In Apple's marketing, the new iPhone "changes everything" and is "indispensable." But when an irate customer complained he couldn't live without reception on his new iPhone, CEO Steve Jobs told him to "calm down... you're getting worked up over... rumors."
The customer, who forwarded his heated email exchange with Jobs to Boy Genius Report, had reason to be upset. It's not just that he'd experienced the new iPhone's well-documented reception problem. Apple also asked him to stop posting YouTube videos about his reception problems, he told Boy Genius Report, and dismissed the reception issue as "rumor hysteria."
You can read the customer's full email exchange with Jobs at the link above, but we've posted some of the better lines below. The customer gets pretty bitter at the Apple CEO, at one point crossing a certain line of politesse, even civility, and referencing Jobs' "jackass comments." Still, it's fascinating to watch him call Jobs to account over the reception issue, and nice to see him swat down Jobs' attempts to dismiss the issue as driven by mere rumor. We, of all people, certainly appreciate the value of angry email confrontations .
In this one, Jobs really undercuts his own product and advertising with the "it's just a phone" line. By claiming the guy's anger stem from "bad data," Jobs undercuts the message that Apple is trying to fix its reception issues, and misses a chance to point out that this guy's rage is, in a way, frustrated passion for an often brilliant product. A crappy phone with no potential wouldn't be worth getting this upset about. But, hey, sometimes you don't make your points as effectively as you might like on email. We've been there.
Customer: I assume there is no fix then. If this is legit, I have lost all respect for Apple... All our co-workers with Androids are just mocking us right now... This is just sickening.
Jobs: You are getting all worked up over a few days of rumors. Calm down.
Customer: I am really insulted… What arrogance... I just had dinner with 3 people who had iPhone 4s we all cant make calls without dropping. There is no rumors it is reality.
Jobs: You are most likely in an area with very low signal strength
Customer: Stop with jackass comments. I have has every iphone made. They all had a bad signal but this is the so much worse X3.
Jobs: Stay tuned. We are working on it... Retire, relax, enjoy your family. It is just a phone. Not worth it.
(Update: The original Boy Genius Report post misquoted Jobs as saying, "relax.... it is just a phone," a line we repeated in this post. The site has since corrected itself and attributed that quote to the customer, who was apparently summarizing Jobs, and we have likewise updated our own post.)