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Apple Offers Free Cases To Solve iPhone 4 Antenna Problems 917

Posted by Soulskill
from the enemy-at-the-antennagate dept.
Apple just finished their press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna issues that have been widely reported and discussed in the past few weeks. Steve Jobs started by showing that the problem wasn't limited to iPhones, using videos of the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the HTC Droid Eris, and the Samsung Omnia 2 as examples, all of which dropped bars while being gripped in certain ways. He said, "This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren't perfect. It's a challenge for the whole industry. Every phone has weak spots." He went on to say that only 0.55% of all iPhone 4 users have called in to complain about reception problems, and that the return rate on the iPhone 4 so far is less than a third of the return rate for the 3GS. Jobs then said that according to their data, the iPhone 4 drops an average of less than one additional call per hundred than the 3GS. He continued by pointing out that because the 3GS was based on the 3G, there was already a large supply of Bumpers, which most customers left the store with. When the iPhone 4 came out, the old Bumpers didn't fit, so stock was lower and fewer customers used them (80% vs. 20%). Therefore, Apple's solution to the antenna problems is to give a free case to every iPhone 4 purchaser before September 30. Refunds will be offered for those who already purchased one. Since they can't make the Bumpers fast enough, they'll be supplying other cases from third parties. Jobs also acknowledged recently reported problems with the proximity sensor, promising a future software update to fix it. Engadget's liveblog of the conference has a ton of pictures and more direct quotes from Jobs. It's worth looking at if only for pictures of Apple's anechoic testing chambers.
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Apple Offers Free Cases To Solve iPhone 4 Antenna Problems

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  • by aapold (753705) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:44PM (#32928724) Homepage Journal
    The phone shocks you if you hold it the wrong way.
  • FIRST (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:47PM (#32928774)

    I would have been first but my touched my iphone in the wrong place.

  • by embolalia (1561119) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:48PM (#32928798)
    Only 0.55% have called in, because the rest can't get a signal.
  • Only .55%? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Linux_ho (205887) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:50PM (#32928824) Homepage

    He went on to say that only 0.55% of all iPhone 4 users have called in to complain about reception problems

    Yet there's a suspiciously high number of calls on that line where the caller mumbles something incomprehensible and then hangs up.

  • by arcite (661011) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:50PM (#32928826)
    The Apple giveth.

    The Apple taketh away.

    And on the third week of the coming of the iphone 4 Jobs said it was good... And gave to all gifts of bumpers to yoke the strength of the signal bar.

    And it was good.

    So sayeth the wise Jobs.

  • by Kepesk (1093871) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:50PM (#32928830) Homepage
    And just to drive the point home, it shows the old-timey Sad Mac symbol.
  • by UninformedCoward (1738488) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:51PM (#32928848)

    Only 0.55% of iPhone 4 owners have called in about reception issues, he said.

    I wonder why...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:01PM (#32929010)

    Long time Microsoft user here, laughing at your outrage over Apple being "unfairly" attacked.

    You guys are #1 now, DEAL WITH IT.

  • Re:FIRST (Score:3, Funny)

    by cobaltnova (1188515) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:03PM (#32929042)

    but my touched my iphone

    Apparently your touch screen made it a little difficult to type as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:04PM (#32929054)

    Steve Jobs: "We've been trying to understand this so when we solve it, we really solve it, not slap a band-aid on it."
    Steve Jobs: "Here's a free bumper to fix the antenna issue"

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:05PM (#32929084) Homepage

    What about the months of testing they did on the unit before they um, I dont know, RELEASED it?

    What months of testing?

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:09PM (#32929126)

    ...it's not a problem, the problem is unavoidable, everybody else has this problem too, and we're going to fix it.

  • by ringmaster1982 (1817772) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:12PM (#32929198)
    ... using a phone condom is against the rules. Jobs is a bigot!!
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by painandgreed (692585) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:18PM (#32929294)

    Did Slashdot really just post some news within an hour of it actually happening? I think I may have clicked the wrong bookmark.

    It's an Apple story. Apple media events get priority posting because with their walled garden approach, once its done, that's all there is to it but it's presented in a very professional manner. With Linux stories, everybody wants to review the text of the story first and perhaps rewrite it. With Microsoft stories, everybody is waiting for the first service pack before posting.

