"Everybody's got a plan, until they get a punch in the face." -Iron Mike Tyson
That's exactly how Apple must be feeling right now - bruised.
The antenna debacle has left them down but certainly not out. The problem to solve today is not a hardware or software issue. (If you're betting one of the the most innovative companies in the world won't solve a problem they're best at, keep your wallet in your pocket). The real-time issue?
It's not really a problem at all, and, (if they handle it right) it's a huge opportunity. One of the good things about having a black eye is that everyone is talking about you, and you have a small window to influence what they're saying. Apple has that chance today as they break silence for the first time in a news conference to address the issue.
The best crisis communications strategy in the world for Apple on this issue should address two very important and simple questions, firmly rooted in the customer perspective:
- How is this device negatively affecting me (the customer)?
- What are you going to do about it?
Apple has some of the most loyal customers in the world.
They should acknowledge this today, admit they're not perfect and clearly outline a customer-friendly solution.
Prediction: There will be no recall. Cases to all owners of the device free with proof of purchase. Problem solved. Loyalty maintained. Live to fight another day.