Feeds

back to article Steve Jobs death-grips iPhone 4 reality

A.E. Housman: But it's all true. Oscar Wilde: On the contrary, it's only fact. Truth is quite another thing and is the work of the imagination –Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love When you hold the iPhone 4, does the signal fade more than it would on other popular smartphones, such as Apple's own iPhone 3GS or Google's Nexus …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forget Nokia

My Nokia does EXACTLY what was shown. I'm not convinced the cause is the same - but the effect looks VERY similar. If we're going to use "bars" as a metric and not think about the amount of grip that's needed to replicate the effect - well then we have "no actual data". It all becomes name calling and youTube videos.

0
2
Go

Lied?

In the corporate world of marketing it's called well, marketing. If you think for a moment corporate executives can be jailed for calling their product superior or better than others or has "x" outstanding feature and never mention it's drawbacks then you'd better start building more and bigger jails.

The corporate lies are the reason consumer advocates exist and why companies like Comsumer Reports are so hated in the corporate world. They simply tell the truth and compare products. How many ADVERTISING/MARKETING execs have you seen jailed for what you call lies? Very damn few, if any..

The Sacred J knows all this and is the consumate corporate player.

0
0
Happy

"signal bars disappear when hands grip various handsets, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700"

Pure LIES? i have a 9700, you can grip it and wrap it in tin foil and it still has full bars! i was having a mess with my brother iphone4 yesterday, it makes me laugh how much the iphone4 should be on failblog as an advert.

2
0
Stop

I have the 9700 too

and if I'm in a low signal area and I tuck the phone between my chin and shoulder area the call quality deteriorates -- I remove it, and it recovers.

However. The point is is that you can use ONE FINGER on the iPhone 4 in the right spot to attenuate the antennas sufficiently to block all communication. You can't do that with any other phone on the market.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to another forum where someone else is wrong, too.

1
0
Silver badge
Jobs Halo

It's like saying something against Israel, really

It's truly amazing that a problem which doesn't exist or has only something to do with the number of bars shown (which are also disappearing on other maker's phones if you grip them really tight which of course you wouldn't do with the expensive iPhone kit in the first place) and about which truly no-one complains because otherwise returns would be off the chart is even being discussed in the apparently biased and Apple-hating press.

No, really. Does Apple send professional blog fixers out en masse?

0
0
Coat

Iphone4 vs the world

The one "truth" I've seen come out of Antennagate is this - the iphone 4 is supposedly an evolutionary product, which mean *everything* should be better than the 3g/3gs. Battery life, call quality & reliability, screen, processor etc.

But even Jobs' own "data" shows dropped calls are no better than the 3GS. In fact they're worse. That's not evolution, especially for a phone. That's a fail, regardless of how Jobs sugar-coats the other "facts".

I can't say the alternatives have any appeal though (Droid - too many fandroid evangelists, WinMob - well, where to start.....), even if antennagate is "true". Or is that "fact"?

Looks like I might get a Galaxy S anyway come upgrade time. But I'll resent it, because I wanted the iphone4 to be better than the 3GS, and it's not. The Galaxy is the plain jane at the end of the disco, after the prom queen you were actually after has bad breath.

Coat...because it's raining outside.

4
1
WTF?

Good argument

"I can't say the alternatives have any appeal though, Droid - too many fandroid evangelists."

Yep thats a good reason. everyone says its great therefore I must do the opposite. I cant wait for your building to catch fire, will you follow the crowd when the alarm goes off?

2
3
FAIL

@ AC 11:45 - What a crap analogy

...so reading into your reply, I shall reply in analogies too to follow your logic:

...if everyone jumped off a cliff, I *should* follow too?

...and taking your analogy further....

More people are injured in the crush/panic to escape the fire(see also Plane/freezing water/gas etc), than by the fire itself. What that says about your rationale/analogy, I'll leave for others to judge.

So no, I won't follow "the crowd" in this instance thanks. I'll "pick my own exit" thanks.

