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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.

    Sincerely,
    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. mj0470's Avatar
      mj0470 -
      Wow... I couldn't even stomach reading all of these responses.... Wake up people!!!!! Don't you see that virtually every problem this country really has is due to the government thinking that we need it to protect us from every decision we could possibly make.... If you really have a problem with your phone, you haven't had it 30 days, take the F'er back.... ANd I'm not saying take it back because you read about somebody else having the problem. If the stupid thing works for you keep it. If it doesn't, get an android phone or something else....

      I don't mean to make this forum political, but for an elected official to waste our tax dollars by trying to demand Apple do anything is just rediculous.
    1. ClerkDante's Avatar
      ClerkDante -
      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.
      Man, you people really like to blow things out of proportion to make a fictional point don't you?

      In what world can you possibly believe that THOUSANDS of people in the state of New York got their little selves so worked up about a cell phone reception problem that they took pen to paper to write their Senator. Really? Do you actually believe that such a happening is a possibility?

      truly?
    1. kenpura's Avatar
      kenpura -
      how much money and time do you people think ONE letter took to write?
    1. sLevin1fo's Avatar
      sLevin1fo -
      I wonder if he was working in th middle of writing this. If he was, that's the same as stealing!
    1. kenpura's Avatar
      kenpura -
      if that letter took more than an hour to compose then i would truly be surprised
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by jomo25 View Post
      ...Hey Sen Schumer, why don't you try to create JOBS instead of writing letters to JOBS?
      I'm fairly certain that no one has come up with a way to create a living, breathing human from scratch yet. And, last I checked, human cloning was still illegal in the U.S.
    1. hancoma's Avatar
      hancoma -
      Economy is a mess...immigration issues, oil spill, 2 wars.....
      Our elected representatives choose a non political technical issue that is sure to NOT offend the left, right, or the over politically correct, in an effort to enhance political favor from the masses....

      nice...
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by mj0470 View Post
      Wow... I couldn't even stomach reading all of these responses.... Wake up people!!!!! Don't you see that virtually every problem this country really has is due to the government thinking that we need it to protect us from every decision we could possibly make.... If you really have a problem with your phone, you haven't had it 30 days, take the F'er back.... ANd I'm not saying take it back because you read about somebody else having the problem. If the stupid thing works for you keep it. If it doesn't, get an android phone or something else....

      I don't mean to make this forum political, but for an elected official to waste our tax dollars by trying to demand Apple do anything is just rediculous.
      YEAH! Because there are plenty of better things on which to waste our tax dollars.

      Personally, I'd rather they spent a few dollars on writing letters to greedy, arrogant corporations than thousands of dollars on a toilet seat.





      Side note: Yes, I really did just link to The Onion. And yes, this comment begins with sarcasm...
    1. modmyiguy's Avatar
      modmyiguy -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post
      Vote desperate tool jumping on a current "controversy" to gain political steam, absolutely nothing more.
      ...Or trying to stop the harm that will be caused when crazy iphone 4 owners cause riots at every mall/store in the country!!!! LOL
    1. Johnboy00's Avatar
      Johnboy00 -
      iPhone 4 isn't ILLEGAL. Not yet, anyway.
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      woooott! Chuck Schumer's showin' apple who's boss
    1. prankz55's Avatar
      prankz55 -
      The letter has a mistake .... it says" problem is a hardwire " , which should be" problem is a hardware " .... LOL....
    1. kenpura's Avatar
      kenpura -
      ^^ i thought about that but i wasn't too sure if he intended for it to say hardwire.
    1. Dakirn's Avatar
      Dakirn -
      New York has had a history of having very bad results with iPhones. I'm not surprised that he's saying something.

      Considering how many New Yorkers have to deal with iPhone/AT&T problems I'm sure being told "hold the phone another way" or "it's just a software issue" irks a lot of them who've spent a lot of money on this device.

      Everyone likes to joke about how slimy government officials are but sometimes they can be helpful. Sometimes you need someone higher up to say enough is enough.

      Corporations have shown time and time again that they let their greed override their concern for their consumers. This is why we have consumer agencies -- to protect consumers.

      Consumer Reports is a well respected consumer advocacy group. When they go so far to pull a recommendation and that company doesn't do anything it SHOULD get attention.

      Thinking that the guy can't write a letter at the same time he's working on other issues is a bit silly. Democrats shouldn't be the only ones who outcry abuses by corporations.
    1. kenpura's Avatar
      kenpura -
      ^^ thank you to one of the few people in this thread that isn't retarded. you make more sense than any of the posts in this thread combined. kudos.
    1. MJedi's Avatar
      MJedi -
      Whatever his motives, I for one am glad a US Senator has brought this up and taken Apple to task for blaming the reception issue on holding the iPhone wrong and that a software update will fix it. All the news, forum posts, YouTube videos and the Consumer Reports review weren't enough for Apple to acknowledge that this is a REAL problem. So, now this problem has attracted a member of the US Senate, someone with more clout than a blogger/journalist/reviewer. I say, good for him, for representing his constituents.

      We shall see how Apple responds tomorrow.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      How do people not like the antena problem? It's giving us what we've always wanted, and iPod touch with a Camera
    1. wannabprogramma's Avatar
      wannabprogramma -
      haha waldoo
    1. gehjl's Avatar
      gehjl -
      To the people who said about buying an iPhone 4 between jobs. I had a 3gs since launch and was laid off about a month ago. I'm looking for a new job now while staying on unemployment. What did I do? Bought a 16gb iPhone 4 for 200 and sold my 3gs for 300. I made 100 profit while still getting the new iPhone 4. Only thing that changed was that I extended my contract 1 year, as I was already 1 year into it.
    1. mj0470's Avatar
      mj0470 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dakirn View Post
      Corporations have shown time and time again that they let their greed override their concern for their consumers. This is why we have consumer agencies -- to protect consumers.
      It's thinking like this that will move the United States of America from a free society where you get what you EARN, and are rewarded for YOUR efforts, into a socialistic society where they TAKE what you earn and and PENALIZE your succesful efforts. Consumers don't need to be protected, (except maybe on certain safety issues) they need to use their heads.

      Take responsiblity for your own actions!!!! And if you don't like a product, don't buy it. If you do buy it and find out later that you don't like it, take it back if you can, modify it if you can, do whatever you want with it, learn your lesson and move on!!!!!

      Oh, and by the way, all that corporate greed that everybody likes to cry about..... it's called making a profit..... which by the way, is how companies pay their employees.... with their profit......