That was some interesting press conference Friday by Steve Jobs and the crew at Apple. Having been thrown for a loop by Consumer Reports a few days earlier for Antenna-gate, all eyes were on Cupertino for an apology from Apple—or as close to an apology as Jobs could get. And that’s exactly what the conference turned out to be: a mixture of “we all make mistakes” and “you people in the media have blown this way out of proportion.” In the last several months, I’ve talked to perhaps a dozen crisis experts about the responses of BP, Johnson & Johnson and other companies in a PR bind, and the BIG APOLOGY is always high on the crisis to-do list. Clearly Apple had to do something for customers after Consumer Reports couldn’t recommend the iPhone 4 because of the antenna problem (see David Carr’s New York Times column on why Consumer Reports “got Apple to blink”). But the fact that Apple presented examples of other manufacturers’ phones that have had similar problems meant that the BIG APOLOGY wouldn’t be coming. I’d be interested to know how you think Job’s rather combative stance on Friday will play with consumers.
–Scott Van Camp