• Prominent US Senator Takes Aim at Apple in Public Letter to Steve Jobs

    Never one to waste an opportunity to score political points by joining the masses in a collective outcry for action, New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) penned an open letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Taking aim the lingering reception issues that you may have heard about by now, Schumer called on Jobs and his company to get to the bottom of this mess before the iPhone 4 ultimately serves to undermine the "many benefits of this innovative device."

    At the end of the day, however, Schumer wants what we all want: answers and explanations. In the letter, New York's senior senator requests a "written explanation of the formula that is used to calculate bar strength." I think we would all enjoy Apple's response to that request. But, who knows? Perhaps at Apple's press conference tomorrow, Senator Schumer (along with rest of us Apple fans/critics) will finally get some answers and satisfaction out of Cupertino.

    Here's Senator Schumer's letter to Steve Jobs in full:

    Dear Mr. Jobs,

    I write to express concern regarding the reception problem with the Apple iPhone 4. While I commend Apple’s innovative approach to mobile technology and appreciate its service to millions of iPhone users nationwide, I believe it is incumbent upon Apple to address this flaw in a transparent manner. According to Consumer Reports’ review, released Monday on its website, the iPhone 4’s signal-strength problem is a hardwire glitch triggered by gripping the device in a particular manner. This finding, according to Consumer Reports, “call[s] into question” Apple’s recent claim that the problem is “largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software.” Consumer Reports declined to recommend the iPhone 4 because of this hardware design flaw.

    Given the discrepancy between Consumer Reports’ explanation of the reception problem and the explanation provided by Apple in its July 2 letter to customers, I am concerned that the nearly two million purchasers of the iPhone 4 may not have complete information about the quality of the product they have purchased. The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device.

    To address this concern, I ask that Apple provide iPhone 4 customers with a clearly written explanation of the cause of the reception problem and make a public commitment to remedy it free-of-charge. The solutions offered to date by Apple for dealing with the so-called “death grip” malfunction-such as holding the device differently, or buying a cover for it-seem to be insufficient. These proposed solutions would unfairly place the burden on consumers for resolving a problem they were not aware of when they purchased their phones.

    I also encourage Apple to keep its promise to provide free software updates so that bars displayed accurately reflect signal strength; I further urge Apple to issue a written explanation of the formula it uses to calculate bar strength, so that consumers can once again trust the product that they have invested in.

    I look forward to Apple’s swift action on this matter, and once again laud Apple for its innovative efforts and service to millions of Americans.

    Charles E. Schumer

    New York Senator Charles Schumer
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Prominent US Senator Takes Aim at Apple in Public Letter to Steve Jobs started by Michael Essany View original post
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