back to article Steve Jobs denies Judas Phone antenna problems

There's nothing wrong with the iPhone 4 that isn't wrong with any other phone, says Steve Jobs. However, because Jobs and company "love our users," Apple will provide a free case to any Judas Phone owner who wants one. "There is no Antennagate," Apple's CEO told a select group of reporters gathered Friday morning on the company' …

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Happy

My goodness...

...I know this will be comment #672 of 10,000 but I'm soooo looking forward to the El Reg Massive response! Roll on the mods sorting through this lot.

And am I the only cynical bugger that thinks an announcement like this timed for a Friday is just so perfect for the Sith Lord?

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Grenade

Never seen that problem on a Nokia E series

In Nokia E series backplate is the WiFi antenna and probably other stuff - BT, GPS. You can hold it any way you like and it still works fine. It may not be shiny, but once you upgrade the firmware it "just works".

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E71 here...

...and I tried to duplicate this when the whole "oh, but it happens with every smartphone" spin first got out. And indeed, I *did* manage to get it to drop bars...

...by more or less sitting on it. If I made sure that the only thing not covered in me (ok, just using my hands worked as well) was the part of the screen that showed the connectivity, I could indeed see how it would sloooowly start losing bars, but open up just a little bit and they'd start coming back.

Sure, I suppose other phones could exhibit the same kind of sensitivity as the iPhone 4, but that doesn't mean that the iPhone is any good, only that a number of other phones are just as horrid as the iPhone is.

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Jobs Horns

The Next Lesson is taken from the Book of Job

And it came to pass that Californian Job did return from the wilderness, with it's summits, slopes and valleys, speckled with glistening spires and shiny domes and called upon His faithful, and their trusted scribes, to gather at the Church of Apple and they did as they were bid.

Job came before the gathered faithful and they were quieted. They were in awe of being in His presence.

Oh faithful, He cried, I have wronged. I have held you in contempt, I have used you, I have led you to believe that which is not, is; and to doubt that what is, is not. I claimed I was stunned, when I was not. My heart was troubled, slightly.

Ye faithful, Job spake, we are surrounded by the unbelievers, the smug, the ignorant, the indifferent and who are hostile to our cultural values. We were mocked by they of Richmond and of the Silicon Valley who stirred a mass who rose up and cried out aloud.

You, brethren, and I, must be as one and as a token of your faith I give you a ring, a ring of many colours, a ring of rubber which you shall affix around your symbol of our faith. Go forth into the world and show your rings to the unbelievers and they shall be quieted.

And, being simple naive folk, the faithful did so, their symbols of faith with the coloured rings displayed against their ears and they were at peace in their hearts and their alarm quieted, saying out loud, for all to hear, Hello?, Hello?, Hello?.

And Californian Job was well pleased, too, knowing that His followers would return to buy the next symbol of their faith.

Here endeth the lesson.

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Jobs Halo

"Antennagate has been predominantly a US thing."

...probably patented by Broadcomm.

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Dry fingers

I wonder if the air-conditioned offices of Apple meant all the testers had dry fingers that didn't 'short' the aerial??

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Probably have to wear white gloves

They probably have to wear white gloves as the cater to Jobs.

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Paris Hilton

See it isnt broken

But we will fix it anyway.

We come in peace, shoot to kill!!!!!!

If your too stupid to hold it properly here is a rubber thing so you dont have to worry but its still your fault.

New from Apple, the iBlame EOB

Paris - she would believe it.

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Dead Vulture

Reg = haters

The Reg: "STEVE JOBS DENIES JUDAS PHONE ANTENNA PROBLEMS"

Steve Jobs: "So we've worked the last 22 days on this trying to solve the problem. And we think we've gotten to the heart of the problem"

It sounds to me like they've admitted the problem, albeit a problem that iPhone owners have found to be a non-issue (the figures speak for themselves). After another week of bad jokes, the stock price will recover, iPhone owners will continue to be overwhelmingly satisfied and Apple will continue to sell them faster then they can make them.

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Jobs Horns

Admitted, but denied

Well, to paraphrase him, he's saying there isn't a real problem. Or actually, there is, but it's the same as other phones. And it's so much of a non-issue, we're giving away a rubber case to fix the problem that doesn't exist.. Or a refund that you'd be entitled to (in the UK) regardless of what Lord Steve deems appropriate, and a vague answer on what happens if you've bought via AT&T/O2 etc

His claim that problem is due to not enough cases to fit the new design, shurely we'd have seen the same effect with the original iPhone and the 3G?

