Steve Jobs to crowd: ‘We’re having a little problem here’

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Business, Technology

Good Morning People,

This is Marc Turner and I wanted to share this Story that I read and wanted to Tell you how Fast Bad News Can Travel.

Apple’s chief exec and irreplaceable master of ceremonies has few if any equals when it comes to wowing audiences during product demos, but even Steve Jobs’s famous reality-distortion field couldn’t protect him from an embarrassing Wi-Fi snafu during the big WWDC keynote Monday.

About 20 or 30 minutes into the big iPhone reveal, the Wi-Fi network that Jobs was using to show off Web browsing on the iPhone 4’s revamped screen conked out, leaving Apple’s normally poised, ultra-confident CEO a bit red-faced as the audience stared at a giant blank Web page.

“Our networks in here are always unpredictable. They are slow today,” said Jobs, as he waited, and waited, and waited. No dice.

Then Jobs asked the audience for a little assistance. “You know, you could help me out if you’re on Wi-Fi, if you could just get off. … I’d appreciate it.” Naturally, the members of the audience — probably half of whom were furiously live-blogging away — roared with laughter, and the guffaws only grew louder when an error message popped up reading “could not activate cellular network.” AT&T, anyone?

“Yep, I know that,” Jobs replied testily, as the wireless problems dragged on for another minute.

“Well, geez, I don’t like this. I’m afraid I have a problem and I won’t be able to show you much here today,” groaned Jobs, who finally resorted to showing off high-resolution photos from the iPhone 4’s photo roll, to some appreciative applause.

Then Steve tried the Web again — and still, no luck. “Well, I’m sorry, guys, I don’t know what’s going on,” he said, looking around for help. “”Uh … Scott, got any suggestions?”
Of course, some snarky goofball in the audience just couldn’t resist. “Verizon!” the guy shouted, and the audience roared again.

Jobs smiled. “We’re actually on Wi-Fi here, so … ”

Anyway, within another minute or so, the Wi-Fi was back, and Jobs moved on, albeit with the occasional plea to members of the press to please, please turn your Wi-Fi off. (The collective answer: Yeah, right.)

— Ben Patterson is a technology writer for Yahoo! News. Follow me on Twitter!

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