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back to article Pressure mounts on Apple to recall iPhone 4

Apple is facing increased pressure to say there's more to the iPhone 4's antenna woes than iffy signal strength readout code and to recall all the handsets it has sold so far. Suggestions from some quarters that it may yet be forced to do so sent the company's share price down by more than ten dollars from $257.33 to $246.89, …

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Grenade

They might already be...

Gizmodo (the new Slashdot) think they could be: http://gizmodo.com/5586256/is-apple-silently-recalling-the-iphone-4-now

It's based on one single report but they sound like likely fixes...

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Coffee/keyboard

Have you seen....

the email address gizmodo are asking people to send reports to, wonder if they picked their correspondent just for that?!

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PR "specialists"?

First, they're attention whores, and these "specialists" - one is a university comms head, like he would know the consumer market well, and the other likens it to Toyota which implies this is going to cause death.

If you're going to do a story, at least solicit opinion from relevant experts, and don't create hysteria - it does your position no good.

There will be no recall, and there is no need for one. For people who are experiencing it, refund their money, give them another phone (it seems intermittent among the phones), give them free bumpers, or tell them to live with it.

One thing I do however agree - do something now!

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Pint

If you're going to do a story, at least solicit opinion [...]

Hi Mr. Jobs,

Sorry this didn't work out - happens you know. Suggest you stop posting AC and start fixing the problem, there's a good lad.

Think on it. Pray on it. Come back to us tomorrow.

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Alert

Handsets are lifesavers; Recall the Lemons

There are numerous incidents where these handsets have saved lives.

Remember the female Brit who was in a Indonesian ferry boat accident who SMS.texted to her boyfriend in the UK and was rescued as a result?

Portable electronics are vital these days. I have colleagues who work, often alone, in remote places who depend upon their communications devices, be they satellite or cell, as well as emergency beacons, to summonses assistance in case of emergency.

A Lemon 4 failure COULD be a lifesaver and purchasers are entitled to expect them to actually work.

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Humanity is doomed!

"and the other likens it to Toyota which implies this is going to cause death" and it implies that Apple have a problem with the brakes on their cars, and it implies that Apple are really called Toyota, and it implies that Apple are a Japanese motor manufacturer.

Because the situations are not ABSOLUTELY IDENTICAL we can in no way draw parallels between them.

When will these so-called PR "experts" stop treating us like idiots who can use our own powers of deductive reasoning to work out that what they mean by comparing the 2 situations is that both could lead to the damaging of the company's reputation by a perceived unwillingness to address the problems quickly and honestly?

OMG! By drawing parallels with Toyota they're saying that iPhone 4's kill users! LOL!!1!

Twat.

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@JaitcH

"A product recall is a request to return to the maker a batch or an entire production run of a product, usually due to the discovery of safety issues." (Wikipedia)

Since there are workarounds for this problem, tell me where a recall is warranted?

As for your phones save lives argument, I don't buy that at all for any number of reasons. First, most people will have moved to the new phone and have an old one, recalls (as you suggest) take the product back and return it in 4 - 6 weeks or longer if ever, the world got by without everyone having a phone for 1000s of years and we will again. You can't recall just the "lemons" as you say, as there is no way to identify from Apple's perspective which are faulty. If you rely on the user to tell you, then just allow them to return it for, as I've already stated, 1) a new phone, 2) free bumpers, 3) money back. There, and that avoided a recall.

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Stop

@ JaitcH

I don't think I've seen a single Apple-related story where you haven't leapt up and started shouting about Lemons and iCrap and how Jobs is a liar and how great your other handsets are. Such vitriol! Did you choke on an Apple as a small child? Or maybe you're channeling the ghost of Webster Phreaky?

Either way it's getting a bit tiring - if you want a rant, youbtube has a lovely comments section. You can capitalize as many words as you like.

Ironic how a story about signal attracts so much noise.

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Happy

@yugo

You must work for Apple. That's the only way I can figure out that you are certain that the CEO of Apple is doing *nothing* about the problem. Although, the way some around here describe him as the anti-Christ, he must have powers that would allow him to snap his fingers and make this problem go away, so yes, if that is how you arrived at your position, then I see why you know he is doing nothing. That goes for the rest of Apple too, unless you think Steve performs every role there.

