Steve Jobs may have calmed some of the Antennagate ruckus with his spirited defense of the iPhone 4 on Friday, but he also stirred up a hornet's nest of response from other phone manufacturers, including RIM, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, and HTC. In Jobs' Friday press conference, and on a new section of Apple website entitled " …
All very well...
but how many people will watch just Jobs propaganda shot and be happy with the all phones have problems bit?
I admit I have not seen an iPhone 4 so not had a chance to replicate the issue, however 10 years in IT managing mobile phone contracts and hundreds of Blackberries, Nokia's and SEs and have never had a single person report the issue.
In fact going wider would have thought if there were any problems with others would have spotted it by now. Look at BB Storm, well known for being a bit crap. The Nokia N95 (as I remember) is well known for slow down and reboots. BUT none about antenna problems.
FYI - N95 needs software upgrade
The original software on the N95 is unusable. As far as antenna performance however it is absolutely rock solid. Ditto for E71, E65 and a number of other phones (smart and dumb) I have had for the last 10 years. In fact the only one I recall to have problems was an Ericsson flip I had circa 2000 with one of those sticking out antennas.
So with all due respect to Holy Steve, but if a phone drops a call if you hold it anywhere short of where sun does not shine that phone has a problem.
"... the all phones have problems bit?"
No, no, no! Lord Jobs did not refer to all phones in his sermon. He said all smart phones.
If you're going to quote scripture, get it right!
I've tried doing pretty much anything to my N95 to make it drop a bar. Short of inserting it in a cow's jacksi. Doesn't drop a bar, never dropped a call either. And that is a smartphone.
re: BB Storm
Granted the first BB Storm had issues, I do know some with it that are pretty happy with them anyway.
However the BB Storm2 is the best smartphone I've ever had - especially the touch-click input. No dropped calls and I now get a 3G signal in my bathroom. lol
We may be quiet, but we're out there and just don't have anything to bitch about.
But don't go around talking smack about our Blackberries.
Just happy to be here and enjoying the popcorn...
I'm going to settle back and watch for the "It's only because Apple is so good that everyone wants to pick on them" comments.
Nothing like a little entertainment while working late. Now if only I had a beer
This is the real reason why apple is being attacked
It would be funny if he weren't so damn serious.
He doesn't have much of an agenda, or at least a hefty idiotic rant at 'liberals' does he?
who'd have thought that something as boring as cellphones could turn into such a soap opera? All that's missing are the extramarital affairs, illegitimate children, and a shooting or two, and we'd be watching Dallas. There's certainly enough melodrama.
I for one welcome...
Perhaps the peculiar antenna is in fact an extra-terrestrial mind control probe and Steve Jobs is a pod person spearheading the forthcoming alien invasion!
Why I Bought an iPhone
I only use my iPhone for playing music and watching videos and surfing the web. If I want to make a telephone call, I used my netbook.
That's the irony of it all - but TBH iPhone was always a phone third, after media player and web viewer. They do the games thing and the rest pretty well, but so does an iPod Touch - especially when a Wifi hotspot is within range.
@Why I Bought an iPhone
That's why I bought an iPod touch, not an iPhone.
I find the HTC comment funny...
Given that a) apple and you tube videos show a number of htc built devices experiencing death grip and b) dearing fireball's article showing a htc manual with a diagram of a phone demonstrating where not to touch; is this an admission by HTC that they do not give operators enough time to test their phones?
HTC vs. HTC
A link to the referenced pic from the Daring Fireball article: http://j.mp/b6eaNB — "… Contact with the antenna area may impair call quality and cause your device to operate at a higher power level than needed. …"
And yes, I often hook my forefinger over the top of a phone while on a call.
Sorry (Again) Moderators
Apologies to the moderators for bringing this up. Again. And arguing. Again.
The difference, for you and everyone else's benefit one more time, is that the external nature of the iPhone's antenna means that bridging the magical line in Steve's pictures is enough to degrade the signal strength.
On other phones you need to death grip it.
