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July 14, 2010
What Is Apple Thinking?
What is Apple thinking? Two days ago Consumer Reports confirmed in a video announcement that there is a problem with the iPhone 4's antenna, not just the formula Apple uses for displaying signal strength, and Apple has been silent. Its Web site keeps promoting the iPhone 4 as a glistening jewel, which indeed it is, except, apparently, for its antenna. 

When concerns over the iPhone's connectivity problem first arose, Apple sent a letter to iPhone 4 users explaining that the reception issue has to do with a mistaken formula it's been using to display connectivity strength, and that a software fix will be along in due time. 

The letter was fine, as far as it went. But Consumer Reports seems to be challenging it. This is not the way to handle a growing credibility problem. A host of tech Web sites sites predict that Apple will have to recall the iPhone 4. We hope not, and we also hope the connectivity problem is overblown, as Apple seems to feel.

However, crisis communication rules say that, in a situation like this, a company should be communicating promptly and credibly. Apple's Web site is the medium for that, and it's still nonplussed, but Consumer Reports isn't your average mudslinger. 

– Apple announced late Wednesday (July 14) that it will hold a press conference on the iPhone 4 antenna issue at 10 a.m. Friday (July 16) at its Cupertino headquarters.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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