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iPhone 4 Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup 479

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
Readers today have been sending tons of stories about the iPhone 4, so here are a few of the highlights: Following the Consumers Reports announcement that the iPhone has antenna problems, Andy Patrizio asks if Apple can withstand the pressure to recall, while CNet estimates that a recall would cost them $1.5B. But that's just the latest on the iPhone 4 — the long running carrier exclusivity lawsuit rumors have been upgraded to Class Action status.
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iPhone 4 Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

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  • by SquarePixel (1851068) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:08AM (#32899824)

    CNet estimates that a A recall would cost them $1.5B

    It's not only that cost. In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%, costing Apple and their shareholders millions of dollars and creating huge image problems.

    It also look like Apple's PR team completely messed up, from the "learn a new way to hold a phone" to removing of any critical comments from their support forums. Considering PR and marketing is one of Apple's strongest areas and which pushes everything they do forward, they did some incredibly stupid decisions.

    Now that they are basically ignoring the problem, any more time they take doing nothing will cost them even more.

    • by dintech (998802) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:12AM (#32899898)

      iPhone 4 Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

      I'm more interested in why CmdrTaco sounds like the narrator from Wacky Races.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by GameboyRMH (1153867)

        Hey, it was funny, a big improvement on his previous attempt at comedy. Do you remember "ACTA is backta?" x_x

    • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:13AM (#32899920) Homepage Journal

      "learn a new way to hold a phone" means don't hold the phone how we hold it in every commercial/ad for the iPhone 4, where they touch the bottom left. - Steve

    • by seanadams.com (463190) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:20AM (#32900050) Homepage
      That puts the share price at a mere 177% of its value 1 year ago. Their investors must be pissed!
      • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:28AM (#32900214) Journal

        You realize that's 5% JUST from the buzz around Apple, and doesn't even include the cost and repercussions after they preform a recall?

        Yes, their stock price is still healthy.

        Yes, after it's all said and done, they'll probably still be above what they were a year ago.

        But these sort of things have far reaching consequences. Do you realize how many people buy Apple products because they "simply work"? This one unreliable product has planted the seed of doubt.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dangitman (862676)

          and doesn't even include the cost and repercussions after they preform a recall?

          What the hell makes you think a recall is going to happen?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Well it would be the SMART thing to do.

            If they don't - I expect the stock price to keep dropping slowly but surely.

        • by CompMD (522020) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:16PM (#32904172)

          They haven't had *one* unreliable product, Apple has had plenty. Look at the last decade of laptops they've made, they have been plagued with problems. The most notable is the dual USB iBook video chip flaw. This was a design and engineering flaw that Apple at least dealt with (by extending warranties and replacing logic boards) but they NEVER did ANYTHING to actually FIX the problem. There was no recall. They replaced defective boards with new defective boards that had yet to demonstrate the defect, fully knowing that it was only a matter of time before that board also failed, conveniently after the extended warranty period ended. How they got away with a stunt like that is beyond comprehension.

          On the record, I own one of the afflicted laptops, and fixing the problem correctly is a non trivial task, since not many people have access to or knowledge of how to use SMT rework equipment.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:22AM (#32900084) Journal

      It's not only that cost. In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5% ...

      We must have a different definition of huge when applying that adjective to percentages. Let's see it's 10:15 EST on Wednesday morning. Stock is currently at 252.11 [google.com]. Three stock market days ago would have been Friday morning at 10:15 EST and the price was 257.04. Okay so that comes out to be 4.93/257.04 = 1.9%. If you meant to say it's down a "huge five dollars" then maybe. Yes, they opened and plummeted down to $247 on Tuesday so if you compare that to their seven day high of $261 you get five percent. I don't think that's anything to be concerned over. A five percent fluctuation really isn't that big of a deal. If you look at Microsoft from Friday morning at 10 AM to now they've jumped five percent ... it's just the stock market game. I can find arbitrary percentage numbers bigger than this in many technology stocks all day long.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The other thing, is if you've been watching AAPL for any amount of time, they go up and down multiple dollars per day, but the overall trend is up, up, up.

