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Apple's Cook handling of 'mapgate' better than Jobs' 'antennagate'?

September 28, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Steve Jobs at the iPhone 4 announcement in 2010.
Steve Jobs at the iPhone 4 announcement in 2010. (Paul Sakuma/Associated…)

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday morning admitted that the company's new Maps app is flawed and actually suggested people turn to alternatives until the software improves.

Naturally, this brings back memories of one of the great public relations failures of the Steve Jobs' era: the iPhone 4 "antennagate."

In that fiasco, the iPhone 4 was announced in June 2010 to much acclaim, but once users finally got their hands on the phone, a good portion of them were having problems making calls.

People started posting YouTube videos showing how the iPhone 4's reception bars would drop if they held it a certain way, with that way being how any normal human holds a phone.

This caused a ton of bad press for Apple and when one user finally emailed Jobs about it, the late Apple chief executive actually told her to simply "avoid holding it in that way."

Finally, Apple caved to the public pressure and address the issue with a letter, much like how Cook has done Friday.

But unlike Cook, Jobs never actually apologized for the antenna flaw.

Rather, the letter was signed by the company, not Jobs, and in it, the company blamed the poor reception on software, said the issue is one that plagues many other phones and never once said sorry.

Software, of course, was not the issue and as problems continued, Apple finally decided to address the issue more firmly, holding an event similar to product announcements at its headquarters.

There, Jobs again failed to apologize, but he did address the issue with a true solution once and for all, giving iPhone 4 customers free bumpers and cases for their devices as that had been found to help with reception issues.

Perhaps Jobs' free-cases-for-all solution is more satisfying than Cook's suggestion to use other apps while Apple improves its software, but at least Cook said he's sorry.

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