Instead, BP chose to cut corners in an attempt to save a tiny amount of cost on what was likely to be a hugely profitable operation regardless. There's no excuse for that.
Blaming the foreigners for the US safety regs is like a country with no driving tests or traffic laws blaming Ford for car accidents.
Personally, I don't view BP as a "foreign" entity, they are a trans-national corporation.
Regardless, you do make a good point, if the US had as stringent of standards as required in the North Sea likely none of this would have happened.
I also don't know what the contract was, was BP in day-day charge of the rig or was that the company the rig was leased from? The capping operation was apparently being done by Haliburton!
I do know that the US has 4x the industrial accident rate of Uk/Germany/Scandanavia and it's not due to foreign companies.
Yes signal attenuation affects all phones if you hold them a certain way. But it's worse with the iPhone. So in that sense SJ is making the same kind of false statement that BP would have made with this response.
Other phones put their antennas in the base for a reason - the hand doesn't cover the whole area. Try as I can, I cannot replicate the problem holding an HTC Desire in a normal, comfortable grip.
Got a reference for that? Since Transocean owned the rig, my understanding is that most of the responsibility for how to operate the rig lay with Transocean.
No one would have felt small-minded to focus on those details, especially as the total number of barrels climbs toward 5 million.
Bottom line, you need to be near the top of the hill to take the moral high ground, and by all accounts, BP was near the bottom.
They might appear to be logically equivalent, but one clearly has hope of gaining empathy from the public and the other does not, especially considering BP was already on the hot seat about their safety record.
I don't think they are - Apple's design decisions are no where in the same league as BP's ongoing record of putting the health of their employees at risk. The only entity benefitting from BP's decision would have been BP, whereas the antenna design supposedly gives better reception when the signal is not being attenuated by the user's grip.
And the only response was that it's on a different magnitude. The discussion wasn't about the magnitude, it was about willful ignorance. It's actually worse. BP was taking a risk by being cheap. Apple knew that the decision they were making would have consequences rather than just a chance.
Given that this is a media driven news cycle type event, a short term fix may be the only thing that could work to deflect criticism. Besides, large corporations are not known for thinking in the long term usually, so your retort does seem a little odd to me.
That does raise a question… Does this industry need to be harmed to make further progress elsewhere? (I don’t consider myself much of an eco-sympathizer; I tend to look at oil politics from a more conservative “national sovereignty” angle.)
BP doesn't have to be thinking twenty years out to see the folly of admitting that there is an unavoidable risk in drilling.
I would adore BP if they said that. We all would. And then we'd suddenly be that much more motivated to support alternative energy.
That's why they didn't say it.
Xerox never supported computers because they thought it would hurt their core business, even after they invented everything at PARC.
Here’s an ugly question… Given the choice, would you rather suffer a terrorist strike or an industrial accident to continue to operate some technical apparatus you rely on?
The "risk" in drilling for oil should be empty wells, not massive uncontrolled spills. If BP did a proper job they probably wouldn't be in this mess.
Why should they do a proper job? Nothing had gone wrong the way they were doing it, it was fine, right?
Scott Adams' problem seems to be that he is living inside the reality distortion field. Part of the whole problem with Jobs' handling of this is that he has repeatedly failed to tell the truth (at very least not the whole truth, but arguably he has lied in an absolute sense). To be specific: Jobs stated that all phones have this flaw. But all phones do not have this flaw. The flaw is that the phone has an antenna that is shorted by the user holding it a normal way. No other phones have this flaw. It is an outright lie. Jobs himself made a big deal on stage about how no other phones have this kind of antenna when he was selling it as a good thing. Now he says that all phones have the same problems that are caused by this unique antenna design. No they don't. It's a lie.
The real tactic here is simply to gloss over the truth and hope you get away with it - at the moment I'm not sure whether Jobs has or not.
It seems like what really matters is not the specific physical process that causes signal attenuation, but rather (a) how likely are users to run into the problem, relative to other phones; and (b) how severe is the problem, when you do run into it?
Harping on the mechanism seems like a way to try to score gotcha points, rather than a genuine concern for users of the device.
>10:43AM Ryan from gdgt: You showed people almost covering the entire phone in their hand, but on the iPhone 4 it can happen with just a touch. Can you explain that difference?
Bob: When you touch the phone, you put yourself between the signal and your phone, so when you touch that spot you can attenuate the signal, and if you grip it with your whole hand, you can attenuate it even more. We don't build phones with an antenna on top...
>Hmm, that didn't really sound like an answer to us.
Interestingly almost all of them say "don't touch the external anntenna" (as in the old-fashioned stick out the top kind) yet no-one has connected these statements with the revolutionary design decision of making the external antenna into the part of the phone you hold.
>Now he says that all phones have the same problems that are caused by this unique antenna design.
That's a misrepresentation. He said they have a unique antenna, and he said that all smart phones have an issue when held a certain way. So you could interpret it that iPhone 4 has a superior antenna design, but it can be shorted by normal use so it ends up being equal.
But the central question that was in everyone's head
before the press conference - "Is the iPhone 4 a dud"
- has, well, evaporated.
