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  • 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
    Comments 84 Comments
    1. carolinamic's Avatar
      carolinamic -
      @ wannabprogramma - this dude is a New Yorks senator not a Louisiana senator.
    1. creasy425's Avatar
      creasy425 -
      Quote Originally Posted by OpenIntro View Post
      Thanks Senator. But can you do us a favor and actually go to work and GET STUFF DONE for the country instead of writing letters to Steve Jobs?
      One of this guys aids-

      "Hey senator. I know ur probably busy worrying about getting re elected with ur party tanking, the economy bad, and oil covering most of the south, but heres something to help ur image....."

      Im as upset as the next guy with this whole "death grip" scenario, but really? whens the last time congress got involved, and something got fixed!?!?!?!?!
    1. wannabprogramma's Avatar
      wannabprogramma -
      Quote Originally Posted by back9player View Post
      Why do people think we want to know about their political affiliation?
      BTW, this isn't a political forum...
      well mostly so we can make fun of them for it, but this is a semi-political thread because they said the word "senator"
    1. klown's Avatar
      klown -
      Quote Originally Posted by zinjen View Post
      Yeah your right, it's not causing any harm.

      People that are in between jobs expecting important phone calls from employers "Hold on Steve told me not to hold it this way I'll call you right back!"
      Why are people in between jobs buying iPhone 4's? I think I would be more worried about paying the bills.
    1. back9player's Avatar
      back9player -
      Quote Originally Posted by wannabprogramma View Post
      in essence, if you like what just happened here, you should also like democrats...

      politicians should work on getting things done instead of writing letters and they should stay out of companies' business...once they sort out their own work then maybee it'll be ok for them to try to critique other companies on bigger problems than this...BP rings a bell....but your probably right...not having reception is a much bigger problem lmfao
      Like pulling us out of a recession of providing health care to millions isn't doing something? Riiiiiiiiight....
    1. wannabprogramma's Avatar
      wannabprogramma -
      Quote Originally Posted by carolinamic View Post
      @ wannabprogramma - this dude is a New Yorks senator not a Louisiana senator.
      my point exactly..he is a new york senator...not a california senator (where apple is) apple is a large corporation so is BP... I'm saying they should stay out of corporation's business and if they have to get into their business it should be a bigger issue than cell reception...and my example of a bigger issue was the oil spill...when you pay 3 times as much for seafood in NY then it'll be his chance to talk about a corporations wrong way of doing things
    1. guigonca's Avatar
      guigonca -
      He said something that is true, apple must handle this in a transparent manner. Software issue " my balls " this is a hardware problem.
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      He knows this will make it onto
      CNN, that's the only reason he is doing it, that being said.....

      I think it's a horrible political move. The country is already pissed of at public officials for focusing on what they believe to be the wrong things, Medicare, immigration, instead of focusing on the financial crisis. Now we have a senator focused on iphone4 reform?? Seriously what is wrong with politicians these days!? Republicans r going to use this as "just another example of how out of touch democrats r". Thanks for giving them more ammo Mr. Senator!

      I can see the headline on Fox
      News now...."Democratic Senator ignores Americas problems, attacks apple instead, kills 400 babies and 2 puppies"
    1. creasy425's Avatar
      creasy425 -
      Quote Originally Posted by guigonca View Post
      Software issue " my balls " this is a hardware problem.
      Mr. senator should have just put this in his letter, way shorter, and then he could champion using less paper and saving the trees. two birds with one stone....PERFECT!
    1. allanes5's Avatar
      allanes5 -
      This got out of hand for Apple!
    1. 3andO's Avatar
      3andO -
      I'm sure this letter will give Steve Jobs a few chuckles, especially when a US senator requests "transparency".
    1. YoungDKP's Avatar
      YoungDKP -
      People are so easily riled up smh... Anyone can write an open letter to anyone, the fact that he's getting slammed for not "Working on America" is crazy. Do senators not get day offs? Do they not get to rest? Who says he couldn't have taken time from his own personal life to write this? It looks like it took 7 minutes, relax people
    1. 6923842's Avatar
      6923842 -
      Agree lol
    1. ro0oney's Avatar
      ro0oney -
      we'll see if that work for apple to provide us with a "sufficient" explanation about the "death grip"
    1. QuinnNebula's Avatar
      QuinnNebula -
      Poor apple
    1. realtimedeath's Avatar
      realtimedeath -
      Quote Originally Posted by Maxidrom2002 View Post
      1. is its not his political rally to do such a thing, but the request of thousands of letters he probably recieved to inquire on a solution for the iphone4.
      2. After a month of denial and "Don't hold it that way" qoutes, consumers didn't really get anywhere, as far as getting the problem fixed.
      3. For a coorporate this big, little customers aren't going to do anything, you need strong people such as this Senator to make say on behalf of all of us that experience problems with this phone.
      4. Apple lied...right to everyone's face, there is no covering and trying to protect them, they knew device was faulty, but greed got the best of them...now losing billions in stocks, its definetly not the end to this drama.
      I don't care if he is a politician or not, he is a key player for everyone who has problems with the phone...to FIND A RESOLUTION!
      This says it all. I just wanna add to all those saying this was a waste of the mans time. I'm sure it didn't take long to draft this letter and I'm sure he had a team of people all working together to yield the final draft as quickly as possible. Its not like he was up till 4 am redbull cans and balls of paper lying everywhere writing this thing with a number 2 pencil and pasting his favorite peanuts stamp on it. Although if I was steve jobs I would tell the senator to go tuck himself in.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post
      Vote desperate tool jumping on a current "controversy" to gain political steam, absolutely nothing more.
      If there is no problem they would be jumping onto nothing.

      Quote Originally Posted by eg6motion View Post
      seems a little premature for their involvement. It's not causing harm and has only been out a month.
      When there is a public outcry, and there are enough number of them they will jump on board.

      Quote Originally Posted by OpenIntro View Post
      Thanks Senator. But can you do us a favor and actually go to work and GET STUFF DONE for the country instead of writing letters to Steve Jobs?
      Don't know about you but I can pen this letter going to the bathroom. It is not declaration of independence here, he may have written on this on his own time. He may own one himself, would be funny if he says "I could not call in my vote, so now Hitler Jr is confirmed as XXXXX (fill XXXXX government office you can think of makes it so wrong). Well guess what he is looking after consumer interests, so yes this is part of his job.
    1. drufus's Avatar
      drufus -
      Dear Mr. Senator,

      Shut the hell up.


      Steve Jobs

      P.S. You should focus on getting laws passed and not worried about cell phones.

      P.S.S. - If you missed it before, Shut the hell up.
    1. Eagleye's Avatar
      Eagleye -
      Ahahaha.. Next is Gov. Schwarzenegger... FIX DA IPHONE YOU IDIOT!
    1. kenpura's Avatar
      kenpura -
      do you all really have nothing better to do than to debate the motive behind what this senator does? he is doing what each of your tiny voices can not do and that is be heard. let him do as he pleases and be glad somebody with a lot of recognition in the government is standing up for us, no matter what his intentions may be.. jesus christ.

      LOL @ eagleye.. that was hilarious