One question though - what changes after 30th September that a free case is no longer required?...

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Headmaster

Surely you meant...

reg == haters.

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Headmaster

@"reg == haters"

Maybe its not a comparison. Maybe it really is an assignment of hate, as us reg readers are being given a lot of hateful feelings from suffering all the two faced condescending Apple behaviour.

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WTF?

you didn't listen

he never said it wasn't a problem, just that the problem appears on ALL smartphones, I got my HTC hero to drop bars in the exact same way.

he said that we have the SAME problem as everyone else, but we made it very easy to trigger by having a join between the two antennas in the same place as people put their hands, so making the problem a lot more obvious.

he said that after the 30th, if the offer needs to continue, it will.

you guys need to listen more carefully, how you passed basic english I dont know.....

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Your HTC Hero drops bars when you cover the corner of your iPhone? Spooky

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Rubbish!

I'm on my 3rd Hero, Orange having given me replacements due to crappy signal reception. Despite this, I can only get it to drop bars when I completely smother it.

If I hold it like a normal person, rather than a club-handed hillbilly, it works perfectly.

The only thing that surprises me about this whole issue is that people seem genuinely taken aback that Apple\Jobs haven't put their hand up and taken the blame. I mean, this is the Cult of Jobs ferchrissake....what the feck did you think was going to happen?

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Anechoic chamber

... can refer to blocking out sound *or* electromagnetic waves.

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Anechoic Chambers and Antennas

Greetings and salutations...

Because there are no surfaces for the radio waves from the antenna to bounce off of, it is possible to map the undisturbed radiation pattern of the antenna. Useful to know what direction the antenna is pumping out that power, and, probably in this case, how that radiation pattern changes when the antenna gets touched.

Regards

dave mundt

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Pint

It.s crowded out there, RF speaking

Frequently antenna radiation patterns can be performed in free space but dues the congested cell frequencies in all but the the less or sparsely populated areas of North America.

Toronto, and a few other places in Canada, has adopted 2100Mhz - the now superseded (sort of) Nexus 1 not only had amazing user-facing software BUT also a remarkable frequency range that included UMTS bands (either 900/AWS/2100 MHz or 850/1900/2100 MHz).

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Thumb Up

Sounds like denial?

But who am I to say?

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Happy

So...

"We take this really personally," he said. "Maybe we should have a wall of PR people keeping us away from this stuff, but we don't, we take it really personally."

Stevie's officially taken up use of the royal pronoun, then?

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respect

I've now lost a lot of respect for Jobs.

if he claims there is nothing wrong with the IPhone then why:

1) is he spending so much money on recruiting post-graduate engineers with expertise in antenna design and building the infrastructure need to test antennas

(they've been producing mobile phones for years)

2) are they releasing a case to all IPhone users?

Is Jobs really such an arrogant tw*t that he thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of literally millions of people?

Unfortunately, I've seen a national news programme on television this evening where they've fallen for Job's bullshit.

The reason why they don't want The Register in Job's media briefings is because the Register is staffed by technically intelligent people that know what they're talking about who would ask difficult questions when confronted with Jobs' bullshit.

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Anonymous Coward

#Respect

> why is he spending so much money on recruiting post-graduate engineers with expertise in antenna design.....they've been producing mobile phones for years....

But iPhone 4 is the first phone with an Apple designed antenna hence the schoolboy error - the reason they need help is obvious. Up until this phone they have used Nokia inspired compact designs. As a result Apple is being sued by Nokia and no-one, not even them, is expecting to win. The fine and damages would have been massively more if they continued to flout Nokia's Patents.

>Is Jobs really such an arrogant tw*t that he thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of literally millions of people?

Yes. Just watch it happen. Apple has always been about form, not function. Its kind of like women and shoes I've never understood that either.

Just watched the video and I'm almost tempted to ask, What's the IT angle?

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Ummm...

"The reason why they don't want The Register in Job's media briefings is because the Register is staffed by technically intelligent people that know what they're talking about who would ask difficult questions when confronted with Jobs' bullshit."

The same ones that don't know what use an anechoic chamber would be, perhaps?

The reason why I read El Reg is not because they are 100% technically savvy.

BTW, my Nokia E71 signal strength display goes from full to minimal when I hold the telephone. I never looked before but I did exactly what Mr. Jobs showed and he is 100% correct.

I hate my Nokia E71 - in comparison to my iPod Touch, for usability, it is rubbish - I will definitely be getting an iPhone (unlocked) as soon as I can find sufficient funds - sod the rent.

