Apple and Quality

I know I’m not always the biggest Apple fan on here. But there’s one thing I have to admit, they typically come out with a really well put together product. If they don’t, they are fairly quick about providing a free solution – such as the case for the iPhone with the antennae issues. However, this version doesn’t seem to be along the same lines. There’s the issue with iOS maps, which is pretty terrible, but there’s also another problem with the sapphire lens selected for the camera causes a purple tint and light flaring. Their solution is to simply point the camera away from the light and that this is normal behavior.

This type of quality issues in a product like this leaves a lot to be desired for some pretty obvious reasons. For a lot of people the cell phone is their only camera. I almost never take pictures, but when I do, it’s on my cell phone. If the pictures are defective by “design” then this is going to be a huge problem. I’m sure that the Instagram filter won’t look right when you add that to the picture as well.

I think that these two issues are starting to indicate a trend with Apple for the beginning of a decline in the perfectionism that most users associate with Apple products. To some extent it was never there the way people like to think that it was, but there was a lot of perfectionism that went into the designing and material selection for the phones.

You could argue that the tint is similar in defect type to the antennae issue, but I think this is different because the camera is such an integral part of the phone. Apple has been developing cameras for years whereas the antennae issue was related to a new skill set, an external antennae.

The next concern for Apple fans, is that the phone is their core product and they really dropped the quality in some ways. Without proper maps, the quality certainly suffers, users are used to the correct maps at a touch of a button, not seven. Will these issues prevent iPhone fans from buying this phone? No, I don’t think so. I think it might push some people away if they were on the fence about getting the same phone, again. I think the larger risk is in the long term. If Apple continues to produce the same products but continues to have quality issues with some expected features on a phone then Apple will begin to lose customers in droves.

For the iPhone6 Apple needs to come out with a different feeling phone, if they do, any issues like camera or whatever will be masked by the fact that it’s totally new. People will flock to it again. If Apple doesn’t come out with a new feeling and has issues, I think that will give more people pause about the whole company. We’re a year or two away from the iPhone6, so that may be premature. Customers and analysts aren’t friendly to stagnating firms. Apple surely doesn’t want to be in that group.