've got cots in the engineering building. I don't think we could be working any harder to get to the root cause of the issue"

"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, and I think to myself: why are they doing this? Googles a great company, and they make great companies. And now they're doing it to us. I ask myself: why? Would you rather we were a korean company, instead of an american company? Would you rather we werent innovating right here?"

"I'm not saying we're not at fault -- we didn't educate ourselves, we didn't understand that people don't know that smartphones have weaknesses. We didn't know we were painting a bullseye on our phone with the lines. We were not just innocents -- but the reaction, based on the data we have, has been so overblown."

10:58AM Gdgt:
Steve: I use it in my home — and I live in a brick house. And I’ve gotten reception where I haven’t gotten it before, I’m thrilled. That doesn’t mean other people don’t have problems, but that’s been my experience.

10:58AM Engadget:
John Gruber: Do any of you use the cases? I don't.
Steve: Well I don't. And I get better reception, I hold it like this [death grip] and never see problems.
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:56AM Gdgt:
Q: If you bought a 3rd party case, will you get a refund?
Steve: We’re not going to refund the 3rd party cases — it’s a very small number because we didn’t sell as many cases because we didn’t share the phone design with case manufacturers in advance of launch. But now we kind of wish there were more cases out there! [heh] It’s really simple why: when people find out about your new product, they stop buying your old products. Sometimes websites buy stolen prototypes and put ‘em on the web, and we don’t care for that. But if we give the designs to case makers, they have a history of putting them up on the web as well.

10:53AM Gdgt:
Q: After September 30th, is it because after then you expect people to buy a free case?
Steve: It’s so we can reevaluate this in September, I have no idea what solutions may come up.

10:51AM MacWorld:
But the press that's surrounded this. Maybe people thought we were perfect, and they saw this as an example where we weren't, and thought it would be fun to jump on it. Let me tell you, we are not perfect. We are human. And we make mistakes sometimes. And we don't know everything. But we figure it out pretty fast. And we take care of our customers. This is why we have the best and most loyal customers in the world.

10:50AM Gdgt:
Q: Is there anything you could have said in the launch keynote to lower expectations?
Steve: I’ve thought about that a LOT. We didn’t fully understand if there were problems at that point. We might have set the expectation that smartphones have weak spots… but the fact is, most smartphones seem to have the same characteristic as the iPhone 4. If you grip them in a certain way they lose signal strength dramatically, especially in a low signal strength area. And one of the things we’ve learned is that as a leader in the smartphone world now, we need to educate. So what we need was data. And now we’ve got some and we’re sharing it now.

10:48AM Gdgt:
Q: Do Apple customers have to choose between form and function?
A Steve: No. The Retina Display in the iPhone 4 is being widely hailed as the best display ever created. … We try to have our cake and eat it too, we try to have great design and great performance. If you look at our products, that’s what we deliver.
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:46AM Engadget:
Q: Are you willing to make an apology to investors?
Steve: You know we hear from customers who love this phone and have a great experience with it, and we're doing a lot to help them with any issues they're seeing. To investors, you know, you invest in the company we are, so if the stock goes down $5... I don't think I owe them an apology.

10:44AM Engadget:
Q: Were you told about the design before the phone was released?
Steve: Are you talking about the Bloomberg article? That's a crock, and we've challenged them to show proof that that. If anyone had said this thing has problems, we would have dispatched people to deal with that issue.

10:43AM MacWorld:
Q: Ryan from GDGT. You can cause the signal drop with one finger, not a whole grip. A from
Mansfield: On any phone, your body is a signal absorber. And none of us has a walkie-talkie style antenna anymore....

10:41AM MacWorld:
Q: Is this a PR problem? Should Apple have had more iPhones in more hands, earlier? A: Well we did, and we do now, and most people aren't seeing it. If we did this all over again, we'd try to come up with some mitigation, but so far nobody in the industry has been able to do it.

10:41AM Engadget:
Q: I can't get my Bold to drop right now, maybe you can show me how to do it?
Steve: You may not see it in certain areas.

10:40AM Engadget:
Q: Are you doing anything else to address the issue? Perhaps changing hardware?
Steve: You know, the 3GS has the same problem. We're getting reports from customers that this is better than the 3GS. So I don't know changing the antenna design would help -- I don't know what our next antenna design will look like.

10:38AM Macworld:
Q: How's your health?
Jobs: I'm fine. I was better earlier this week, on vacation in Hawaii. But I thought it was important to come back for this. I'm fine. Thanks.

Q&A with Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and Bob Mansfield
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:37AM MacWorld:
The problem here is, Smartphones are limited, we made ours very visible, some people chose to demonstrate it, we screwed up with the display of the bars. So we are giving everyone a case and if you still have a problem, we'll give you a full refund. But 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 someday to improve so there are no weak spots on any phone. We love our customers. And we're going to try to take care of every single one.

