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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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  • 'Bout time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by misophist (465263) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:44PM (#32928708)

    They should have just owned up to the problem and offered this fix from the beginning of this mess!

    • Re:'Bout time (Score:4, Insightful)

      by agent_blue (413772) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:48PM (#32928804)

      This thing's only been out for a month!! at least give them some time to do their own testing, which they did!

      • Re:'Bout time (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SquarePixel (1851068) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:50PM (#32928822)

        Well, Steve Jobs conclusion was this:

        So we've worked the last 22 days on this trying to solve the problem. And we think we've gotten to the heart of the problem.

        So the heart of the problem is, smartphones have issues

        Epic.

        • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:20PM (#32929322)

          Furthermore, Apple does not admit the antenna is defective and does not intend to fix it.

          • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

            by icebike (68054) on Friday July 16, 2010 @07:02PM (#32933446)

            Hi Dan...

            Furthermore, Apple does not admit the antenna is defective and does not intend to fix it.

            Its not defective if you cover it with plastic like everybody else in the handset industry. ;-)

            And thats exactly the "Solution" Apple has adopted with the bumpers. Bandaid over a Bad design.

            But shouldn't phones get better with each release?

            These external segmented antennas cause one ADDITIONAL call drop in every 100 calls vs the 3Gs iphone.

            Apple is saying See: Only One ADDITIONAL drop per Hundred!

            I'm saying: You STILL measure call drops over a Hundred calls?

            Bad enough they admit their newer phone is worse than their old phone, but then to admit they are still seeing multiple call drops in 100 calls.

            My Nexus One has a full call log and not one call drop. It was a replacement for a iPhone 3G which dropped a few calls per month. Same carrier, Same area. Zero drops since I left Apple.

          • by Milo77 (534025) on Friday July 16, 2010 @10:07PM (#32934500)
            When he gave his theory why the iPhone4 drops more calls than the 3GS he says its because people already had bumpers. How does a bumper help reception on the 3GS? The 3GS's antenna isn't external, so you can't touch it. Having a bumper or not wouldn't make any difference at all. Lame theory Steve.
        • 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.

          • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jimbomarq (1857698) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:45PM (#32930860)
            Honestly, I had no idea what AppleCare was until Steve Jobs mentioned it. I didn't know I was supposed to call that phone # to complain instead of ATT. I called AppleCare during his press conference to complain because reception IS an issue with my phone.

            Of course, hearing him talk about fixing the proximity sensor made me think that maybe that's my real problem. I don't know if it's AT&T's network that's dropping my calls, or my face. Either way, there are problems.
          • Re:'Bout time (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @05:25PM (#32932418)

            Actually, this reminds me of the early months of the X-Box 360, when Microsoft was claiming that failure rates were well below 2.5%. They claimed there were only so many complaints because it was so successful, and most X-Box 360 owners were happy with it, etc... In fact, the statements were almost identical if you swap the product and company names.

            Now, looking back, we know that the early 360s had a higher than 50% failure rate. The number of complaints and warranty claims were much higher than Microsoft originally admitted. It came out that Microsoft was aware of the flaws that caused it, but shipped anyways to avoid costs/delays. They extended the warranty, and fixed the design problems eventually.

            My predictions for the iphone 4? Within a few years we will learn that this problem is causing a significant problem for at least 10% of iphone4 users. Customer satisfaction with the phone was far lower than Apple is reporting. Apple engineers knew of the reception problems, but they decided to ship anyways. Apple might offer some kind of warranty extension, but between the free bumper and the short lifespan of phones anyways I doubt it.

        • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:18PM (#32931432) Journal

          C'mon guys. As I'm sure you're aware I'm no fan of Apple's short 3-4 year OS turnover, or its locking down of systems, or its overpriced $1000 hardware, or the fact my G4 is now obsolete (can't run anything newer than OS 10.4, or Safari 5, or the latest iTunes).....

          Um, what was my point? Oh yeah.... they are doing the right thing. Did they drag their feet? Yes but so do most corporations. Look at Toyota: They've had engine problems since the 2000 which cost customers $5000 to replace blown-out engines after only 10-30,000 and they didn't finally acknowledge the problem until 2006 (under pressure from the US DOJ).