        This week might be a down week of 5%. Next week might be an up week of 8%. I think the smart investor is staying right where he's at, looking at the 6+ month trend line.

    • by nedlohs (1335013) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:23AM (#32900112)

      How does the share price going down cost Apple anything?

      Sure it costs the shareholders something, but why Apple itself?

      Are they borrowing so much money that a 5% drop in their share price has upped the interest rate they pay? Are they doing a share issue to generate cash?

      Wouldn't it reduce the cost of any stock/stock option components of remuneration packages, and hence save Apple money?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by bmacs27 (1314285)
        LOL, borrowing money? They have 20+ billion in cash. No, they'll shake off all this trolling, wait for the trolls to be tired, then remind investors that they haven't even reported a quarter's earnings that included iPad sales.
    • by sznupi (719324)

      Hey, what do you expect from, basically, 'iPhone Death' [wikipedia.org]? ;p (at least as far as part of important markets is concerned; but it seems you might Apple marketing to little credit / they knew what they were doing in naming it so? ;) )

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by andy1307 (656570)

      Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%

      That could be selling by investors who bought the stock in anticipation of the iPhone 4 launch. The "Buy the rumor, sell on the news" effect.

    • by Haffner (1349071) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:32AM (#32900288)

      In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%

      Citation needed. Average price end of last week: 257. Average price today/yesterday: 251. 5% of 250 = 12.5. The local max (Thursday, 262) and the local min (Tuesday, 247) come out to 6%. And the max to the min means nothing, especially when they are as brief as they have been with AAPL.

      Not to say Apple's stock has not dropped, but it has not gone down a huge 5%. Source: google.com/finance

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Considering PR and marketing is one of Apple's strongest areas and which pushes everything they do forward, they did some incredibly stupid decisions

      Marketing is Apple's strongest area, but PR has never been been their forté.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:43AM (#32900478) Homepage

      Previously I made this remark on the subject:

      http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1716900&cid=32881054 [slashdot.org]

      It would seem my guesses, assumptions and observations are bearing out. Apple has extended itself too far beyond its fan base and has gone into the jungle of varied user types with varied expectations, varied tolerances, varied temperments and varied mentalities.

      Apple once worked within its cult. Growing outside of that is proving difficult. Trying to push that cult into the hearts and minds of new users is also proving difficult.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Americano (920576)

        Or... you could just be making vast generalizations with absolutely no data to support them other than a 5% "jitter" in their stock price that can most likely be attributed to general intra- and inter-day trading noise on the market.

        There's always that option, too.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%, costing Apple and their shareholders millions of dollars and creating huge image problems.

      Your horse is behind your cart. It's the image problems causing the stock price drop, not the other way around.

      Now that they are basically ignoring the problem, any more time they take doing nothing will cost them even more.

      Considering how badly their PR team has been screwing this up, maybe nothing is the thing they should do (besides fix the damned design and replace t

    • CNet estimates that a A recall would cost them $1.5B

      It would cost them a LOT more than that. If the letter A were recalled, they'd be Pple Corportion.

      And they'd sell iPds instead of iPads. Their stock symbol would have to change from AAPL to PL - but that's taken, and so is PPL. PPLE is available, but pple.com is owned by a squatter.

      And it's not just Apple. If the letter A were recalled:

      1. Canada becomes Cnd.
      2. The planet Mrs? I though women were from Venus!
      3. Caucasian sounds kind of dirty when you're a kid - but nowhere near as bad as Cucsin.
      4. Barack Obama becoms Brck Obm
      5. Barbara becomes Brbr (sounds more like an abbreviation for bathroom break).
      6. The United States of America becomes United Sttes of Meric.
      7. email becoms emil - sounds french
      8. spam is no longer spam
      9. who wants to ride in an uto, a trin, or a plne - but a bot sounds fun
      10. when you die, you're ded, and they hold a wke to celebrte.
      11. neither utumn nor fll sound like a season
      12. Does Pril sound like a month? How about My? Ugust sounds windy instead of hot.

