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Jobs calls Bloomberg story 'total bull,' says NYT 'making things up'

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs publicly responded to an article that claimed he and other executives knew about the iPhone 4 antenna issues before the device was released, calling the piece "total bulls— -."

Apple had already publicly denied the Bloomberg report on Thursday, but at Friday's iPhone 4 press conference, Jobs offered more candid remarks on the subject. Jobs made the comments as part of a question-and-answer session following Friday's press conference, which included Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook and Senior Vice President of Macintosh Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield.

"It's a total crock," Jobs reportedly said about the story. "We talked to everyone about it. We have a great community of scientists. They debate everything. And it's healthy. The best ideas win."

Bloomberg had claimed, in a story filed on Thursday, that Jobs and other Apple executives were warned that the design of the iPhone 4 could lead to reception problems. The report also alleged that a carrier partner of Apple's had expressed concern about the iPhone 4 external antenna before the device launched in late June.

Jobs also referred to an article from The New York Times issued later Thursday, which said the antenna issues were partially software related, and could be fixed in a forthcoming update to the iOS mobile operating system. "They're just making things up," Jobs said of the Times article.

Other interesting comments made during the hourlong question-and-answer session at Friday's press conference:

  • Jobs said the external antenna allows more space inside the phone for features like a larger battery, all while being smaller than the previous iPhone 3GS. The company has no plans to modify its design of the iPhone 4.
  • Apple said all companies produce cell phones with weak spots. Making a phone without one is impossible, they said.
  • There is a Sept. 30 limit for requesting a new case because the company wants to be able to reevaluate the promotion after some time.
  • There is a shortage of cases because Apple couldn't tell its partners the dimensions of the iPhone 4 before it was announced. Apple will not change its approach in the future, because revealing a new product too far ahead of time will kill the sales of the existing model.
  • Jobs, Cook and Mansfield all held out their phones and revealed that none of them use protective cases on their iPhone 4.
  • It's human nature to want to find a successful organization and bring them down, Jobs said. "I see it happening with Google, people trying to tear them down. And I don't understand it... what would you prefer? That we were a Korean company, that we were here in America leading the world with these products... maybe it's just that people want to get eyeballs on their sites."
  • Jobs said Apple loves its customers so much, any option was considered, including a recall. But the number of users experiencing the issue and contacting AppleCare about it was so small, that they decided it wasn't worth it. Customers' biggest complaint about the iPhone 4: They can't buy one, because it's sold out.
  • Some users who have called to complain about iPhone reception have received a visit from Apple employees trying to discover the problems. "They've sent teams all over the country, visiting these people in their homes," Jobs said. These people literally get a knock at the door from Apple engineers with a bunch of equipment and want to plug it in and test reception. We're really serious about this."
  • Jobs said his health is "fine." He noted that he was doing better earlier this week, when he was on vacation in Hawaii.