PS - not "everyone" says Droid is great. It's as insulting as saying "Everyone says the iphone is great". It's only the delusion of a fanboi.

0
1
FAIL

normal

Yes, they're right that other phones have signal problems when held in certain ways. However, these "certain ways" are not usually the *normal* way to hold the phone so people don't come across them much.

That's where Apple screwed up - the problem occurs when the phone is held relatively normally.

And: since the answer is "add a case" they should have just put the damn antenna inside the phone (like every other manufacturer does). Pretty simple really. If everyone's doing something there's probably a good reason for it...

2
0
FAIL

"...*normal* way to hold the phone..." TM bullshit...

Spectacular way to start FUD! Who are you working for? Nokia? RIM? Google? The so called 'Death grip' isn't the "...*normal* way to hold the phone..." at all. Besides, when was the ISO committee for the standardisation of holding mobile phones convened?

0
6

"Normal"?

If I hold my Nokia phone near the base - it does what's shown. I have "discovered" this long ago and now hold it with my hand nearer my ear (hence holding the middle/top of the phone). There is nothing "weird" about the grip needed to make the Nokia drop additional calls. The "problem" doesn't happen everywhere - strong signal and you can't reproduce the it.

0
2

Steve Upper Lift?

What kind of approach is this? Steve Jobs must be kidding right!

You can't sell something broken, like the iPhone 4, and then point at other people who also send broken stuff!! doesn't this sound like a childish excuse or an Stiff upper lift approach?

The iPhone 4 has a problem, I don't care on how many other providers out there sell phones with the same problem, Steve you have to fix this and fix it for free! Don't make this a en user problem! It's apple problem and so is it's responsibility to come up with a fix.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

"You can't sell something broken?"

You can if you are in denial and the idiots following you would buy your polished turds.

You never see Skeletor and Jobs in the same room. Just a thought.

en a twat

5
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Steve Upper Lift

Please tell me English isn't your first language.

0
1
FAIL

There's a reason they all have it.

"...I don't care on how many other providers out there sell phones with the same problem..."

You missed, or are deliberately ignoring the point. All the providers have the same problem because IT'S PHYSICS. Steve can't fix it, and neither can anyone else.

0
3
FAIL

Actually

You must live in the SJobs reality, for last time I checked, my RIM device has a plastic-coated antenna (even has a gap in the same place as the iPhone4). I can handle the device any which way I choose without any signal problems. All this could have been avoided if Steve would have just put a plastic coating on his "HAS TO BE METAL" external Antenna. Well, now it IS covered by plastic, in the form of an ugly, bulky bumper.

0
0
Gates Halo

mwaahaa

my htc touch pro 2 doesnt do this

yeah yeah im trolling in know !!!!

BUT IM LOVING THIS LOL !!!!!!

1
0
Thumb Up

troll on

Troll on, there's enough dumbas... I mean fanbois to keep us entertained for ages.

1
0

Why doesn't Steve just come out and say it

You traitors caught bitching about your iPhone 4 or, Jobs help you, asking for a free cover or even... sweet Lady Sosumi... attempting to return it? You'll be shitlisted for iPhone 5. Your names and faces will be memorised by all Apple Geniuses. You'll be IP blocked from the Apple site. You'll be BANNED FROM STARBUCKS.

5
0
FAIL

I'm returning my iPhone 4

Things I love about the iPhone4 (compared to my old 3GS): Good video. Good camera. Fantastic screen. However, I don't like the fact that I have to use a bumper to avoid signal degradation.

I watched the press conference on Friday. I really wanted Apple to 'fess up to making a design mistake - I wanted to hear how they would improve things in the future (e.g. putting lacquer on the antenna - would help a little) etc. What I heard instead was this is a common smartphone problem - its not - you don't need to death grip iPhone - just try browsing the web holding it in your left hand...

I also wanted to hear about whether this is a problem for ALL iPhone 4's or it is only affecting certain units - I believe its the former.

So.. even though I really love that screen, and can avoid signal problems using the bumper I have I've just phoned AppleCare in UK and arranged for them to pick up my iPhone and refund my £599.

