Recap of the iPhone 4 Press Conference

With many of reported problems with the antenna and the dropped calls on the iPhone 4, Apple held a press conference to address the issue and the solution to the problem. The press conference had a 15 minute presentation followed by a question and answer segment.The conference first starts out with the Youtube Video, “The iPhone Antenna Song”.

After the video, Steve announces that, “You know, we’re not perfect. We know that, you know that. And phones aren’t perfect either… But we want to make all of our users happy. If you don’t know that about Apple, you don’t know Apple. We love making our users happy.”

After announcing that, Steve announces the  stats about the iPhone 4 sales. Steve says that Apple sold over 3 million iPhone 4 over since the beginning of the sales 3 weeks ago and says that the phone is the number 1 smartphone. He later goes on saying that the iPhone 4 has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any iPhone and smartphone out in the market.

Steve later goes on saying that they had been getting reports on how they are getting reports on getting lower cellular signal and dropped calls when holding the phone on the corner. Steve also says that they have been working on the problem for 22 days and Steve says “We’ve been working our butts off so we can come up with real solutions. And we want to share what we’ve learned.”

Steve says that antenna problem, known as Antennagate, is just not an iPhone problem, and that it happens with many other phone. Steve then shows images of the same problem with other phones, from the BlackBerry Bold 9700 to the HTC Droid Eris to the Samsung Omnia II. Steve announces about the signal meter that, “None of this is standardized… and so again, you’ll see it go back up. They go back up faster than they go down.” Steve concludes that “Most smartphones take a hit exactly the same way. These were all tested in areas of relatively weak signal strength. This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren’t perfect. It’s a challenge for the whole industry. Every phone has weak spots.”

Steve says, “Now we’re not perfect. We made it very visible with a little help from our friends on websites. We put this little line here… ‘here’s where you touch it everybody!'” Steve acknowledges that they screwed up their algorithm. Steve also says that some phones are too generous, and says that they decided to put the correct algorithm with the new update and says that people will see a drop in the signal meter and says “we haven’t figured out a way around the laws of physics yet.”

Steve goes on saying that they have been testing the phones numerous times and shows images of their testing facilities. Steve also says that the 17 anechoic chambers that are state of the art and invested over $100 million on the facilities.  They said that they have 18 PhD scientists & engineers studying on it.

Steve concludes that people can see drops when holding in a certain way and phones are not perfect, but people are reporting better reception with this phone than “they’ve ever seen before.” Steve later says that cell phones have weak spots, not just affecting the iPhone, but to all phones. Steve later goes on saying that they got interesting data on Applecare and when looking at the statistics and says that a little more than half a percent of the calls is about cell phone reception issues.

Steve moves on showing the return rates on the phone, showing that the iPhone 4 has a return rate of 1.7%, compared to the iPhone 3GS with 6%.

Steve goes on saying that AT&T had been giving information on dropped calls a few days ago, although they said they cannot disclose those information. Steve announces that the iPhone 4 drops more calls than the and discloses the iPhone 4 drops about less than 1 of every 100 calls more than the 3GS. Steve explains the higher amount of stopped calls on the amount of cases available and says, “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…” Steve ends the dropped calls information by saying that it is affecting a small amount of users and although he gets emails saying it is working well, he wants to all of the users to be happy.

Steve later says that the problem has been blown out of proportion and it is not being fun on the other site from reporting it. Steve also says that they sent out a update to fix the iPhone signal bars and another thing.

Steve  says that iPhone 4 owners will get a free bumper or case till September 30th. The owners can choose the $30 iPhone bumper or a case, but since Apple cannot make a bumper case for every owner, he announces that owners have a choice of the bumper or another case that can be chosen on the site and shipped to them. Owners of iPhone 4 will get an email about this. Also, people who already bought a bumper before the announcement will get a refund on the bumpers they bought (excluding 3rd party cases). Steve also says if  the users are still not happy, they can return their “undamaged” iPhone 4 back within 30 days and get a full refund.

Also Steve said that problems with the proximity sensor and they are working on it. Steve also says that the white iPhone 4 will ship end of July. Steve announces that the iPhone 4 will be available on 17 more countries (except South Korea) on July 30th.

At the end, Steve says, “We love our users, we love them. We try to surprise and delight them… and we work our asses off. We have a lot of products that are pretty great for them, Macs, iPhones, iPods, iPads… 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.” Steve also says that if they screw up, they pick themselves up and try harder.

Steve concludes his presentation with a recap of the problem and the reason of the iPhone 4’s antenna.

After Steve showed his presentation, Steve held a Q&A session with Tim Cook and Bob Mansfield.

One question was about Steve’s health. Steve Responded that he was fine and that he was doing better earlier in the week when he was on vacation in Hawaii.

Another question was if they are going to address the issue by changing the hardware. Steve responds by talking about the same problem with the 3GS and users are saying the iPhone 4’s gets better reception than the 3GS.

One question was about the difference when they showed people almost covering the phone with their hand but with the iPhone 4, it can happen with a touch. Bob responds by saying that when users touch the phone, they put themselves between the signals and the phone, which means that by holding the phone, people can attenuate the signals and can attenuate the phone even more by griping with the whole hand.

One question was if they got information about the design of the phone before being released. Steve responds that the asker was talking about the Bloomberg article and they said it is “total bullshit” and  challenge them to show proof and had dispatched people to take care of it.

One question was if Steve is going to make an apology to the investors. Steve responds on by saying that the customers says they have a great experience and says that he doesn’t think he owe an apology if the shores goes down by $5.

One question was about form or function. Steve responds by saying that they strive for both form and function.

One question was if AT&T will refund the contracts. Which in return they respond that they believe yes.

One question was if the refund includes 3rd party cases, which in return was no.

One question was if any of the three of them use cases. Steve responds by saying he doesn’t and he gets better reception, even when holding it in a death grip position.

One question was if recalls was in the talks. Steve responds by saying they come out to places to the site of the problem with test equipment to see logs and “And we didn’t break down any doors.”

One question was if there was a possibility for a software fix based from a NYT article. Scott responded by saying it is false.

One question was about Steve communication through email and how is that impacting Steve dealing with the issue. Steve responds saying that the email address is out there and he always email people back. Steve later goes on n says that he try to reply to some of them because they are our customers. Steve goes on and say people post them to the web and some people just make things up.

One question was that if the bumper offer is extended to outside of the US and beyond September 30th. The answer was yes to outside of the US and possibly for beyond September 30th.