Welcome to Apple PR-Nightmare Fall 2012 Edition

Screen Shot 2012 09 14 at 8 58 27 AM

image from Cult of Mac

Something tells me that Apple is about to have another PR nightmare, and it has everything to do with their handling of the move from the 30-pin adapter to the new Lightning port. Change happens; no one can deny that. So Apple’s decision to change the port in order to, in part, allow for a smaller size, is something that was going to happen eventually. Few argue that point. But then they went from bad, to worse to… Kaboom!!!!

Bad #1. The phone doesn’t ship with an adapter. It should. The adapter costs Apple little and including one would be a good-will gesture to loyal customers who shell out big bucks on their products.

Worse #2. $29 for the adapter. Seriously? $29? What are they smoking.

Even Worse than that #3. The adapters don’t ship until October. THAT alone means all of us who are upgrading will have to carry our ONE sync/charge cable with us for at least a few weeks.

Better #1. For a few short hours it look like Apple had done the right thing and was shipping the iPhone 5 with an adapter. See the image above? That is what many saw when they were checking out while ordering their iPhones. It’s asking if you want to order an additional adapter, and it specifically says that purchasing it will give you a second adapter to use in your home or office.  That would be a great way to help customers make the move from the 30-Pin. Costs them relatively little and lets hem look like the standout good-guy company (they used to be).

WORST #4. Now word comes that… it was a mistake and the phone won’t ship with the adapter.

Issues like this aren’t new for Apple. And lest you think this is just about “the new Apple under Tim Cook”, issues DID happen under Jobs. But this one… this one is simply the result of Apple not thinking things through fully. What could have been a PR win for Apple is, at least in the blogosphere, now riling up folks. Something tells me Apple is about to, at best, have some new bad feelings about them and, worse, may have a PR sh!t-storm rain down on them. Looks like Mike saw this coming.

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9 replies

  1. I heard the adapter is actually an analog-digital converter and costs a lot more than many think. That said, I have no doubt Apple still makes a fat profit out of it.

    I’d rather buy a lightning cable rather than adapter though considering the cable costs $19 compared to $29 for an adapter. If I have expensive accessories that require an adapter such as docks, speakers, etc, I’d stick to old iPhone/iPod since I suspect the look and functionality of those items will suffer with adapter. I just wish Apple used a standard format (what’s wrong with micro USB?) this time.

  2. Worse 5: The adapter does NOT include Audio OUT! Friend of mine was going to uses his wife’s upgrade to get the 5 and give her the 4s. Now she’s getting a 4s because he doesn’t want to give him his nice Bose dock he JUST got.

    Worse 6 (On iPod Touch though): Pricing of the touch….they lost a sale for me. I’ll get my son a Wii U instead for Christmas….

    • It says it doesn’t include ‘iPod Out’ … we don’t know what that actually means yet, whether it was the hidden control lines for automation, or total blocking of audio … just not clear yet.

      • iPod out means, to me, analog out which is what the iPod did. A set of those 30 pins carried the analog out of the iPod/iPhone. Another set was for control. The adapter does not pass either to the device as far as I know. That’s what’s been said anyway.

        Been seeing them say that the little adapter has a chip in it and that is the “justification” the cost. No it isn’t. An D to A converter is CHEAP now. Maybe 6 bucks at most but Apple wouldn’t pay that with the volume and it’s likely to be a custom chip anyway. I can see Apple charging 10 bucks for the adapter. Not 30.

        • I am just not sure – and it is always so easy to jump to conclusions. I will wait until we know more – because a total lack of audio out doesn’t seem to make sense.

          As for the component pricing, I don’t know … but I DO know that EVERYONE tries to maximize profits through add-ons. Which would be OK if you gave one free and charge for extras.

  3. Apple has a track record of admitting mistakes and making amends. Remember Antennagate? Apple gave out free bumper cases to all owners of the iPhone 4.

    If Apple senses a PR nightmare, I see them doing the same thing with the adapters.

    • Your right. However in the grand scheme of things they should be a little bit smarter about it. They messed up with Antennagate and this now. How many more PR problems will it take to drive people away??

      • But who – aside from a few techies – remembers ‘antenna gate’? And given the millions of phones with people managing to make calls, the end impression is likely of yet another media-created nothing-storm.

        These little things will annoy people, but are not enough to actually drive people away. I am not sure what will, but probably not this adapter.

  4. OK, from Engadget’s review … “iPod Out, the specification used in some cars (most notably BMW and Mini) to enable in-dash control of an iPod or iPhone.

    That’s an admittedly low number of users left with no way forward, as the adapter will provide the power and analog audio”

    So we get audio out. THAT is why I was waiting to pass judgment.