Apple gets 'C' rating for response to the iPhone 4 issue

Apple gets 'C' rating for response to the iPhone 4 issueTech giant, Apple received a ‘C’ rating from a crisis communications expert for its response to the problem related to the antenna flaw in the new iPhone 4.

Patrick Kerley, senior digital strategist at a Washington, D. C.-based company, Levick Strategic Communications says that the news conference on Friday is awarded an ‘A’ however the overall response from the company is rated ‘C’. The expert appreciated Apple CEO Steve Jobs for the way in which he handled the press conference. Mr. Jobs announced that the company will give away free case to improve reception. "Apple got caught flat-footed. By waiting as long as they did, they created a vacuum of news, and others stepped in, like Consumer Reports, to fill that vacuum," said Mr. Kerley.

He was referring to the consumer testing and rating magazine that said on July 12 that it will not recommend the iPhone 4 because it suffers from flaws in its antenna design. It then added that a case would solve the problem.

Speaking about Mr. Jobs he said, "That was a good way for him to walk into the conversation." At the event he displayed how BlackBerry, HTC and Samsung also lost signals and urged that the issue was not limited to iPhone 4.

Mr. Kerley pointed that the step of pointing out that the problem is general was good however the company should have reacted faster instead of waiting for a few weeks to respond. He criticized the way the company changed it approaches to the problem.

First the company said that the customers should avoid holding the phone in a particular way or simply buy one of many available cases. Later it said that the problem is with the bar display in the software.

Kerley said that Apple should have taken more case as users simply post negative comments on various blogs and also social networks. "They didn't have to have a solution, but they needed to get out in front of it with a statement that they were working on it," Kerley said.

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