back to article Boffins authenticate Apple 'Antennagate'

More evidence has surfaced that Apple's beleaguered Judas Phone does, indeed, have serious reception challenges — and today's facts and figures come from a sophisticated source. "Tests ... have indicated that Apple's iPhone4 does indeed suffer from connectivity problems compared to other smartphones," begins a report by the PA …


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  1. Chris McFaul


    "not available in the uk"

    Last time i was in the apple store (three days after the phone's uk launch) they had wall to wall bumpers!

    AND the bumper I ordered through apples free bumper program has also been delivered (as have several of my friends!)

  2. g e

    Dear The Register

    The plain truth of the matter is:

    PA Consulting, quite simply, are completely wrong. I have invented this reality, not them, only I know how to accurately measure anything in it.


    Steve (Honest Steve) Jobs

    P.S. You guys are welcome to come to any of our do's any time you like

  3. Chris 211


    NOW Will apple please stop marketing spin, ie LIES and for once in history tell the truth and admit the problem, then people can make a proper judgement based on facts. Looking at the report blackberry did well. Wow what everyone seams to want, a phone that actually makes phone calls! Personally I prefer the nokia e71 which keeps making calls however hard I grip it under stressful conditions...

    1. Marky W


      You read that article and the thing that bothered you most was the fact they weren't using Apple's specially santioned rubber band?

    2. Anonymous Coward


      I think you'll find the word is "marketing".

      Oh. Right...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      B U M P E R S ?

      Who the hell ever heard of a "bumper" except on a car or a train?

      Sheesh... we let these companies fill our lives with so much garbage...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Is a bumper on a train?

      2. Richard IV


        Ever since I was a young boy,

        I've played a mean pinball,

        From Soho down to Brighton,

        I must have played them all....

        That deaf, dumb and blind Jobs,

        Sure plays a mean iPhone.

      3. Big-nosed Pengie


        These are the idiots who gave us "think different".

        1. Code Monkey

          @Big-nosed Pengie

          "Think different" aka "manage your expectations".

      4. Jolyon

        Who the hell ever heard of a "bumper" except on a car or a train?

        Grace Jones.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If real, it would have read, how problem of a biggie is that?

    5. Bullseyed


      They won't stop. They'll just say PA got paid off by the other phone companies, or say that they didn't test the phone properly.

      They'll just keep making up more and more lies.

    6. Peter 39

      then ..

      >Personally I prefer the nokia e71 which keeps making calls

      >however hard I grip it under stressful conditions...


      under stressful condition grab whatever nookie you (reasonably and decently) can.

      Since the iPhone4 didn't work as you expected, I hope you have returned it and we will therefore hear from you no more. If you don't like it but kept it then please tell us why.

      1. g e


        A NOOKIA!!!!!


    7. Anonymous Coward

      Friends delivery?

      "AND the bumper I ordered through apples free bumper program has also been delivered (as have several of my friends!)"

      Why are Apple delivering your friends through the post? Do your friends have special antenna-boosting capabilities when they are wrapped around an iPhone? We must be told!!

    8. Doug Glass


      You get your friends through the mail system? Wow, porn on the hoof.

    9. Big-nosed Pengie

      NOW Will apple please stop marketing spin, ie LIES and for once in history tell the truth


    10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Jobs Halo

      A Karl Rove is demanded!


      As quoted by Ron Susskind:

      The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

  4. Steen Hive


    "We [Apple] haven't figured out a way around the laws of physics yet."

    There seems to be a sizeable section of the population that either believes they have, or are simply unfazed at the thought of buying a total lemon at the cost of several hundred pounds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Halo


      Just change the laws of physics, no big deal.

      Sent from my nokia.

      1. A handle is required
        Jobs Horns

        Title is required

        Change the laws of physics? Another thing for them to patent!

    2. Jez Burns

      Far from a lemon IMHO

      I read everything I could, thought about it for ages, checked one out and bought it. I have no particular devotion to Apple, use some of their gear but readily accept the flaws and the good points, just like anything else. IMHO Apple's response to the antenna issue has been arrogant and appalling, and has left them rightly open to a massive amount of criticism. When I bought the phone I knew all about the antenna issues, but had no idea, thanks to Apple's obfuscation and out-of-control rumours and speculation everywhere, whether it would be a big or a small problem.

