Consumers have spoken. Or more accurately, tweeted, grumbled, blogged, and whined. After Apple
It may just be coincidence that it's the furthest product out from Steve Jobs' reign, but it also shows Apple may not have the intense, almost spiritual, adherence to quality that it once had.
By now, you've heard the opinions against Apple's Maps. Google's
Many claim that, because it's a software issue, it can easily be fixed with an update. I would argue this particular mapping software takes a lot of time and data to code correctly, especially to build it to Apple standards. For evidence, Google Maps has been out for seven years. But, let's be optimistic and say Apple can issue an update in the short term. Well, now we have a hardware issue.
Apple's packaging is superb marketing. The consumer just feels that an Apple product is special because of its well-designed exterior. Unfortunately, like a recent restoration of a painting of Jesus Christ, the new iPhone is a little rough around the edges. Literally.
iPhone 5s, made with aluminum instead of previous versions' stainless steel, are arriving in the hands of customers with nicks and scratches. AllThingsD reports that out of 1,000 people responding to a poll on the MacRumors website, "45 percent claim some sort of visible scuffing to their black iPhones, with the vast majority of those being damaged directly out of the box." Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal questioned "Scuffgate?" in a tweet. The allure of new iPhones is marred by scratches.
It's not a terminal problem: A lot of cases will be sold, Apple will be exchanging a lot of phones, or customers will just accept their imperfect purchases. But it does harm the brand Apple has so meticulously built.
What's going on, Apple?
Let's hope Apple wasn't too focused on its Maps that it forgot to test the durability of the new case material. If so, Apple is focusing on the wrong things that made them great, like designing stellar hardware. Maybe Apple needs to follow Google's recent "More wood behind fewer arrows" strategy -- meaning regaining focus on a few initiatives and away from a myriad of other tangential projects. It was this extreme focus that Steve Jobs brought back to the company when he returned as CEO in 1997.
Planting another seed
For Apple investors, it's important to know that iPhones are only one part of Apple's revenue stream, and Apple still sold 5 million new phones this weekend. For a more in-depth look at Apple's potential future, along with three reasons to buy and sell, grab your copy of our new premium report. Click here to get started now.
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Fool contributor Dan Newman hopes Apple fans aren't as nicked and chipped about this article asis the new iPhone 5. He does not hold shares of any of the above companies. Follow him @TMFHelloNewman.
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