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' …
I doubt whether it would fit the Blackberry?
You miss the point...
Did it lose signal entirely? Was simply holding the phone in a way that is only reasonable cause the cell service to be completely disabled?
No? Didn't think so either...
Oh, the coincidences...
... I had bought a 9700 a week before the Jobs statement about the 9700.
Before the death grip, I get -66. During the death grip, it goes down to -72 ... and then bounces back to -66, without me "ungripping" it. Not only is the dip in signal much lower than in the iPhone, the handset actually goes back to its original signal strength. Hell, the variation might have been even me moving the phone slightly when gripping it!
Apple is lying on the matter, and they're being called out for that. RIM already spoke on the matter, I'd expect other makers to do the same.
Oh ... and if it lost a couple of bars ... could it be that it had the same kind of "doctored" bar thresholds that the iPhone has? ;)
still laughing at Judas phone over here.
I'm still pleasantly surprised...
Honestly, I never expected Apple to do even this. Steve Jobs will never admit they've made a real mistake before hell freezes over, but the offer for a free case is respectable, and most importantly, will indeed solve the reception problem for the owners without additional cost. That's what matters for the average user. Of course, it would have been a lot more stylish to just do this without all the excuses, but that would have been almost too perfect. ;)
Haters will hate
He must have got fedup with all the haters and the FUD.
The bumpers should have been free or uber cheap in the first place to be honest.
Everyone should be happy now.
Haters can still hate (while trying to save battery on their HTC's), fanbois get their free bumpers and wannabes can take get a refund. Everyone's a winner!
I own a HTC and I'm not a hater
I actually agree with his death grip, I can do it with my Hero, reliably and repeatedly, so I understand what he is saying.
I also understand that it *IS* the location of the join between antennas that is in the worst possible place, where people put their hands whilst holding the phone.
They changed the antenna design because of nokia suing them, everyone knows that, but they made a mistake, because apart from copying, they dont have any real experience.
Perhaps they'll just change the location of the join, to be on the top of the phone instead? But I aint sure what they'll need to approve if perhaps they need a new licence from the FCC.
I'm a HTC Hero owner and not a hater, but I think it should have been obvious if they had tested it properly, it seems a very odd mistake to make since finding the problem was so easy for lots of people. Dunno why they made it, but at least they owned up (and yes! they did own up, even though this page is full of people saying otherwise, learn english retards!)
Just here for the comedy
"exactly how an anechoic chamber tests radio reception, he didn't say."
Can you hear me no... oh, never mind, that's someone else.
"Like Mark Twain's death, reports of the iPhone 4's reception problems have been greatly exaggerated, Jobs insisted."
He is aware that Mark Twain is, in fact, dead?
Let's get this straight...
All phones suffer from this problem, it's inherent in mobiles and no-one has solved it yet. There isn't a design flaw in the device, the external antenna performs brilliantly and doesn't have any worse problem than any other phone.
Yet at the same time, fitting a bumper case corrects the problem.
Therefore, doesn't that make it a problem with the design? If the phone's chassis had the antenna inside an integral bumper then there'd be no problem.
I'll bet you £5 that iPhone 5 is a minor upgrade, while iPhone 6 is a new design that doesn't have an external antenna.
Let's get this straight...
I go for an 'external' antenna protected by a thin layer of clear plastic that sits remarkably flush with the rest of the case.
Whatever it is it's going to be external, even though it isn't. Jobs never admits he's wrong.
Re: Let's get this straight...
Check out the video of the presentation. Jobs doesn't say that the bumper case corrects "the problem". He said something to the effect that, "some people are unhappy because they are experiencing reception problems. They say that a bumper case will fix their problems [he was most likely referring to AnandTech and Consumer Reports]. Great! Have a free bumper case and be happy."
no, you understood it wrong
the antenna DOES perform brilliantly, but the problem is that it has an achilles heel which says if you touch the join, you short the antenna.
he admitted this mistake many times, why doesn't anyone listen to what he says, I think they just watched the first 1 minute and then made up their own minds.....ridiculous!
Are the free rubber bumpers going to be replaced free of charge when worn or damaged? Since we would expect the iPhone to last much longer than a rubber case, and the bumper is being supplied to remedy a design flaw with the iPhone, shouldn't we be entitled to a lifetime supply of the bumpers, for the life of the iPhone 4?
You're supposed to buy the iPhone5 in twelve months time. Your bumper will outlive this year's fashion statement.
