By NICK BILTON
Kimberly White/Reuters Apple’s press conference on Friday set off a wave of responses from competing phone makers.
“You are now entering the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.” These were the words I heard from several journalists when I first started writing about Apple for Bits last year.
On Friday last week, the distortion field was in full effect when Mr. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, held a press conference at the company’s Cupertino headquarters to address problems with the iPhone 4’s antenna.
As Mr. Jobs paced back and forth on stage, he tried to paint a picture of a world of smartphones that are all rife with antenna problems. He showed videos of signal drops on BlackBerry, Nokia and Samsung phones.
But later, those companies lashed out at Mr. Jobs, saying his accusations were incorrect.
Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation.
Nokia has invested thousands of man-hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.
Apple also managed to upset members of the news media during the press conference. During a question and answer portion of the event, which was transcribed by Ryan Block of GDGT, a gadget Web site, Mr. Jobs and other executives accused the press of publishing inaccuracies. Mr. Jobs even threw in a few expletives while discussing specific articles.
Farhad Manjoo of Slate said the press conference came with an overly “condescending” message. He summed up the event’s message this way:
Still, if you want to be a total jerk about it and keep insisting there’s a problem with your magical iPhone, Jobs has an offer for you. “OK, great, let’s give everybody a case,” he said. Happy now, whiners?