The iPhone 4 may change everything according to Apple's marketers, but to Steve Jobs, it's still just a phone.
At least that's what the chief executive of Apple reportedly suggested in e-mails to a customer, irate over his iPhone 4's tendency to lose reception when held in a way that covers the phone's antenna. According to Boy Genius Report, which claims to have the text of the e-mail exchange, Jobs dismissed the problems as "rumors," and told the customer, who became increasingly frustrated with Jobs' responses, to "Calm down."
Apple reportedly reached out to the customer after he posted a YouTube video of the iPhone 4 losing its signal. Jobs and an Apple engineer assured the customer that this was a non-issue and asked him to stop uploading videos, BGR says. In the exchange that followed, the customer lost his nerve, at one point telling Jobs to cease with the "jackass comments."
"Retire, relax, enjoy your family. It is just a phone," Jobs reportedly replied. "Not worth it."
I'm surprised that Jobs would use such language, to the point that I'm skeptical of the e-mails' authenticity. However, Apple Insider says a man named Jason Burford of Virginia, who runs a local video commercial business, shopped the exchange around to the tech press, looking for money. BGR does not confirm that it paid for the story, but says the site “verified the email headers and information,” and believes the exchange to be 100 percent legitimate.
If so, the e-mails show how Jobs' patience has run thin for iPhone 4 antenna stories. Officially, Apple insists that all phones lose reception when their antennas are covered, and that the iPhone 4's metal frame, which houses the antenna, provides better reception than any iPhone yet. Those assurances haven't stopped the Internet chatter, and now Apple faces multiple class action lawsuits over the antenna issue.
There's still hope that Apple will come up with a solution, even as the company denies there's anything wrong with the phone. In the exchange posted by BGR, Jobs tells the customer to "Stay tuned. We are working on it." That echoes another Jobs e-mail reportedly received by a MacRumors forumgoer. Whatever Apple decides to do, it probably won't involve free bumper cases.