iPhone 4 signal fault leaves Apple 'stunned'. But is Apple telling the truth?
Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 03/07/2010 19:00
Apple says a fault on its new iPhone 4 is causing it to incorrectly display the phone's signal.
Users who gripped the phone on the lower left-hand side noticed the signal strength and reception fell away.
Apple says the problem relates to an error on how the signal bars are displayed, rather than the signal itself.
However some industry experts say that there may be a deeper signal problem than a cosmetic design flaw.
To read this BBC News report in full, see:
Apple Acknowledges Flaw in iPhone Signal Meter
Apple customers love to complain about the reception on their iPhones. And the problem may be worse than it looks.
Apple said on Friday that for years its phones had been exaggerating signal strength by displaying too many bars -- indicating stronger reception than there ever was. The problem, Apple said, is a bug in the software, which it promised to fix soon.
Turning the iPhone Glitch into Gold
When complaints surfaced that the antenna wasn't working properly on the iPhone 4, Apple (AAPL) told users to hold the device differently or put it in a protective case.
Some owners called the response insensitive. Makers of iPhone accessories, on the other hand, welcomed it. "It is good news," says Tim Hickman, founder and chief executive officer of Hard Candy Cases in San Francisco. Apple's suggestion may add allure to an already popular accessory, he says in an interview with Bloomberg News. "The demand is there and Apple has built it."
Apple's Fix for iPhone Woes: Poor Reception Will Be Displayed Accurately
Eight days after CEO Steve Jobs told a customer that it was a "nonissue," Apple Inc. published a letter to iPhone 4 owners on its Web site acknowledging that holding the phone in a certain way can eliminate its data signal.
But the company framed the issue as a matter of how the iPhone 4 displays its signal strength, not whether the device's antenna was poorly designed. Unlike previous models, the new iPhone has a stainless-steel band wrapping around the perimeter, acting as the antenna itself.
Poking holes in Apple's iPhone 4 antenna explanation
Apple now blames reception issues that many new iPhone 4 customers are experiencing on a software miscalculation rather than on hardware design. But will a software update really fix the problems that many customers are reporting?
I'm not sure I am buying Apple's explanation.
Since the iPhone 4 launched last week, thousands of consumers have complained that when gripping the phone around the lower left-hand corner of the device, the signal degrades or calls are dropped. Apple acknowledged the problem, and explained that customers were simply covering up the antenna with their hand. CEO Steve Jobs told consumers the best way to fix the issue is to hold the phone differently. His other piece of advice: Buy a $29 rubber bumper to put around the phone so you don't cover up the antenna.