      About the only good thing about recalling the letter a is that vaginas stay vgins - no matter how many times they're poked! Hmmm, on second thought, maybe it's worth 1.5 billion.

  • by DWMorse (1816016) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:11AM (#32899880) Homepage

    How you like them Apples?

    I already returned my iPhone 4, barely got it out of the box before return shipping. Droid X looks like it'll be replacing my half-functional iPhone 3G tomorrow.

    • smart move (Score:5, Interesting)

      by p51d007 (656414) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:27AM (#32900196)
      The reason I have passed on ALL of the iPhones so far is I don't buy into the hype, not to mention a LOCKED OS. Hey, if you just pick up a phone to use it, then perhaps the iPhone is for you, but, if you are a "tinker" type, I don't see how the iPhone would be good. Even given all of the faults with WinMobile, at least you can hack it til the cows come home. The way I look at it is it is MY phone, and I'll screw around with it how I want to. I don't like "locked" phones. My current phone, HTC Rhodium (Tilt2) never even had the stock OS fired up. I told the guy at the at&t store that I would set it up later (since I already had a Touch Pro). Took it home, unlocked it, wiped out the stock OS and put one from XDA-Developers on it and tweaked it exactly how I wanted. Job's & Company have a MAJOR public relations nightmare on their hands, and a golden opportunity for some of their competitors to run ads that exploit this problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pak9rabid (1011935)

        Took it home, unlocked it...

        And how is this any different than having to jailbreak an iPhone to do whatever you want with it?

        I love how the Fandroids out there always praise how "free" and "non-locked down" their phones are, but in actuality you still have to jailbreak it (aka root it) in order to actually do what you want with it. So, I ask again...how is this any different from an iPhone?

    • by mdm-adph (1030332)

      If you're fond of hacking, though, stay away from the Droid X -- the signed bootloader on it will make loading any other ROM than what Motorola provides nearly impossible (the GSM milestone has been out for more than half a year and it's _still_ not cracked yet).

      However, if you're not fond of hacking your phone, the Droid X will probably make you happy as hell.

    • I believe they don't like them apples much indeed, but I also believe they have something like forty billion dollars in their "rainy day" fund. Apple has made some pretty dumb moves this past year, but as a business, they run a pretty good ship (no debt). Their policies are another thing.
  • Recall? No way! (Score:4, Informative)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:14AM (#32899930)

    Jobs is too arrogant to allow a recall...they'll find a way to blame customers for this eventually, or weasel out of doing a full recall.

  • Signals (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:15AM (#32899952) Journal
    So what we're saying is that the new iPhone is getting a bad reception??? :)
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

    by w00tsauce (1482311) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:16AM (#32899966)
    With all the Apple publicity they probably made an extra $1.5 billion. It's not like the iphone is gods gift, anyone ever been to europe/asia? They had phones like this five years ago.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851)
      They've had phones with bad performance which you could only install vendor approved apps on for ages? I must've been misinformed about the technical superiority of them in the mobile phone arena.
    • Can you name a few? This isn't a troll but rather a real question. I'm interested in seeing who else has what in the way of phones. While recent progress in the American market makes me hopeful, I can't help but feel that there is so much more that could be done.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

      by NatasRevol (731260) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:35AM (#32900340) Journal

      Yep, there's nothing new for Asia.

      Oh, wait. Whoops! [businessweek.com]
      And that was for the previous version of the iPhone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by progr (861248)
      I live in Europe and 5 years ago I didn't see a phone nearly comparable to an iPhone 4.
  • by nweaver (113078) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:22AM (#32900074) Homepage

    The problem is the antennas being shorted by a slightly conductive (sweaty) finger bridging one or more of the three breaks.

    Apple doesn't need a recall to fix the problem: future phones can have a coating, and a free bumper ($10 cost to Apple) to existing customers solves all the problems.

