It's become laughable, not just petty.
Methinks Apple doth protesteth too much with this issue
Motorola is the latest smartphone manufacturer to endure the Wrath of Jobs. That'd be Steve Jobs, of course, the armchair physicist who wants you to believe that the iPhone 4's external, touchable, and shortable antenna has reception problems equivalent to those experienced by phones that shield their antennas inside …
If you think about it., this could be a very well-reasoned move. With so many voices all speaking up at once, most people will get confused and bored long before they understand what's really going on. So they'll probably take the answer they were already inclined to take, or the simple answer - and Jobs is good at making up simple, authentic sounding BS.
.....not to say, bloody stupid to start that kind of war. Does Jobs listen to his own marketing/PR people, or are they perfectly happy with this approach? He reacts to a couple of his rivals teasing him a bit by going to the mattresses against the whole of the rest of the industry. Is SJ beginning to loose the plot?
SJ has been becoming more and more unhinged - the poor fellow is clearly unwell, and he's certainly talking like a man with little to lose. It's sad, because he did a great job rekindling a dying Apple and creating a cult around a bunch of perfectly decent yet hardly magical or revolutionary computers. Now it's just a bit like watching a slow-motion crash, and I feel awful for him, poor bugger.
As for Apple, frankly I'd be surprised if their share price doesn't lose 30% at least when we do finally lose SJ, he is the cult, he is the brand.
Do you really feel sorry for him with your predictable comment? Certain elements of the tech press went banana apeshit over this problem and blew it up to ridiculous proportions. Should Apple have not reacted the way they did? Why shouldn't they vigorously defend their brand and it IS the case that other phones suffer the same issues.
Clearly, there may well be an issue with the antenna externally which exacerbates the problem, however saying stuff like 'like watching a slow-motion crash' is just bandwagon jumping, boring p*sh.
'I feel awful for him', lol, oh dear.
If every other phone suffers from the same thing.. Will slipping a rubber band over the outside solve it?
Then the problem is not the same, no matter how you hold it.
Sorry. But no matter how much you fanboys spring to the defensive, the problem is not shading the internal antenna with your hand causing a drop in signal, it's shorting the external antenna with your electrically conductive finger bridging the little black line.
The only way other phones could have the same problem is if they all used external antenna.
You may have swallowed the sermon, but the rest of us are not so gullible.
My predictable comment? Well predicted! You predicted the future, I expect you used a magical and revolutionary device of some kind to do so.
Except it's not all about the iPhone4 antenna, it's also about a very public spat with Google, and another with Adobe, HTC, Motorola, etc..., where <strike>he picks bizarre fights with companies</strike> the courageous SJ speaks his mind in public. But even if it were all about the iPhone4 antenna, slinging crap at everyone else instead of saying 'whoops' looks a bit <strike>unhinged</strike> courageous and standing up for the small guy by making enemies.
Why make yourself a target on purpose? Why attempt to stir up fights you must ultimately suffer for? Companies which up until that point had just been benign competition now have an interest in damaging you. It makes it personal. It's not rational. I'm sure he's not malign, so must be a little <strike>bonkers</strike> out of touch. I haven't met and chatted with him, perhaps you have and can correct me from experience, but from the outside, looking at the evidence...I feel awful for him.
Apple's share price is high compared with their profits. Extremely high. I'm sure that'll correct itself presently. I feel awful for him.
Antennagate is two problems. Firstly, there is/was a software problem with it showing the wrong signal level. (I believe iOS 4.0.1 corrects this)
However, a much deeper problem, is that it is possible to affect the performance of the antenna by holding the phone in a certain way. This is (unlikely) to be fixable via software/firmware updates - hence the free case offer from Apple.
It's a problem that all phones have. Ummm, except if you have a free case. Or maybe all the other phones have it even with a case. Because they also have buggy software. Unless you've installed the latest updates. Or something.
The only thing I've found surprising in all this is the complete gracelessness with which several of the other manufacturers have responded. They still come out looking better than Apple, but I think a lot worse than they could have done.
There are 3 problems; (i) software problem reporting too high a signal, (ii) blocking of signal, (iii) death grip.
Issue 1 has been claimed to have fixed.
Issue 2 is the one that many/all phones suffer from. If you know where the antenna is located on a phone then you can surround it with hands and watch the signal drop.
Issue 3 is the current outstanding Apple unique problem and is the result of human touch altering the antenna characteristics. However #2 and #3 have similar looking results, and so Jobs is able to spread FUD and muddy the waters.
I've got a HTC smartphone. If I hold it tightly with both hands clasped around it it loses one or two bars. If you hold it normally, it doesn't lose anything.
If you touch an Iphone with one finger in the wrong place it loses three, four or more bars.
Jobs has set up a nice straw man for you all and you've swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Two problems, one less serious and common, one more serious and unique to the Iphone.
If I put my finger over the two contacts....... Nothing happens.
If I put my whole hand over the entire side of the phone....... Nothing happens.
Have tried it with 3 different iPhone 4's.
So, either like my music teacher said, I'm a poor conductor, or a whole lot of apple haters have fallen for the hype regarding a minority problem.
The difference between Apple Scented Shampoo and other shampoo is that other shampoo is intended for use outside of the head, as a topical cleanser, meant for cleansing the housing in which the brain is carried as well as the objects that decorate said housing.
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*Special care must be given when administering, overuse may result in extreme behavior malfunctions and these malfunctions may be irreversible, see the following as an example:
If this sort of behavior is observed, discontinue use immediately and seek professional help at once!
... it doesn't seem to have impacted that much on sales yet?
