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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Happy

Non-issue

Yup - seems clear: independent testing shows the iPhone 4's signal strength is within normal ranges, but at the low end. So in combination with independent testing showing the iPhone 4 holding calls ahd handling data at consistently lower signal levels than other phones, you get what most of its users report - normal performance.

Just because PA Consulting don't know there's more to an antenna than a dBm number, doesn't make them right. Now of course I'll get derided for being a fanboy, blind to the truth and devored to the cause. But that's apparently the cost of understanding basic physics.

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More sub plot.

Very very strange that the iPhone 3 was not listed

It seems to be that the iPhone 3 was in fact low ainquality yet misaligned A T & T took all the blame?

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I think

people should be encouraged to buy iPhone 4's. It will surely leave more room on the tower for me.

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Flame

I'd use my iPhone to call and complain

... but I'm left handed.

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Thumb Down

FAIL! - Seems like a faulty testing Method

Telstra do real world testing with their network

Here's the URLs

http://exchange.telstra.com.au/2010/07/29/tips-for-a-great-iphone-reception/

http://exchange.telstra.com.au/2010/07/29/telstra-shows-mobile-phone-coverage-test-process/

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Nokia better than Apple

My Nokia smartphone has significantly better reception in moderate strength areas than both the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4. If your primary concern with a mobile is always having the best possible signal, don't buy Apple.

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Happy

still loving my Nokia E71

and now it's on a nice "sim-only-contract"

how nice it is not to be a slave to mobile-phone-fashion

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Gold badge

That's good marketing for PA - and very bad news for Apple

Good marketing - jump on the bandwagon and ride it, and the Cambridge people were doing mobile telephony before Apple ever thought of mobile phones..

However, this presents a rather major problem for Apple as it has put science behind the fact that they are in principle selling a product that needs a redesign to work, and that the current products thus actually need a recall. *That* is why everyone at Apple is making denial noises: the downside of selling millions is that you have to repair millions if you screw up. And screwed up they have - big time.

While I don't have a problem with someone making a mistake and correcting it, I *do* have a problem with someone telling that all is well when the facts proof that to be a lie, it starts me wondering what else I will find out later. Trust is important, and Apple is not doing itself a favour here, thus amplifying brand damage. *Not* good..

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Jobs Halo

What all the haters seem to be missing...

... is that despite all these doom and gloom reports, I've not had a single call drop on my iPhone 4 and I don't have to hold it in a special way to get it to work. Until my free bumper arrived a few days ago, I didn't use a case either. Likewise, aside from the small number of people looking to get rich quick with a class-action suit, there doesn't seem to be any sort of mass return of phones by disgruntled owners.

The haters remain convinced that the phone never works and is a total disaster. If that is the case, it seems curious that there seems to be so many satisfied customers. Of course the haters can only conclude that anyone who likes the iPhone 4 must be an Apple fanboy that lies about the phone working, because they just cannot admit to themselves that maybe it's actually a decent phone with a great selection of apps and games.

Sent from my iPhone 4

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Joke

Just out of interest..

"I don't have to hold it in a special way to get it to work"

Yeah, but the first thing I want to know is if you still have all 10 fingers.. :-)

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hj

oooh

But then the issue does not exist! After all _you_ had no problems!

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Paris Hilton

Maybe they are holding it upside down?

Because down in Australia the antenna problems seem to be completely absent.

Maybe the model released down here has a fix?

Paris, because that's where the truth is.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Proof positive

That even after 4 attempts Apple still make overpriced crap that doesnt work...

And this is news how?

We know this to be the case - we know they are charging people ridiculous amounts over the whyPhone - and all people do is whine about it... where are all the 'fit for purpose' calls to trading standards?

If the item doesnt do what its supposed to - and has been proven to be a waste of space - then hit apple where it hurts - dont take the 'ooh look free case' thing - just walk back to the shop, demand a different phone, and then maybe Apple will get it right next time...

Bitching & whining about this lump of crap and then going out and buying one gives jobsco no reason to improve the design - or make it better next time. The *only* way you are going to get any improvement is to hit them where it hurts - in their pockets.

and while we are on the subject - what about UI customisations - what about all the other functions that the WinMo phones have had since the mid 90's - you get told what to think, own, use and how to do it - and you lap it up... and then expect the company behind it to fix a problem?!