      I live in the Midland's countryside with weak 3g reception. I found immediately that bridging the gap between the two antennas caused a massive signal drop. If I moved my finger so much as a couple of millimetres away from the antenna gap, the signal was restored. This in my mind rules out general RF interference from the body as the problem- it really is an antenna bridging issue.

      On the other hand, I've found it pretty easy not to hold the phone in a way that would bridge the two antennas (I wouldn't hold the phone that way anyway, other than browsing / text messaging). I've also ordered a case, which I would use in any event as the phone would almost certainly smash if dropped on a hard surface.

      In every other respect, I've been utterly blown away by the phone - particularly good points for me are the speed and the display which are both amazing. The reception, when held 'normally' is pretty good. It's horses for courses really - if you're not prepared to be restricted in the way you hold the phone, or to get a case for it, I wouldn't bother buying one. For me, this isn't a problem, and in every other respect the phone is about as far from a lemon as you can get. It's a shame really, as Apple deserve a lot of credit for pushing the boundaries so far.

      Please don't flame me! I have no axe to grind, I'm utterly unbiased and technologically literate - this is just my opinion and I'm hoping it might clear things up for anyone else considering buying one..

    3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Jobs Horns

      physics # ↑

      No need to change the laws of physics, just create iPhysics (and patent it)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Ye canna change the laws o'physics, Jim.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And yet they continue to buy the iFlaw ^h^h^h^h^h iPhone

    Jobs knows what the punters want.... The unlocked iPhone was launched today and there was, as usual, a huge queue at the local Apple retail stores. According to our local paper, some of the comments were:

    "I've been waiting three years for this to come out, I'm pumped,

    "You can go anywhere in the world with it and the resale is much higher,"

    "He says he doesn't know what to do with it but he'll like it as soon as he gets it,"

    1. Bullseyed

      I lol'd

      When I read: "He says he doesn't know what to do with it but he'll like it as soon as he gets it."

      I thought of the dog in that movie Click where the dog humps the duck pillow until he rips a hole in it. Oh Apple fanbois.

  6. Badwolf
    Gates Halo


    That it - I'm selling my iPhone and gonna get myself a Windows Mobile

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      "Windows Mobile"

      Ha ha ha! Windows Mobile!

  7. OrsonX

    "just browsing, thank-you"


    Played with an iPhone4 in my local Orange store today, lightly pinched both bottom black strips, signal fell from 5 bars to just 1.... I grinned!!

    I then went next door to O2 and tried same again, both phones also had 5 bars, this time pinching did nothing to the reception!?

    What fun!

    1. Franklin

      A title is required

      "I then went next door to O2 and tried same again, both phones also had 5 bars, this time pinching did nothing to the reception!?"

      I don't have an iPhone 4, but it seems that most of my friends do. I've now played with 4 different iPhone 4s belonging to folks I know, and I haven't been able to replicate the antenna problem.

      I've tried holding the phones with the so-called "death grip." I've tried putting my thumb over the gap between the antennas in the lower left corner. No change in signal strength on any of them.

      I've heard that it slows down Web access, so I tried firing up a Web browser, browsing to a server where I stored a number of large images, and then holding the phone in various ways. No noticeable impact.

      I even tried dipping a finger in water and bridging the gap between the antennas on one of the phones, on the hypothesis that it might very skin conductivity enough to make a difference. Nada.

      Since I don't think that the people who ARE having problems are a bunch of liars who are making the whole thing up, that's left me with one of two hypotheses to explain the problems that others are reporting and my inability to replicate them: either the problem only affects some phones and not others, for God knows what reason, or the problem only affects phones under certain conditions (perhaps if the signal is already weak? Perhaps under certain reception environments? Perhaps if the phone is or is not already connected to a WiFi network? Maybe if the phase of the moon is right?)

      In any event, I haven't personally seen the problem. What I have seen is that it's rather a nice phone, with a display that's nothing short of stunning.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        it affects those with more conductive skin? Like some people have dry hair and some greasy; some tan and others burn.

        There are probably people who if they did the Death Grip, would spontaneously combust !

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Franklin

          A title is still required

          "You portrait yourself as independent, yet browsing through your comments reveals you as an Apple fanboy, who owns an iPhone and various Apple computers and devices."

