WHAT’S WRONG: The new iPhone 3G has been marred by bugs, spotty service and other oddities.

WHY IT MATTERS: Apple Inc. has had many missteps before, but it enjoys a reputation for well-designed, sleek products that come at premium prices.

LIKELY UPSHOT: Marketing experts say the good will Apple enjoys means that Apple’s fans tend to play down negative information, and the company’s brand will likely stay untarnished.

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