    At 2M iPhones, the "recall fix" would be a whopping $20M.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bmacs27 (1314285)
      Better yet, mail everyone a complimentary roll of scotch tape. They wouldn't even need to use the whole thing!
    • by ftobin (48814) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:02AM (#32900868) Homepage

      Having a bumper would be a wart. Apple clearly has style in the forefront of their minds when they design a mobile device; it is part of their brand image. Anything interrupting the sleekness of the product would tarnish perception of the company. It would be a constant physical reminder of a flaw.

      I think it is most likely in Apple's best interest to get new phones out to people with a redesigned antenna solution.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lifyre (960576)

        Except their response has been don't hold the phone that way or buy a bumper... They should at least provide the parts to make a working product instead of telling their customers who already bought an overly expensive phone to shell out another $30.

        If they had stepped up immediately and said hey there is a small issue here is a free bumper case to fix it there would be almost no uproar over this. They've done nothing but add fuel to the fire by their reaction telling their customers to pound salt and then

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jellomizer (103300)

          If they had stepped up immediately and said hey there is a small issue here is a free bumper case to fix it there would be almost no uproar over this. They've done nothing but add fuel to the fire by their reaction telling their customers to pound salt and then censoring their forums (not that it isn't uncommon for them).

          You think so.... I doubt that... Apple is now the largest Technology company in the world... They have lost their poor struggling Spple lets help them fight against the Big Old, Mean Old Mi

  • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:22AM (#32900076)
    Look, I love Apple products. I own / have owned a MacBook Pro, 2 iMacs, an iPod 2G, an iPhone 3GS, an iPad, an Airport Express, and an iPod shuffle. I get it.

    But, seriously Apple, you did a recall with the MacBook battery issue. You replaced batteries and even though it cost you some money your karma was helped by it. Do the same with the iPhone 4... offer owners a case which you test to make sure fixes the problem. It will probably cost you $20 per for these including shipping and processing assuming you can get the cases for $4 or so. But you will instantly shut up the majority of people who are complaining VERY loudly about the problem AND you will have "done the right thing".

    NO company is capable of 100% preventing mistakes, but it's how you act as a company that determines how you're perceived. You can be cool and hip all you want but if customers are afraid to purchase your products because you've stuck to your guns and forced lawsuits to happen you lose in the long run.
    • by dzfoo (772245)

      Just buy a bumper or return it for a full refund. It's not a big deal.

                -Steve

      --
      Sent from my iPhone

    • by pauljlucas (529435) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:04AM (#32900904) Homepage Journal

      But, seriously Apple, you did a recall with the MacBook battery issue. You replaced batteries and even though it cost you some money your karma was helped by it.

      Bad batteries are completely different from bad cellphone reception. The former can cause a fire, damage to the laptop, damage to the home if the fire spreads, and possibly death. Not doing a recall on batteries would probably land them in serious trouble with the government, especially if there were fatalities. The same can't be said for mere bad cellphone reception.

      Additionally, at the time the MacBook batteries were recalled, there were plenty of other batteries from other vendors having problems, hence Apple didn't stand out. In contrast, the iPhone 4 problems are obviously Apple's alone.

      • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:11PM (#32903160)

        >Bad batteries are completely different from bad cellphone reception. The former can cause a fire, damage to the laptop, damage to the home if the fire spreads, and possibly death.

        I'd say the bigger difference is that the battery vendor paid for most of the recall. I'm sure that's in the contract. This design issue with the antenna is all Apple's fault and would involve admitting a mistake on their part, not an outside vendor, and they would have to absorb 100% of the cost.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by donny77 (891484)
      Here's the rub. Apple has a history of doing the right thing. They just replaced the nVidia card in my MacBook Bro after 3 years due to a defect, free of charge with no extended warranty. The problem is, it's been 3 weeks. I know everyone here on the Internet is an expert. We all have intimate knowledge of every R&D test Apple performed before deciding on the antenna configuration. We all know it is a hardware defect that can only be fixed by a complete redesign...