Just as silly is all the people claiming he has a fiduciary responsibility to his shareholders. You are absolutely right and might I call to attention the class action lawsuit - his lawyers will be advising him to say nothing while Apple figures out the best way out. You can thank the asshole that started that frivolous lawsuit for that.

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@Alex offensive

The use of parallels where one is clearly a danger and the other isn't does nothing for the argument, but if you live in the world of hyperbole and irrationality (you know, where Chicken Little lives), then I guess that sort of argument might make sense to you.

Nice one with the twat comment. Now give that girl back her gum and play nicely with all the other children, ya big school yard bully.

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Unhappy

So what is Walmart selling?

It is hard to 'work around' a hardware defect with software. Type approval for RF components also prevents D-I-Y fixes by consumers.

Whilst there are a lot of people remaining with older models, which are still endorsed by CR in the US, and Walmart's $97 iPhone 3GS is selling well, many adopters of newer models sell off there old ones..

A recall is as simple as the method by which you acquired the original unit; defective product replacement is a routine procedure - some companies will ship a replacement against a credit card number and then reverse the charge when the defective unit is returned.

Possibly humankind did survive without telephones and other modern conveniences but life has moved on - go ask Rebecca Fyfe, the British woman who texted her boyfriend < http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2001/02/41621 > for help if she agrees with your argument about saving lives.

The bottom line is Apple foisted another defective product on a trusting public, obviously design/development/manufacturing testing procedures failed and Apple has a duty to it's shareholders and customers to do the right thing. Obviously the users make better quality control types than those employed by Apple.

If you are prepared to accept the Lemon, this is a decision only you can make using your own criteria.

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Ted
Boffin

Software can fix Hardware 90% of the time

No, software can fix almost all hardware problems, that's the magic of the silicon valley don't forget. You can always supply more power to the antennas if it senses a touch between the 2 antennas for example, so their are plenty of software fixes for something like this.

No, the iPhone 4 is excellent, it just needs some adjustment. So learn to check facts before you post to a comment section. Thanks.

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hyperbole and irrationality

Like claiming that likening the situation to Toyota's only works if both are life threatening?

How you can sit there and claim my argument is irrational beggars belief.

The fact that in one situation there is a danger to life and in the other there isn't has absolutely no bearing on the relevance of parallels drawn between their similarities.

Not paying due care and attention to where you are going can cause an accident whether you are piloting a supertanker or driving a car - the fact that they are different vehicles, that they move in completely different media, hell, that the car may be fueled by petrol and the ship by heavy fuel-oil makes absolutely no difference to the ability of a rational thinker to see that a lack of care and attention can cause an accident in BOTH situations despite their differences.

Apparently the world I live in is one where I'm subjected to unwanted irony.

Twat.

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Best to understand what you're talking about before posting

Go off somewhere and read how aerials, or antennas if you must, work. If by touching it you are grounding the incoming signal, 'supplying more power' isn't going to help much.

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Anonymous Coward

It's surely in their interests to recall?

I was planning on getting one when my contract expires at the end of August but unless they've properly fixed it, there's no way I will. I'll hang fire and see what happens.

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Stop

Get a desire

A much better phone at a fraction of the price.

+ you don't look like a cluess cock that falls for anything that's hyped when using a Desire.

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Grenade

@AC with the offensive attitude

"+ you don't look like a cluess cock that falls for anything that's hyped when using a Desire."

Or one could adopt your attitude, not get a phone at all and come across as an arrogant twat.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Get a desire

This is actually becoming a factor. Just recently I've started feeling ever so slightly embarrassed when pulling out my iphone 3gs. Apple products, while once simply mumbling "pretentious" and "not very savvy", have started screaming "WANKER" and "SHEEP" in super-THX death-metal surround. I've actually started to regard people holding iphone 4's with a kind of disdainful pity.

Personally, I'm really looking forward to the freedom of an Android phone, but as yet, the models available in the UK don't quite cut it. I'd take a Droid X anyday, but us Brits' money isn't good enough, it seems!

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surely?

surely if you get another phone because of what other people think of you for having an iPhone that's just as pretentious and fashion conscious as you're worried about being?

