Antennagate. Mapgate. Vertigate.September 28, 2013: 10:49 AM ET
Stop the presses: iOS 7 can cause dizziness, vertigo, vomiting.
FORTUNE -- You knew there'd be something.
- Last year it was the iPhone app that replaced Google Maps.
- In 2010 it was the iPhone 4's external antenna.
- In 2011 the headlines that followed the introduction of the iPhone 4S were dominated by Steve Jobs, who died the next day.
If there has ever been a product launch in the modern history of Apple (AAPL) that didn't somehow backfire -- at least in the headlines -- I must have missed it.
That's because a story about how Apple is screwing up is as much a part of the new product news cycle as campers at the Apple Store or lines on launch day.
This year, the media has latched onto complaints of iOS 7-induced motion sickness that surfaced a few hours after the software became available for public download:
"The zoom animations everywhere on the new iOS 7 are literally making me nauseous and giving me a headache," wrote Ensorceled on Apple's online support site at 4:59 p.m. Sept. 18. "It's exactly how I used to get car sick if I tried to read in the car. How do I turn them off? Do I have to revert to 6?"
Over the next few days, a couple dozen similarly nauseated users added their tales of woe to the thread Ensorceled launched. By Saturday morning, Any way to turn off iOS 7 navigation animations? had been viewed 21,000 times.
It had also handed sharp-eyed editors around the world just the hook they were looking for. A Google search for "iOS 7 motion sickness" Saturday returned 7.3 million hits, starting with The Verge, which featured Ensorceled's story Wednesday in iPhone and iPad users report severe motion sickness while using iOS 7.
The rest of the headlines flowed from there. A sample:
- USA Today: New iOS update making some users dizzy
- Fox News: Apple iOS 7 is sickening users, doctor confirms
- Forbes: Apple's iOS 7 Causing Motion Sickness And Even Vomiting In Users
- Huffington Post: iOS 7 Design Is Giving Some People Motion Sickness And Vertigo
- The Guardian: Why iOS 7 is making some users sick
- iMore: iOS 7 and motion sickness: What you can do, and where you can learn more
That last story includes a poll that asks readers: "Is iOS 7 making you motion sick?" By Sunday morning it had drawn more than 5,600 votes. See the latest results here.
iOS 7 comes with a toggle switch that reduces the home screen parallax effect. (You can find it under Settings/General/Accessibility/Reduce Motion.)
Let's see how long it takes Apple to add a slider or switch to control zoom animations.
When that happens, Vertigate will go the way of Antennagate and Mapgate.
CORRECTION: An earlier version credited The Verge with breaking the Vertigate story. Credit should have gone to Craig Grannell, who has been writing about the issue, mostly on Twitter, since June. See Revert to Saved.