Or in the words of Jobs:
There is no problem, but there is a problem shared by all smartphones, but only a small batch of them. And that problem which is not a problem, is certainly not a problem with our design. But if it were this image would show you where the problem which is not a problem may occur. But this doesn't matter because all these other smartphones have a problem too, look here are some photos of us holding various smart phones in various different ways. So if there were a problem, which there isn't, this would be how to cause it on other phones. People say it is different for the iPhone but it can't be because there isn't and our data shows it. But it doesn't. So it does.
Yeah, one question - Have you actually touched one?
I've sadly not got an iPhone 4 yet, but I have had the chance to fondle 3. I've covered that area with my finger every which way I can think of, and guess what - No signal drop. I cannot replicate the problem.
So, its not "Just briding the line" that does it - otherwise I'd have seen it too.
I don't doubt its an issue, I just believe that it is completely overplayed and overhyped, simply because - its an apple product. That's why its getting all the press, but the other phones arent.
Shielding is not disputed.
Watch the video:
Yes thats ONE Finger. using the magic iTouch.
Even if you can't do it thousands can.
iPhone still the only phone that can be fixed by tape.
I didn't dispute it. I said clearly I don't doubt its not an issue. I note however that my question remains unanswered.
The people making a big deal, it seems, generally don't own one.
3 or 4
Well done, you've tested a different design and not found a problem so therefore there can't be a problem with this design.
The reason you can't replicate the problem is that you haven't even tried.
Have I touched one personally?
No, but would you like a full list of other things I haven't done personally but am happy to believe?
I haven't personally written software that scales to millions of users, but I understand that it would be significantly more difficult than writing software for a handful.
I haven't personally visited China but I know the government can be heavy handed.
I haven't personally watched a child grow but I appreciate the experience would be life changing.
I haven't personally tried heroin, but I imagine the effects are quite startling.
I haven't personally touched an iPhone 4's special part. But I believe from my understanding of physics, the explanation of the design and the reports I have read that touching the special part would be bad.
I haven't personally made love to Paris Hilton, but the videos I've seen make it seem less than enthralling.
I haven't personally experienced several other design flaws. But I believe they happened: Pentium rounding bug and excel math errors for example.
Because you know the magical thing about this world we live in. I am free to make an objective decision based on the evidence I see around me. And I see the press reports and the blog posts and (particularly) the consumer report as fairly compelling evidence compared to anecdotes from self confessed Apple Fans. You don't owe the company anything, I don't owe the company anything. And I am more than able to say there is a problem without having to go out and purchase the sodding thing first.
No, I said I've had the chance to fondle 3 iPhone 4's - although I have been unable to purchase on of my own.
I have tried.
@ AC 09:28 GMT
Indeed, its seems the one idea you are not able to conceive is the one about keeping your opinions - about something that has very little (if any) effect on yourself – to yourself.
Don’t worry it’s clearly not just you.
And El Reg are not helping the situation by constantly finding any old excuse to print another article on the same subject, yes Apple / Jobs’ handling of the situation has pretty poor but let’s be honest, if this was any other company in would maybe get a passing comment in an article or two but not many articles a day just to bring it up yet again.
I am neither fanboi or anti, but even I can tell from comments and other info available that this issue is clearly not effecting all iPhone 4s or their users, however as has been alluded previously, it seems that for many Apple is a bit like Marmite (as in Love it or Hate it) however the haters seem louder by far and, as mentioned above, it seems they have trouble keeping their thoughts to themselves about products they are adamant they are not interested in. hmm.
@It'sa Mea... Mario
"Indeed, its seems the one idea you are not able to conceive is the one about keeping your opinions [...] to yourself."
Umm. OK, radical suggestion, I know, but it seems that pretty much the entire point of the comments section on El Reg (or any other tech news site) is precisely to allow people to express their opinions... And (as if this needed a side-serving of irony) expressing your own opinions is also what you have done in your post.
Yes it is indeed what forums/comments sections are for and yes I have given an opinion too. Well done.
The point I was making that you missed was that for all the talk of Apple Shills etc the Anti-Apple crowd are far more commonly found commenting (often the same thing in every thread even loosely related. It's almost Cult like - have Apple ever upset the Scientology set?) on the very things that they have themselves said that they would not be interesteded in buying.