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Flouting Nokia's Patents…

Apple's perfectly willing to pay up to Nokia and will eventually, but there are two sides to that story. Nokia must license its standards-related patents using fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

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Viewpoint

Ever use a magnifying glass? Know how to calculate the refraction based its index value?

Just because someone knows what an antenna is does not mean they know how to build and test one.

The reg is an IT site, not a site for Ham radio enthusiasts.

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Hmm... interesting...

I just took my Nokia E71 off the desk... signal same, hold - signal same, hug - signal same, stuff where sun does not shine... guess not... too big for that, but probably signal will still be the same.

The only way I have managed to reproduce the "Jobs problem" was to hold it in two hands so you wrap one hand around it and put another on its top.

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FAIL

@Nick Pettefar - I call your bluff

I have an E71 in my hands - and no matter how I hold it, in either hand, gripping it lightly or with a death grip, I can't make it lower it's signal strength. I don't know what you are doing, but I can't duplicate it.

And you hate your E71 as compared to your iPod touch? One is a phone with a 2-year-old design, the other is an media player and game platform. The E71 does what it was designed to do, is VERY durable, and does it reasonably well. Your iPod also does what it was designed to do reasonably well -- but they do two different things and are aimed at two totally different markets. At least the E71 can play MP3's, can the iPod make calls on a cellular network?

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@ anton

same here with the HTC legend, have to cover the back and front (along with the mic)...

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FAIL

they do that already

it's just that apple feels they deserve special attention as compared to motorola or samsung

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with HTC hero too

but I have to just grip it tightly on both sides of the phone, I dont have to cover the top, bottom or screen, but I repeatedly got a signal drop from full bars to 1 and back again when I put it back on the table.

so he's not lying, but the problem was nokia suing them over the antenna design so they had to change it and made a stupid error.

the worst place to touch the antenna, just so happens to be the first place you put your hand. stupid mistake, but I can't understand why people here are saying they are not accepting there was a problem, unless you count that people here can't understand english correctly.

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Song

The antenna song was quite funny...

http://www.rockcookiebottom.com/post/819345221/song-a-day-561-the-iphone-antenna-song

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WTF?

and when the 4GS arrives?

......will these issues be fixed/upgraded? Monumentally contrived, blinkered and not really livingin the modern world - add to this the control freakiness of the App Store /locked phones and you wonder which planet we live on?

Yes - it's sold 3m phones - 1m a week but all with antenna issues.... fail SJ!

First mention I ever heard of Attennagate was at the Apple performance/press conference - how often will that be repeated in the media in the coming days?

I have had 'mobile' phones for 15 years now - they tend to cope with being held - surely that's one of the key expectations of being a mobile phone - being held in your hand to make calls?

Oh dear - the phone has an issue - admit it, account for it and move on - the posteuring is embarassing.

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Grenade

Jobs can do whatever anyone asks...

And still people will criticize him. Remove the problem by offering a case, refund cases purchased to date?!! Sure, we'll do that! Refund the phone in full?? Sure, we'll do that!!!

Did all this happen within just a few weeks of launch? Yep, 22 days to learn of the problem and come up with a plan.

Is that pretty good for ANY company? Sure it is...

But people will lambaste Jobs anyway...it makes them feel bigger, somehow...

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FAIL

Read the response closer

Despite the actions Apple will take to ensure end-users are happy, Steve Jobs still can't admit that the phone design is flawed as demonstrated by objective testing from multiple, respected, technical publications.

I'm not generally a fan of Apple and I do ultimately think they are doing the right thing. But it's also unbelieveably self-absorbed and pompous to say that you'll rectify the situation and then, in the same breath, denounce that any situation exists at all. And there's no way to justify that, whether you're a hater or a fanboi.

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no, no ,no

The problem is how long did it take him to say the obvious?! LOL

First we were told to hold it differently, then... the best bit... it was a software issue!?!?! You don't release anything until you're sure, this isn't Apple "thinking out loud"... this is Apple trying to smuggly cover the bullsh*t up. And when nobody bought it (they actually thought we would!!!) ... NOW Jobs speaks. There was never "22 days investigating". There was 22 days of "let's see if they buy the next line.

So what happened to the software issue?

That is the issue buddy, people don't take kindly to being shafted.

Assume the position

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FAIL

Lambaste?