A more common question was, will Apple own up to making an avoidable design flaw? Look around the Web at the responses to the press conference and decide just what questions have evaporated, and what new ones appeared.
There was a lot of vitriol directed at Apple, and a lot of people were saying it was a huge problem for them. People are still saying it now. Check out the recent slate article posted here, or techcrunch, or response from HTC/ BB/ Nokia. A lot of people (in the media) do not see this as resolved.
I am slowly learning to hate the media all over again.
I don't own one, but the whole antenna thing sounds massively overblown by a press hungry for some controversy. Anandtech went so far as to say that the phone was better overall in marginal reception areas than the 3GS.
I've had many high tech devices way more flawed than this and they didn't get 22 days of coverage, a press conference by the CEO, or some free fixes. Hell exploding laptop batteries got less coverage than this! I don't even own a iPhone (and don't intend to get one) but these comments are over the top.
And the 3GS is not a completely obsolete phone at all, except by gadget addict standards.
In auto industry, Toyota, Honda and others admit their product have flaw, and do a recall.
The reception problem when holding a phone a particular way happends on lots of phones out there, this was just never relised before. If you were using a Nexus on or bb 9700, you would lose a call and blame it on the network or the lift. Now, you might check how you are holding the phone.
2) How can you call it a “badly designed phone” when you don’t have one? I have one. It’s great. Give it up already!
I for one, am not sending my phone back...
Vitriol? Sure. But are these articles and posts primarily saying the phone is a dud? Seems at least half the articles I read point out the massive sales of the device, despite any perceived flaws.
The iPhone 4 has a significant flaw, but many (if not most) people have found it to operate perfectly well. If you look at the testing done at Anandtech, for instance, the new iPhone actually does a better job with a weaker signal. This translates into getting reception in places where it wasn't available before. Obviously, there is also a substantial design flaw in the antenna design, but the phone still operates properly for most people.
Even Consumer Reports, who obviously had serious issues with the antenna problem, still rank the iPhone 4 as one of (if not the) best smartphone on the market. That doesn't sound like a dud.
P.S. Just to clarify, I think Apple's response throughout this ordeal has been poor, and they obviously made mistakes in testing. But, like the parent post, I just wouldn't call the phone a dud.
In the forums that I visit, I've noticed that usernames I associate with being anti-Apple are far more likely to be concerned with Apple striking a suitably guilty tone.
The number of complaints of "unintended acceleration" shot up after it was initially covered in the media. There was no real focus on investigative journalism, or analysis of the actual statistics by news organizations. There was also the whole rigged ABC News broadcast, which they admitted later to faking. Toyota's Recall became the top most reported story in Jan-Feb 2010. And IIRC, as the media hysteria was winding down, the NHTSA concluded the majority of unintended acceleration was driver error.
In Apple's case, they had made a weakspot into a visual accent. And Jobs mentioned their algorithms made things appear more dramatic than they were. Both of these things were probably dumb, but dumb-like-the-recessed-headphone-jack (gaffe), not dumb-like-the-Microsoft-Kin (flawed design). The software fix is already out and the hardware will probably get fixed next iteration (perhaps coated?) and isn't a big deal. Yet the media coverage greatly outpaced the issue, and again no mention of statistics or data.
There are a lot of parties interested in seeing these reputable companies take a dive. It's great for competitors; but more cynically - its great for hedge fund managers with certain short positions... Reporting misinformation and sensationalizing news for securities price manipulation isn't new, and it's been done to Apple before.
Aaron Task: Okay. Another stock that a lot of people are focused on right now seems to be Apple.
Jim Cramer: Yeah. Apple’s very important to spread the rumor that both Verizon and ATT have decided they don’t like the phone. It’s a very easy one to do because it’s also you want to spread the rumor that’s it not gonna be ready for MAC World. This is very easy ‘cause the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim that it’s credible because you spoke to someone at Apple, ‘cause Apple doesn’t –
Aaron Task:They’re not gonna comment. They’re not gonna –
Jim Cramer: So it’s really an ideal short. Again, if I were a short Apple, I would be working very hard today to get that. The way you would do that is you pick up the phone and you call six trading desks and say, “Listen, I just got off the phone with my contact at Verizon and he has already said, ‘Listen, we’re a Lucky G house. We’re a Samsung house. We’re a Motorola house. There’s no room for Apple. They want too much. We’re not gonna let them in. We’re not gonna let them do what they did to music.’” I think that’s a very effective way to keep a stock down.
it didn't, that story was a hoax. http://www.autoblog.com/2010/07/19/followup-toyota-strongly-...
It is a big deal as people paid several hundred dollars for the device. If anything, the fact that people didn't return their iPhone 4s in large numbers is that they expected a decent response from Apple. I doubt that's what a lot of users feel they got.
My inclination is that this saga's real effects will be felt whenever the next iPhone is released: the initial sales will be a lot lower as people hold back being first adopters in case Apple screws up again.
Three doctors, a general doctor, an orthopedic doctor and a neuro surgeon are casually talking to each other outside a building. They notice a man walking abnormally, slightly
dragging one foot.