          Apple solved this problem in just three weeks time, by giving away bumpers to protect the antenna from being shorted by the human hand. Bravo for them.

      • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Taelron (1046946) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:56PM (#32928942)
        What about the months of testing they did on the unit before they um, I dont know, RELEASED it?
        • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

          by david_thornley (598059) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:12PM (#32929188)

          This isn't a problem that will obviously show up under any circumstances.

          If you're in an area of strong signal strength, like the Apple campus, you aren't going to notice it. If you use it in disguise, like the leaked one was, you aren't going to encounter it, since insulating the antenna from the hand solves the problem. If you don't hold it in a certain way, the problem won't happen. Moreover, this sort of thing happens to all phones, to a greater or lesser extent. Hold it in a certain way, and it'll lose signal.

          It's a problem that shows up on the final physical model for certain ways of holding the phone in areas without a strong signal. Assuming Apple did tests under those conditions, a few testers would report a problem. They expected a few testers to report a loss in signal strength, because that always happens. In other words, it was the sort of problem that even a good testing program might miss.

          Then, of course, the final physical model was released to millions of people who lived and worked in areas with considerably different signal strengths and who held the phone in various ways, and the problem became evident.

          Speaking as somebody who has written software with bugs that shipped with intact bugs, I sympathize. Some problems are hard to find by the QA department, and the only way to become aware of them is to ship and let users doing different things in different environments pound on the software.

      • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:26PM (#32929410)

        This thing's only been out for a month!! at least give them some time to do their own testing, which they did!

        But they spent that month testing everyone else's phones. Namely "BlackBerry Bold 9700, the HTC Droid Eris, and the Samsung Omnia 2".

        Apple has handled this poorly every step of the way. And at the end of the saga, they still try to weasel out of trouble with the old line "it wasn't just me, they are doing it too". I used to try that one on my mother when I got in trouble as a young boy. It didn't work for me then, so I don't see that it should work for Apple now.

      • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hercubus (755805) <hercubus&yahoo,com> on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:47PM (#32929808) Homepage

        This thing's only been out for a month!! at least give them some time to do their own testing, which they did!

        They don't need a month for testing. I'm sure engineers replicated the issue fifteen minutes after they first heard about it, then figured out why it didn't show up in pre-launch testing about 15 seconds after that.

        What took a month was meetings, consultations, coordination, marketing spin, legal input and legal review...

        Anyone here not seen that drunken dance of the pointy-haired, parasitic elite at their own place of work?

        Anyone work someplace where engineers are allowed to decide how to rectify high-profile issues? No?

    • Re:'Bout time (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Haffner (1349071) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:51PM (#32928850)
      They did NOT own up to the problem. There was no apology. It was more like, "We haven't done anything wrong, but because we are such a great company, we are going to do you a favor and give you a case" NOT "Sorry, we screwed up, this free case should make it better. Our bad."
      • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shadowrat (1069614) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:02PM (#32929036)
        You make it sounds like they created a product capable of killing people when the accelerometer sticks. It's just a toy for gadget whores.

        Most critics of apple decry the pedestal that the fanbois and Apple put the products on. To me, Apple's sincere apology could only come off as more self agrandizing. Steve Jobs saying, "I'm deeply sorry for our oversight.", comes across as "We know that nobody deserves to be without an iphone and everyone's lives practically depend on them."

        I'm not sure what you want from apple. either return the phone because you don't like it, or rejoice in getting a free Bumpa'

        (i don't want to hear the argument "what if someone needs to call 911 and only have their left hand available to hold the phone")
      • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by die444die (766464) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:05PM (#32929072)
        No, they said some people might have the problem that everyone's been blowing out of proportion. But only .5% (not 5 percent, half a percent) of users have even reported the problem. Most of the people foaming at the mouth about this don't even have iPhones, they just want to see Apple fail. Because these people have been so loud, the perception is that most people are having reception problems, which is simply not true. For most people the reception is better. Because the media has created this perception, Apple is giving everyone free Bumpers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Because the media has created this perception, Apple is giving everyone free Bumpers.

