“At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference July 11 to 15, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told attendees he believes Apple’s iPhone 4, with its antenna problems, could be that company’s Windows Vista. Turner was referring, of course, to the issues faced by Microsoft after its Vista operating system failed to deliver an experience that customers had hoped for. Turner’s comments were certainly interesting, and they undoubtedly will make some wonder if he’s right. After all, there are parallels that can be drawn between the two releases. Depending on what Apple does to address the iPhone 4 antenna issue beyond offering a free case, the iPhone 4 could turn out to be just as big of a problem for Apple as Vista was for Microsoft. Let’s examine some of the similarities between Windows Vista and Apple’s iPhone 4.”
I was a tad incensed at this article because it made a good case if one was selective with the facts. Structurally, the Vista rollout is very different from the iPhone. The majority of Vista licenses are sold in bundles. iPhones are outright retail purchases. It’s a lot harder to return Vista when it’s included with your PC. Customers did have an option to downgrade but that was prior to purchase. Returns are practically impossible when the OS is bundled. Returning an iPhone is easy. Just walk into a store and get your money back.
As of right now, Apple is reporting a 1.7% return rate over this “issue” which is less than 1/3 the 6% return rate of the iPhone 3GS. People were reporting antenna problems the day the phone went on sale. So it’s not like customers haven’t had plenty of opportunity to return their phones. It’s always possible we could see more returns in the future, but as of now people are keeping their phones. That’s a win for Apple.
To imply that “Anntennagate” is going to turn into a Vista-esque failure for Apple feels like yellow journalism to me and it’s disappointing to see so much of it these last few weeks.
Miller-esque caveat alert: ‘Course that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.