While Apple is seen as a company that produces great, stylish products, it has seemed (in the last decade or so, at least) that what Apple represents is more important than the products it manufactures and sells. The case of Apple's relatively recently released iPhone 4 is an example of this: it has becomes Apple's most successful product launch ever in spite of the fact that what apparently makes it so great is the fact that it finally encompasses several features that competing phones have long had (removable memory, multi-tasking applications, etc.). There has long been a feeling that Apple is in an enviable strategic position in which its superb marketing and its easy to use products have been enough to trump competition and build an enviably loyal consumer base with which it is able to fight off market forces that companies are normally weary of.
The highly publicized issue regarding the antenna of the iPhone 4, which was addressed by Steve Jobs in a press conference on Friday, will surely represent a formidable test to Apple's position. Regardless of whether the issue with the antenna is as real and cumbersome as has been reported by product review publications or as normal as Jobs made it out to be, it will be interesting to see whether it will have a discernible impact on sales as the iPhone 4 is released in new international markets in the upcoming weeks and months.