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Of course...

... Google could never, EVER, be accused of hyping their products.

Oh wait: they do. A lot. They even proclaim their Android devices as being more "free" than an iPhone, even though much the same terms and conditions actually apply. (Including this, from Section 7.2: "Google reserves the right to suspend and/or bar any Developer from the Market at its sole discretion." Sound familiar? At least Apple don't try and pretend this is "freedom".)

So why should I buy one of Google's iPhone knock-offs again..?

(And please don't witter on about iPhone 4 reception "issues". If this was such a major problem, EVERY bloody mobile phone I've ever owned should have been subjected to a product recall. And before you start typing your vitriolic reply, no, I've *never* owned an iPhone. My current phone is a Nokia 2630. Just as crap at holding onto a weak signal as every other damned phone I've owned.)

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Paris Hilton

@Sean

Actually, that clause is in every SDK known to man. Including Nokia's.

As for your [quote] "issues" [unquote] statement; get a clue. The problem with the iPhone4 is that the design is such that the antennae is purposefully in the one place you're guaranteed to touch if you use a phone like a normal human. There is no phone out there on the market today which does this.

As for your Nokia.. yeah, I feel your pain. Been there, done that, still got the headset. But I bet you the signal doesn't experience a big drop in connectivity when you hold it - or complete call drop - when it's got a perfect connection when untouched.

Paris. Is there a wrong way to hold that?

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You don't?

...you sure about that?

Only a truly clueless cock would evangelise a single phone as the answer to everyone's smartphone needs over all others, or fail to notice the ironic amount of hype Google has generated around droid as well.

Funny story - last night, in London City departures, every man and his dog was browsing on phones (and even ipads). Lots of iphones (even 4's), blackberries etc. The only one making a visible cock of himself was the HTC user swearing at the "f*ing wireless sh*t", as he performed a battery-out reboot.

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Pint

Two

Good points in one, Good work

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Pint

[...] was the HTC user swearing at the "f*ing wireless sh*t", as he performed a battery-out reboot.

And was that an Android or winmo? Used both.. and I can feel his pain if it's the winmo.

Or are you simply being facetious?

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FAIL

Fixed Phones?

Will the next version be the iPhone 4s - available starting sometime soon ?

Add a couple of "new" features, and fix the problems in the background.

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Paris Hilton

The S is for Signal?

As per title.

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WTF?

Put it in context - Forget the hype

The fact remains most people are happy with the Iphone 4. At this point a probably half would be purchasers are already aware of the issues and still buying.

I thing suggestions of a recall are insane. It just not that damaging to their rep. Fact is outside of the learned IT press such as el Reg Apple have a big enough consumer halo to avoid taking too much damage.

Apple could get major Kudos by shipping the bumper free - it would make the issue go away for all but the most vocal minority.

We need to put this in context with other smartphone releases :

Nokia N9x series - generally dire on first release.

Other Symbian - UI touchscreen/stylus general FAIL

Blackberry Storm - clicky screen fiasco and poor performance

MS - WinMo general FAIL., Danger/Kin fail

Android - Nexus FAIL., that Jimmy Hill chin

There are dozens of other examples. You cannot compare this current Apple issue to say MS or Moto's fails. Its a blip. Keep Calm and carry on......

All the major players have had significant smartphone problems - why should be be surprised Apple is no exception?

Not an Apple fanboi, just able to take the long view.

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@Gordon 10

Well stated.

"Not an Apple fanboi"

No, but not vitriolically anti-Apple either, hence the Fandroid sheep blindly downvoting a cogent and well thought through post.

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FAIL

Boing, Splat!

> Android - Nexus FAIL., that Jimmy Hill chin

That'll be the Hero, the N1 has a face as smooth as a baby's bum.

Anyway, I'm off to find a comfy chair and some popcorn.

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Hang fire

"All the major players have had significant smartphone problems"

You can't say "significant smartphone problems" and then list "that Jimmy Hill chin" as one for Android, especially when that particular phone sold exceptionally well (and continues to).

Also, unlike the iPhone, one phone not selling particularly well (the Nexus) makes little overall impact on the platform. There's dozens of Android phones and they're doing a roaring trade.