What are you basting the lamb with? Is it roast lamb (on a spit?) or is it lamb stew - in which case basting seems a bit redundant,

Personally I think a touch of olive oil would go nicely

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FAIL

You have invalidated your own argument

Problems aren't solved by treating the symptoms, they are solved by solving the problem.

A problem with a bad transceiver is not FIXED by a free case, or a refund, it's fixed by solving the transceiver. And that's not an Apple issue, that's an "any company that produces a product with a bad transceiver". Unless such a company solves the actual problem, anything else they do in mitigation is spending money on what isn't the correct solution.

So, is offering money (or money-substitute products) instead of a solution "pretty good for ANY company"? No. No it is not.

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I asked His Royal Hiney to leave Lala alone

...but I don't see it anywhere on the net...so I really don't think that he'll whatever anyone asks, unless the "anyone" happens to be his own reflection in a mirror somewhere.

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Flame

No idea of the real-world...

If you knew ANYTHING about the real-world of FCC licensing, you would have a clue that it takes a great deal of time to get approval to changes of RF components, including antennas. By great deal, we are talking 6 - 12 months. The is no magic short cut, changing the antenna design invalidates FCC and EU approval.

Now, back in the real world....your suggestion was to do what exactly? No, not one that involves time machines, and not one that says keep selling the inferior 3GS instead...

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@Mike Kammermans

"A problem with a bad transceiver is not FIXED by a free case, or a refund, it's fixed by solving the transceiver."

This statement is true but it is not the complete picture. You can provide a free case but the problem is still present..or is it? The defect is still present, that is, the defective transceiver and antenna system is still present, but if the actual cause of the problem is that the aerial is coming into contact with the user's fingers, then placing a rubber case does actually solve the problem.

The defect can be fixed in a number of different ways. To suggest that the only way to fix the defective problem is to fix the transceiver is not right.

It's a problem which needs a solution, and any engineering graduate will tell you, it's their job to decide how 'best' to fix it, given competing criteria: cost, performance, ease of manufacture, reputation.

Apple, being a business whose purpose is to make profit, will solve the engineering issue in the cheapest way possible, which will be either: software update, or a cheap protective case, both of which are far, far cheaper for Apple than redesigning the IPhone, and carrying out a product recall.

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Flame

your an idiot

he plainly said that whilst the antenna design is truely remarkable (which may or may not be true) it DOES have a flaw, that the put the point that causes the most signal degradation at the location where almost everyone puts their hands.

combine that with living in a low signal strength area, makes the problem occur more often than in places where the high signal strength hides the problem.

you can't fucking understand spoken english or what? go back to school.......

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Jobs Halo

If trolls ate soup...

"Waiter, I don't like the soup. I want you to make it better."

"This is the best we can make it. Perhaps we can offer you some salt."

"I paid good money for this soup. It should taste good without salt."

"I'm sorry. 99.5% of people love the soup but we want everyone to be happy so we'll give you a full refund on your meal."

"I don't want a refund. I want a better soup."

"We're trying the best we can and the soup is as good as it's going to get."

"then I'll just sit in your restaurant and whine until I get the soup I want without salt."

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Megaphone

I like this...

... It's certainly correct in many respects but there are two key problems.

1) The waiter in your story is honest and up front about the problem realizing the limitations of the product and communicating it directly to the customer. Apple didn't do this, they lied and deceived and in many respects continue to do so. (Read 3)

2) Soup that is "As good as we can make it" implies that they've done everything they can, but consider that in your story the soup is made using battery acid... Would you sympathise with the waiter still? The product is outright defective, not low on quality.

And an added note...

3) General signal interference (I.e. Putting your phone in a lead box/encasing it completely with your hands) is just how it works, all wireless devices suffer from this. The iPhone defect is a design flaw which leads to signal failure... Not all phones suffer from this, if anything this is product-unique.

Please please please someone at The Reg write an article on the bloody difference because this "All Phones do it" spin is distracting us from the real problem at hand.

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FAIL

Analogy fail!

Can you tell the difference between soups that has had salt added during cooking and soups where it has been added after?

Are you suggesting, that the bumper will magically disolve into the iPhone, making tast... ehm work like it should, but look no different?

Or should the user just hold the spoon in a different manner, to taste the salt?

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Thumb Up

what about my BB9700?

I ve tried to hold my BB9700 by the left hand corner and it lost 2 bars. (my iPhone 3G doesn't)

Do you think Rim will get me a free bumper?

Didn't think so..

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FAIL

fail

I held my G1 in a the death grip, and it gained a bar :-p

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