Tuesday, July 27, 2010


A Facebook friend who works for Apple posted this at Facebook in response to my previous post:

I respectfully disagree (surprised?). In the press conference, Apple did challenge CR's credibility b/c other smart phones incur similar weak spots. Except for some low-tech items, CR has gone obsolete, and this was essentially a PR stunt. They went out of their way to share the spotlight, and when Apple offered a free case to all buyers, CR refused to change its position.

Mea culpa for not checking the press conference transcript. One thing I failed to add was that clearly any other product panned would not have gotten CR that kind of publicity. CR boosted its standing on Apple's back.

I maintain that calling out other cell phones for the same defect was something that Apple should have done via a friendly reporter, and not publicly on its own at the news conference. It sounded too much like excuse-making.

Without knowing the health of CR, I would maintain it is not obsolete. I think plenty of people still use it. It's not a place to go for cutting-edge thinking on high-tech products, but I do think a lot of general consumers still rely on it.

Does CR have an obligation to change its recommendation? Personally, I would never use any phone without a case, but from what I've read on some users' blogs and in reaction to the news conference, that's a solution that irks some people.

I don't think Apple will suffer much fallout from all this. Their sales appear to be as strong as ever and they got some good news recently with word that most AT&T customers are pleased with their service. But my larger point, you'll recall, was more about how PR people reacted to the impact that Consumer Reports had on Apple's decision to address the antenna issue at a press conference. I don't think there is much denying the cause-and-effect in that situation.

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