          And several Windows boxes, and a couple of Linux boxes, and a Sun. Your point?

          "So what we got here is another one of those pathetic attempts by people trapped in the reality disorder field, to counter independent research by anecdotal evidence. "It didn't happen to me, therefore, so take that into account when you consider the, ehm, damning facts"."

          Sounds to me like what we have here is "I have a neurotic hatred of all things Apple. I seize on any reported Apple defect as Holy Gospel. If some Apple user says that he has not personally witnessed a problem, well, he must be deluded."

          I've never quite wrapped my head around some people's neurotic need to hate Apple, and to enshrine the belief that all users of any Apple products are deluded.

          I will say, and stand by, the fact that I personally have not witnessed this particular antenna problem. You will note, if you chill out, let go of the neurosis, and read my post more calmly, that I have not said that there is no problem at all--only that I haven't seen it, which suggests that it doesn't affect every phone under every circumstance.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My grandad

          My grandad smoked all his life and lived to be a hundred so smoking doesn't harm you.

          Yeah, right.

      3. Chris 211


        So Franklin, you and your team of lab techs. did some iphone4 testing, oh wait you tried a few phones out? You dont have a lab and a number of test phones and tested them like a scientist, oh.

        Your argument is invalid, thank-you good bye!

    2. Carl Williams

      Incomplete testing

      Orange is on the GSM1800 band and O2 on the 900 band, differing frequencies may be subject to different levels of detuning and attenuation.

      Not read the report but PA should have also tested on the 1800 band as well for completeness, without these results or even tests being done as much as I dislike the iphone and jobs' spin these results are not conclusive at all.

      1. Steve Todd

        But 3G is on the 2.1GHz band for both companies

        And if they'd fallen back to 2G/EDGE (and I believe that Orange don't even have EDGE) they'd be getting rather a lot of comments about that

        1. Piers

          O2 do have EDGE

          Just so you know.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Do o2 not have instore repeaters? as 5 bars is max perhaps sitting right next to a repeater gives it more of a chance?

      Dunno, just a guess

    4. Anonymous Coward


      two conclusions:

      1) the phones are different - maybe a newer batch has a coated antenna.

      2) the signal is different - O2 and Orange do not share a network

      My hypothesis is that the Orange Signal is the weaker (initially showing as 5 bars due to bars bug) and has a more noticable effect, the O2 signal is also affected but is still displayed as 5 bars due also to the bars bug.

      for those that dont understand the bars bug, a medium signal displays as full. so Orange goes Medium(Full) to Low(Low) whereas O2 goes Full(Full) to Medium(Full).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The original iPhone is just as bad

    The original iPhone was just as crap, did you know that if you put a finger or part of your hand over the microphone in the bottom left of the side, it would block the microphone and people couldn't hear you. It should have been called micrphonegate, Despite knowing this, loads of people could have held it this way on purpose to join in with the fracas.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      And if you hit it with a hammer blah blah twaddle gibberish drivel HAMMERGATE!!!!!!

      Fanbois don't half talk some bollocks.

    2. bluesxman


      While we're on the subject of spurious arguments -- when it rains my garden is unusable. Let's call it Garden Gate.

      1. Doug Glass


        Like the guy with the leaky roof that never got fixed: when it was sunny he didn't need to and when it was raining he couldn't.

        Don't know which bus stop to take? Just watch me and get off three stops before I do.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        One of the local farmers can't keep his male sheep under control. We are calling this ramsgate.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Apologies for that,

          like the explosive device inside a male cow, that pun was abominable...


  9. Bob Kentridge

    The Real Comparison

    I'm not a fanboy. I had to program for Macs in the early 1990s and hated them (remember 7.5.3). I'm not that bothered by phones but I do like my 3GS for all of the non-phone things it does so painlessly. I want to know what the difference in performance is between old iPhones and the 4. Is there any point in updating? I'm not going to switch OS because I don't care about phones and like the one I've got, but when I can upgrade from 3GS to 4 should I?

    1. Chris 211

      @Bob Kentridge

      Your asking us? If you should upgrade the phone, ios?

      1. Get a proper phone

      2. IOS belongs to Cisco which actually means something, meaningful (Internetwork Operating System) as opposed to a tacky fashion/marketing iwhatever (yeah yeah I know they licence it, Cisco really should not have allowed it).


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