Did Gizmodo just cost Apple $87 Million?

Did Gizmodo just cost Apple $87 Million?

Apple’s Steve Jobs finished their press conference and addressed the pressing issue of the iPhone 4 “antenna-gate”. After clearing up all that engineering issues and software updates, Steve announced they’re giving away iPhone 4 cases to everyone.

Free iPhone 4 cases to all 3 million who bought and refunds to those who paid for it earlier.


Among the first sites to cover the so-called “antenna-gate” was Gizmodo (among others) with their collection of videos demonstrating how the signal bars would drop when holding the iPhone 4.

And while Steve Jobs explained that the issue is not isolated to the iPhone 4 (even showing data from controlled experiments and call logs from AT&T), he added that if the free case will make everyone happy, then they’ll give it fro free or give refunds to everyone who bought it earlier (starts today thru September 30).

Apple reveals that they have sold 3 million units of the iPhone 4 in just 3 weeks. The iPhone 4 Bumper case sells for $29 a pop so that amounts to a total of around $87 million. Might be spare change for Steve but that’s gotta bruise the ego.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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51 Responses

  1. Edgar says:

    Ego bruising alright, but the market is everything.

  2. JP says:

    The cost of truth paired with sensationalism is pricey

  3. Calvin says:

    sooo…. what does this mean? the iphone aint that slim anymore thanks to the bumper case? so it’s not a software issue as reported before?

  4. JP says:

    I have yet to hear Mel Gibson’s take on the iPhone.

  5. JP says:


    All those days of ridiculing Microsoft have finally paid off, haha

  6. JP says:


    or *years*

  7. they demonstrated it happens to other phones?

    anyone with other phones notice this?

    i dont think so

  8. Steve Jebs says:


    You’re not death gripping them correctly.

    – Steve

    Sent from my iPad

  9. Introducing:

    iPhone 5 — really slim, no need for bumper cases, and NOW with MOAR ANTENNA!!!!!!1111111111

    Seriously, the arrogance of Steve Jobs and Apple PR makes Microsoft look good in comparison. At least Microsoft knows to admit own mistakes. But Apple? They keep on using their Reality Distortion Field and condescending remarks.

  10. Joshua says:

    @andre – When I buy a phone I search for the antenna first then I know where the signal can get interrupted when I hold it in that spot its no different on the iPhone4 basta pag hinawakan mo sa antenna malang madidisturb ung signal >.<

    anyway @"before september 30" ang bigayan ng bumbercase… ang tanong aabot ba tayo sa september 30?! hahahaha

  11. fr0stbyte says:

    My oh my.. An overpriced phone whose antenna can’t function right? Tsk.. Tsk..

  12. Teknisyan says:

    Apple choose the lesser evil or less expensive than a product recall, which will more expensive.

  13. alan_tan says:

    Gizmodo’s not the cause, Apple is. Wisen up, guys. Even the almighty Jobs is not infallible. Moral lesson is – always wait for the second or third generation of any new product, never be an early adopter.

  14. whackerZ says:

    The case probably costs less than a dollar to manufacture (China) so total cost for Apple = less than 3mil.

  15. Arvee says:

    What’s funny is, after their convincing demonstration of how their *signal calculation* goes in contrast with AT&T’s, the solution? A case.

    If this isn’t really a software bug, then iPhone4 is cursed. Yes. What would we expect from Apple? Release the iPhone4.2

  16. dan treacy says:

    I thought every iphone has a prototype or a near production type of phone before it gets mass to the market. They could have save a lot of consumer confidence on this issue. And since apple hasn’t started shipping worldwide the other players like moto droid and samsung galaxy could still bite the pie. Software issue is ok but for hardware – antenna issue is something to scratch our heads. The free bumper cases wont save someone’s time who have lost business deals caused by the faulty antenna. How about a free itunes pass or rebates?

    Recalls would surely cost them millions if not bilions in the long run. Good thing it hasnt reached our shores yet hehe

    @yuga, do you have any news reg the comeback of motorola :) was expecting for the moto charm

  17. Lookingfor says:

    The antenna issue has really been overblown and sensationalize.
    I hope everyone reads the analysis done by Anandtech http://www.anandtech.com/show/3821/iphone-4-red…es-ios-41-signal-fix

    Don’t rely on the biased reporting of Gizmodo! Gizmodo is facing a criminal investigation since they bought the stolen iphone 4.

