- Antenna gate – The iPhone 4’s antenna design caused dropped calls for some users, leading to a public relations crisis for Apple.
Antenna gate refers to a public relations crisis that occurred in 2010 when some customers of the iPhone 4 reported dropped calls when holding the phone in a certain way. The problem was caused by the phone’s antenna design, which was located in the stainless steel band that encircled the phone. When a user’s hand covered the band, it would interfere with the phone’s signal, causing dropped calls.
The issue was widely reported in the media, and Apple initially denied that there was a problem. However, after further complaints and negative press, the company eventually acknowledged the issue and offered free cases to customers to help alleviate the problem. Apple CEO Steve Jobs also held a press conference in which he stated that all mobile phones have similar issues, but the iPhone 4’s external antenna design made the problem more noticeable.
Overall, Antenna gate was a significant PR crisis for Apple and it caused a significant damage to the company’s reputation. However, this was one of the first major crisis that the company had to face and was handled in a way that did not cause long term damage to the company.
- Maps app – The initial release of Apple’s Maps app in 2012 was heavily criticized for inaccuracies and lack of features.
In 2012, Apple released its own Maps app as the default map application for the iPhone and iPad, replacing Google Maps which had been the default since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. The initial release of Apple Maps was heavily criticized for inaccuracies and lack of features. Some of the issues reported include:
- Incorrect or missing locations: Many users reported that Apple Maps showed incorrect or missing locations, such as missing landmarks, mislabeled roads, and incorrect directions.
- Poor satellite imagery: The satellite imagery in Apple Maps was criticized for being of lower quality than Google Maps and for not showing as much detail.
- Lack of public transit information: At launch, Apple Maps did not include information about public transit, which was a feature available in Google Maps.
As a result of the negative feedback, Apple CEO Tim Cook issued a public apology and recommend users to download alternative map apps from the App Store. The company also vowed to improve the service, adding more data, more details and more correct information.
Overall, the release of Apple Maps was a significant misstep for the company and it caused a significant damage to the company’s reputation. However, this was one of the first major product failure that the company had to face and was handled in a way that did not cause long term damage to the company.
- Battery gate – In 2017, it was discovered that Apple was slowing down older iPhones to preserve battery life, causing backlash from customers.
Battery gate refers to the discovery in late 2017 that Apple had been slowing down older iPhones to preserve battery life. The discovery was made by users who noticed that their older iPhones were running slower than expected, and it was later confirmed by Apple that it was using a software feature to slow down older iPhones with degraded batteries. The company stated that this was done to prevent unexpected shutdowns on devices with worn-out batteries.
The revelation caused a significant backlash from customers, who felt that Apple had not been transparent about the issue and had been intentionally slowing down their devices to encourage them to buy new ones. Apple apologized and offered discounted battery replacements to affected customers.
The incident led to multiple lawsuits and investigations in different countries, some of which were still ongoing as of 2021. The company also faced criticism for not being transparent about the issue and not providing an easy way for users to disable the feature.
Overall, Battery gate was a significant PR crisis for Apple, as it caused a significant damage to the company’s reputation for transparency and honesty. Some people felt misled and betrayed by the company. However, the company was able to handle the crisis in a way that did not cause long term damage to the company, by offering discounts and being transparent about the issue
- Bendgate – Some users reported that the iPhone 6 Plus was prone to bending under pressure.
- Apple Music launch – The initial launch of Apple Music in 2015 was criticized for its confusing interface and lack of features.
- iCloud security breaches – In 2014, a number of high-profile iCloud accounts were hacked, leading to the release of private photos and personal information.
- Apple TV – The Apple TV has struggled to gain a significant market share in the streaming device market, and has been criticized for its lack of content and high price.
- Mac Pro’s high price – The Mac Pro’s price was heavily criticized when it was launched in 2019, with some calling it too expensive.
- Apple’s environmental practices – Apple has faced criticism for its environmental practices, including its use of non-renewable materials in its products and its lack of transparency about its environmental impact.
- Apple’s labor practices – Apple has faced criticism for the labor practices of its suppliers, particularly in regards to working conditions and wages in Chinese factories.