I'd thought about getting an iPhone, but decided, aside from signal troubles, being 'locked down' to the whim of his almighty jobiness, wasn't worth it.
Got an HTC Desire instead.
Many other people may do the same, but they are the 'geek set' - those that like to tinker under the hood.
It would be interesting to see the sales figures before and after 'Antennagate? (wtf?)'
A lot of people at my office that own iPhone 3's are considering switching to an Android based smart phone, rather than opting to upgrade to the iPhone 4.
Apple's brand is still very strong and even with this design error customers are still very happy as the iPhone is currently at a fashionable sweet spot. This one engineering error won't ruin the brand or affect sales too much. But it's definitely a scratch on the brand. "You're holding it wrong" is already becoming associated with technical problems and is tied in with the Apple brand.
With the competition breathing down Apple's neck with similarly capable and just as easy to use devices costing less than half price, it is going to get increasingly difficult to differentiate and justify charging such a hefty premium for a commodity. Premium brands must be managed carefully. I guess it's arguable that Apple's smoke bomb - all phones have issues - might work until they can manufacture hardware without this *fundamental* error. But if that doesn't work Apple will have a job on their hands. People are already switching from iPhone to Android when they renew their phone although the churn is probably less than new users.
In a recent test c't magazin was able to give slightly better marks for phone reception to the iPhone over the Nexus and the Desire (identical apart from the second mike on the nexus) and the Samsung Galaxy. But all the droids wiped the floor with the iPhone when it came to Wifi, which is an issue for price sensitive users. And price will, at some point, become an issue for users. Interestingly the one area where the iPhone still shines is battery life but it wouldn't surprise me to see the droids catching up before the end of the year - a more aggressive strategy on multitasking at the OS level and bigger, Li-Polymer batteries would probably do the trick.
For full disclosure: I'm a happy owner of a Samsung Wave (multitasks quite well, wonderful screen and not too big but battery life could be better) and pay € 15 per month with 100 minutes talk time and unlimited data. I could afford an iPhone but cannot ,for the life of me, see why it is worth the extra money, especially as it has a fundamental engineering error - a phone that drops calls isn't a phone. But I am also a happy MacBook owner.
"A lot of people at my office that own iPhone 3's are considering switching to an Android based smart phone, rather than opting to upgrade to the iPhone 4."
Until they hear about the pitfalls of Android and then they'll think again.
Androids been given a bit of a free run in the comments lately so in the interests of balance and the like...
• Un installable bloatware placed on many devices.
• Inconsistent and fragmented versions of the OS. Causing cross Android app incompatibility.
• Malware apps
• Lockdown creeping in by the back door
• Carriers and manufacturers slow or refusing OS upgrades
• Inconsistant UI's across devices.
• Lack of a secure safe walled garden for apps and media (And yes, non tech-heads appreciate such things)
Despite not being able to make phone calls if held wrong. iPhone offers a consistent well designed secure platform for consuming media and apps that is accessible to all. It has a clear software upgrade path with all iPhone's -except the first generation- being able to run the latest iOS version.
Compare that to Android which is at risk of combining all the fragmentation issues that surround open source along with all the security and bloatware issues we have come to associate with cheap Windows boxes.
We have been here before, do we really want to go down that path again?
Actually, the only complaint about Android that I've regularly heard is the battery life. Battery life on many Android phones really sucks. Of course, having a replaceable battery mitigates that a little, since you can in theory carry a spare battery, or more likely buy a large capacity after-market battery.
I've run through your list of FUD, and most are invalid (eg Android has a safe walled garden for apps and media - the market - it is also simple to install apps from elsewhere, but you need to change settings to do it). That means it is usable by both the tech literate and the rest - whereas to install apps from outside the store on the iPhone you have to root the phone.
OK, suppose that all smartphones have this problem. Question: why didn't anyone notice before the iPhone 4? I mean, all these smartphones dropping calls when held in a normal, incorrect, way...
(Also, if it's an antenna thing, why is it only smartphones that are affected, why not all phones? Is it something to do with the shape, meaning people hold them in different places?)
Are you saying then, that the multidue of videos both before and after antennagate showing signal drops on other devices are fakes? Is it your position that Steve Jobs has a flux capacitor in the Cupertino campus, has somehow accelerated it to the requisite 88 Miles per hour, gone back in time a few months and planted those pre-antennagate videos personally?
Who's trying to distort reality here, really?
There is a big difference between the attenuation issue that is common to ALL phones, and the detuning issue that is UNIQUE to the iPhone 4 (caused by touching the 'gap of doom')?
What Jobs is doing is a deliberate attempt to confuse those two matters - hiding his massive design FAIL behind a 'problem' common to all phones. Unfortunately, plenty fanboys and thickos seem to be buying into his bullshit.
That is what is so funny about this whole affair. There are videos on YouTube going back years showing various phones from Nokia to Motorola to Apple to HTC showing serious signal attenuation (and loss) when a phone is held a specific way. That really is a FACT all the Apple haters want to sweep under the rug so they can pretend this is new with the iPhone 4.
Can the iPhone 4 drop calls when held a specific way? Yes (I've Done it).
Can the Droid X drop calls when held a specific way? Yes (I've Done it).
Can the HTC HD2 drop calls when held a specific way? Yes (I've Done it).
Can the Droid Incredible drop calls when held a specific way? Yes (I've Done it).