          To be fair, Apple uses the media to create the perception of perfection, shininess, trendiness, and bug-freeness in their products. So I'd take it all as indicating that media whoring cuts both ways.

      • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Informative)

        by akirapill (1137883) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:11PM (#32929184)
        from the WSJ: "[A reporter asks] 'Are you willing to make an apology?' 'You know, most of the customers that have iPhone 4s think it is the coolest thing they ever owned,' says Jobs. To the customers that are having problems 'I apologize to them.'"
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by poetmatt (793785)

        yeah, "we'll provide cases for 2 months" is a bit of a cop-out unless they release a new version by then.

    • Re:'Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:25PM (#32930502)

      Do you hold all phone manufacturers to the same standard?

      Google learned first hand how hard it was to directly support a phone when they introduced the Nexus One. The Nexus One came with a whole list of issues, and Google was deluged with customer complaints. Complaints included service eligibility problems, people not receiving their phones in a timely manner, and technical issues like poor 3G reception. Basically people complained that the 3G signal would drop when they picked up their phone (sound familiar?). Google had to resort to email only support.

      Verizon dropped the Nexus One in favor of the Droid Incredible, Sprint dropped the Nexus One in favor of the Evo, while T-Mobile barely acknowledges its existence, and will pretty much drop it in favor of the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant.

      The mainstream media didn't hype the flaws of the Nexus One, nor did they demand Google to rectify the problems. Instead the technology press produced articles like:

      "Why hasn't the Nexus One Flopped (yet)?" - CNet
      "Google Nexus One: A Successful Flop" PC Mag
      "The Nexus One is a total sales flop" - Gizmodo
      The list continues just Google it...

      I think the real issue is that we expect Apple to have a higher standard, and the media measures Apple with that standard. Maybe that is why Apple is the perceived leader of the smartphone market.

      As for my fanboism: Yes I like Apple computers, but I also have an Android phone that I'm pretty much stuck with. My point is shouldn't we hold all phone manufacturers to the same standard?

      Remember after only 22 days, Apple makes a very public appeal to satisfy its customers. Sure they were pressured to act sooner rather than later, but they have a history of providing good customer support. Because of their popularity they don't have the luxury of quietly letting the model die like the Microsoft Kin or the Google Nexus One...

  • by aapold (753705) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:44PM (#32928724) Homepage Journal
    The phone shocks you if you hold it the wrong way.
  • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:45PM (#32928744) Journal

    But ram it into a condom to make it usable.

  • No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Monoman (8745) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:46PM (#32928756) Homepage

    Pretty much what we would expect from any company in Apple's shoes. Damage control at minimum cost.

    Apple's numbers are suspicious. Everyone I know with an iPhone 4 has the issue(s) but NONE of them have called AppleCare or gone to the Apple store to complain. They have all been patiently waiting for Apple to take care of them.

    • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

      by GizmoToy (450886) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:54PM (#32928910) Homepage

      That's key, and I don't see any way that they could have honestly believed that only 0.5% of their users were having trouble. They issued a press release saying they were going to work on a software update, and many were waiting for some kind of magic improvement.

      My wife and I have both had problems, but neither contacted Apple Care. Apple Care was simply telling customers there was no problem, as they were instructed to do by Apple. This made it into the press and onto user forums. After that occurred, why would anyone go to Apple Care about this when they already knew what the result would be?!?

    • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Americano (920576) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:08PM (#32929120)

      Really, and is AT&T not logging your friends' dropped calls too, like they do with every dropped call on their network? Or are they just not making or receiving calls at all because the problem is so horrible for them that they just can't get a connection, and "waiting patiently" for someone to come fix their phone?

      Signal attenuation due to grip is a more pronounced problem with this antenna design than with other phones. But the question is - does it matter at all, and is it impacting the day-to-day usage of most people? And the answer to that question is that it is not actually dramatically impacting most users.

