Apple’s Antenna Issue, The Story so far…

Posted on July 15, 2010 by


It has been reported that Apple will be giving a press conference in California on Friday morning at 10 AM pacific time. This is rumoured to be addressing Apple’s antenna issues experienced when using the new iPhone 4. Speculations are rife as to whether the company will be implementing a mass product recall to resolve the issue, which causes people to lose signal when holding their iPhone in a particular way.

There are also rumours that Apple may make their ‘iPhone bumpers’– (the casing which stops the antenna issue from being a problem) free to iPhone consumers. These bumpers currently cost $29.

The background…

Some users have been reporting issues since the iPhone 4’s release on the 24th June, after experiencing reduced signal and connectivity problems when making calls with their new iPhone 4.

Apple released a statement to iPhone consumers about the issue on the 2nd July, admitting that there was a software issue causing the iPhone to overestimate signal strength, causing the bars to incorrectly indicate there was higher signal in areas of low signal strength: ‘we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars.’

They indicated that they would be issuing a fix to make the signal strength indicator more accurate and did not address the queries raised about the signal issue being actually to do with the hardware:

“To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.” Read the full statement here.

On Monday 13th July, reports released from an Independent US consumer watchdog, Consumer Reports, said that after extensive tests on the iPhone 4, that they could confirm that the signal-loss problem was an issue which would prevent them from being able to recommend the iPhone:

“It’s official. Consumer Reports’ engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.” Read the full post here.

Microsoft has weighed into the debate with TechCrunch reporting that Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner has likened the iPhone 4 to Vista; Microsoft’s operating system which is often deemed to be Microsoft’s turkey, receiving much criticism in the past.

It will certainly be interesting to see the results of the press conference. Are you having iPhone problems? What would you like to see as a solution?

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