Apple slams rivals – Good or bad PR?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and antennagate aren’t out of the news yet. Instead of just offering up a quick apology and a free case for the iPhone 4 reception issues, Jobs fired up many smartphone competitors during the press conference last Friday.

Jobs pointed out antenna issues on phones from RIM, Motorola and HTC. He stated that they experienced the same dropped calls if gripped on the side in poor signal areas.

CEOs from RIM, who makes Blackberry, and Motorola are miffed with Jobs for dragging their names through the mud with him — as if that was going to take the heat off of Apple a bit.

USA Today: “Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable,” say Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, co-CEOs of Research In Motion, which makes the BlackBerry. “RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs, which reduce the risk for reduced calls.”

“It is disingenuous to suggest that all phones perform equally,” Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha says in a statement. “In our own testing, we have found that ( Motorola’s) Droid X performs much better than iPhone 4 when held by consumers.”

The press conference was held to appease Apple iPhone 4 owners. Apparently the PR team at Apple thought it would be a good idea to make sure those who haven’t purchased an iPhone 4 yet were informed about the short-comings of the competition.

Is that a brilliant public relations move for Apple or just another lame attempt to keep people from straying because there are so many smartphone choices?

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2 Comments

Filed under Brand Damage, Crisis PR, Negative PR, PR Stunt

2 responses to “Apple slams rivals – Good or bad PR?

  1. Jobs definitely took out his iShovel and started digging a hole for himself when he went after the competitors to this extent. Explain the problem, offer the solution and get on with your iLife. Or maybe he is following the style of Michael O’Leary? Alternatively, could this be the first sign of going mad? Often happens to geniuses . . . now please excuse me while I go and wee in a milk bottle and add it to the collection.

  2. I think, all in all, the press conference didn’t help Apple’s PR case much at all. The company had already said they were looking at providing cases to those who were having a problem with the iPhone 4 so the press conference, in my opinion, was more about addressing journalist’s queries and getting those in the media who were creating a ruckus around the product to stop. However Steve Jobs had a funny approach to bringing the media on side – with the song criticising the media (http://bit.ly/ccW5j8) kicking off the conference and his confrontational approach and finger pointing at competitors. I think the reason he was highlighting the competitors failings was with the media and not consumers in mind as he felt they had been overreacting and reporting the story unfairly.

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