FWIW the snap-on case and screen protector on my iPhone 3G are almost unmarked after well over 12 months of use, so it shouldn't be an issue unless the free bumpers are much lower quality. Of course, those who treat their phones like ice hockey pucks should expect lower levels of durability.
Oh for goodness sake!
Why it needed a press conference in the first place to state the obvious that any problems with iPhones are common to all phones I didn't know until I saw the inane questions from some of the (supposedly) tech audience at the end of the press conference. Having had the whole issue of signal degradation explained virtually in words of one syllable and demonstrated on a number of other phones (which we call all see ourselves on YouTube or experience first hand anyway), some of the audience (judging by their questions) still apparently didn't get it. I think therefore we now have to assume that the Apple bashers don't want to get it and this has gone way past any rational discussion.
Whilst I haven't up until now been a rabid fan of Apple (though I am a satisfied user of an iPhone4 and some other Apple stuff) ,this issue has certainly driven me more towards the company. It is rapidly becoming apparent that the excellent service I have received as a user since I started looking at and buying their stuff is the norm and a load of the negative stuff that I have read I am now assuming comes from those who are not interested in facts but simply Apple bashing.
I dare say that I will get flamed on the Reg for this but frankly I don't give a rats... I want products that work well and have good support and Apple provide them. Every day I meet more and more regular people who have bought into the Apple ecosystem and are delighted with the products. It may well be that Steve Jobs has his faults and I am sure that Apple are out to make money but that's fine by me, all I want is good products and stellar service and that's what they provide. After this (non)issue I can now see through the smokescreen of the Apple bashers.
Hear hear. Very well said.
Anechoic Chambers are required for Antenna Testing!!!!!!!
A point of illumination to the author regarding anechoic chambers and RF antenna design.
When one considers an anechoic chamber, one usually thinks about sound echoes. (like the author)
The same echoes happen with radio frequency waves, only worse since they move a lot faster and travel farther.
The RF anechoic chamber looks quite similar one designed for sound attenuation but is made of different materials designed to absorb and trap RF energy. In fact, anechoic materials designed for RF can attenuate both sound and RF.
I have been in several large anechoic chambers designed for antenna/radio/radar signal testing throughout my career. They are an integral part of FCC part 15 and CE approval testing.
Take note Mr. Jobs, the device being tested sits in a non conductive cradle in the middle of the room. Not a good way to test how it works in the "real world" or your hand.
This is due to the high signal levels that are often being used and most technicians will not enter these spaces when the transmitter is live. Apparently, tinfoil hats and underwear don't work all that well. Most techs I've met seem to have an aversion to having their family jewels microwaved.
You didn't see the photo on Apple's website of a man holding the iPhone 4 to his head within the anechoic chamber then?
Not quite true... yes, you use an anechoic chamber because you are trying to reproduce the effect of "free space" in a constrained environment - ie avoiding the impact of echoes (reflections for RF), diffusion and all those other wave phenomenon that happen in a room that is physically not "infinite" compared to the wavelength you're looking at.
But... the phone does NOT "sit in a non-conductive cradle in the middle of the room". That's ONE test scenario. My employer, along with every other handset maker and mobile operator in the world that wants to test phones properly, ALSO tests with simulated hands (water bags, more or less), simulated heads (ditto with a mannekin), windows (glass sheets) and walls... at different angles, signal strengths etc etc.
That's why you build a $100m. suite with 17 chambers - there's really quite a lot of testing to do...
FWIW, my guess is that the testing DOESN'T simulate the different levels of conductivity of the skin (ie some people "short" the external antennas more than others), which you wouldn't see at all in a phone with an antenna buried inside the case. Even if generally, the iPhone 4's external antenna gets a better signal than an internal one, salty sweaty people shorting the phone across the gap will have a bigger effect than they would just as acting as "bags of water" on an internal antenna.
Equally, the SOFTWARE controls how the phone responds to signal changes. Anyone who says that RF physics means that no software update could "fix" the issue is just wrong. A software update can't increase the signal strength, but it can certainly change what you do with it. You could detect the "shorted" antenna and re-work the baseband signal processing on the fly based on new tuning parameters.... if you had to... It's not as if the only antenna that works is one that is some precise number of wavelengths long, after all...
We were told by Jobs that...
The antenna design was an engineering marvel. Apple claimed this design was a step forward! This is why people have made such a big issue of this. Apple lied big time.
