Oh Apple

Oh Apple. You shot yourself in the foot with your own gun. It wasn’t pretty. Even Toyota feels bad for you.

Oh Apple. You shot yourself in the foot with your own gun. It wasn’t pretty. Even Toyota feels bad for you.

To briefly recap, Apple released the iPhone 4 to uniformly rave reviews. Then people began to notice holding the phone in your hand could weaken the signal enough to disconnect your call!

PC World said,

In an e-mail Jobs downplayed users’ reception gripes as a “non-issue.” Meanwhile, others within Apple are advising iPhone 4 users to avoid gripping the device from the lower left corner.

Yeah user–it’s your fault.

Later Apple claimed there was no antenna problem. The signal bars were calculated improperly (meaning they historically made at&t’s network look better than it was!). Now Consumer Reports has burst that balloon.

When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.

Apple is putting on a clinic in how to kill your brand. Their strong selling points were unquestioned quality and reliability. This isn’t some Acer or Asus–it’s Apple.

Airlines walked this road. Early on the old line airlines turned up their noses at the low cost competitors. That service differential is gone. Now they compete solely on price and the legacy carriers operate from a weakened position.

Apple has scheduled a Friday press conference. They need to take responsibility even if they don’t feel responsible. Apple needs to finally claim some high ground.

Car Buying Time

The word is out. It’s time to replace Helaine’s SUV.

Of all the purchase decisions in our lives, this is the one we enjoy the least. Seemingly, there’s no good way to buy a car and guarantee you’re getting something good for a good price. How can you not have buyer’s remorse?

I’ve been pouring through Consumer Reports. Most of their info is good. They seem a little heavy handed in the way they push their own service, which provides the actual price a dealer pays for vehicles. I’ll probably swallow hard and buy it anyway. Isn’t Consumer Reports supposed to be a little less self serving?

We went to two dealers today. At the first we looked around, acted sheepish, looked at a few cars and decided which might do.

We realized, after about thirty seconds, their midsize model was too small and their big model too pricey. A salesman came over as we were deciding to leave. I apologize here for costing you an ‘up’.

We’ve scouted out financing, but there’s a ‘deal’ currently underway from the manufacturer. Zero percent for 36 months. That’s a better price (duh) and there are legal advantages to dealer financing.

I have some rules at a car dealership. If you’re my salesman, we are joined at the hip. You cannot leave my side to consult with your manager. If you go, I go. They never like hearing that.

You may not treat me like a fool. If you lie to me, and believe me it’s happened, I will call you on it before I walk out. Lying infuriates me. I do not suffer fools or liars gladly.

Helaine made me promise not to make anyone at the dealership cry. I get a little nuts during the heat of battle, but it’s their fault. Decisions at the ‘car store’ are stacked in their favor. They have all the info. You have little. And, the salesmen have incentive to make you pay as much as is possible.

In the end, we’ll find the car we want and desperately try to get bids from three dealerships. I did that when we bought Helaine’s first SUV and I think it worked well.

I should probably sell Helaine’s car privately. Do I want to be in the used car business? Of course, you lose a lot when you trade a car in.

During the last shopping cycle, long after I left one dealership, the manager related to a friend of mine who just happened to be there, “Geoff Fox was here. He was shopping on price. He won’t be back.”

You’ve got that right, bucko.