  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:22PM (#32929354) Journal

    He went on to say that only 0.55% of all iPhone 4 users have called in to complain about reception problems

    I'm guessing the other 99.45% couldn't get a signal.

  • by gnuguru2k (910038) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:24PM (#32929368)
    what months of testing? the engineers were too busy boozing it up at the bars to have time to test the product.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:24PM (#32929374)

    We've been here too long tryin' to get along
    Pretendin' that you're oh, so shy
    I'm a natural ma'am doin' all I can
    My temperature is runnin' high

    Cry at night no one in sight
    An' we got so much to share
    Talking's fine if you got the time
    But I ain't got the time to spare, yeah

    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch me there, where?

    Steve comes in: No, not there !!

    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch me there, where, there, yeah?
    Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah
    Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

    Every girl an' boy needs a little joy
    All you do is sit an' stare
    Beggin' on my knees baby, won't you please?
    Run your fingers through my hair

    My, my, my whiskey and rye
    Don't it make you feel so fine
    Right or wrong don't it turn you on
    Can't you see we're wastin' time, yeah?

    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch me there, where?

    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch me there, where, there, yeah?
    Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah
    Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch me there?
    Do you wanna touch?
    (Yeah)
    Do you wanna touch me there, there, yeah?

    My, my, my do you wanna touch me there?
    Touch you, touch me touch, everybody
    You touch me, you know where, there
    Oh yeah, oh, yeah

    Steve comes in: No, not there !!

  • by masmullin (1479239) <masmullin@gmail.com> on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:35PM (#32929588)
    "0.55% of all iPhone 4 users have called in to complain about reception problems" Maybe that's because THEY CANT call!
  • by aapold (753705) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:37PM (#32929652) Homepage Journal
    Lets see how that metaphor works out. Steve Jobs is talking with Gates about how much one particular customer loves him, defends him on message boards to no end etc...... Gates suggests this fanboy only likes Steve and Apple because they love the phones, if that changes then they will curse him. So to prove Gates wrong, Gates takes away his reception and signal strength, but this fanboy still refuses to curse or reproach apple. Gates asks if he can have a go at making his life miserable, and Steve says go ahead so long as you don't kill him, and then all manner of problems beset him, poor face detection, at&t bundling, etc, making his life miserable. His wife and his friends all encourage him to curse Apple, but he refuses to do so.

    Steve finally has heard enough and speaks, giving a speech saying that he is not answerable to questions like other men, that he has experiences which ordinary mortals have not, and basically establishes that Steve has the right to do whatever he will with his creation, beyond reproach, and no one can question him. He then blesses the loyal apple fanboy, gives him free upgrades and a 140-year contract, and condemns his friends to windows mobile hell (althought he fanboy writes emails to Steve asking him to forgive his friends).

    Hrm. not sure I shoudl have used an apple in a biblical parallel...
  • by Peach Rings (1782482) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:43PM (#32929740) Homepage

    What issue? This iphone only drops 1% more calls than the last. That's practically progress.

  • by theguyfromsaturn (802938) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:45PM (#32929776)

    Give Apple a break. Of course they couldn't test the iPhone 4 prior to releasing it, on account that one of their employees lost the prototype which was later found by Gizmodo. How were they supposed to test it without the single prototype they had?

  • by Malnar (1810062) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:02PM (#32930060)

    Are you sure it can detect sarcasm while being held thus?

  • Good Case? (Score:2, Funny)

    by skeptical_monster (1436977) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:02PM (#32930064)
    I'm not sure Steve made a good enough case for this.

    Thank you, I'll be here all week....
  • by Americano (920576) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:03PM (#32930096)

    I see.

    So your completely scientific safe-to-assume's, more-likely's, and other speculative commentary are a more authoritative way to judge the scope of this problem than Apple & ATT's real-world usage data.

    Thanks for clearing that up for us.

  • by dhavleak (912889) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:06PM (#32930148)
    What if someone needs to call 911 and only have their left hand available to hold the phone?
  • by freakmn (712872) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:08PM (#32930176) Journal
    That's why I'm glad I have a Kin!
  • by blair1q (305137) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:09PM (#32930194) Journal

    I don't get it.