Are these unnatural ways of holding the phone. In all cases, these are natural holding methods for some people. Some people grip a phone in the middle, some at the top and some at the bottom. Personally, I tend to hold these single all screen touch phones more from the top. So from that standpoint, it is EQUALLY easy on all the above phones once you figure out HOW to do it. One is not special. The iPhone 4 does NOT "detune" the antenna when the bridge is "shorted". The iPhone simply attenuates the signal when held at that point.
The final question is: Does this simple fact detract from any of the above phones in anyway? No.
Companies like Nokia, HTC and Motorola were idiots for trying to spin a web of lies by saying you could hold their phones ANYWAY you wanted without impact to the signal quality. Apple called them on their outright lies. Move on.
Antennagate is bigger than people think. I have been able to make a Droid X drop from a full 4 bars to signal loss by holding it wrong (just like before the iPhone 4.0.1 update). This makes me wonder if (for handset driven or carrier driven or both companies driven marketing reasons) the "bars" have been a lie for some time.
Haven't you all realised this is a huge problem for the smartphone industry? For years and years now they've been shipping defective handsets that lose signal strength if you foolishly choose to hold them; but no one had noticed.
Except Steve Jobs - he saw there was a problem and in his neverending quest for perfection decided to alert the world. He ordered Apple's unparalleled designers came up a handset that loses signal if you so much look at it; invested in a hugely expensive advertising campaign to promote the 'wrong' way to hold the phone - and look what happened - phone signal strength is headline news!
Success - but are we thanking him for this?
It's only thanks to Steve Jobs that the industry was forced to confront this shameful situation.
[warning post may contain traces of sarcasm]
Let's not be stupid here. It's easy to see why this is such a big issue.
1) Apple sells a bajillion of these things
2) The press absolutely adores lapping up everything that comes out of Jobs' hype machine, and this includes El Reg.
Seriously, Apple gets slagged off for over-hyping its products - fairly, I think - but then, the press does about as much to over-hype Apple shit as anyone else, both the good and the bad, which means you hear way more about an Apple product flaw than you do about any manufacturer. El Reg have seriously disappointed me on this issue - complain about the Apple hyper machine all the fucking time, and then just fall prey to it and start over-hyping a story of little significance; typical, and weak-minded. Media circus of the highest order. Thank heaven for AnandTech.
If you think you can derive any sane conclusions based on the coverage of this or any other Apple issue from Apple or from the majority of the tech press - particularly the Reg - then you're an idiot. Fact is, I've basically started ignoring all Reg coverage of Apple and Google due to the sheer tedium of picking the good stuff from all the dross.
I've had my iPhone 4 since launch and I've yet to have the signal drop when using the phone normally. It's only when I deliberately bridge the antennas that I ever see the problem.
It's not that I'm holding it the Approved Steve Jobs Way TM and it doesn't have a bumper, it's just the only way to bridge both antennas is to hold the phone in an unnatural way, and that's the case with either left or right hand.
This whole thing seems like an excuse for the media to get a few extra hits for their stats and for Android fanbois to vent because the iPhone 4 has put the iPhone back on top (aside from still not having Flash).
I'm increasingly in danger of sounding like an Apple fanboi myself... but I've no interest in owning any of Apple's desktop offerings, nor their laptops or iPads, I just happen to think that the iPhone 4 is being unfairly smeared, and having used Android phones myself, iOS is definitely better to use and has more apps that I'd want to use. Or is Plants vs Zombies on Android now?
I was having this conversation with my co-worker on Friday; I picked up his iPhone 4 and held it the way I would hold it when having a conversation. My little finger naturally rested on the gap and caused a 1 bar reduction (from4 bars to 3 bars). That's because I hold cellphones with it resting in the palm of my hand. In contrast my coworker holds the phone with the tips of his fingers and it was nowhere near the gap.
Different people hold phones in different ways; neither is natural or unnatural. It's just different.
I've had a iPhone 4 since a couple of weeks after launch and I get signal drop all the time when using the phone normally. It's not only when I deliberately bridge the antennas that I ever see the problem.
Even though I'm right handed I tend to hold phones with my left hand to my left ear, I guess it's so I can still do things whilst on a call. The corner of the phone rests in the ball of my hand, I don't see how one can hold it any other way frankly, thus connecting the two antenna accidentally is a hazard and if it accidentally happens ... dropped call.
It's really starting to piss me off.
if your left handed it is almost a given you will bridge that gap. If you are left handed one could easily argue that it is un-natural to hold the phone in your right hand. Sure many other of these smart phone devices have their own quirks but none of them are as easily triggered. That coupled with a CEO who frankly doesn't know when to shut up...it is easy to see why so many el reg readers like poking fun at Apple. Like taking candy from a baby.
"if your left handed it is almost a given you will bridge that gap. If you are left handed one could easily argue that it is un-natural to hold the phone in your right hand."
How am I supposed to take notes about important conversations (with my left hand, since I'm a lefty) if I'm also holding a phone in it...?
The iPhone 4 is the first (and only) phone I know of where they have put the antenna outside the phone, with all its bare metal free for anyone to touch. No other phone manufacture has done that.
I have the phone myself - it's my first (entry level) iPhone. I figured, since I've waited this long to get one, I might as well jump in at V4 - because, one would expect by then, they've got most of the bugs and crap sorted out from the previous 3 versions. Evidently, this is not the case!
Even if I take my £5 rubber eBay case off it (I have a much better free case on order, curtsey of Apple), and grip it as shown in the videos, I can't cause the signal to drop. Having said that, I have some mains powered studio speakers on my desktop and if you put any phone close enough to them, you can hear the signal. Interestingly (just as I was in the middle of typing this message), if I hold the phone where the two separators are, I hear nothing on the speakers - let go, I then hear lots of noises.
