Apple Computer has nudged aside AT&T and Sierra AirCard in the race for the 2011 Overcome By Technology Award. Apple first blamed consumers for all those dropped calls by its iPhone 4. The tactic had the ring of Management of Blame Transfer:
1. Blame Users. Consumers are holding their phones wrong. It was followed by
2. Better Than Others. Our competitorsí cell phones are even worse. Next was
3. Relatively Small Problem. Number of complaints is small when compared to number of purchasers. But iPhone 4 has had record-breaking sales, so this gambit backfired by making Apple late night comedy material. Desperate, it tried
4. Fix It Yourself. Apple suggested consumers use duct tape to wrap the sides of their iPhone 4s to reduce reception interference when using them.
None of the above worked because technology quality control was the culprit. So Steve Jobs seized the moment: He turned the mess into an opportunity to push Apple ahead in the race for the corporate award for being overcome by technology: If blaming the consumer does not work, blaming the technology is next best.
The Overcome By Technology Award winner will be announced in March 2011. For more about this and other Consumerist Manifesto awards, hit the CORPORATE AWARDS button on www.consumeristmanifesto.net.