"Hail Mactards - for thou art gormless and have no mind of thy own..." Book of Jobs: Chap I verses I - 5

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Big Brother

Hater

Re-arrange the following (if you can) ...

Bridge - Under - Get - The - Back

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FAIL

We got Iphone4's in to test

As users wanted to use their personal Iphones we got a 4 in to test to try and get ahead of the first "my Iphone4 doesn't work" calls and sure enough:

Holding it naturally in an open palm grip on my left hand goes from full bars 3G to 1 bar 3G reported, but a call to my voicemail got as far as "you have 3 new" before it dropped the call, the second call did the same, the 3rd didn't even connect.

I've been supporting blackberries and mobiles for 7 years now and never had calls dropped because you were holding a phone in a perfectly natural way (and it IS perfectly natural to hold the phone in a way that bridges the ariels despite what some people have been posting and this makes me glad I got one to test for myself).

Don't get me wrong the facetime + quality other than a pretty basic and fatal flaw is amazing, shame the one , sorry two, flaws (not detecting when you have it against your head) renders it not fit for purpose and anyone that complains to use their Iphone 4 keeps dropping off will be told sorry, return it for a refund nothing we can do about it.

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Big Brother

Yup, you can certainly trust them

2004 National ID cards

PA Consulting won a contract with the government for the UK National ID card scheme ... "the policy, legislation, design, feasibility testing, business case and procurement elements of the proposed scheme."

In 2008, PA Consulting lost a confidential data stick, prompting the Home Office to review its contracts with PA Consulting.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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@Ascylto you can certainly trust them

You seem to be implying that because an individual in PA consulting lost a memory stick that you can not trust their test results of their RF testing.

Can you explain to me how one has a bearing on the other?

What precisely is it about the loss of a memory stick that invalidates radio frequency measurements?

Or are you just thinking illogically.

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Big Brother

@ TkH11

The implications are:

They didn't see the train coming

and

They are an incompetent company (if they weren't then they would have prevented their employee from losing information).

Both implications have a bearing on the degree of trust in ANY results the company may give.

Illogical? Maybe!

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Nice, but we still don't know.

Nice to see some nice hard numbers.

But we still don't know if Jobs is right do we?

PA consulting say:

"Note that all these tests were conducted in a test chamber, calls with the iPhone could still be established outside the chamber even when using the “death grip"

So in actual real world use performance is better than in the tests?

How much better?

The Anandtech tests seemed to suggest the iPhone 4 performs better in actual real world use, with less power than older iPhones.

Are they right?

Does being able to do more with less power, make up for having less power?

How about compared to other phones?

Why no data speeds for the blackberry 9700 and HTC HD2?

PA Consulting, just did a more scientific version of looking at the bars drop.

But if we want to know if Jobs is right when he says that all smart phones have these problems, and we're interested in real world performance, the PA consulting tests tell us next to nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

The Fens

I was OK with this story until I got to the bit about the tests being carried out deep in the Cambridge countryside. Out in the Fens eh? How many fingers did the testers actually have and were any of them carrying a banjo?

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@SRS who's paying PA Consulting

Probably nobody. If PA consulting have the test equipment and chambers then the cost of running a set of tests on a suite of mobile phones is peanuts.

If I were them, I'd run the tests to obtain free publicity, and boy what publicity they're now getting!

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It's a shame PA didn't test a real phone

I suspect that a cheap Nokia, a 6500 or the like, would have significantly better RF performance than any of the smartphones. They should also have looked at mainstream Motorolas and Sony Ericssons.

RIM certainly trade RF quality for price in their buying decisions, indeed all handset manufacturers do, but it's a matter of what you know and where you draw the line.

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Paris Hilton

The long and the short of it...

... is that Apple have completely forgotten that the iPhone was meant to be - shock horror - a phone. They've been so busy with catching up in all the others aspects of the smart phone industry that they seem to have overlooked the most basic of basics - making a damned phone call.

It honestly wouldn't surprise me if the 'really cool engineering' was a result of them realising towards the end of the the development "Oh crap! We forgot the antenna! Quick, draw one in on the outside of the phone. We'll call it 'cool engineering'."

Paris because if anyone out there can grip it and use it right, it's her.

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