El Reg love it, don't get me wrong, the more clicks and comments the more they can sell advert space for, else the one Apple article a day would do.
@It'sa Mea... Mario
The problem is not that anyone missed your point. We get it. The problem is that your point, with its heavy-handed sarcasm, makes no sense.
The fact that a person doesn't want to buy a given product, that does not disqualify them from having a valid opinion about that product. In fact, the reason that many of us choose not to buy particular products is precisely *because* we have opinions about them.
I am neither pro-Apple nor anti-Apple. I have owned two iPods and I loved them (though they are now gathering dust in a drawer somewhere...). However, I happen to find the iPhone too restricted for my purposes. That's not to say that the iPhone is a bad phone. But I won't buy one because, in my opinion, it would suit my needs better to have a phone that provides me with a file browser and the ability to install anything I like. For this reason, I have an opinion about the iPhone, but I won't buy one.
You may continue to complain about people holding this sort of opinion, but in all likelihood, nobody else will care.
@ whiteafrican again
Your right, you didn't so much miss my point as deliberately cut it out from your quote. I could quote you as saying all sorts of different things if I selectively cut your posts..
I do not have a problem with people having opinions or expressing them. My point which you are still choosing to ignore is that the Anti crowd are far more vocal than the Pro crowd, very often repetatively so.
Go to any Reg Apple thread (or one that just mentions Apple in passing) and you will see the same commenters spreading the same vitrol they spread in every other Apple related thread.
Perhaps your hands are just unusally dry? Skin oil (snake oil too?) has varying concentrations depending on the person. People in the vids may just have a hyperhydrosis issue (as one Apple fanboi that I'm friends with). However, I'm sure it affects pretty much all but the most dry of hands.
@ It'sa Mea... Mario... again
I do not doubt your ability to quote selectively. In future, in order to avoid this perceived injustice, perhaps you should insist that people only quote the whole of everything you have ever written, in order to avoid leaving out anything that you felt was particularly pertinent.
Meanwhile, your point still makes no sense. You are complaining that the people criticising Apple are more vocal than those who are pro-Apple. But if (as you claimed in your original post) you're not a fanboi, then why do you care whether people bash Apple? Why does it matter to you? If you are genuinely concerned about the balance of fairness in the world, then I suggest to you that there are dozens of causes out there that are far more deserving of your attention than whether one of the world's largest companies is being unfairly criticised in internet chatrooms.
In any case, I am not ignoring the argument that the anti-Apple crowd are more vocal, I just don't see it as a problem. By way of example, I own two computers running Windows, and one running Ubuntu, but I have no particlar loyalty to either OS - they each serve a purpose. If people out there make valid criticisms of these products, I will pay attention. If they make criticisms that are irrelevant/unwarranted, then I will ignore them. But your approach (taking the criticisms you perceive to be irrelevant/unwarranted and whining about them) is absurd.
Hence your argument is, and remains, a nonsensical epic fail.
Looking at Apple share price, there was a steady increase from the February start of the serious build up to the iPad's March release up until the release of the iPhone 4. Share price went from $200 to $275. Since the iPhone 4 was released, share price has dropped back to $245... whether this is a blip or the mark of a declining share price is not yet clear. I guess we'll have to wait to see how many iPhone 4 owners return their device and whether or not iPhone 4 sales drop.
"Jobs' tactic could damage Apple's brand and depress its stock price."
Jobs finally does something we can all get behind then.
When you're paying £100 for a phone and £400 for a logo that logo better not represent incompetence, arrogance, denial and greed.
I steer well clear of any product for which the brand commands a huge premium. I consider brands to be symbols and I leave symbols to the symbol minded </Carlin>.
We're in this dire state of affairs where branding is worth considerably more than manufacturing. And it will continue to be this way until you and I decide that a brand is not worth more than the product it's attached to (and it bloody well is not). You're allowing yourself to pay huge premiums for... nothing. Absolutely fuck all.
cue the lawyers
Could be fun watching them duke it out
I was think in the same thing
Apple lawyers vs
the combine lawyers ofSamsung, Htc, Motorola, Rim, Nokia, Google & Microsoft
Apple obviously haven't heard the expersion "Don't tug on Superman's cape". This is less tugging, more ripping off Superman's cape and setting fire to it whilst making improper suggestions about his mother.