10:35AM Engadget:
So we love our users. We also connect users with great apps and developers, and great content through iTunes, and really bring content creation and our users together. We love our users so much that we built 300 Apple retails stores for them to give them the best buying experience in the world... with Genius bars, and seminars. We had 60m people through our doors last quarter. We do this because we love our users, and if we screw up, we pick ourselves up and we try harder. And when we succeed, they reward us by staying our users. We take this really personally. Maybe we should have a wall of PR people keeping us away from this stuff, but we don't, we take it really personally. So we've worked the last 22 days on this trying to solve the problem. And we think we've gotten to the heart of the problem."

10:32AM Gdgt:
“On July 30th we’re going to bring the iPhone to 17 more countries — these are the same we announced before. In ending, I’d like to just give you a feel of what we care about, how we operate, and how we make decisions.”
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

“We love our users. We try very hard to surprise and delight them. We work our asses off. And it’s great, and we have a blast doing it. And we make some pretty interesting products for them — Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods, the Apple TV… we make some pretty great products.”
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:31AM Engadget:
"And if you're not happy, you can bring the phone back. We'll give you a full refund within 30 days. No restocking fee. We want to make everyone happy, and if we can't make you happy we'll give you a full refund. So I have some other updates. We're tracking some problems with the proximity sensor and we're working on it. White iPhone, we're going to start shipping at the end of the month."
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:30AM MobileCrunch:
We can't make enough bumpers, so we will offer a choice of cases. You can apply on our website late next week. Pick a case, zoom, we'll send it off to you.
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:29AM gdgt:
"Secondly: a lot of people have told us the bumper solves the signal strength problem. Okay. Great. Let’s give everyone a case. We want to give everyone is going to get a free case."

10:27AM gdgt:
“When our engineers and scientists look at this data, it’s very hard to escape the conclusion that there is a problem — but it’s affecting a very small percentage of our users. I myself have gotten over 5000 emails from users telling me their iPhone works fine, and they can’t figure out what this is about. Having said this, we care about EVERY user. And we’re not going to stop until every one is happy. But it’s important to understand the scope of the issue — the data says the issue has been blown so far out of proportion, it’s incredible. It’s fun to have a story, but it’s less fun to be on the other end of it. So here’s what we’re going to do. Yesterday we released iOS 4.0.1 that fixes some of these bugs with our algorithm. We recommend every iPhone owner update to it."

10:26AM Engadget:
When the 3GS came out, we didn't change the design from the 3G. So there were already lots of cases out there for the phone. And more than 80% of new buyers left the store with a case. Now the new phone doesn't fit those cases, and we can't make these bumpers fast enough, so only 20% leave the store with a case... but we're going to figure it out.

10:26AM MobileCrunch:
"Even that's too much for us. I have my own pet theory on this: when the iPhone 3GS came out, we didn't change the design. There were a number of cases available, on day one. The iPhone 4 has a radically new design, so none of the cases fit, and we can't make enough of our bumper cases."
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:23AM Gdgt:
"One more data point. AT&T has given us the early call drop rate just a couple days ago. They log call drops, it helps them improve their network. AT&T won’t give out the absolute call drop data for competitive reasons, but they’ll let us release the delta. But how do the call drops on iPhone 4 compare to 3GS a year ago per 100 calls? we believe the iPhone’s antenna is superior, the data says the iPhone 4 drops more calls than the 3GS. But how many more calls per hundred does it drop? Again, listening to ‘Antennagate’ on the web, it must be dropping many more calls! The iPhone 4 drops less than ONE call per hundred than the 3GS. Less than one.
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:21AM Engadget:
"Let's keep going. So smartphones have weaknesses, and AppleCare data shows only 0.55% have called in about reception issues. The third, return rates... AT&T has a 'buyer's remorse' clause, you can return a phone no questions asked. Apple has the same thing. So what are our return rates? Well we're going to compare it to the iPhone 3GS... In the early days of the iPhone 3GS return rates were 6%... below the average, we were happy with that... so for the iPhone 4? You think half the people must be returning their phones with what you read online... well it's 1.7% -- less than a third of the 3GS returns."
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:18AM MacWorld:
We have learned: Smartphones have weak spots. You will drop reception. Next, we have gotten some very interesting information from AppleCare. Whenever anyone calls in with a problem, it's logged and we have the statistics. And we asked, what's the percent of iPhone 4 users who have called AppleCare with any issues about antenna or reception, or anything near. 0.55% of all iPhone customers have called AppleCare with an antenna issue. So this doesn't really jive with what you read about this problem.

10:17AM MobileCrunch:
We do a lot of testing. "We've invest over 100 million dollars in these rooms". "The iPhone 4 went through all of these tests. We KNEW that if you held it in a certain way, the bars would go down."

