In the past, there was locking of horns between Apple and FBI regarding the unlocked iPhone 5C of one of the attackers involved in San Bernardino attacks. It is safe to say that Apple’s controversial actions are now over. We won’t take sides in the government’s war to gain access to suspect’s information as both sides had valid points. We can say for sure that only Apple dares to challenge authority and public sentiment like that. Here we look at some of the biggest iPhone controversies experienced by Apple willingly or unwillingly.
1. No Flash Content
Apple’s decision of not supporting the flash-based content received quite a bit of flak from the tech community. It was a simple multimedia platform that allowed us to build websites and stream games and audio with ease. Some 98% browsers and pretty much every video stream worked on it. Apple claimed that the diminutive software ate up battery very fast and was responsible for browser crashes and poor battery life. Even then, people were cut off from a huge chunk of the internet on their iPhones so they didn’t like it. Eventually, Apple was proved to be correct when the flash software was superseded in HTML 5 and H.264
2. iOS 6 Maps Goes Haywire
Apple had to endure much criticism with its latest Maps in iOS 6. Due to the rivalry with Google and anger over copyright infringement, Apple stopped pre-installing Google-powered apps in the new iOS 6. They started their Apple Maps program that proved to be an early disaster. Many of the maps were out of date, and they had incorrect information and less features overall. Android users jumped in and trolled Apple for its obscure mapping techniques. However, the problem was eventually resolved and the maps now work just fine. However, Google remains dominant in that category.
3. iPhone Price Cut
When the iPhone was launched, its initial price was a hefty 599 $. But still, many people bought it since it was such a revolutionary gadget in a world of obsolete Nokia. Many were more than satisfied with the amazing performance of the new phone. However, they were shocked within a few months when the price was brought down to just 399 $. It means that the initial price surge was just to make Apple’s product successful. The updated price was the real one for the customers. Many of the early birds who should have been rewarded were left asking Apple for a refund. Apple eventually conceded but just gave them a 100$ buying option on the Apple store. Not as good as 100$ in cash but the issue eventually lost steam and was forgotten by the loyal customer base.
4. Antennagate And Grip Of Death
Apple is known for its stellar designs these days, but that was not the case back then when it was plagued by poor designs. The iPhone 4 immediately comes into our minds as probably the worst iPhone ever. It had a death grip style that caused wireless network and signals to weaken or die. Steve Jobs conceded that it was a design fault. Apple eventually had to give free cases that fixed the death grip problem and pointed out that many smartphones had the same problem. They eventually decided to revamp the antennae design to stop this problem.
5. Poor Manufacturing Conditions In China
Although all smartphone companies manufacture in China, Apple has been the specific target due to their reported poor labor conditions in the outsourced country. Foxconn, the company Apple uses to supply its phones, was supposedly handing out lower wages and indulging workers in extremely long worker shifts. A series of suicides by workers also indicated the un-natural stress and misery being faced by the local employees. The company’s image was tarnished possibly beyond repair. As a result of the backlash, Apple started a wide-ranging reform plan for its suppliers around the world. As a result of this plan, Apple improved the working conditions of its suppliers’ workforce to end the blame game.
6. iOS 8.0.1 Update Bricked iPhones
Barely a week after Apple had launched iOS 8, there were reports of a few nagging bugs. Apple took prompt action with a little update called iOS 8.0.1 to fix them. Not many of you will remember that update since Apple took it down immediately. It bricked many phones when users tried to install it. This fast-track response from the company showed that they learnt a lot from previous mistakes and were willing to rectify them immediately. About 40,000 phones were affected by the software update. In the end, Apple provided a way to delete the update to restore the bricked features.
7. Leaked iPhone 4
Gizmodo was involved in a high-level design leak back in 2010 that must have caused countless headaches for the Apple Design Department. The tech website was involved in purchasing an alleged iPhone 4 prototype and doing a whole design analysis on it. Apple initially denied that the model was its own but eventually conceded. Thus, most of the iPhone 4’s specs were out long before the release. It was soon found out that the phone was left at a bar by an employee and was picked up by someone who sold it to Gizmodo for a handsome amount of money. Gizmodo employees involved in this leak were charged with stealing secrets from a company and eventually they had to settle for small fines and some community service as well.
8. Failed Attempt At Controversy
Once the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released, a new design problem associated with the smartphones was reported in the news. According to these reports, the iPhone 6 Plus was in danger of bending under stress and in a way that it couldn’t be repaired. Social media and bloggers went into a frenzy and made fun of Apple’s products due to their “inferior design.” Samsung also cashed and made some provoking adverts that aimed at the whole bend gate scenario. Apple vehemently denied and claimed that it was yet another attempt to malign the electronics giant. ConsumerReports, the company that revealed the design flaws in iPhone 4 Antennagate, conducted stringent tests. All the tests proved that the iPhone 6 Plus didn’t bend that easily as reported by the viral news. The kind of force to bend it is never applied on the phone in normal handling. Thus, it was ridiculous to say that the phone bends that easily.
Attacking Apple is the favorite past time of bloggers as it is a big target. Let’s not forget what the company has brought to us in recent years and will continue to do so in the future, even if at a hefty price tag and all the stubbornness. Apple will continue to get better. These kinds of problems are faced by every company of this magnitude. All you can do is learn and enjoy the added popularity.