Honestly, this alarm thing hasn’t affected me in the least, but I can imagine it did affect a lot of users. And really, there can’t be many things that are more frustrating than an alarm clock that doesn’t work.
However, what bothers me is that the situation speaks to a bigger (not big, just bigger) weakness of iOS right now that no one is talking about. Why hasn’t Apple decoupled it’s default apps from iOS and put them into the App Store? The way it is right now, in order for Apple to patch even a broken alarm clock, they have to push out a new build of iOS at 300-600MB and every single user has to plug their phone into their computer, download the software update (which could take a decent amount of time depending on connection speed), and go through the entire sync and update process.
If Apple would make all its apps the same as any other app, then they could push a ‘Clock’ update to the front of the iTunes line, and anyone who wanted the update would get it the next time they opened the App Store. They would be more likely to know about it, and they would be able to download it over any network, including their 3G signal. Hell, AT&T could even send out a free text to all users suggesting they download it. Just like that, problem solved.
As an added bonus, maybe we would all be allowed to delete some of the Apple apps that we’ve replaced with better third-party apps. Sounds like a win-win to me.