2
0
Pint

Rather odd

So you returned the phone simply because you have to put inside a nice cuddly, rubber cover?

Seems an odd reason to send something back that you profess to love so much.

On a related note, I have a crappy 2 year old LG which barely holds a charge longer than 18 hours, I find this whole fiasco rather amusing. Once again the need own the latest and greatest, the insatiable need to be on the cutting edge. Most of my tech kit is at least 2 years or older, as you get older you simply can't be arsed to keep up with the Joneses anymore!

Wait for it to break on it's own then replace it...

2
3
Jobs Horns

Thinking about doing the same

Love the screen, the speed ... everything, except reception.

Laying on the desk my 4.0.1 iPhone 4 had five bars, if I pick it up it drops to one bar. It drops calls, none of my previous phones or iPhones have done that (except in tunnels and the like); sometime the call quality is so bad that people are hanging up and dialing my landline numbers instead. Quite often the Judas Phone does not ring, I simply get voice-mail alert a few minutes later.

I might try a free 'bumper' condom for it, but I hate cases and those kind of thing on phones ... if you need a case, the phone is either ugly or badly designed. So, I am considering sending it back. Right now.

1
0

I must have a faulty BB bold 9700..

.. since taking jobs at his word, since the press release I have tried heaven and hell to get my bold 9700 to loose a signal bar. I have held it everywhere possible and even on three network it has yet to suffer from signal problem.

I must be twice as unlucky as my works Curve 8900 appears to be faulty as well as that does not loose any signal bars either.

As my 9700 may be faulty i decided to try my old Nokia e71 (steel back) and guess what.. that must be faulty as well cause even that didnt suffer signal loss when held in many different ways.

Seeing as I am having very bad luck I do not think I will try with the lottery this week.

6
0
Boffin

But all phones behave like this...

While it is true that shielding a phone reduces reception, IT IS NOT the case that ALL phones have a death spot on the side, that will short out the antennas. Whilst I can drop a single bar on my non-iPhone there is no way I can drop 80% of the signal with a single poke.

Half baked, half truths, for half-wits.

9
0

@AC

>> "Whilst I can drop a single bar on my non-iPhone there is no way I can drop 80% of the signal with a single poke."

Neither can you in the iPhone 4, or did you not pay attention to the problem calculating the "bars" meter? The drop is for -24dBm, which is significant, but hardly "80% of the signal".

-dZ.

0
7
Anonymous Coward

-24dB is more than 80% loss

'Neither can you in the iPhone 4, or did you not pay attention to the problem calculating the "bars" meter? The drop is for -24dBm, which is significant, but hardly "80% of the signal".'

-dZ.

-24dBm is losing 94% of the signal so the original post was being conservative.

6
0
Grenade

dB

"The drop is for -24dBm, which is significant, but hardly "80% of the signal"."

Did you pay attention? Since dB is a logarithmic measure, -24dB means a loss of 99.6% of the signal strength! In order to lose 80% of the signal strength, you just need -7dB.

3
0
Boffin

Dont be an idiot...

4 out of 5 bars is a simple 80% for me (even after the bars patch 3 bars to one is still 66% loss of the available) , but if you insist go on then convert -24dBm into mW power and then tell me the percentage change.

Fact is you CAN'T FIX any other phone with sticky Tape!

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Oh DZ-Jay

So I'm presuming thats short for Dizzy J. what with your avid belief (no facts required) its clear where you stand its just a shame that you are too easy to shoot down in flames...

Nice try on the 'its only 1%' argument though http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2010/07/16/jobs_denies_iphone_4_problems/#c_818749 I still say that 1% + 1% is a 100% increase.

0
0

dB's and antennas

-3dB is 1/2 power. For every 3dB down the power level halves again. About 23 dB is the gain you can expect for a good Yagi (TV antenna with 6 or more elements).

Antennas are funny things, I once built a UHF VHF TV antenna, it should have given me 23dB gain for VHF a little more for UHF, if each was on thier own, but I combined them onto the one beam.