"We have both an AT&T and Verizon cell site set up on our campus" and we have no problems with reception on our iPhones.
It must be your fault for not having a cell site in your backyard.
Well, surely if you have access to all that cell testing technology you can rig a test of other phones?
Hold the phone and then get someone else to turn down the cell transmit power?
Not suggesting it was rigged, but it might be nice to see some other people repeat the test with those handsets.
It affects all phones does it?
I have NEVER in my life heard of anyone who had reception problems when holding their mobile phone before this I-Phone issue.
So Apple are talking total and utter bollocks IMO.
It's true, that holding phones can reduce signal. Both my HTC Magic and N1 do it. Neither of them, however, lose signal by pressing one finger against a specific (or in fact any) spot on the device.
Surely, having a phone with an external antenna which can be gripped directly with the hand will make it more susceptible to RF attenuation than one in which the antenna is internal and comes into no direct contact. Yes, there will be some attenuation when you put you hand around any phone, but designing one with the antenna on the outside is asking for trouble, isn't it?
The other thing that puzzles me is why so many iPhone 4 customers *haven't* seen the problem. These millions of satisfied customers can't spend all their time in strong reception areas - they are *mobile* phones. Even if some customers are more sensitive to signal drop-off than others, it still suggests there might be a fault which only shows up on some examples of the iPhone 4.
Why they haven't seen the problem
Because the problem only manifests itself when the phone is held in a certain way, and also in a limited set of circumstances - over a limited range of signal strengths. As you say, those in strong signal areas will not see the problem, but neither will those in dead spots. It is only in marginal areas that you will see it and not many people spend enough time in those areas to notice the difference. If you rapidly pass through a marginal area (say, entering a building) then you'll be unlikely to notice that the phone conks out slightly earlier than you expect. If the normal place you sit is in one of these areas, however, then it's quite likely you will.
I wonder if the variability in the problem could be down to something as basic as what sort of shoes the user is wearing (cue jokes about beards and sandals). I have certainly noticed when getting out of my car that I am guaranteed a belt of static with certain shoes but not others. Could static potential in the body have something to do with it?
I don't know,
but I've long wondered the same thing. I also find that different cars give different levels of shock with the same shoes. My Volvo used to give me a bolt from hell, whereas my E-class was less viscous. My current <don't all groan at once> vehicle has an aluminum body, and I haven't had a shock yet...
So, to sum up
Steve doesn't see any problem.
Well, I suppose it *is* hard to notice that your call has been dropped when you've got your fingers jammed firmly in your ears and are singing "LALALA LA LAAA!!" at the top of your voice to drown out the, like, totally unfair criticism and stuff.
sounds to me this idiot owner is trying to cover up the real problem with the antenna issue and making out its nothing. blaming the media for it er jobs the media dont make phones idiot they cover stories fool. and this is the best apple can do give cases and offer refunds god hes got to much money to the brain hes frightend his company will loose no1 spot to microsoft haha. god apple gets worse as goes on they cant be open and honest say look we need to have all the iphones recalled no thats to much for apple and there croanys and there idiot fanboys screw you apple il pick a phone thats reliable and keeps signal iphone is crap and shit anyway.
First, I'll ignore the almost complete lack of punctuation.
Second, you are naive if you believe that the function of the media is to cover stories, It isn't. The function of the media is generally to get more readers/viewers/listeners, It doesn't make for an interestinf story that 95% of iphones pick up a good signal, so it's not really reported
All phones have the problem apparently.
My nexus must be broken then as it seems to work brilliantly.
My 7-year old cell ....
works in places most new cells don't. You can't beat a real antenna!
Job's next project....
His Jedi Levels of BS .... next project now the Ipad/Iphone are done - IBAG! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMYKH5EJk18
There's a problem here!
I bought myself a torch yesterday and it too seems to be afflicted with the same problem. Hold it in a special way and it's fine, but give it the 'death grip' across the round glass patch and all the light is gone! This is a major design flaw, so I'll be sueing the manufacturer and demanding that all torches worldwide are recalled.
Won't be doing that with my iPhone though, seems to work just fine for me.
Apples != Oranges
Ah so you bought a torch where the light is emitted from the part a user normally grasps? No? Not the same thing then is it.
If this were an old style phone with the antenna poking out the top, people were holding the antenna and complaining then your analogy would be fair. If this were a regular style phone with an internal antenna and people were complaining of normal levels of signal loss then your analogy would be fair.