    How will a piece of hardware solve a software problem?

    It is a software problem. Steve Jobs said it was. It was all about how the bars were being reported. Yes it was. Yes it was. You can look it up on the internet.

    Look, I'm done arguing with you if you're not going to listen.

  • by hilather (1079603) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:15PM (#32930310)
    Now my iPhone doesn't look as cool and stylish as it use to.
  • by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:21PM (#32930414) Journal

    It's Obama's fault that this mistake caused by corporate greed and cost cutting wasn't fixed weeks ago.

  • by rclandrum (870572) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:30PM (#32930586) Homepage

    [Jobs comes out on stage, walks to the front, and immediately falls to his knees, hands held clasped in front of him]

    SJ[with tears streaming down his face]: Oh Heavenly Pundits, we do beseech thee in this our hour of need. Deliver us from the taint of Bad Publicity that has afflicted us and bring us once more into the light of your divine Good Graces and Four-star Reviews. [bows head in abject shame]

    Droid-lovers: Stone Him!

    SJ: I humbly beg thy indulgence that I might offer unto thee a most inadequate but heartfelt explanation of The Antenna Curse of Doom.

    DLs: You but delay the inevitable, sinner. But we grant thee leave to offer your confession.

    SJ: Tis' true, Oh Pundits, that mine device doth exhibit the ACOD, and for this I most humbly apologize to any who have been afflicted.

    DLs: All are afflicted when in your vile presence, devil. But continue. We are amused.

    SJ: We wouldst offer up the results of our Most Extensive Testing that shows all other devices of like manufacture doth exhibit the same ACOD when fondled in proper fashion.

    DLs: Have a care blasphemer, that our patience not run too thin. Dost thou accuse OUR devices of such abominations? [many sidelong glances amidst hefting of stones for proper weight]

    SJ: Twas likely an error in the data, your Droidness. Speaking for our abjectly substandard device alone, we most humbly offer a Worthless Placating Solution.

    DLs: And what might this worthless solution consist of, worm?

    SJ: We propose to wall up the Antenna Curse of Doom behind a Permeable Barrier of Cheap Plastic, oh sage one.

    DLs: Well, we would much prefer that you be stoned and simply go away, that we might rule the earth in peace, as the great God Google intended.

    SJ: Again, we would beseech thy awesomeness to allow us to distribute our PBCP solution, that we might Dodge The Issue and continue to develop devices that you can cop...er...make fun of.

    DLs: Very well. You shall be allowed to Mask The Problem by giving away free crap.

    SJ: Oh thank you, thank you!

    DLs: Drool not on our cloak, worm. Begone. Next time we bring the rocks.

    SJ: [slinks away]

    [end conference]

  • by Cyberllama (113628) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:31PM (#32930606)

    Yeah. Same boat here. I bought a bumper to fix it, but had to wait like 2 weeks to get it. During those weeks, holding the phone in pretty much any natural-feeling manner would result in signal loss. Maybe its a left-handed issue for people with small hands, but even with my right hand the only way I could avoid the issue was to extend my pinky finger as if I was the Queen of England enjoying a sip of tea.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:22PM (#32931478)

    So the solution they have come up with is to spend 22 days "working their butts of" looking for ways to make some other smartphones display a similar kind of behaviour in order to be able to change the sentence "the Iphone 4 has a problem" into the sentence "Smartphones have a problem".
    Well, good that's all solved then.

  • by DrackenFireBreather (691905) on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:32PM (#32931656)
    To the tune of "Home on the Range"

    Oh give me a phone
    that I can say that I own,
    but the manufacturers say 'no way'.

    Where I download an app,
    but they say that it's crap,
    and take it off without me saying 'ok'.

    Oh! Oh! The shame!
    Where the iPhone is pwning me all day!

    Where seldom is heard
    because the antenna is a turd
    and drops my calls when I "hold it that way"!
  • by notknown86 (1190215) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @02:17AM (#32935276)
    Yeah, that, and also, maybe the idea to hold a "Come to work dressed as Michael Jackson" week at the Apple testing facility was poorly timed.
  • by shaitand (626655) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @09:04AM (#32936330) Journal

    Puritan, there's nothing wrong with a little exposed cell flesh. It's perfectly natural.

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