    The key points:

    All phones experience antenna attenuation/degradation when held primarily due to the fact that our hands is composed mostly of water and blocks the signal. It does not matter if you’re using a 3gs or a nokia phone.

    Iphone 4 loses significantly more signal than the average smartphone due to its external antenna.

    HOWEVER, the external antenna has its advantages. It is more sensitive and can operate better even in low signal areas. Most phones have problems making calls if the signal goes below -113 dbm. The Iphone 4 has been shown to work perfectly even at -121 dbm.

    Furthermore, the vast majority of consumers will not even notice the problem. You will only experience a drop call if you are in a low signal area in the first place and touch the bottom left portion of the phone. Besides, who cares if the phone displays 5 bars or 1 bar as long as you are able to make a call.

    Personally, I think Apple made the right design decision. I would gladly take the “antenna issue” if it means I have a thinner phone with a bigger battery and more sensitive antenna.

    Not that I have any problems making calls with my 3gs – remember that people in the US have been complaining about AT&T since the first iphone. One can only imagine how overburden AT&T is given the millions of iphone users in the States with unlimited data plans and strict cell site regulations.

    Finally, Apple is already giving away free cases to EVERYONE, not just those experiencing the problem in low signal areas. Tests has shown that an Iphone 4 in a case reduces antenna attenuation to the same level as other smartphones. http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review

  18. winston says:

    it was never reported as a software issue.

  19. lolipown says:

    While we can attribute the iPhone 4 drama to Giz, I can hardly agree that it’s solely their fault that Apple is going to give away bumpers. Everyone who tested the signal-loss of the phone had pretty much the same results.

    Apple released a broken product and the free case is the bandage to try and fix it.

  20. Arvee says:

    @winston just to clear out calvin, yes it was first reported as a software issue. In fact, they (or Jobs) said there’s nothing wrong about the iPhone 4’s hardware. Apple justified there was something wrong about the algorithm that measures the current signal coverage.

    Turns out, malaking palusot lang pala yun.

  21. ^_^ says:

    Good for microsoft ,haha

  22. Whatif says:

    Wag kayo ganyan, nasasaktan mga fanboys dito.

    lahat naman daw ng cellphone may problema sa antenna eh… so wag na problemahin yun… Feature yun hindi bug ok?

  23. @Whatif: ROFL!!!

    If you head to Neowin.net, which is the place where Apple Fan Boys ruled, look at it now, and see that there are many Ex-Apple Fan Boys.

  24. mr. bogus says:

    “the death grip” yan kasi bili lang ng bili kahit di alam ang features makapagyabang lang!!!! kawawa pala mga kaliwete

    anyway ok na yang rubber bumper o case na free!!! kaysa naman sa wala.. bad design of apple iphone4.
    kahit na may puna ako sa iphone4 dahil no flash, still the best smartphone in the market today

  25. Lito F. says:

    All Apple’s hypes turned to gripes. Steve Jobs must fire those responsible for the IPhone 4G blooper.
    This is a clear and blatant example of a company which is profit driven than service driven.

  26. Angie says:

    Apple’s iPhone 4 = Microsoft’s Windows Vista

    The problem with Apple is that they never learned from MS. What’s both in their minds are that they should always have something to uhm… present.
    Tumatawa lang naman to death si Bill Gates ngayon.

  27. Miklos says:

    After watching the press conference I can honestly say:

    Jobs and Apple is the most arrogant moneytrain in history.

    The arrogance of trying to blame HTC, Nokia, Blackbrerry and Samsung for their antenna problems? 0.o

    If I see someone with an Iphone4 I will have to stab them in the face as they are clearly mindless zombies.

  28. ed says:

    yeah Stevie blame all phone makers but Apple. Like all phones have exposed antenna design as iPhone 4. Squeamish display of arrogance indeed.

  29. Fleeb says:

    @dan treacy, this has been discussed before. The problem with the the regression testing is that, since they disguised the iPhone 4 prototypes by covering them in a case, they might have failed to produce the antenna problem.

  30. JKisaragi says:

    I LOL at the iPhone4 and Windows Vista Comparison. XD

    I’ve been trying to replicate the “grip of death” on my SGS, and so far I’ve been unsuccessful.


  31. ric says:

    Thank God for free press. This at least gives consumers a choice wether to buy a cool product albeit with a major handicap or buy alternatives that are known to work the same.

