iDelayed: Rethinking the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Launch Bugs

Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was a disaster. It never made it any better for Cupertino that this failed release was aggravated by no launch date for mainland China (until very late in September 2014), and an iOS 8.0.1 update that simply didn’t work out.

As an iPhone 6 Plus owner myself, I have to say that I pulled back my order online in complete disgust of Apple’s mishandling of these issues. In fact, I forgot about the upgrade — until I got a call from my wife telling me that she had booked me for picking up an iPhone 6 Plus at the Brent Cross Apple store! (Those times are when you must thank Uber or GetTaxi! Somehow I’m also thankful to be in the UK at the moment. Sympathies to those in Hong Kong and the rest of China…)

There were a myriad of problems Apple committed when the iPhone 6 was released. Here’s my take on how Apple could have made it better:

  • It should have let the machine run through pre-release tests more. iPhones simply shouldn’t get bent. That’s a serious issue — it shows Apple has fallen prey to merely churning out upgrades rather than prioritise on quality. We’d take quality over quantity any day in this increasingly “pret-a-jeter” world.
  • With Tim Cook as committed to China as is already the case, one would think that he’d also ensure that the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was truly international; the previous incarnation, the 5c and 5s, had China onboard with the “bigs”, including the UK and US, in the first go.
  • Apple should have seriously given iOS 8 some serious thought. Improvements should have been of a much higher calibre: iOS 8.0.1 should simply have never been unleashed to the rest of us.
  • Supply-wise Apple should do all that was possible to make sure we got our iPhones. It should have over-predicted on demand, or set the release day a bit later. I find this to be a worldwide phenomenon: I have seen too many cases of motorway toll gates built too small, causing huge queues in front of the thing. There’s got to be a way we learn from our mistakes.

I’m not willing to give Apple the big F when it comes to evaluating how the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released. Both hardware and software were solid upgrades over their former versions; I find it now much easier to use the 6 Plus on the trains than the clunky MacBook Pro. But this spate of iDelays has to end — much as I hope they would with a might-it-happen-in-the-future iPhone 6s release, I’m deliberately remaining pessimistic. I’d much more prefer Cook wowing us with a future iPhone 6s release that works like clockwork — than one that simply didn’t work at all!

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