OK, unhappy iPhone 4 owners can get a free Bumper: a $29 skirt that seems to solve one of the new iPhone's signal-strength issues. That's the one that hasn't existed on every iPhone, in which the phone's meter misstates how much reception there is by, oh, two bars.
But rather than playing nice about it, Steve Jobs apparently made disgruntled customers out to be whiners (and Internet bloggers to be their enablers). At least that's the take of Slate's Farhad Manjoo, who also wasn't invited - heck, I can't get even get a return call from Apple's media representatives on this issue - but followed Friday's news conference via live feeds from whiner-enabling bloggers who were.
Manjoo is a calm, measured writer. He may not have written the headline on his piece - "Here's Your Free Case, Jerk" - but it accurately reflects his unusually harsh perspective on Jobs' odd attitude:
On Thursday, I hoped that Apple CEO Steve Jobs would admit there's a problem with the new iPhone's antenna and apologize for pretending there wasn't. I didn't get that apology. Not even close. Instead, in a defensive press conference at Apple's headquarters on Friday, Jobs argued that the new iPhone offers terrific, out-of-this-world reception. He blamed the media for whipping up a frenzy out of a "fact of life" that affects every phone on the market. As Jobs sees it, the only problems with the iPhone 4 are the pesky "laws of physics," which pretty much ensure that anyone who holds a mobile phone in her hands is asking for trouble. The only reason people have been focusing on the iPhone is that blogs keep singling Apple out, perhaps because "when you're doing well, people want to tear you down."