(How are Google & Microsoft involved, well it's Apple so when did they ever need a reason)
@Which, of course, despite Jobs' "We love our users" assurances, is the bottom line.
Jobs does not care about shareholders much and Apple don't make products to please shareholders either .. they want to make products that people love and if they make money, great.
As far as the iPhone 4 is concerned, the only problem it really has is that they have made the shape too minimal (and its a shame as I normally love their minimalist designs) and removed the curvy back which makes it less attractive to women (so my wife thinks and a number of girls in the Apple store the other day when I went for a look 8-) and gives a sharper feel in the hand.
I think they need to go back to a more rounded design which they could do by incorporating a plastic band all around it .. oh wait they are doing that by giving the bumpers away!
"""Jobs does not care about shareholders much and Apple don't make products to please shareholders either"""
You'll find that Jobs probably cares about one share holder: himself. I think I found something that said Jobs owns 0.63% of AAPL shares, no idea how accurate that info is. In any case that comes out to something like $1.4B, so a tiny drop (1.73% today, for instance) comes out to a lot ($24M today - more than I expect to make in my life.)
If a couple bad articles lost you tens of millions, I think you'd care quite a lot.
"Apple don't make products to please shareholders either .. they want to make products that people love and if they make money, great."
Are you serious? Are you actually serious? Looking at your post history, you do appear to be serious. In which case, you are a comedy legend.
Giant multinational corporation and billionaire CEO in "not interested in the money" shocker!
What are you smoking in that bong of yours? It would appear to be some seriously good shit!
re: Mr. Preece?
"Are you serious? Are you actually serious? Looking at your post history, you do appear to be serious. In which case, you are a comedy legend."
I started loosing control around the *wheeze*, but the moment I read the above line, diet soda shot through my nose at near hypersonic speeds, all over my keyboard. I'll spare you the horrific and graphic descriptions of what happens when carbonated water egresses the sinus cavity at high speed, but needless to say, neither my keyboard nor the three people who witnessed "the incident" will ever be the same (both functionally and psychologically).
But, on a side note, Bravo!!!
0.55% return rate.
The iPhone 4's reception "problems"—which it clearly shares with other phones—obviously aren't the massive problem the media like to imply. (That amounts to 16K customers out of 3 million. Not a tiny number, but given that this includes customers who have reported *any* reception issues, it's fair to assume that spotty coverage problems are also included in this figure.)
Frankly, I've never had decent reception from *any* of my smartphones in poor signal areas. (And I'm not just talking about my parents' place in Italy's countryside; there are still places in *London* with shocking coverage.)
And Nokia can seriously STFU about their oh-so-superior approach to design, because NONE of the Nokia phones I've owned have ever been that great in the reception stakes—and their charge indicators are worse than useless too, sticking resolutely to "maximum" until the charge has dropped *way* down, often leaving me stranded with a dead phone. Good design my arse.
Yes, the iPhone 4's signal degrades if you hold it a certain way. No, it's not a problem unique to the iPhone 4. Seriously: why the hell aren't Nokia, LG, Samsung and HTC being pilloried for this "problem" too? Could it be because it's now fashionable to 'bash' Apple and punish them for being pretty good at industrial design and marketing. Last time I checked, neither was a crime, and nobody's *forcing* you to buy their stuff.
I do not own an iPhone myself, but I've seen no *concrete* evidence to suggest it'll give me any worse performance and reception than any of the others I've owned over the years. Just lots of hearsay, shoddy reporting, and incessant whining from a tiny, tiny minority who barely represent *half a percent* of all iPhone 4 customers. This is therefore only a "major, widespread problem" for incredibly small values of "major" and "widespread".
Enough already! Apple has *actual* issues that are more worthy of criticism and debate; for a company so focused on design, iTunes and the increasingly fragmented "iStores" should be a massive embarrassment. The Apple TV has also performed poorly.