The General practitioner says, the guy must be shot on the left foot thus causing the behavior.
The orthopedic doctor predicts, the guy was born with one foot longer than the other thus explaining the behavior.
The neuro surgeon predits, the guy seems to have suffered a stroke in the past and this might be a result of that.
Now all of them are curious to know the truth and approach the guy in question.
The guy just had his shoe damaged.
Really, the message he wanted to convey included goals that sounded as lofty as Google's. In short, he seems to want to organize the world's connections in much the same way Google organized much of its HTML information.
Why did it backfire? Well, the intent was obvious to Mark, but not so obvious to the audience.
Also, a flop sweat during your interview/presentation is a big hurdle to overcome.
What about this antenna issue--is all the coverage a net positive for Apple or is this an exception to the "rule"?
Just curious to know what others here think.
Double of very little is, usually, still very little.
I say so because, from my perspective (as a barely interested outside observer), the iPhone 4 has nearly doubled the dropped call rate over a phone that already had a really bad reputation for dropped calls. I've heard the argument that that reputation is at least partly due to AT&Ts network, and that may be an entirely valid argument, though not a useful one since AT&T is the only option in the US, so iPhone+AT&T is the user experience you're going to get, and that seemingly includes a lot of dropped calls.
So, in short, from my limited view of the situation it looks like a reasonably serious problem that is going to go uncorrected. And, it looks like an arrogant response from a man who is making tons of money selling what seems to me to be a flawed product. If it actually isn't a serious problem, then I've gotten an unfairly negative view of things from the tech media...which is extremely rare for an Apple product. And kinda funny.
Instead it sounds to me like he was really saying, "Other people make mistakes, and oh, I guess we're kinda like other people, so it's kinda like we might have made a mistake of some sort at some time, too, but not really. Those other phone makers make mistakes, though, you better believe it. Unlike us. We try to never make mistakes. Except maybe this one, whatever puny complaint you were talking about."
Seriously, you don't see this as an arrogant response to a legitimate complaint about a very expensive product that is marketed as a superior product? We're talking about a several hundred dollar device, that Apple makes a tremendous profit on throughout the product's life. A good company would take actual responsibility for a flawed design. Apple somehow manages to be treated like a good company, while consistently treating its customers poorly. It's an amazing trick. Maybe it really is hypnosis.
This is sensible if we define "flaw" to include only issues that cause serious harm in using the product: those that make it lose a large portion of its value. For the vast majority of people, this isn't a "flaw" by that definition: it's instead a weakness caused by a specifically chosen engineering tradeoff that, all things considered, appears to have been a good one — the phone is thin, beautiful, strong, and has great battery and reception in almost all cases. To satisfy those for whom the issue's severity does rise to the level of legitimately being called a flaw, Apple announced that they're giving everyone a free case, which remedies this condition. And reminded customers that they're perfectly willing to give a complete refund.
So what would have been better for them to do? Recall all iPhone 4s and replace them with a 3GS-style case that does better in that one situation but worse in essentially every other way? Most customers would pick the 4 any day of the week over the 3GS, "flawed" in one specific way or not.
If iPhone 4 doesn't drop calls more than other comparable smart phones, then I find it interesting that the tech media has suddenly gone rabid on Apple...it's rare for folks to criticize the quality of Apple products, even when there are valid criticisms to be made.
I find it interesting that my comments have gone from several upvotes to several downvotes. I suspect it is because yours and a couple of other comments have reinterpreted my intent in ways that kinda resemble Jobs' own response to the problem. Diverting from the point.
If there is an issue with dropped calls on the iPhone 4, the right thing to do would be own up to the problem. If there is no issue with dropped calls on the iPhone 4, the right thing to do would be to prove it, or at least give us a reason to believe that the people making the claims aren't credible.
"So what would have been better for them to do? Recall all iPhone 4s and replace them with a 3GS-style case that does better in that one situation but worse in essentially every other way?"
That's an interesting false dichotomy. The 3GS case is the only alternative case design possible for a phone? Was the 3GS particularly reliable with regard to dropped calls? (It's my understanding that iPhone has always had problems with dropped calls...but I don't follow this stuff very closely.)
You see someone using an iPhone, you like it, you get one. Now everyone asks me, "Do you have an antenna problem?" I say, "No, it's been working much better for me." Then they go get one. Similarly, when I was considering an EVO someone came up to me and said, "Don't get an EVO, look at this terrible battery life." I backed off.
Because phones play such a huge role in our daily lives, word-of-mouth and personal testimonial become very important. If Apple can preserve positive sentiment in its users, they will keep selling phones. Judging from their absurdly high sales numbers thus far, they're managing to keep the majority happy.
The fact that many customers seem to drool over Apple products simply because of the Apple label is regrettable (for some reasons, not all), but not that surprising.
(Hell, I love my MacBook Pro, even though I only run Linux on it. At present it'd take a lot to convince me to buy a non-Apple laptop. I won't go near the iPhone for software reasons, but that's another matter.)
But yes, I would trust a bunch of blogs on the internet (at least, the ones that have proven themselves over time to be reputable) over a random anecdote from a HN poster.