Jobs: Apple Haters Unpatriotic, Now Pick Up a Bumper and Stand a Post

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Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with apps. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Gizmodo? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for less bars, and you curse the death grip. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That the iPhone 4's flaw, while real, doesn't really impact our lives. And Apple's existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, makes America stronger. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.

Now, I'm not a PR expert, but I feel like Steve Jobs came across today as a man who was pretty pissed that Apple was ostensibly being put on the stand. The company certainly did right by it's customers by offering free bumpers for the iPhone 4's antenna issue and reminding customers of the fact that you can return the device for a refund sans restocking fee. But Apple's colonel also went out of his way to demonstrate that other smart phones drop bars when held a certain way. Some may call that defensive, but I think it's contextually relevant.

However, on a few occasions Jobs crossed the line from being all about "loving our users" to seemingly being mad at the world--or at least the press--for even having to address this issue in the first place.
Check out these choice gems and tell me you're not reminded of Colonel Jessup seething in the courtroom. (Note that these statements are taken from live blogs and will be updated with accurate quotes.)

  • Would you rather we were a Korean company, instead of an American company? Would you rather we weren't innovating right here?
  • I assume you’re referring to the Bloomberg article? Yeah, it’s a crock. … what’s portrayed in that article never came across my consciousness, and I talked to Reuben and he agrees it’s total bullshit.
  • There is no Antennagate... there is a challenge for the entire smartphone industry to improve its antenna technology so there are no weak spots.
  • Haven't we earned the credibility and the trust of the press? I think we have that from our users. I didn't see it exhibited by some of the press as this was blown so far out of proportion.

Did Steve Jobs just call Apple's harshest critics unpatriotic for tearing the company down? Seems like it. I agree with Apple's leader that antennagate has been blown way out of proportion. I've been using the iPhone 4 for weeks and have experienced much fewer dropped calls than with the iPhone 3GS and more reliable data performance. We also stand behind our Editors' Choice award. It just feels like, in an effort to regain control of the conversation, Jobs lost control of what today was supposed to be about.

As Jobs said on stage, "We're human. We make mistakes, and we figure it out fast." And Jobs says that Apple has been working around the clock to investigate the issue, just as Colonel Jessup was charged with keeping an ever-vigilant eye on Cuba. Except in this case Jobs made certain members of the media out to be an enemy. At the conclusion of today's Q&A session, Apple's leader quipped, "I wish we could have done it sooner, but then you wouldn't have had anything to write about."

Well, now Jobs has now given us plenty more to write about.

Part of me thinks that he could have ended this spectacle another way. Something like this:

"I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a fanboy who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very innovation that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bumper, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."

Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
Add a comment
  • Hamilton Says:

    What's wrong with being unpatriotic? We'd still be British subjects if everyone believed in patriotism.

  • willy t Says:

    this may be one of the nerdiest, yet funniest things i've read in a while. we who read are truly lost little nerds....or fans of "a few good men"

  • told you Says:

    funny article though everyone I know, and the polls show that the majority have issues with the signal, and as they stated there wont be a fix for it OTA as many people thought at first. So grab your free bumpers, or go get a Palm pre plus which has no antena issues, and is more inovated than both Apple, and Android as well as can be clocked at 1ghz with true multitasking etc. I dont have to say much look at laptops mobile phone batter who won again....twice oh yeah the palm pre plus. Or you can wait for the Hpalm C40 which will dwarf the competition, Apples on their way down, and Web OS and Android on their way up.

  • HammerOfTruth Says:

    Well he was probably taking a jab at HTC. HTC had a lot of issues with their older Windows Mobile phones and no one ever made a stink about it. It's only a matter of time where the new Android phones have similar issues and no one will say anything. I believe that the media did blow it out of proportion.

  • Bill Says:

    Awesome article, made me chuckle.

  • Dan Says:

    The author was reading between the lines. Apparently some people need help with that. He was also attempting to be witty, using something called a "sense of humor". Glad I could help translate that for you.

  • Brendan Says:

    Holy sh#$!, when did he even say the word "unpatriotic"? Americans get so pissy when someone compares them to other countries.

    Calm down.

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