  • So how bad was it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hkmwbz (531650) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:47PM (#32928782) Journal
    I'm not a big fan of Apple in general, but I don't know how big this problem actually is. Is it really worse than other smartphones? Apple is acknowledging that is there a problem, but is that because they got more flack for it than other phone manufacturers?

    On the other hand, first acknowledging that there is a problem, and then making excuses about other smartphones if the iPhone 4 is indeed worse seems odd at best. Acceptance and denial at the same time?

    And finally, what are these cases? One of the things that people find appealing about the iPhone is that it looks good. Will people suddenly find themselves with a much less good looking phone if they want a proper signal?

    • by ashridah (72567) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:52PM (#32928880)

      It seems like they're trying to cloud the issue, since there are two problems. One that all smartphones face: Your hand can capacitively interact with the antenna in the phone, and cause signal loss.
      The other, that the Apple iphone 4 supposedly faces (And didn't in previous generations): bridging the gap between two different antennas causing noise to be effectively introduced to both, drastically reducing signal.

      The thing is, you can trigger the latter problem without your hand being near it by using something metal to bridge the two antennas, I've seen that in action.

      A Rubber bumper around the edge is enough to prevent problem two, and problem one just isn't as significant a loss, so it's acceptable.

    • by timster (32400) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:54PM (#32928902)

      Well, I have one, and I don't use a case. I'm not sure if I can tell you how bad the problem really is, since I don't make many phone calls, and even though I do use my left hand when I do, my natural grip doesn't touch the weak spot.

      Using data, it seems like it's slower when I touch the weak spot, so I don't do that. It's not my natural grip when using it for Web browsing either. And usually I'm using wi-fi anyway, in which case it doesn't seem to matter at all.

      Not sure if that answers your question. I think it depends a lot on the user.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:48PM (#32928792)

    From the Q/A:

    10:41AM Q: I can't get my Bold to drop right now, maybe you can show me how to do it?
    Steve: You may not see it in certain areas.

  • 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 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...
  • The others (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symes (835608) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:51PM (#32928840) Journal
    It kind of bugs me when people admit they have done something wrong but because other people also have problems then it is not that bad. Wonder what Jobs would say if there was a coding error in OS X? Doesn't matter 'cos MS do it all the time? It's the normalisation of mediocrity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by urbanriot (924981)
      My BlackBerry Bold 9700 does not have alleged signal issues and has been extremely reliable. I do not accept his deflection of blame, especially after 1 out of 1 friends I'd asked could reproduce the iPhone 4 issue. So far, 100% of the people I know with an iPhone 4 are experiencing the issue.
    • Re:The others (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LurkerXXX (667952) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:13PM (#32929208)

      I thought it was hilarious that he said it 'iPhone 4 drops an average of less than one additional call per hundred than the 3GS.' My cell phone almost never drops calls. Certainly not one in a hundred to even start with. That's just sad.

      • Re:The others (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Straif (172656) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:39PM (#32929676) Homepage

        It's also a bit odd that Jobs actually has to stress "our new product is only worse than our old product by a factor of x" as a defense.

        Since most other reviews I've seen say just how much better the reception is on the iPhone 4 compared to the 3gs (when not holding the phone in the 'wrong' way) if it loses more calls than it's predecessor than that would just go to stress how poorly the antenna design was. The external antenna screw up is essentially negating all other reception improvements and then some.

  • 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 iLoveLamp (1676532) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:53PM (#32928890)
    You justify your phone having issues by basically saying that other phones are poorly designed too? That's not thinking different. That's thinking like a politician. What a great solution too. Here is our brand new super thin phone that has reception problems. Here a thick case to wrap around the phone to fix that. Gee, thanks Steve.
  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:54PM (#32928908)
    ... translates to "don't hold it that way" all over again.
  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gudeldar (705128) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:56PM (#32928936)
    Did Slashdot really just post some news within an hour of it actually happening? I think I may have clicked the wrong bookmark.
    • 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 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 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.

  • I checked this myself by holding my AT&T Bold in one- and two-handed death grips (and in other creative ways) and never from five bars. I do have signal issues due to AT&T at work (my signal will drop from 5 to 1 bar when the phone is untouched on my desk, then back up to five); but holding it exactly the way shown by Jobs made no difference in my reception level. When doing so at home, the signal did not change from five bars no matter what I did.

