Some stories just won’t die. CNN’s Doug Gross has named the iPhone 4 antenna the biggest tech flop of 2010:
First Apple said the problem didn’t exist. Then they said it was a software issue. Then they kind-of admitted it existed and gave away free cases to help. Then, they said it doesn’t really exist anymore and stopped giving away the bumpers.
Months later, the problem is all but forgotten and the phones show no sign of dipping in popularity. So “fail,” in this case, is a pretty relative term.
Apple did what Apple does best — control the story. It had a press event to show the world they were on top of it and even flung open the doors to a secret, high-tech, high-dollar testing facility the company built to test wireless antennas. The company handed out free cases to any user who wanted one (for a limited time) and moved on after releasing a software update to the phone.
Whether the case and software update fixed it, the noise died down, or people just got bored with the issue, Antennagate has faded into the background, becoming a blip on the radar of Apple’s wild success. Like Doug Goss said, “fail” is a relative term.