I'm not an antenna expert, but that's enough to convince me that the phone has a problem - it doesn't appear to affect me too much, but evidently it is affecting a few. A rubber case solves the problem, in most cases.
Apple deserve to be slagged off, in my opinion. I'm mostly a PC user, but I use Apple products at work. They make nice kit, but it is, as so many people have said, style over substance. And mostly, their 'shit' keeps on breaking (lookup the number of iPods which consistently fail after a years worth of usage). And they love to charge almost 3x more for their 'style over substance' products, compared to other manufacturers.
I recently bought a Sony VAIO laptop - I wanted a high speed laptop, with Blu-Ray and HD screen. No Apple product can deliver that because they won't support blu-ray! And, it cost me about a 3rd of the price of a high end MacBook.
They deserve to get nailed. Jobs and his PR handling in this matter is appalling and if anything makes me regret buying the iPhone 4, its not because it doesn't work for me (I have a soft spot for its retina display) - it's because I seem to have purchased it from manufacture that loves dissing other manufactures to make themselves look like they are 'gods gift to mobile phones' - when, in reality, they just aren't!
Jobs, sort it out mate. You're making yourself look like a complete arrogant tw*t!
Tux - because unlike both Apple and Microsoft products, Linux just works and it is, categorically, the only OS I've come across that doesn't f**k me off and do weird 'blue-screen/freeze ups' on me for no apparent -good- reason, unlike the crap witnessed in this video:
that's all there is to this, no matter how much someone protests against this fact.
ANYONE, and I mean ANYONE who has ever used a radio with an external antenna of which you can physically touch the metal knows that touching the antenna alters the reception (or transmission in the case of radio controlled toys etc.), to the point where sometimes it can render the reception or transmission useless, or very occasionally improve it.
The only time I know of that virtually always goes the opposite way is with those RF car lock/unlock keyfobs and garage door opener keyfobs, if you go out just out of range so the keyfob doesn't work, holding the keyfob to your chin helps amplify the signal so it works at longer distances...!
Nokia was actually mentioned in the Antennagate press conference, albeit in passing (near the end Jobs claimed there are videos on Youtube of unboxing of Nokias which come with 'Don't touch here' stickers on the back, knowing Jobs it's probably the camera). So it looks like Apple's Goebbels department took a while to set up the conditions to get an E71 and Droid X to drop bars.
Having stuck their foot in it they've obviously decided to press all the way down, hoping that short-term sales will be improved by this BS and by the time they're come to long-term sales nobody will remember. Jobs must be proud about changing the issue from shorting external antennas by holding the phone normally and dropped calls to how a phone calculates the number of bars and wrapping phones in both hands to make them drop bars too.
Jobs has always been really arrogant, but it hasn't been this widely known outside of mac users' circles. It didn't matter that much when Apple was much smaller, but now it's a whole different story. Lot of regular people are probably wondering what the hell is Apple thinking and doing here, because wasn't Apple supposed to be cool and hip and all that.
This probably won't affect sales hugely in the short term but the damage done to Apple's reputation is just enormous. Sad thing is that everytime Jobs and Apple's PR act like a three year old having a tantrum their devote followers see it like a reason to act the same in the forums and in the comments, repeating Apple's PR and lies. They still think it's the holy war and that Apple is the saviour. Oh my...
and YOUR point? Don't you believe that bashing anyone who is ON TOP, even if the product has a problem in ONE AREA, that doing that in itself is no better? This basic instinct of MOB MENTALITY is rampant in all posts where people jump on the band wagon and beat up on a person, company, or product. Just not sure that you understand that the iPhone 4 is MUCH MORE than the antenna issue. Had APPLE not made the bold gesture many years ago with the first iPhone, you wouldn't have the "cool" ones that are out now by other suppliers. Apple has and is always on the leading edge, so as one of the OTHER posts stated, "Just deal with it!" And regarding the three year old comment, are you and others who BASH Apple playing the same game; or is it different because YOU believe they deserve it???
It's like in those olden times when all the pimply-faced geeks and retards (back then, including me, were fighting during recess about whether the Amiga or the Atari ST where somehow Da Best and then Appletards came out of the woodworks laughing at others because no-one understood the immense forward-looking Jobsian Wisdom of not having preemptive multitasking Apple Wondermachines...
Good times, good times.
Works on so many levels. Just how efficient are these things? No gain over the theoretical isotropic radiator (dBi) would be my guess, much less the usual +2.3dB halfwave dipole reference (dBd)
I'm also sick of hearing about "shortable." Even with a coat of something insulating, hand capacitance would do the job at these frequencies. A lot of people (including his Steveness) have it in their empty heads that covering it up with a rubber band or varnish is enough. It isn't. Your hand is still going to be in the near field, meatbag.
Add that to the fact the RSSI (received signal strength indicator) calibration between phones differs wildly and we have a pool of bovine excrement that could drown an elephant, which is simply indicative of a much wider problem within the industry in general: Form over function.
Not that the RF performance of most modern phones is anything to write home about. Epitome of antenna design on a mobile? Ericsson T28 (R320 and R520 don't count; they were more or less rigid T28s), without question. That thing's ERP was proved to be head and shoulders above anything else available at the time.
Phones with internal antennas are always going to be a compromise. Putting said antenna on the outside of the case in an area where people will be holding the phone (moving the near field even closer to the salty meatbag to the point that the user becomes part of the antenna system)? A step further into the realms of madness, which is why Apple are being singled out.
Oh, and for the amateurs amongst us: Q-Tek Penetrator, anyone?
