Steve Jobs’ “High Ground Maneuver”

A couple of observations on the iPhone antenna story:

  1. Of the dozen or so people I know who have the new phone, not one has had a problem.
  2. Most of the people who are pissing and moaning about this, don’t have an iPhone.

But Steve Jobs had to respond and he did so with what Scott Adams (SGITR*) calls the High Ground Maneuver:

“Apple’s response to the iPhone 4 problem didn’t follow the public relations playbook because Jobs decided to rewrite the playbook. (I pause now to insert the necessary phrase Magnificent Bastard.) If you want to know what genius looks like, study Jobs’ words: “We’re not perfect. Phones are not perfect. We all know that. But we want to make our users happy.”

Jobs changed the entire argument with nineteen words. He was brief. He spoke indisputable truth. And later in his press conference, he offered clear fixes.

Did it work? Check out the media response. There’s lots of talk about whether other smartphones are perfect or not. There’s lots of talk about whether Jobs’ response was the right one. But the central question that was in everyone’s head before the press conference – “Is the iPhone 4 a dud” – has, well, evaporated.”

Mr. Adams predicts Jobs’ response will become the public relations standard for consumer products. Let’s revisit this in 90 days.

*Smartest Guy in the Room

UPDATE: Seems I do know at least one person with the new phone who is having problems. I either forgot or repressed that. See Phil’s comment below.

2 thoughts on “Steve Jobs’ “High Ground Maneuver”

  1. Ahh. Between fanboys like me and the Apple Haters on the other end, is the calm, reasoned voice of my friend Phil.

  2. OK. Know you know I’m not a party pooper and I’ve drank the Kool-Aid to an extent, but I’ve experienced a rash of dropped and failed calls since receiving my new iPhone 4, almost daily. I never, repeat, never had this sort of problem with my 3G. I’m not left handed and I have a case that isolates the antenna from my hand, but alas I still experience the dropped call phenomenon. And yes, the very first call I made after updating to 4.0.1 – failed. I love my iPhone to death and wouldn’t want to lose the other functionality it has, but to actually call it a phone is, well, a bit of a stretch in my experience. It’s a misstep to be sure, but nobody is perfect, sadly, not even the mighty Apple.

    This said, it seems the “have nots”, with some sort of twisted satisfaction are excited that Apple users are experiencing problems. And it probably bugs them to no end, that even experiencing the problems I have, I’d still never trade in my iPhone. I’ll just wait for a fix, whether that’s software or new hardware… I can wait. It’s just a cell phone, not life or death. Come on people, relax a little, it’ll be OK.

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