And that's just Apple. What about Microsoft's seeming inability to capitalise on its mammoth resources and R&D? Is it becoming the next Xerox PARC?
There's plenty of genuine news and analysis for the taking, but hardly anyone seems to be doing it.
Skip to the end
I think we'll now see the return rate go up. People were waiting to see what Apple would do. Now that the answer is arrogant bullshit a lot more people will probably vote with their feet.
I for one would not like to encase my expensive sexy new phone in a crappy strip of plastic just so it can reliably make calls.
You often see the argument "well, most people put their phones in cases" Yeah, slip cases that they take them out of to make calls and show their gadget off to their friends. The iPhone 4 bumper is effectively a permanent addition.
the end ?
The end was jobs standing up and saying ... "If you don't want your iPhone, apple will fully refund it for you, no restock fee. Oh and just because we can, we are going to throw in a case for those that want it"
You can look at this two ways ...
Admittance of a fault?
Brilliant PR from Jobs?
Personally I look to the latter opinion. How many companies turn around, tell you about an (industry wide?) issue and say "we will refund these products fully even though we can see no real fault with the product".
I can see the next keynote been one of hilarity as job stands up and says "We had x number of phones returned because of signal issues", and lets face it that number is going to be low.
This is the whole mobile industry sh*tting them selves because apple has sold 3 million devices in 3 weeks ...
Nothing like a good scandal eh?
0.55% return rate
Sean, could you change your handle to "Apostle of St. Steve", as it'll help out any newcomers to Vulture Central. 'kay thanks.
Not a single one denied anything! And in the case of Samsung they just used the same "we're not getting many reports of this issue" that Apple has been taken to task for. It's amazing the "free pass" these companies are being given here! Apple showed them loosing their signal when held a specific way...yet none have disputed that fact instead they talk around it. Shame!
What a tool
"Just buy someone else's phone - not that big of a deal"
Poor PR advice
I'm stunned at the poor quality of PR advice these firms are getting.
Jobs threw down some bait and they all snapped at it (while being very careful not to deny his claim) and made themselves part of the story. You can bet half the geeks of the world are busily testing every phone around and posting the YouTube vids now.
iPhone 4 has a separate issue about bridging the two antennas that is so simple to avoid a 5 year old could do it (but apparently not Fandroids, or whatever they are called).
@Watashi Apple's share price is to do with concerns about margins that Apple itself highlighted back in December, ahead of the iPad launch.
Sir, if that is an original coinage, I tip my hat to you. If it is not, well done for promulgating it further. It will henceforth be my favourite term of approbation or praise, as appropriate.
arrogance has no limits
After first not admitting the issue, then saying that you are not holding the phone properly, then saying that for the last 3 years the problem existed with the software!!! now he says that all other phones suffer from the same problem. I use an htc and my friend has to borrow mine sometimes or use mine to lookup things, and that's a 3.0 not 4.0. Pathetic behaviour from apple.
So are the apple videos fake?
RIM et al don't like Apple's videos. Are they sugguesting they're faked? Apple have shown pretty convincing evidence that the other phones drop bars (and the one phone I tested dropped from 4 to 1 bar as Apple promised). Maybe the ip4 is worse, but Apple have made a good case that its not just their phone that you have to be carefull with.
The competition have made big noise that they're not happy about it - of course they're not, but if they could actually disprove apples claims they'd be showing hard evidence to the courts, rather than making press releases.
There are Two issues to understand! Steve is trying to confuse you.
Shielding and Shorting..
Shielding affects all devices and always has Steve is pretending this is the issue BUT it is NOT. The iPhone has a Shorting issue that can be fixed with tape, lacquer, bumper, rubber gloves, hand transplant, light sabre (see http://tinyurl.com/iPhoneJedi) etc see the consumer reports video for a demonstration of shorting using a finger. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/12/consumer_reports_iphone_reversal/
NO other phones have this issue! Don't let Steve tell you otherwise he's trying to pull a 'fast one'.
All phone will experience a slight degradation due to shielding. this cannot be avoided. however The degradation on the iPhone due to shorting is massive! (20dBm > 90% of signal power)