Apple's self-inflicted black eye

It’s not the mistake, Steve. It’s the cover-up!

Apple’s censoring negative comments:

If you were looking for a message thread on Apple’s support forums pointing to Consumer Reports' article ‘not recommending’ the iPhone 4, it’s not there any more. Apple’s support forum moderators deleted the thread. Bing cached it….

Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Apple deleting discussion board threads on topics which are unflattering to Apple’s products. It’s closer to the fiftieth time. In fact, we’ve heard so many reports about this happening that it seems safe to call this standard operating procedure for Apple’s discussion boards. That’s not to say that there are no negative threads on the discussion boards, but the ones that are there are the ones that Apple’s moderators have decided to leave active.

It’s hard to imagine what Apple hopes to gain by doing this. Instead of having one negative news story, now we have two: not only did Consumer Reports come out and say they don’t recommend the iPhone 4, but now Apple seems to be trying to prevent people from talking about it on their support board.

It doesn’t matter whether the iPhone 4’s problem is hardware or software. If Apple wants to break through to the corporate world and Windows users and Linux users, censorship is really, really stupid. Lying to customers about a broken product can taint your brand for years to come.

If the iPhone 4 is deficient and you can fix it by shipping every buyer a “bumper” that retails for $25 (as I’ve heard), ship every buyer a $25 bumper! Otherwise, you risk becoming the next BP, which cost itself billions and billions (and everyone else billions and billions more, plus countless wildlife deaths) trying to cut corners to save millions.

Conversely, Intel earned its reputation by standing behind its products and recalling anything defective:

Intel has recalled its fastest chip—the 1.13-GHz Pentium III—saying the chip could cause system errors when running certain programs and at a particular temperature.

The problem is with certain circuits of the chip that have been shown to malfunction in laboratory tests under certain conditions, said Intel spokesman Howard High. Intel said it has not received reports from customers of any problems, but the glitch has been noted by some hardware review sites in recent days….

“Clearly if they want a replacement, then we will replace (it),” High said. “If they want a refund, we’ll accommodate them.”

Posted by James on Tuesday, July 13, 2010