Logic failure in an otherwise good post.

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Alien

Seriously?

>>Nokia N9x series - generally dire on first release.

>>Other Symbian - UI touchscreen/stylus general FAIL

>>Blackberry Storm - clicky screen fiasco and poor performance

These are software issues - easily fixed by patches.

In fact, the Storm 1 was so vastly improved between the first-to-market release and the last patch update that it's almost a new phone (yes, we have several Storm 1 users still, in various versions). The button sucks monkey nuts, true. But it didn't stop the device working well, and issues (broken/stopped working/etc) are still swapped out by RIM with no questions asked - even units bought at the first release.

What's the hardware issue there that equates to the fail that is the iPhone 4G?

>>MS - WinMo general FAIL., Danger/Kin fail

Well, no surprise there. The concept was just plain crap to start off with. The failure was the concept though, not the device - which I believe worked quite well at what it was supposed to do.

>>Android - Nexus FAIL., that Jimmy Hill chin

Again, the problem is not hardware; in fact if some reports are to believed (eg http://thenextweb.com/mobile/2010/03/16/nexus-failure-ferrari/) then the Nexus' failure was nothing to do with the handset itself, but more to do with it's support and sales practices. I've not owned one myself, but having spent some time with one in the US, it's pretty decent and close (ish) to the HTC Desire which is one hell of a phone.

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FAIL

"They are in danger of betraying customers’ trust"

Too late.

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Pint

What is actually going on?

Are the wheels coming off the Apple Bus or is it simply a handful of whingers? I'm not sure, seen lots of people who said they're happy and same number who are not!

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Handful of whingers

US customers mostly, they are paying the price for Apple sticking with AT&T. Their GSM networks aren't very mature.

Who can remember the few thousand iPad customers who had trouble with wifi reception, a few thousand out of millions. Probably a few thousand people with Belkin routers or some other less than great brand.

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Ted
WTF?

The complainers are Android users...

It's funny, but if you notice all iPhone 4 owners are happy with the their new iPhone, it seems to be isolated to "Android" or non-users of the iPhone 4 that are "unhappy" with the iPhone 4. Think about it...

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Think about it?

"Think about it..."

I have, and there are so many vast leaps of logic in your four lines of idiocy, that I can only assume you are well worthy of the moniker "fanboi."

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these are not the faults you are looking for........

surely, for a recall, the phone would actually have to have a problem and it would be possible to recreate that problem under various conditions with various phones... and we know that all the so called 'tests' are just a great big conspiracy!

But the phone is just perfect, I know as our lord Steve Gods has said so...

(although it can be a little more perfecter for a paltry $29.99!!!)

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Grenade

recall and do what?

I don't see how a recall is either possible or desirable. It's working as designed.

Apple chose to put the antenna on the outside because it offers improved ultimate performance.

If you don't know how to use it then you can, in a poor signal area, degrade the performance, but if you know how to use it then it will hold a signal where previous phones would not.

This is like people used to automatic transmissions buying a car with a stick shift than then complaining that they're stalling or bunny-hopping or burning out clutches or over-revving the engine. And demanding that their car be recalled and an automatic fitted.

It is what it is, and for valid reasons that some, including me, appreciate. If you like it then buy it, if you don't then don't.

Easy.

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WTF?

How is that analogy relevant?

What you really mean with your car analogy is:

A person used to buying an automatic transmission car, buys an automatic from another manufacturer and finds that it doesn't always change gear - or does so depending on whether they drive on an 'A' road or a 'B' road. If that person changed to a manual transmission, they expect to have to drive the car differently - that is surely not the case with a phone?

In the case of the car with the faulty transmission, the customer would take it back for repair or refund and not restrict themselves to driving only on A roads (unless of course you love the manufacturer so much that you simply live with such issues).

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what bollocks

The antenna Iphone 4 is BADLY DESIGNED any twat who knows anything about radio will tell you that. you take a tuned system then loosly couple another alltogether different impedance load to the antenna, you no longer have a tuned system. (okay its still tuned, just tuned to a different frquency) Maybe they were just un-lucky that there were no southpaw, sweaty beta testers so the issue didnt appear until release. Maybe they never tested it in low signal strength situations. whatever. it dont work right, and thats cos they made it wrong.

recalls USUALY are related to safety issues

not ALWAYS.

