Apple recently announced that a small number of video iPods shipped with a windows virus. Apple stated “As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.” – WTF?
I had a tremendous amount of respect for Apple. I love my Mac Powerbook, I even drop-shipped one to my mother-in-law who was ripping CD’s within a couple of hours. Their designs are elegant, they have revolutionized digital music and the iPod is arguably the most successful consumer device in the past decade.
But I am absolutely stunned at the way they have handled this. George Ou has pretty much summed up my disgust with Apple at his blog (here). This is a perfect example of a corporation breaking trust with the market and symbolizes everything that is wrong with our society. No one is willing to take accountability for their own actions, between the lies, the damn lies, and the marketing stories, there is a complete lack of integrity and it is the reason why trust is lacking in all aspects of business, well all aspects of our lives really, especially politics (weapons of mass distraction keep the masses neutralized)
This is not the first time a large corporation has “accidentally” released malware. Just days ago McDonald’s recalled thousands of MP3 players that were infected with a Trojan, they didn’t blame Burger King though. They acknowledged the problem, issued a statement that the MP3 players should not be used, recalled all of them, and provided free scanning services to clean the infections.
Here is how Apple should have handled the situation:
First acknowledge that they made a mistake (which they did since the virus came from them), second identify the manufacturing control that allowed it to happen (Do they scan their products for malicious software?) third state what they plan to do differently in the future to avoid this type of problem (Tighten integrity of environmental variables in their manufacturing process, improve quality control to include AV scanning prior to GA release) and finally make it right with those that received infected iPods ($25 iTunes gift certificate, 1-year AV subscription, foot massage from Steve Jobs)