This is not a normally designed phone. The antennas are on the outside where you not only cover them but touch them too. The human body is a damn good conductor as you can prove by touching the antenna socket on a TV or the aerial on a radio. So touch the antenna on a transmitter and the signal is not going to go where it is supposed to go. Fitting a case means you no longer touch the antennas, signal loss when the antennas are covered by a hand with the phone in a case is to be expected. What is not to be expected is a greater level of signal loss when the antennas are shorted together.
The i4 has a sweet spot that causes maximum signal loss when touched and that sweet spot is just where the the hand of a right handed user naturally falls. If the sweet spot were elsewhere, middle of the top or bottom for example meaning you've got it in a strange grasp to touch it then this would not be an issue.
To be fair having the antenna on the outside means that when the antennas are not shorted together you have better than normal signal levels. It's strength is also it's weakness.
Jobs & Co have done the right thing by giving away covers. They have not done the right thing by denying their phone is any different to others on the market.
Never thunk it
OK, I would have expected a pony show like that out of Balmer, but Jobs? I wonder what Woz’s opinion is on all this? Never thought I’d utter these words again, but I actually miss John Sculley.
As for Apple’s $100 Million dollar “investment” in test chambers and PhD’s; well Steve, I think you totally pissed that money away.
Maybe Paris buys your bullshit, but anybody with at least 2 functioning brain cells can see that you're essentially hoping if you ignore all the complaints long enough, the problem will just go away.
Very sad, indeed.
Cool, Broken But Cool.
What is funny is how Apple went to great lengths to point out how clever their new antenna was and how cool it looked. The fanbois ended up with wet patches in their pants just thinking about it.
Now they've got the cool stainless steel "band" you've got to cover it up with a piece of rubber.
And if you think that piece of rubber is worth £25+ and doesn't actually cost Apple 50p then you really need to visit a Chinese sweat shop more often.
"Here we've sold you a phone with a design defect but we love you so much we're going to give you a 50p rubber to stick it in!" How cool is that !
The cult of Apple rolls on. For the iPhone 5 they will merely take £400 out of your bank account and simply give you nothing in return. Millions of Apple fans will be grateful and enter into internet arguments to defend Steve Jobs.
And as for this being a smartphone issue. BS. No one I've met with a smartphone can drop the connection to their provider with the tip of their little finger. Its design flaw with the iPhone. Its probably too late to save anyone who can't see that ...
not 1% more calls
El Reg fell for the dropped calls spin. Apple say they do not know or cannot repeat what ATT say how many calls they drop, but the i4 drops less than 1 call per hundred more than the i3.
Lets say it drops very nearly 1 call per 100 more.
So, if the i3/i3gs etc drop 10 calls in 100, then the i4 is 10% worse than the i3.
if the i3 drops 5 calls in 100, the i4 is 25% worse.
if the i3 drops 1 call in 100, the i4 is twice as bad
if the i3 drops 0.1 calls in 100, the i4 is ten times as bad.
now, I'm not saying that Apple are making the numbers up, but they chose to use stats that sound good but are meaningless. Where is The Under Cover Economist when you need him to explain bad statistics!!
Ah so it wasn't just me
Who thought that was a very strange way to compare two phones. Especially after telling us that AT&T doesn't let on how many calls are dropped.
Re: yes 1% more calls
Let's, like you did, round the calls dropped by the i4 drops to just 1 more call per 100 than the i3GS:
If i3GS drops 10 calls per 100 (10%), the i4 drops 11 calls per 100 (11%). That's 1% more.
If i3GS drops 5 calls per 100 (5%), the i4 drops 6 calls per 100 (6%). That's 1% more.
If i3GS drops 1 calls per 100 (1%), the i4 drops 2 calls per 100 (2%). That's 1% more.
If the i3GS drops .1 calls per 100 (0.10%), the i4 drops 1.1 calls per 100 (1.10%). That's 1% more.
Not, it isn't. All of your examples are an additional percentage point, but are as the original poster stated, varying percentage increases from 10% to 1000%. If you can't understand basic maths, I'd suggest you refrain from commenting on maths posts.
Wow your so clever, 1 in a hundred = 1% who'd a thunk it.
talk about stating the obvious.
As the original poster was implying this could be 1/10th as bad or 10 times as bad as the 3GS. A number without comparision is meaningless. Your post just reiterates the number, and is pointless.