........Apple's customers actually believe that the company "loves them" (to quote SJ). They believe that they are part of a mutual relationship which in turn inspires them to blog in the company's defence in the way we see so often on so many threads. It is rather sad (I mean that quite literally, no sarcasm/satire). The plain reality is that no company "loves" its customers, they (all companies) love their customer's money and are utterly devoted to separating them from as much of it as possible. The only way to keep a company (ANY company) even halfway honest in the quality of what they deliver and the price at which they deliver it is to recognise that banal reality and kick them in the slats the moment they deviate from the straight and narrow.
I have been using Mac kit for years and I cannot get behind this fanboi crap! I think OSX is great, find it actually does help me to get more creative and enjoy computing again, espeically after a hard day stuck in the server room banging on Sun kit. I have no delusions about Apple or the Church of Jobs. Like the kit, hate the cult!
Listen fanbois, Steve Jobs is a greedy, arrogant, self-righteous cheese-grinder! HOWEVER...he is no different from any other CEO! He's a businessman. His sole purpose in life is to make his pot bigger than everyone elses. He really doesn't give that much of a stuff about the products, that's why he employs designers and geeks who do care. If the geeks care, the money keeps rolling in. Yes, he cares about the company's image, but only 'cos if it gets tainted the share price goes down, Steve's pot dwindles by a few million!
Read the book "iWoz" if you want a sort of Disney-esque version of how much of a git Jobs can be. He fleeced his first designer/geek of a couple of hundred dollars, before the company really got going!!!
Wake up fanbois!
Read the comments in this forum. There's only ONE SINGLE comment out of 11 (so far) that does not insult Apple. And that AC is not so much defending Apple but just pointing out the pettiness of the articles accusations in a dismissive way.
In Ars Technica, Slashdot, and other tech sites I see the same thing: most are commentards insulting Apple and saying how evil they are, the rest is a mish-mash of comments like yours along the lines of "cue the fanbois".
Where exactly are all these "devote followers" that "see it like a reason to act the same in the forums and in the comments, repeating Apple's PR and lies"?
... is just another's honest opinion. Where you stand on the issue determines if it's an insult or not. But one thing is for certain, don't come to a gunfight with a knife and if you don't want to feel the heat then keep away from the fire. On darn, that's two. Two things are for certain certain .....
If you are saying the discussions are "petty", are you not adding fuel to the fire by YOUR comments and continual rehashing of the problem? The external antenna is a wonderful idea, and had the testing been produced a little more "real world" and not so much behind closed doors (Apple's style) the flaw may have been noticed sooner and addressed. I have a friend who has a Droid and he is NOT satisfied with it's performance. He however loves it even with it's flaws of needing to be rebooted several times and "butt dialing" when it's in the passenger seat of the car and for no reason starts launching apps. He has not noticed the same reception issues mentioned by others but then I've never had the issues with my iPhone 4 that others report either. All-in-all I believe that this is merely a marketing ploy by all parties to keep the publics attention off of other depressing NEWS of the day and I for one am thankful. in rating your attempt at "not" being part of the Antennagate issue I say you have failed. Thank you for the information however, always a joy to read yet another angle in the ongoing saga!
I'm no expert, but as I understand it modern phones use some very advanced designs in their antennas to maximise reception, just about all of which are incompatible with the antenna being a bit of bent metal on the outside of the case.
Nokia and others have patents on the cleverness of their antenna designs, which until recently Apple liked enough to copy for the iPhone. Now they use a bit of bent metal, because they got taken to court for stealing the more advanced ideas others were using.
So why is their new external antenna a wonderful idea? Please explain it this simple techie, 'cos I just don't see it.
Jobs clearly has zero respect for the rest of us - had he admitted the single problem in his wonderful 'pursuit-of-perfection' no.4 phone, handed out/retro-fitted the thinnest protective sleeve to minimize this, and looked at pre-fitting same to newly made phones from then on, one could have admired and warmed to him, but hubris has no buddies unless you enjoy folks laughing at you, or the company of mates with self-esteem issues so great they tolerate all the bs.
He is probably calculating that many people will not be affected - that the shape of their hand, the style of their grip, the fact they bought a sleeve at time of purchase, leaves them satisfied punters.
What ever he is doing is likely calculated money making PR, no matter that it appears otherwise, but Yosemite Sam would have cursed him just the same.
[image of Yosemite Sam saying "Ha ha ha! Phooey." because he knows misrepresentation when he hears it.]
Motorola doesn't need lessons from some upstart like Apple. Motorola has been a communications pioneer, along with other companies, way before Jobs even was a wet dream in his parents eyes.
Consider: starting in 1928, Motorola has a record of innovation in communications. Over the some 80-plus year history it pioneered mobile communications in the 1930s in the U.S.A. It's equipment was used in the moon trips starting in 1969. Motorola also made the first commercial handheld cellular phone in 1983.
So up yours, Jobs.
On the other side of the Pond we should remember Plessey, Marconi, Pye and the other technology pioneers.
Remember, Jobs, the Chinese say point a finger at something and three point back at you, which means the rouble is with Jobs and not the others.
The bottom line remains Version 4 is a technical failure, by Job's own admission, whose primary function of voice communications is less effective than it's competitors irrespective of any display.
Motorola has more equipment in public safety use, so professional users have voted with their cheque books.
I've spent 12 years of my life in public safety, in both the fire service and emergency medical services. i've worked for a handful of agencies and with dozens of agencies, local, state and federal. The communications equipment in every fire station and ambulance house i've walked in to, every engine company and rescue i've been assigned to, and every handheld radio i've used on the job was built by Motorola, i've never once seen an Apple communications device used in public safety. This is just one field, there are so many more. So for Apple to attack Motorola on any communications issues is just plain silly...