Dead between the UHF and VHF frequencies I had designed this antenna for, and not considering the two togher, was a radio station.

Every channel that I turned to played this radio station. Even when tuned into a vacant channel it played.

I learned later that FM recivers lock onto the strongest signal, and TV's used FM for audio.

23dB is a HUGE power difference....

0
0

Apple store

Interestingly, I was in the Apple Store in Regent Street on Saturday and one of the Apple minions told me that they weren't expecting stock for over the counter sales for another 2 months. If I had a suspicious mind I'd suspect that the 22 days was spent revising the antenna design and getting the production lines re-tooled. I was about to buy the phone (hey, free bumpers - woo!) but I think I'll hang on til the new stock arrives. Then let someone else buy it and maybe upgrade a month after that.

0
0
Jobs Halo

go on...

Buy the phone claim the bumper then send it back and await the new version.. I wouldn't take the risk though.. They may not fix it afterall there isn't a problem!

0
0
Silver badge
Jobs Halo

Steve Jobs is dead??

"Steve Jobs death grips iPhone 4 reality"

I tried to make sense of this title, but I could only come up with "his death grips the reality of the iPhone 4". Subject, verb, complement?

1
1
Dead Vulture

There's 2 issues

Yawn. The reg jumps in again with a delightfully fact-free post full of bias.

Could we have some proper analysis here please?

I think there's 2 issues here. Attenuation (the signal doesn't travel so well through your hand) and detuning (by electrically linking 2 antennas you effectively make the antenna longer and make it less efficient at transmitting and receiving signals on the desired frequency).

Jobs has done himself a disservice by burying the detuning with the attenuation.

The demonstrations of the other phones showed them being attenuated, which is unsurprising. However none of them had a direct electrical contact with the antenna, so none of them were detuned. That's what adding the bumper does- prevents the detuning. Nothing can really prevent the attenuation.

1
2

EXACTLY!

And the real question is does the "detuning" make the phone worse than a traditional design where the antenna will be more covered by the users hand? I don't know the answer. I suspect it will "depend" so I guess we're looking for the "average" experience, if on average this design performs better or worse.

0
2
Jobs Horns

Which one of us is living in the real reality?

I can't believe I'm the first one to say "reality distortion field" in here!

0
0
LPF
Thumb Up

Well its quite simple

If you dont like it they are offering a full refund, cant say fairer than that!

2
2
Silver badge
Grenade

Does that include App Store purchases?

Thought not.

0
0
Jobs Horns

You make it sound like they are doing you a favour

In the UK at least, you already have the right to a full refund if the product is not fit for purpose.

0
0

I'm a lefty

with a Bold 9000.

I've held the 9700, the jesus phone and nokia phones in the same way (unlike Apple, who seem to grip differently dependant on phone - just look at the pictures).

I grip each phone always by the lower half, never have any grip in the top half. If you cradle each phone as Steve is suggesting we do, you cant use them. The thumb provides most action. Try it, try death gripping a phone then move your thumb the full useable area...you just cant (unless you are some freak :D)

My finding purely unscientifc though they are show, that yes, when I grip the phones ala Steve n Cronies, I get signal attentuation and all drop bars.

When I grip normally, only the jesus phone loses signal. That my friend IS the bottom line.

2
0
Silver badge
Joke

ANYBODY

ANYBODY WHO DISAGREES WITH STEVE IS A HATER AND A CYBER BULLY AND A WINDOW$ USER!!!!!!

EOF (End of fanboi-ism)

hahaha!

2
2
Thumb Up

Or look at it another way

There are 3 problems that the iPhone 4 had / has

- Incorrectly stating the number of signal bars

- Normal drop in signal when held

- Extra drop caused by death Grip

Anandtech confirmed all 3 of these - http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review

Now, Apple have fixed the signal bars issue, and they can't do anything about the normal drop in signal. That's a 66% success rate in my eyes.