      Or maybe, we don't know. Maybe Apple ha
    • But, seriously Apple, you did a recall with the MacBook battery issue. You replaced batteries and even though it cost you some money your karma was helped by it.

      Karma nothing. Recalls of dangerous products are mandated by US law. Even "voluntary" recalls aren't; the company either does them voluntarily when the company or CPSC finds a defect, or it risks being sued and paying a penalty in addition to doing a recall.

      For that matter, selling a defective product that is not a safety hazard does not trigger a "recall." Unless these iPhones are strangling small children, catching fire, or are poisonous if touched, there's no recall potential here.

  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:24AM (#32900124) Journal
    I'm very disappointed in the way they've handled this. The least they could do is issue certificates for free bumpers IMMEDIATELY for any iPhone 4 owners who want one, in addition to waiving the restocking fee (which they already did). That would have done a lot to shore up customer loyalty and keep their image good.
  • The thing is... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjonke (457707) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:28AM (#32900206) Journal

    ... that my iPhone 4 is outperforming my 3GS, in terms of 3G connection quality and reliability, sometimes to pretty miraculous degree, such as at the train station I wait at every work day, where my 3GS's signal would jump up and down and go away and come back and even when it was showing 5 bars the performance was horrendous. With the iPhone 4 I can in fact reproduce the signal drop when held in my left hand, going pretty dramatically from 4 bars to only 1, but even at 1 bar the performance is outstanding and for the first time ever I've got a 100% reliable and fast connection here. I can stream audio and browse the web and it's fast, even at 1 bar. At 4 bars if not left handed.

    So I'm not downplaying the drop in signal strength issue, as that is there when you hold it left handed (and I do usually), but that in practice it performs better, even a lot better, then my iPhone 3GS. So is the antenna flawed or not? I would say that it is flawed, but only from a PR standpoint. It's a public relations disaster, brought only by people who don't have an iPhone 4 and who seem to have a vendetta against Apple for not making a phone that they want, and due to magazines like Consumers Reports, who aren't seeing the forest for the trees. They are focusing solely on that there is a drop, and ignoring how it performs in practice. You need to just use the phone and see how it works for you, and most, I suspect, once they stop staring at the signal strength gauge, are going to find that it does better then their previous phone, even by a wide margin. The iPhone 4 is a great phone. Yes, you should put a case on it, as that will reduce the signal drop issue, but that issue is not nearly as big of an issue as it is being made out to be. It's not a non-issue, it just not the main thing you should be concerned about. You should be concerned about how it performs in practice, and the iPhone 4 excels there.

    • Re:The thing is... (Score:4, Informative)

      by nwoolls (520606) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:28AM (#32901332) Homepage

      This is what almost every in-depth article on the situation is finding. Yes there is a "design flaw", but given the overall improvements in the iPhone 4, it is still performing (for most people) better than the 3G or 3GS. Think of it as two steps forward and one step back. To people upgrading from the 3G and 3GS, they still get a great phone with improvements across the board. This only really matters to those who want to demonstrate an issue.

      Basically, haters gotta be hatin.

  • by BodeNGE (1664379) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:39AM (#32900410)
    Design: Only an ignorant fool would put an external, metal antenna on a phone. Not only does nobody do this, nobody has ever done this in the history of mobile phones. Even the whip antennas of the 80's were coated in plastic for the very reason that a direct connection changes the electrical length of the antenna (and hence the frequencies that it can transmit and receive. When you are part of the antenna you radiate too.
    Cannot admit: iPhone4 irradiates you when you hold it wrong. It may appear that the iPhone4 gives you cancer.

    Manufacturing: There may be a manufacturing component to it as well. We know they were rushed out the door without even time for the touchscreen bonding glue to dry. Clearly the Foxconn QA was not followed. If an engineer leaves a thumbprint on an internal antenna it detunes it. Imagine what a rushed assembly with leaky glue would do to the tuning characteristics.
    Cannot admit: Apply don't pay their manufacturers enough and circumvent their own QA guidelines to rush product to market. They may appear like greedy bastards.