How frustrating must it be to all the uncool kids to see that even with what is seen as a defect, a cool product will remain a cool product and that it will still oversell the competition... You may rant as much as you want but it will never validate your choices - as good as they may be. It is not about PR, it is not about marketing or stupidity of users as you would love it to be, but rather about how such a product has been able to grow to a cult status in such little time.
It is not sorcery: the iPhone is a premium product with a relatively low cost that provides many people with a way to have access to a 'luxury' product. This is a very common business model: BMW, Louis Vuitton to name a few...
Maybe it is time technologists or technophiles try to understand the dynamics of psychology and marketing before making comments that make them look like idiots. Try to look at the event of today in this light and you'll understand that it makes perfect business sense.
Museums are filled with ...
cool products of their age.
Apples telephones 'age of cool' appears to be one year.
Maybe someone should write Apps emulating i4 for the HTC and other smartphones that actually work so Apple devotees can have a real working telephone with an 'Apple 4' user interface ... that would be really cool. Windows 95 can already run on Android!
My favourite handphone is my Matsushita whose antenna is removable permitting a coax cable to be attached to really, really improve coverage range - great for camping in the wilds of Canada.
Misleading statistics - read what he actually said
"Jobs did admit that the iPhone 4 does drop more calls than its predecessor, but by only a miniscule amount: fewer than one per cent more."
That's NOT what he said.
He said it was 'one call per hundred' more. So, if the 3GS dropped one call in every hundred, the 4 would be dropping 2 - a rise of 100%. If the 3GS was dropping 50 calls in every hundred, the 4 is dropping 51, a rise of only 2%. Somehow, I suspect the first case is what's happening, or something close, so the rise is dropped calls is probably highly significant.
Apple massaged the stats in a way that hides the true rise in dropped calls and leads people to think they're insignificant - you're not the only suckers who've been taken in by Jobs' flim-flam.
The stats Jobs quoted are pure Campbell-grade spin
Do you know what "percent" mean?
1 call dropped per 100 = 1% drop rate.
2 call dropped per 100 = 2% drop rate.
One more call dropped per 100 than the previous generation means that the new phone has a drop rate 1% higher.
Yes, 2% is twice as much than 1%, but it is still twice as much of a very low amount. Get some perspective.
So, if the call drop rate of the previous phone is very low (say, 1% or less), then the call drop rate of the new phone is just a tad higher (2%). And if the call drop rate of the previous phone is very high (say, 50%), then the call drop rate of the new phone is just a tag higher (51%).
It all means that the call drop rate of the iPhone 4 is not such a great deviation from the previous one. And even when it is (2% = twice as higher!) it is still pretty low.
>> "Somehow, I suspect the first case is what's happening, or something close, so the rise is dropped calls is probably highly significant."
Right. "I hate Apple so much that the worst case scenario must be the only possible one, even though I had no idea what the real numbers are."
One might wonder which school you failed maths in.
You fail to see the difference between a percentage adjustment (a 20% increase from 50km/h is 60km/h), and insist on using "percentage of total" just to make his holiness' failed statement ring true.
How poor a life you must have.
Have some cake, you need it
I read quite a few gormless defences of Apple, but this takes the cake.
If your new phone drops calls *twice as often* as the old one, then that's a rise of 100%. Trying to debate that is identical to trying to debate whether 1+1=2.
Yes, I suspect that the rise is significant because I doubt that 50% of all calls are being dropped - that would be a failure rate sufficient to make the phone completely unusable. *Either* the rise in dropped calls is significant, *or* the iPhone was already an incredibly shit phone. You decide, you have to pick one of those, which do you prefer?
If you're in an area with good signal strength then the iPhone 4 is perfectly usable, no-one's suggesting otherwise. The problems arise in areas with marginal strength where the loss from antenna bridging lowers the signal below a functional threshold. This is also why data concerning the total number of dropped calls (a binary event) is useless as a means of comparing phones. What you want to know is the percentage rise in dropped calls in areas with marginal reception (which are still very common). If you make 198 calls in an area with good strength and they all get through, then make 2 calls in an area on the margins and both fail, then you only have an overall failure rate of 1 call per hundred. But that's scant comfort if you really needed to make a call in the second area.
Another useful statistic might be the average download speed actually achieved, since that's sensitive enough to track across a range of signal impairments.
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