[Note: This post was done only partly tongue-in-cheek]

0
0
Happy

Alternative to Bumpers

For those not wanting their free case, apple are also offering these free alternatives, which also address the battery life issues. ;) (leaked pictures)

http://is.gd/du3tv

2
0
Alien

reality is ...

...whatever refuses to go away when I stop beliving in it - philip k dick

2
0

And your point is...?

Yeah, Steve Jobs is putting the best spin on it he can. What a surprise. But does his case contain merit?

My own experience is that I can make my iPhone 3GS drop bars by holding it - I never realised that before. So is the 3GS suddenly a worse phone? Nope - if anything, the opposite. Because I now know about this behaviour, I can avoid holding it that way when the signal is weak.

It also looks as if this sort of behaviour happens to a lot of phones. This is supported not only by Apple's videos, but also by phone user manuals and anecdotes from other websites (including a forum thread about the Nexus 1 in February, which seems to have been ignored at the time). You'll find many of these on self-acknowleged Apple shill Gruber's Daring Fireball site.

So if, as it seems, most phones suffer attenuation when the antenna - hidden or not - is encased in a sack of blood and flesh, then Apple has a point.

However, the crux is whether the signal loss is (a) worse on the iPhone 4 than on other data-using phones and (b) whether the the "flaw" spot on the iPhone 4, where the line is, causes significant additional signal loss.

If (a) is inconclusive or marginal, the SJ's reality seems valid. If, as I guess most of us suspect, (b) is true, then SJ has tried to hide a specific weakness behind a general truth. Hence the bumper offer, which contradicts his general point that even internal-antenna'd phones suffer attenuation.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Figure of fun

I think most industry people think "jesus there's a guy who has really lost the plot" these days when another missive from St Jobs of Cupertino is received.

I remember thinking much the same about Larry Ellison with his optimistic pronouncements on Oracle last decade - problem? What problem, we're growing revenue. They were but the market was changing and Oracle wasn't. Buying Sun was a sure sign of total insanity ;)

People will buy Apple for looks. Simple as. The people who don't are in a very very small minority Therefore for Apple form IS more important than function and so this ("antennagate") is the result.

Jobs can bullshit all he likes, his recent behaviour has become more and more erratic/delusional and everyone who's watched him over the years knows it.

1
0
Coat

Antennagate

please stop putting 'gate' after any incident/dodgy event. It's retarded.

Ta, I'll get my coat

2
0
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Antennagate

It's a perfectly acceptable shorthand. Shush.

0
1
Stop

simple fraud

Fraud is the use of lies or deceit to get your money.

YOU decide. If Steve Jobs is lying about the product in order to get your money, you can sue him.

That is what fraud is all about.

PR departments and CEO's for that matter have to be carefull not to make false statements in order to get money. Clearly Apple is stupid. They will be sued. They are being sued. And they should be.

Lying about a competitors product can also be a serious problem. Why not claim that Cherrios will give you cancer? Simple. If you can not prove that it is true, you will end up in court.

Suggesting you have to hold a product in a particular way in order for it to work correctly is fine. Suggesting you need to buy a cover or use duct tape is fine. But, lying about what the product does is fraud. And lying about what other products do is also going to get you sued.

Consumers are stupid. And consumers can easily be defrauded. Microsoft does it all of the time. Remember when Microsoft lied saying they bundled IE with the OS because it was part of the OS? The US appellate court decided that commingling the code was illegal. And Microsoft knew that. Microsoft also knew that most consumers were easy to defraud. Apple thinks the same way. Tell them it is the bar program. Tell them all phones do it. Lie about it anyway you can in order to get their money.

If you paid money to Apple and have been lied to, sue them. Sue them for fraud. Sue them for lying about the product in order to get your money.

It is as simple as that.

0
0
IT Angle

Quite!

The point is that the lie, even if caught is still much cheaper than retooling and/or refunding any significant proportion of 3 million units. Even if you only ship them to and from the 3rd world to have children paint lacquer (or tape) around the case.... By the time you add shipping, handling, packaging, people preferring their own unit back, etc its even more expensive.

No IT angle? Well thats because this (and apple) are all about marketting.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.