    AT&T: The drop problem is also in a small, small part down to AT&T's 3G network topology. Nowhere near as bad as the old iPhone problem of congesting the signalling channels, this is simply due to the fact that 3G signals are way more sensitive to received signal strength. When you hold it the wrong way not only does the handset not heat the base station well (showing fewer bars on the phone) but it is the network that cannot hear the iPhone that causes the call drops as your entire hand and arm are radiating instead of the antenna. When you broadly detune the antenna with your hand the lower powered 3G signal is simply too feint and distorted to be heard by the base station. It does explain why the locations where the issues appear are random and seemingly not related in all cases to the downlink signal strength shown on the handset. RF signals are like that.
    Cannot admit: The issue clearly isn't all to do with AT&T and they blamed them the last time with the 3GS.

  • I assume admins are active in an annual affirmation of amazing alliteration as apparent amid abnormal (also atypical) alphabetical arrangements!

    First, fed-findings-fault-fat-feet
    Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

    What's next? "Open Office dot Org offers Oracle, Overstock, Opera, Oprah, opplications for the oPhone?"
  • What's the best actual fix for existing & new phones? Assuming there is a real problem with the antenna, but only when shorted with hand in "right position".

    Idea #1: A new antenna design using coatings or some factory installed bumper/widget/plastic spacer installed with a modified antenna? This assumes a "4.1" phone design which would be sold instead of the current design.

    Presumably this could be retrofitted onto existing inventories of iPhones and these could be swapped for existing iPhones in the

  • by InvisiBill (706958) <slashdot@inMONET ... et minus painter> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:59AM (#32900796) Homepage
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review/2 [anandtech.com]

    Anand found that gripping the iPhone 4 a certain way could indeed cause up to 24dB of signal drop. This was worst-case, with a sweaty deathgrip. Touching more lightly or with less moisture had less of an effect. Gripping other smartphones near their antennas also caused a drop in signal.

    The non-linear signal representation of the "bars" can also lead to some confusion related to this. The valid range is between -113dB (no signal) and -51dB (full signal). However, 5 bars represents the range of -51 to -91. 4 bars is -91 to -101. 3 bars is -101 to -103. 2 bars is -103 to -107. 1 bar is -107 to -113. If you have a full strength 5 bar connection, that 24dB drop won't even move you out of the 5th bar. If you've just barely got 5 bars, the same 24dB drop can put you down to 1 or 0 bars.

    Anand's testing also confirmed what sjonke said in the comment above. Even when it was showing the same signal strength, the iPhone 4 was better at not dropping calls compared to the 3GS. The page shows a screenshot of a 625/31 run on Speedtest.net during a call with only -113dB.

  • by fredmosby (545378) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:06AM (#32900948)
    Defense Lawyer: "Can it be used to make phone calls?"
    Expert Witness: "Well...yeah, but it's reception isn't as good as it could be."
    Defense Lawyer: "Is the reception worse than most other phones on the market?"
    Expert Witness: "Well no, but..."
    Judge: "Next case please."

    I'm not surprised that that the iPhone 4 isn't absolutely perfect in every way. No product is. This is a pretty minor issue that has been blown out of proportion. If I were in charge of Apple I would just give out those 'bumpers' for free and hope this all blows over.
    • Are you kidding me? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by donutello (88309)

      Defense Lawyer: "Is the reception worse than most other phones on the market?"
      Expert Witness: "Well no, but..."

