Apple has a huge following, and currently the iPhone has been under pressure with their new iPhone 6 plus released this month. The problem that has arisen is that with enough heat applied, the iPhone bends right under the volume key to the point where it becomes unusable. Many people who have had their iPhone in their pocket and have sat down with it have realized that their $900 device bends to defying angle.
From a public relations perspective, this is a problem for Apple’s brand of integrity.
Research has been applied by Apple as they have seen their stocks fall and close.
“Apple shares closed down nearly 4 percent at $97.87 on Thursday, (Sept. 18) wiping out nearly $23 billion in market” (Reuters) Along with actual YouTube video feeds dedicated to “iPhone 6 plus bend test” and a hashtag feed on twitter has allowed social media to blow this up substantially.
There has only been excuses from Apple currently stating “With normal use, a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus,” said Trudy Miller, Apple’s spokeswoman. Along with many other problems concerning the updates and Wi-Fi glitches, Apple is certainly in a pinch towards their credibility.
The research process should contain focus groups and surveys to recent Apple users about how to fix their root of the problem. To some, the iPhone bending might not be that much of an issue compared to the Wi-Fi and calling functions having many glitches. Focusing on their audience that has already bought the iPhone would allow apple to target the problem and make adjustments. Apple does not need to concentrate on gaining more consumers currently, but more so making those who have already purchased their product happy. Right now, Apple is using a media outlet that consists of smaller press releases and updating their new system in an attempt to fix the bugs that follow. However, they are not exactly tackling the problem of their bending iPhone customers without a thorough inspection of the warranty clause per case and seeing if it was an intentional bend or not.
Here are some suggested objectives:
- “To regain brand integrity by fixing iPhone bend ability and program updates” versus” to gain more customers because of our unforeseen mistake.”
- An impact objective would be more efficient than an output objective because of their outreach to the customers who have already bought iPhone versus attempting to inform new customers.
- Apple needs to write a press release to apologize for their bend ability and offer warranty extensions along with partial coverage for those who have bought their defective devices.
- Apple claimed that only nine people have experienced and reported their bending iPhone six plus, but the social media tells a very different story than the article.
Programming will be the primary stage for Apple as they should develop controlled media to give to their target audience about the bending information and glitches in the system. Furthermore, special events hosted in major cities where people could have some fix or their iPhone bending issue like a hard case rally or professional help would be appreciated by the community. Furthermore, monitoring their uncontrolled media would be wise as the YouTube videos and Twitter feeds have been off the charts with people bending their $900 phones and posting it publicly.
In conclusion, Apple is bending towards a huge public relations problem. The outcome of their success will be high because of their brand loyalty, but Apple needs to keep in mind and do rigorous testing in a shorter amount of time before releasing something on the market with such high demand.