Fast Company

Analysts: Case Closed on Antennagate

iphone4-antennaSteve Jobs closed Apple's iPhone 4 antennagate affair with a press presentation last Friday, and though portions of the media are still fretting over the matter, one group of important stakeholders are convinced it's over: analysts. 

Different opinions have been stirred up by Job's explanation to the press, and while Consumer Reports is still puzzlingly confident in their unscientific "no recommended buy" investigation, other media players--like Dilbert creator Scott Adams--were won over by Jobs' skill in explaining what was going on in clever, measured, scientific terms. 

iPhone sales seem to have been pretty high throughout the affair, so the buying public didn't appear to need convincing--it was possibly a media storm in a teacup, and Jobs himself even acknowledged this effect several times during the press event, at one point going so far as noting Apple needs "you guys [the invited press] to help" quell the furor. Apart from the general public, the other people Apple needed to convince was the financial players on the world's markets. These individuals, who partly determine how Apple's fiscal health, had been getting nervous about the potential costs of an iPhone device recall.

But no more: As noted over at SeekingAlpha, many analysts have rallied around the tech giant and its charismatic CEO after Friday's event, and are sticking by their "buy" recommendations on Apple stock. Well known Apple analyst Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray noted that "we believe the company adequately proved the antenna issue is an industry-wide proble, and the case solution is of minimal cost to Apple." Other analysts felt the same, and felt that Apple's stock, which had taken a bit of a beating thanks to antennagate, is definitely worth buying as it'll now recover, and continue to rise. Given that the phone is about to launch in many other nations, this is an important indicator that the matter is pretty much closed. 

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2 Comments

  • John Lalande

    How is Consumer Reports' confidence "puzzling?" or their recommendation "unscientific?" They ran tests which clearly show a problem with the antenna. A problem that other phones do not have, despite Steve's claims to the contrary.

    I guess if you click through the two layers of CNET articles, you can find out about the *one* "RF engineer" who disputes Consumer Report's test: Bob Egan, who used to work with wireless RF engineering once upon a time, but is now a stock analyst/Apple fanboi who had some quibbles as to how the test was performed. I haven't seen any other RF engineers step forward to take issue with the test results. And why would they? Even Egan says he can't say that the iPhone4 doesn't have an antenna problem.

    The iPhone 4 has a clear-as-day hardware design flaw. It's the first phone to have an antenna built into the shell of the phone and Apple missed the fact that bridging the two antennas ruins reception. Missed it, most likely, because they tested the phones in plastic cases so that if they left them at a bar people would think it was an iPhone 3. Oops.

    I also love that the one "media player" you can come up with to take Apple's side is Scott Adams. Yeah, I loved Dilbert as much as the next guy 10 years ago when it was still funny, but "media player?" Uh, sure.

    I will say that Steve Jobs did a nice little song and dance and snowed the press and analysts. That's what Apple and Steve are best at: marketing. Who else would get away with offering a fix for a problem while claiming the problem doesn't exist? It'd be like Ford offering a free fire extinguisher with each Pinto but not admitting that there was a underlying reason you might need to use the extinguisher. But this is just a cell phone, not a flaming death trap, and Apple's devotees will gobble up whatever line of bull Apple shovels their way.

    We'll see how they do in court in the inevitable class action lawsuit and how happ

  • Adrian Bashford

    As a former user of Consumer Reports, I can honestly say their opinion, that once meant something, now means nothing. Too many other ways to find out about products.

    Their recent reaction to Apple Antenna-gate and Toyota recalls says it all.