Apple's press conference on Friday about the iPhone 4 will defuse the consumer backlash that had grown against the handset, but it has driven smartphone manufacturers wild.
The announcement was all that could reasonably be expected for consumers. They can get their free covers, and that will solve the antenna problem. If they are still not happy they can get a refund, although I suspect a tiny proportion of customers will do so given the devotion of early Apple adopters.
Apple still has a problem with the phone, however, in that it has to be used with a case. This bulks out the handset and makes it the only smartphone on the market that needs one, but I suspect that many people won't mind.
After all, if you're dumb enough to queue for two days to get a handset slightly ahead of the general population, having to use a case will be the least of your concerns.
What the announcement will also do is placate the large number of consumers who might have been thinking about buying an iPhone but weren't too sure. With an iPhone 3GS now costing $99 (£65), the iPhone is going mainstream and the less-technical consumer needed some reassurance in the wake of Consumer Reports dissing the new handset.
However, the press conference was also a demonstration of Apple's genius at PR. As the event wound down you could almost hear the screams of anguish and outrage from RIM, Nokia, HTC and Samsung as they realised that Apple had just ruined their weekends by accusing the entire industry of covering up the issue of antenna design.
Steve Jobs basically accused everyone else in the industry of having the same problems, and insisted that Apple is not alone. The evidence for this is frankly scant.
Sure, there were videos of some handsets showing a reduction in signal if they were held in a certain way, but that's hardly what one would call reliable independent data. Basically the hand-picked audience was shown very little evidence, but seemed to have been caught up in the Jobs reality distortion field and accepted it.
A lot of the evidence focused on the HTC Droid Eris, which does lose signal if you put your hand over the antenna at the top of the handset. But that's hardly relevant since no-one makes calls holding the very top of the phone.
Other manufacturers, like Nokia, explicitly include instructions about where the signal can be dampened by a hand, but it (and almost every other manufacturer) accounts for this in the design stage.
Apple's problems occur because the antenna is on the outside of the housing, and can be dampened if the user holds the phone naturally thanks to the design. That metal band around the outside of the iPhone 4 looks undeniably beautiful, but an electrical engineer could tell you that there were going to be problems.
That's why every other smartphone manufacturer either has the antenna inside the handset, or covers it in plastic.
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