As my dad likes to put it, Motorola has forgotten more about communications than Apple will ever know...
For what it's worth, phone manuals have been warning and diagramming where not to hold phones for years (and not just smartphones). Videos and complaints have been on the net for all brands of phones, in fact in Feb a few big sites like Engadget picked up the story about the Nexus One's signal attenuation issues, but it never blew up like the iPhone's. Perhaps Google wasn't worthy of the media's wrath at the time.
But these warnings have been around in phone manuals for forever, and people are collecting them here, if you care to take a look:
I seriously, seriously doubt the Nexus One trumpeted their OMG WONDERFUL BEST ANTENNA DESIGN EVARRRRR!!!!1one!1oneeleventy
Apple claimed to have a new magical revolutionary McGuffin antenna, reality didn't bear that out, they're now getting the ten thousand tonnes of shit they deserve for it.
Masterful Apple marketing. Total distraction and diminuition of the issue.
It went from "the one finger touch of disconnect on a stupid external, shortable antenna" (FAIL!)
"DEATH GRIPS AFFECT ALL PHONES!"
It went from "Steve Jobs is being dismissive of users and arrogant about a real flaw"
"ALL PHONE MAKERS ARE BEING PETTY, SO LET'S FORGET THIS *(&^* ISSUE"
And... it's working! So, if you smell like poop, smear it on everyone else... then, "we ALL smell, so what is your problem with me?" This whole scenario will become a classic case for students of PR manipulation, total required reading one day.
If an INDIVIDUAL acted like this with a problem someone pointed out to him about himself, we'd brand him a sociopath.
If APPLE and Jobs do it, we brand it brilliant marketing. I want nothing to do with that truthbender.
Its a common defense tactic used by lawyers, if cant make my client look innocent, then the next goal is to make others look more guilty than him.
Yes your honor, my client did steal a million dollars from the victim, however these other people have stolen much more from him, so him stealing a million dollars really isn't the big deal people are making it out be, by comparison, its really just a petty offense when you total up the amounts these others have stolen from the victim.
Apple has seriously lost its mind. They are starting a war that they cannot win and they have many foes now. I expect that Motorola will start reviewing its patents to see ones where Apple has infringed. Apple has already publicly admitted they are using patents from Nokia without paying. Apple even admitted to rejecting to pay FMV for them, so Nokia doubled the price as punishment. Apple obviously once again refused to pay. Other companies have patent infringement suits against Apple. I expect Apple paying much more to use the patents from the other companies than any of the phone manufacturers mainly because they willfully stole them for years. The videos won't help their cause either. I expect the margins to disappear on the iPhoney and the iPad. Apple will be forced to raise the price and price themselves out of the market. LTE is coming up and Nokia once again has plenty of IP on that front and Apple has none. If the IP suit comes to trial before Apple releases an LTE phone, it is pretty much game over for them. Serves them right. They have stolen plenty in the past and used lawsuits to to get their way. Now they are picking a fight with companies that have deep pockets.
Has that Jobs bloke stopped for a minute to consider all the hi-tech RF-base gear Moto actually makes?
Not looked at their list but in addition to mobiles I'm certain it contains military grade kit for encrypted walkie talkies, secure battlefield comms, satellites both milspec and civilian, marine comms tech, etc etc. I am highly confident Moto have some of the most rigourous RF testing skills on the planet.
If Jobs really thinks he knows more about RF than a huge tech org like moto then he really is quite possibly the stupidest See-You-Next-Tuesday on the planet.
Maybe Stephen Hawking could take a look at the 'bars' mathematics... no doubt he'd get his sums wrong though unless they agreed with the la-la land numbers in Honest Steve's head.
It's like the big kid in the playground rushing to get ready for school one morning and not realising he put his sister's pullover on with the girls-school logo on it and instead of admitting he fecked up proceeds to call all the other kids in the playground 'cross-dressers' when they laugh and point at him.
Grow up Steve. You're a ludicrous, childish man.
"Not looked at their list but in addition to mobiles I'm certain it contains military grade kit for encrypted walkie talkies, secure battlefield comms, satellites both milspec and civilian, marine comms tech, etc etc. I am highly confident Moto have some of the most rigourous RF testing skills on the planet."
........but you've got to understand that you are talking about STEVIE (I am of course prostrate on the floor as I write this).
ps PLEASE Reg can't we have a satire icon?
I gave up on Motorola phones.
The first one I had lost signal unless you held it in your fingertips. Tt was tiny so this meant getting cramp if you were on the phone too long.
The second one drained batteries faster than anything I've ever seen before or since. If I charged the phone in the morning, I'd need to do it again at tea time. Obviously they decided there was nothing wrong with it and sent it back to me (and I then had to pay for shipping!)
So great kit there.
The short version:
1. Apple have one antenna issue specific to this model (the bridging issue).
2. Other companies shouldn't have said their phones have no issues as all phones have signal attenuation when held (how much depends on the specific phone and how it's held, but it is there).
It is perfectly acceptable for Apple to point out (2) and they have acknowledged that (1) may be an issue for some people and are providing a temporary solution until the issue is re-engineered.
While the Apple response may seem a bit over the top, it's not incorrect. It might have been better for them to stay out of this bickering, but it was their decision to make.
*I use Mac / Windows / Linux systems / products regularly and each item has its purpose: ie. whatever works best for the job in hand. I don't see the point of hating any particular setup if there's a viable alternative that works better.