      My wife and I upgraded our phones from Razr's (also with AT&T) to iPhone4's on launch day. AT&T's network is not nearly as bad as the iPhone makes it. I can't make or receive phone calls in my office any more. We get calls dropped all the time. We've had occasions when one phone shows 4 bars and can make and receive calls and data while the other one just shows "Searching...". The only solu

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:23AM (#32901258)
    I have to support hundreds of iMacs and MacBooks at work, and I've had to call in tons of warranty repairs the last couple years (easily 10x than from our pool of HP and Dell machines). I thought maybe apple was ditching quality on the macs in favor of the iPhone, iPod, because of iTunes $$$, but it seems they're just neglecting quality across the board. It doesn't "just work" anymore; it just looks pretty (until the style looks outdated).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Americano (920576)

      I've had to call in tons of warranty repairs the last couple years (easily 10x than from our pool of HP and Dell machines

      How many Apple systems versus how many Dell/HP, and how many repairs for each? "easily 10x" isn't such a bad number if "hundreds of imacs and macbooks" are in one pool, and "10 dell/hp" systems are in the other.

      And Apple doesn't manufacture most of the components going into the imacs and macbooks - they source their components from the same vendors that HP & Dell do. I've had a hard

  • by splatter (39844) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:38AM (#32901488)

    I have a 3gs from beginning of this year so I'm not eligible, but my wife is and has been waiting for a few months for the 4g to come out.

    It now looks like she is going to either wait for apple to issue a fix or go with an android phone. If anything I know she is not alone and I'd guess she probably represents 2 or 3% of potential customers that are now not going to buy this device.

  • by roachdabug (1198259) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:21PM (#32904242)

    I have an engineering background and while I have by no means conducted a scientific study, I can tell you with utmost certainty that the iPhone4 does hardly has a signal reception problem.

    It has a signal TRANSMISSION problem.

    I've done quite a lot of mucking around with speed test apps on the device and I have observed that while touching the left gap between antennas does cause a marginal decrease in download speed, the signal is by no means blocked. To me, it appears the device can still hear the signal from the tower pretty well even with a human hand to detune the antenna.

    Upload speeds, on the other hand, are severely crippled or blocked altogether. It appears that touching the gap has an extremely negative impact on the device's ability to emit a signal strong enough for the tower to hear. This theory is supported by call tests I conducted in which the other party was unable to hear me whenever the gap was touched, even though I could hear their voice just fine.

    Quite by accident, I also happened to set my phone down next to a set of computer speakers which were very sensitive to cell phone radio interference, resulting in the typical "GSM Buzz" which most of you of you have surely experienced. What I discovered was that a single fingertip over the gap would almost completely eliminate the speaker buzz due to the interference. Touching anywhere else on the device had no discernible effect. Once again, it would appear that touching the gap severely hinders outgoing transmissions from the device, even over extremely short distances.

    As I said, these observations are about as un-scientific as it gets, so feel free to draw your own conclusions. But as far as I can tell, touching the gap is enough to stop your phone's outgoing signal from ever reaching the tower, and a tower which thinks your phone is no longer there isn't going to maintain your call for very long.

  • by Panaflex (13191) <convivialdingo@ y a h oo.com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @06:07PM (#32907288)

    I've had an iPhone 4 for a few weeks now, and largely it works 99% as promised. IMHO there are bigger bugs than the "don't touch here" antenna problem!

    1. Overheating shutdown... (I think). If the phone is in my pocket, sometimes I take it out and it's off... I'm guessing it is overheating (hot down here in Texas...)
    2. GSM unit crashes... I sometimes venture out into the boonies and sometimes the gsm system just stops working with spotty coverage in hilly areas. When I return to a city with a strong signal, the unit never comes back up and signal strength stays at 0-1 bars.
    3. Occasional app crashes... sometimes an app just crashes, usually one of the older apps like facebook, rope n'fly and a couple of other games. It's actually really rare, and I don't seem to loose anything, so it's minor at this point. These apps were rock solid on my 3gs phone, so that's why I mention it.

    Overall I'm pretty happy the experience though... it's a lot faster. The voice quality is much better. The screen is fantastic. If #1 and #2 can be fixed then it would be fantastic, otherwise I'll return it and wait for iPhone 4.1...

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