"We didn't think it'd be a big problem. Phones aren't perfect. It's a challenge for the entire industry."
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:16 Gdgt:
“X marks the spot. You know exactly where to [not] hold it! … we screwed up on our algorithm. Again, all smartphones seem to do this — we haven’t figured out our way around the laws of physics. Yet.”
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:14AM Gdgt:
“This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren’t perfect. It’s a challenge for the whole industry, and we’re doing the best we can. But every phone has week spots. Now, we’re not perfect: we made it very visible (with a little help from some of our friends from certain websites).”
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:13AM: Engadget:
"Samsung Omnia II -- it's got 4 bars to start... we grip it in a not unusual way... this one has a long hysteresis in their algorithm... None of this is standardized... and so again, you'll see it go back up. They go back up faster than they go down."
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:11AM Engadget:
"There's the Bold, 5 bars to 1 bar." "Next, the Droid Eris." "Starts off with 4 bars... and the time it takes for the bars to go down has to do with the algorithm... so it goes down to zero bars, and then it goes back up."
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:09AM Gdgt:
So we want to find out what the real problem is before starting to work on solutions. So we've been working our butts off to come up with real solutions. “‘Antennagate’ — it doesn’t seem like a good idea if you touch your phone in a certain way and the bars go down. But one of the first things we learned: it’s certainly not unique to the iPhone.” “We did our own testing — let me show you an example of some other smartphones. First, BB Bold 9700, perhaps the most popular business smartphone.” Video showing the bars — they drop from four or five to one. “Pretty much identical to the videos on the web about the iPhone 4.”
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:07AM MacWorld:
But before we go into that, I want to talk about the problems and about the data we've got" that informs us and helps us make our users happy. "We have sold well over 3 million since we launched it 3 weeks ago". PC World namechecked as listing iPhone as #1 phone. Highest customer satisfaction of any iPhone or smartphone ever. owever, we started getting some reports of people having some issues with the antenna system, which is very advanced...

We heard about this 22 days ago and have been working our butts off. It's not like we've had our heads in the sand for 3 months; it's been 22 days. And Apple is an engineering driven company. We have some of the finest engineers here in the world, in the areas that help us create our products. So we want to find out what the real problem is before starting to work on solutions. So we've been working our butts off to come up with real solutions
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:06AM Gdgt:
Steve: “Good morning, thank you for joining us! We saw that on YouTube today and we wanted to share it. We’re not perfect. Phones aren’t perfect. We know that, you know that. But we want to make all our users happy. If you don’t know that, you don’t know Apple. We’re going to talk about how we’re going to do that.”
Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

10:04AM Engadget:
Oh my. "The iPhone 4 antenna song" just came on!

"There's an awful lot of hoopla... about the iPhone antenna... Oh sure I can make it happen, but in terms of daily usage... I have yet to drop a call... Hey let's all sing this song: if you don't want an iPhone 4 don't buy it, if you bought one and you don't like it, bring it back. Bring it back to the Apple store... but you know you won't."

10:02AM MobileCrunch:
We're still waiting for the event to start. Some elevatory smooth jazz is playin'. The event is reaaally small.

9:59AM Gdgt:
We’re in and seated! This is definitely the smallest Apple event I’ve ever seen.

9:57AM Engadget:
Okay we're in our seats... and some smooth, smooth jazz is playing. The room is not completely full -- not surprising given the short notice.

Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]

We will be live blogging Steve Job's iPhone 4 press conference here starting at 10am PST / 1pm EST.

With only a few invitations sent out, we will be using quotes from various sites to compile the best coverage possible.

Stay tuned.

Thanks to Engadget, Gdgt, MobileCrunch, and MacWorld for their coverage.

Apple's iPhone 4 Press Conference: Live Blog [Finished]
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Aaron Wright
Aaron Wright - July 16, 2010 at 5:56pm
What a fucking joke. Jobs is making their fuck up seem like its an industry wide thing. You think I'm about to believe your tests? Of course your gonna make competitors look worse than you! You as a company have an obligation to test your products before you release them. Thats why you made available the bumper the exact same day you announced the iPhone, because you KNEW this WAS AN ISSUE! MAN UP AND ADMIT THAT! I enjoy Apple products, but c'mon, dont bullshit us!
Waiting customer
Waiting customer - July 16, 2010 at 4:43pm
Totally uncovered by Apple and those "Journalists": If the phone drops a call by tapping on the corner and if in the same situation it can be fixed by applying a duct tape, then there's a hardware problem. As they need some time to fix this in design and production (applying a thin transparent coating), they talk about all kind of interesting things - but totally unrelated to the actual issue. Guess why bumpers are free until Sep 30: they are sure they have the fixed phones in production until then.
Robert - July 16, 2010 at 3:31pm
just go return your iphone 4 if you dont like it...whats the big deal. god damn kids.....
prostovanka - July 16, 2010 at 2:12pm
PLEASE ASK THEM ABOUT PROXIMITY SENSOR. Proximity Sensor is more annoying then reception. When the screen turns on ur face presses END Call Soo many times.
Tulalip - July 16, 2010 at 1:54pm
Oh great. Free bumpers. Now I get to put a case on my phone. Something I hate to do. Screw this. Steve. You, sir, are a crock. I've never had a case one any of my phones and never will. Phones should not have to require a case to work properly. Fix the hardware or go to hell.
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