WOW! Have we forgotten the comments and ads that quickly came out from other phone manufactures, as well as Verizon, at the start of this that claimed you could "hold their phones any way you wanted to"?
Have we forgotten that, Motorola ran a full page ad in the New York TImes to show the Droid X where it said:
"And most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design. The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like…"
My question is why are you all giving HTC, Samsung, RIM and Motorola a FREE PASS when it comes to not only their own antenna issues but for their non-denial denials! Not a single vendor has denied what Apple has shown. NOT A ONE! They all talk around it and cry shame on Apple for bringing them into Apple's issue. When they're really saying how dare you tell people of our issues after we publicly in ads touted how you could hold our phones ANY WAY you wanted to. I guess that's been shown now not to be the case (no pun intended). Yet some of you in the press seem totally unwilling to take them to task for, first lying, and then making statements that are positioned as denials when they really are anything but!
At least Forbes has the backbone and journalistic hutzpah to call them on it!
Steve Jobs Sparks Non-Denial Denials
What is it lately with CEOs named Steve? We've had Steve Ballmer going unhinged and paranoid, and now Steve Jobs' head appears to be coming undone and it's only a matter of time before furniture starts to fly.
So you screwed up. Fix the problem instead of trying to whitewash it.
While we're comparing the iPhone 4 to other smartphones, how about also comparing it against the iPhone3GS, or any of the previous iPhones?
Sure, you can drop the signal *a bit* if you hold it wrong, but in normal use the 3GS doesn't suffer from this problem.
So Apple, if all smartphones have this problem how about showing us a video of other iPhones?
'Is it just your humble Reg reporter, or are any of you, dear readers, beginning to find Antennagate a wee bit petty?'
Petty from the start by all involved as its been a non-issue for most iPhone’s users. (Yes, there are some who report otherwise but there are plenty who report it as not a problem).
Time to move on.
well why now? Smartphones have been around for years now so if this "problem" were so wide spread why are we only hearing about it now?
Remember, it was iPhone4 users who raised the complaints, not some malicious rumors from anti-Apple campaigners, so why no flurry of complaints about the previous generation iPhones or for any other Smartphone for that matter.
If it were so wide spread we'd have heard about it years ago. So, again, why now?
Could it possibly be because the iPhone4 has a unique problem?
What they're all saying is that there are 2 problems.
One relates to all phones. Touch near the antenna and you create attenuation.
The other relates to iPhone 4 only where the two antennas can be bridged, thus creating interference and a larger antenna.
Take Apple's videos with a large pinch of salt. Apart from the fact that there's no objective measure of bars on a phone, the grip being applied is quite unnatural.
Is that a lot of our customers use Apple computers, iPhones etc and have been total fans until now but the ariel, proximity and other issues have really made them unhappy and many have returned them and gone back to the 3gS
The funny part is that the fanboi on here cant tell the difference between the blocking of signal reaching the phone and the bridging of the antenna.
Using signal bars to "prove" they are all the same is laughable when the two sets of circumstances are so different.
Can any of the fanboi point me to a phone where you can place one finger on the bottom corner and kill a call?
"Can any of the fanboi point me to a phone where you can place one finger on the bottom corner and kill a call?"
I'm not a fanboi but I had a Motorola some years ago where you could do just that.
The phone was tiny, as was the antenna and as a result, you couldn't hold the phone in your hand in a comfortable way without touching the back of the antenna at which point the (already crappy) reception would drop to one bar, if you were lucky. Sometimes it dropped calls before they were made...
the Desire is not a geek phone. Sure, it can be, but out of the box it's as user friendly as the iPhone.
In fact it's selling so well, that HTC are having to use a different screen in newer models as Samsung can provide enough AMOLEDs.
Let's not get confused and think that Apple are the only company that can do good UI. It seems they have difficulty with hardware sometimes too.
At the end of the day, the market will show whether the iPhone 4 has an antenna problem.
It's just rubbish.
Takes more the flash bells and whistles to me think otherwise.
Theres a load of mobile handsets that do what you want the to do. Be a phone and offer apps to help.
So just Stop! Stop the cack being spouted by the boys on this s(h)ite.
Apple wants consumers to hold it in such high regard, to place it high up on a pedestal and preach the wisdom of the church of Apple.
This latest attempt by Apple to demand respect from freedom-loving tech consumers shows Steve's true light.
He is an immature boy, throwing a temper tantrum because he screwed up, and doesn't want to look bad, but in effect is making the situation 100x worse.
Rather than fixing the problems with the 4G iphone, being the mature guy by admitting the problems, and feeling apathy for his followers that were mislead into buying a product that was not ready for market by virtue of proper full-on testing, Steve is making an ass out of himself, and his whole company.
He won't be happy until he rains on everyone's parade - taking as many companies down with him.
Thankfully, consumers aren't as stupid and naive as Steve believes.
I don't know what happened to Apple, but I used to have respect for that company, and I only had very limited exposure to Apple's products. Now, Steve's ego has tarnished my view of Apple.
I already avoided Apple products because they weren't the type of products I wanted to waste my money on. Now I avoid Apple because of complete arrogance and mistrust, with all these other secondary reasons: lack of transparency, and the ever-impossible task of determining how secure an Apple product is.
Steve, I'm a 37 year old, and let me tell you - grow up, and grow a pair, dude. Don't be an ass.
"According to the Stiftung Warentest, only a touch of a finger over the antenna gap in the bottom left corner is enough for the iPhone 4 to lose up to 90 percent of the signal. And, depending on the strength of th network signal, that can easily lead to dropped calls. As for web browsing, Internet connection gets "painfully" slow when you position your hand over the soft spot."
