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Crisis expert says Apple gets a C on iPhone 4 PR


Hilarious Taiwanese videos aside, just how did Apple do with last week's touchy press conference? Patrick Kerley, a communications strategist for a firm in Washington, DC, tells Computerworld that Apple actually did very well -- only it might have been too late already. He said that Jobs was very on message at last week's press conference, and that walking on stage and telling everyone that all phones have reception issues was actually a brilliant move. Seth Weintraub of Fortune agrees -- while he doesn't think that Apple and other cellphone makers actually share the same problems, he does say that Jobs' reframing of the reception issue was so effective that other cellphone companies actually sent out their own press releases on Friday, responding to Apple and becoming part of the issue.

On the other hand, Kerley says that while the press conference did its job, Apple should have stepped up sooner with a statement about the iPhone 4's reception -- just staying back from the issue allowed others like Consumer Reports to step up and fill the informational void. While there was a risk of responding too soon and making a problem even bigger than it should be, Kerley believes Apple gets a C on the issue overall, and that it should have come out with a "We're working on it" statement way before it did.

Of course, this is all PR analysis about spin -- the best case scenario is that there shouldn't have been a problem in the first place. Hopefully, with the refunds available and the free bumpers shipping, everyone's iPhones will receive and send calls freely, and we can all get back to our favorite pastime: waiting for the next version to be announced.

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