    To Apple’s credit, at least they came out and offerred a workaround. I just didn’t like the part where they had to drag other manufacturers into their mess. RIM’s response to this was really a slap on Apple’s face.

  32. manong says:

    steve jobs is the ideal husband… kahit nabuko na, hindi pa rin aamin! tapos may palusot pa na “bakit, yung ibang lalaki rin nman gnun ah! (rim & nokia)”

    and finally he says, “hayaan mo, gagamit na ako ng condom! (bumper case) ”

    eerily similar no?


  33. Junalquis says:

    iphone4 revolutionize 2010 by giving us a chance to use android, Bada, symbian phones etc. lol

  34. bruns says:

    abe, its only LESS THAN a $1.00 = factory cost of iphone4 bumper according one industry analyst (read from new york times, if not from cnet).

    that would be a more realistic estimate of apple “losses”, than virtual cost of $30 x # of iphones sold and will be sold eventually.

    in short, its a peanut, never to shake the apple billion-dollar empire.

    it might bruise their ego, but their popularity rate will increase, not decrease, hence more profit.

    poor reception of not, how come people are still buying iphone4 despite the fiasco. apple is more than the fruits of hardwork, its an “opium”.

  35. domob says:

    That was still a pretty small amount compared if they need to do a recall of all the iPhone 4s for its faulty external antenna.

  36. manong says:


    abe is correct… why? just imagine how many $30/each sales apple could generate if they don’t give them for free… like those iphone 4 users will still buy them! duh!

    i think this is a bad move by apple… they should have ignored the issue and instead advertise how great looking your iphone 4 would be in those “bumpers”!

    the impact here is not the production cost, but potential sales… that’s how a company like apple thinks

  37. manong says:

    bibili ako ng iphone 4 regardless of faults… kung nsa Php18k lang sya!

    wag nman sana sila gahaman sa kita! laptop nga wla pang 26k, mas maraming gamit pa!

  38. dan says:

    Steve Jobs is LYING BASTARD!

  39. RaGe Einzeln says:

    it’s just like this:

    it might be a FEATURE of the iPhone….

    ….for them to purchase the next one…

    they never learn -_-

  40. rye says:

    umamin na rin. :D

  41. mr. bogus says:

    and one thing pala. sa latest press conference nya ay sinungaling si steve jobs ng mag compare sya ng 3 cellphone na pag hinawakan ay mawawala ng signal…!!!!!!!!!! he is a f#@*% liar..

    tri-nay ko yung black berry and my nokia phone na i grip pero d naman nawala ang signal ng cellphone ko!!! halatang gusto nila i cover-up yung kamalian nila sa design ng iphone4.. at sabihin na LAHAT ng cellphone ay may ganung problem!!! wtf!!!

    at sasabihin pa niya na mababang posyento lang ang nag complain sa apple care about sa drop call percentage… nakakuha na sila ng data ehh di pa naman nagtatagal at alam na ng nagkaroon ng iphone 4 na may problema sa signal problem kaya talagang di na nila hahawakan yung sa bottom left corner…

    atleast may free casing and they offer a full refund (less than 30 days) so walang kaso…

    uulitin ko:
    kahit na may puna ako sa iphone4 dahil no flash, still the best smartphone in the market today

  42. Angie says:

    ^ Yes, for example, they demonstrated a BlackBerry Bold (9700). Sabi nila, nasa bottom part ng phone yung internal antenna ng Bolds and Curves, which is true since yun ang naka-sulat sa manuals and online documentations ng series.

    Pero what kept me wondering, why would RIM include a leather holster for the Bolds and Curves that would attenuate the signal? The answer, hindi ganun ka-affected ng holster yung signal ng phone, even covering the bottom part by your palm. When I tried covering my 9650 with my palm, nadagdagan pa nga yung signal bar eh.

    Which means, mali ng turo ang Apple. Sana tinry nilang kumuha ng 5110 tapos tanggalin nila yung external antenna. Dapat yun ang dinemo nila. Pshhh.

  43. Rich558 says:

    The number 4 is a bad number in chinese numerology. That’s why asian manufacturers rarely name their products with this number (case in point: Panasonic skipped from the LX3 straight to the LX5). Looks like El Jobso should have consulted a Feng Shui expert first.

  44. Fleeb says:

    I just saw this clip coming from a Taiwanese media summarizing the iPhone 4 events:


  45. bangkay says:

    jobs is still rich. people are still buying iphones. walang talo si jobs diyan, showbiz lang. lol.

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