In the uk the key phrase is 'of merchantable quality' this clearly isnt, therefore apple are contravening the UK sale of goods act by selling it at all. a recall is the only way forward.

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@Naughtyhorse

"In the uk the key phrase is 'of merchantable quality' this clearly isnt, therefore apple are contravening the UK sale of goods act by selling it at all."

In UK, also add, 'fit for purpose', which again it clearly is not!

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Pint

cheaper than recall

is a free roll of duct tape for every customer!

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Grenade

But where are they putting the duct tape?

I thought they'd adopted a policy of silencing all criticism. Perhaps that is what the duct tape is for?

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Jobs Horns

I know why

"Whether that's a sign that punters simply don't care or are assuming the problem is minor remains to be seen."

It's denial, at least for the three people I know who have bought (plus one who is "considering" buying) the iPhone 4 in the past fortnight. Each either simply refuses to believe there is any sort of problem, or grudgingly accept Apple's statement on the dodgy signal-bar software.

The PR guy is right: image is everything to Apple. If these people begin to accept that Apple can manufacture defective products then the rationale for paying over-the-odds for their restrictive hardware falls over.

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Cases

Anecdotally, literally everyone know/have seen with an iPhone uses one of those ugly cases anyway so the reception issues when handling the phone 'bare' are probably a bit of a moot point.

I've always found it a touch ironic that such an "icon of design" is so routinely defaced with invariably tasteless or just plane ugly rubber cases. Probably goes to show that people really don't give a toss about the looks (at least once it's out of the shop).

I foresee a future of such elegantly sculpted, yet paper thin, phones that a sizeable "protective" rubber sleeve is required just to make it large enough to get hold of :)

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Jobs Horns

Lemon aid needed for the gullible

Those gullible people who have bought 'California Dreaming' Jobs lies need help. Just like the owners of runaway Toyotas received.

Jobs and Apple have both lied/misled their audience. Jobs has a fiduciary duty to his shareholders so claiming to be 'stunned', even if this is his actual mental condition, by saying the antenna hardware problem can be fixed by a software patch. What about the short-circuiting micro SIM holder?

Read the Consumer Report on this Lemon product: < http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2010/07/apple-iphone-4-antenna-issue-iphone4-problems-dropped-calls-lab-test-confirmed-problem-issues-signal-strength-att-network-gsm.html >. CR is a respected organisation with deep pockets.

Strange how quiet Jobs has become since this plague of defects has surfaced. Obviously he has no answer - yet - and the longer he hides behind his corporate security saying nothing the more credibility he loses with customers and shareholders.

Jobs has demonstrated how cheap he can be by refusing to send out complimentary plastic bumpers, claimed to be worth USD$1 at the factory door. Of course these rubber bands don't enhance the Lemon 4's appearance NEITHER does it fix the SIM holder or the other internal defects.

So which government will be the first to strike a blow for their gullible citizens?

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Consumer Report

Yeah, still they rated it as the best smartphone they've ever reviewed. Things aren't as black and white as some people think.

I think the proximity sensor issue is a real problem. Apple has to fix that (and it's probably a rather easy thing to fix).

The antenna attenuation is a curious particularity of that design with an external antenna. This design has its advantages and disadvantages. I pretty sure that most people wouldn't like the iPhone to be larger with a plastic casing and an internal antenna and those who'd prefer that can easily add a plastic case/skin/bumper and then even have a wide choice of cases. Seems better to me than a phone with an internal antenna und a plastic casing already fixed to it forever. Why do you hate freedom so much? ;-)

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FAIL

A now endeth the lesson.

If you build your product on PR and Hype, the same will destroy it.

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Happy

@MarkOne

Except when neither are true, the person posting such a false statement comes off looking just plain silly.

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Grenade

@AC, Re: @MarkOne

No they ARE true. Apple products are nothing more than average tech stuffed inside a designer box with a Fisher Price UI slapped on top. It's only PR, fanboy Hype, and marketing bullshit that allows them to sell sell so many units.

Now look at what you've made me do - I've just defended a post from MarkOne. Thanks a lot, you AC prick.

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