...and the entire world knows that you can SHORT the antenna, except for a few denyhards(tm) who swear blind that the entire population of the world are iHaters... and yet Apple still trumpet the all phones have SHIELDING problems??
I really am struglling to see this how Apple wants me to see it...I guess its because once the truth genie is out of the bottle no amount of marketing gumph can put it back. And Until Apple stand up and talk about SHORTING and can show that SHORTING is NOT a problem, no amount of shielding talk will convince me otherwise.
Fact is there are still more videos on youtube of the iPhone Shorting Fail than any other phones Shielding fail. Does that suggest that Youtube is controlled by El Reg and the iHaters? or that perhaps the majority of the population can see clearly?
Now I see it. When the hand actually touches the antenna it gets connected to the ground, and therefore loses signal sensitivity.
Other phones then iPhone 4 don't have that problem, as they don't allow the antenna getting touched by the skin and therefore make a ground connection.
It's is all Apple fault this time around, and there videos won't change a thing in that regard. I also figured out with the Nokia N97 video that they might easily be running a manual tuned signal blocker to fake the video, besides having the battery at the lowest possible level.
I hate products that fail. I hate CEOs that lie and distort.
Their products may have some great features but their closed architecture does not appeal to me.
I use my phone (you ready for this?) to make PHONE CALLS, not browse porn, tweet, pirate music, take up skirt photos or take blurred poorly exposed photos at concerts while holding my arms up blocking the view of everyone behind me (and using a flash)
Yes, Im a hater.
(This is the bridge! Divert all warp power to the reality distortion field!)
"there are still more videos on youtube of the iPhone Shorting Fail than any other phones Shielding fail."
1, There ARE problems with other phones. This is something the other phone manufacturers have denied, shouting and pointing at Apple and claiming their phones are perfect. Now Jobs is saying it's not so. YouTube says otherwise. Funny how people believe YouTube when it indicates Jobs is a liar but not when it proves him right...
2, How did the film the problems if their phone wasn't working? With a video camera? If so, why? We already know there are problems... I suspect that a lot of these videos often feature the same few phones - especially when posters on El Reg who have actually TRIED the iPhone are reporting VERY few problems indeed...
Just thought I should write because it seems most of the posts basically boil down to "I hate Apple" and have zero intellectual content whatsoever. Nice to get one that isn't like that.
I think there is a simple way to settle this - develop the Reg Handjob test for mobile phones. You choose a number of ways to hold a mobile phone, I would suggest 4 "normal" ones and one that is clearly a joke, just to keep it entertaining, and then properly test each phone against it.
However, this measurement must be precise so I guess you'll have to use an imitation body. You could take a wooden stake to Peter Mandelson and so make him at least useful for once, but the man has a reality distortion field all of his own which may interfere (preventing even after death usefulness) - and he may rot quicker as expected which limits measuring time. But I digress - you need a stable set of "grips" that don't depend on just how much beer was consumed beforehand - you could always add that as an extra "live" test :).
The next thing is that you will need a proper signal measurement. Relying on the display bars means that suppliers will just push an "upgrade" to hide the ugly truth, which brings me to why Jobs behaves this way.
If you look at the problem you see that there is NOTHING, repeat, NOTHING Apple can do to correct this design failure (let's call it what it is) on remote. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the whole reason Apple engages in this publicity war is because it distracts from one, simple, extremely ugly truth:
This is a hardware problem, and Apple can't fix that on phones already sold. This means Apple has to choose between BS and ride the storm until it eventually dies down, or issue a global recall of every single iPhone 4 ever sold. Apple's products aren't bad, but with this one they have screwed up massively, and instead of doing what should be done they have stuck their heads in the sand, allowing the problem to grow beyond manageable proportions. Every day, thousands more iPhone 4 are sold, so the required recall to really address this problem becomes more and more costly. As a matter of fact, it may already be close to impossible to do.
The moment Apple gets a conviction for "selling a product not fit for sale" (as the UK Trading Standards description would be) it will damage their halo (well, dent it severely) and tank their stock but they are *still* trying to ride it out. To me, this is taking an extremely high risk with the brand's reputation. They should do the right thing - this could affect the brand for years to come otherwise.
Jobs, put a stop on sales until you have the problem fixed and provide a return path, the problem has already gone beyond manageable proportions. Your ego has to choose between being the guy who puts customers first and thus keeps the company doing well that you rescued, or risk being the guy who screwed up in the end. Not a hard choice to make, really. Just stop the BS already..
Paris, because she doesn't need a recall..
What gets me is that the iPhone4 was clearly never properly operator tested. Things like this are precisely why handset manufacturers have to supply hundreds of samples to an operator before they are even announced.
They are taken on drive round tests, put in (radio) anechoic chambers, heated, dropped and then certified.
This was all done properly ten years ago when phones were about engineering. Today however they are about price and brand.
Testing today is a mechanism by which operators beat up handset suppliers on price. Everything is used to beat up suppliers on price.
But Apple is about a different kind of negotiation. Apple holds all the cards. What's the point in testing if that means you might not take the phone?
Marketing would never countenance that.
Basic testing with a base station simulator would have exposed the lie that was the signal strength indication. Perhaps it did and the networks who couldn't be without the new subscribers the iPhone would bring ignored it.
Antenna design is a dark art. It not surprising that a newcommer like apple hasn't learnt to do it.
Some of the blame has to lie with the networks who took the device without pushing back.
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