    Make me wonder how they rigged that one up.

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

    by Frag-A-Muffin (5490) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:16PM (#32929270) Homepage

    How many of you people complaining actually HAVE an iPhone 4 and are actually experiencing the problem?! I for one cannot chime in on this debate yet because I'm up in Canada and we're not getting the iPhone 4 until July 30. (And you bet I'll be getting one).

    I don't understand all this over-hyped apple-bashing. I know there are a lot of haters, but seriously, what more can you ask for from a company. Here's a direct quote from Steve from the Q&A session:

    "For those customers we'll get them a case, and if that doesn't work, we'll get them a full refund. And we'll continue to work on antennas that don't have this problem."

    Ummm .. they have a solution for you, free of charge. If you that doesn't solve your problem, or if you don't like their solution, they're offering a full refund! I'm not sure how much more they can do. They're not forcing you to buy any of their products.

    Did you read that last sentence?! That's right, you actually have a choice!! Yay!

    I guess people just like the attention on hating on others?! I don't know. You kids these days, can't be happy, can you?

    • Re:quick poll (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Quirkz (1206400) <ross@quirkz.cPARISom minus city> on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:47PM (#32931914) Homepage
      Some people aren't happy unless you apologize exactly the way they want you to apologize. Generally this should involve a lot of groveling, moaning, and hand-wringing. Perhaps ritual suicide. Based on a few dozen sample explicit explanations earlier in the posts, no two people agree on exactly what is the appropriate magic way to apologize to make it all better, and thus no matter what Apple did, everyone would still be unhappy.

      And this is for a group of people who, mostly, didn't even appear to own an iPhone or be affected by the problem. They still want blood anyway, for some reason.

  • by Zymophideth (1658251) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:19PM (#32929312)
    I really love it when reading an article and the entire page refreshes every 30 sec and takes me back to the top for a banner. It's becoming really hard to justify not installing ad blocker. I want to support the websites I visit but at this point the ads are just over the line.
  • by mycroft16 (848585) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:24PM (#32929380)
    They still haven't owned up to the problem though. And when asked about it directly by gdgt, they changed the subject. gdgt: "You showed people almost covering the entire phone in their hand, but on the iPhone 4 it can happen with just a touch. Can you explain that difference? Bob (Apple): "When you touch the phone, you put yourself between the signal and your phone, so when you touch that spot you can attenuate the signal, and if you grip ti with your whole hand, you can attenuate it even more." That was a total non-answer. In fact, he answered it in reverse. In my office here we have 2 droids, an LG Voyager and some little trac-phone. We all tried holding them in a variety of ways, including how they showed phones behind held. None of our phones dropped bars. Yet the iPhone drops bars with the mere touch of a single finger tip. Not to mention the severe spin he put on his data at the start of the thing. It doesn't matter how many people are calling in with the problem, or what percentage change there is in dropped calls. The problem is the REASON for the dropped calls. Barely a touch to a spot that is guaranteed to be touched when on a call, is enough to drop signal strength to a point where calls are dropped. So how often it happens isn't the point. The point is there is a serious hardware/design flaw. One that definitely should have been noticed in testing. He even said on multiple occasions throughout the conference that he doesn't think there is a problem at all and that this whole thing is just blown way out of proportion. I'm sorry, but when Consumer Reports does their testing and can't recommend your product, that's not blown out of proportion.
  • And after Sept 30?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by weiyuent (257436) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:30PM (#32930588) Journal

    It's interesting that no-one seems to be paying special attention to the Sept 30 expiration of Apple's offer of free Bumper cases. In my mind, that hints at a few troubling scenarios that aren't properly addressed by today's press conference:

    A) Apple will end up providing free cases for the iPhone 4 indefinitely.

    B) After Sept 30, you have to pay for a case to solve a problem with the iPhone 4 that Apple officially acknowledges.

    C) After Sept 30, revised iPhone 4 hardware will be hitting the shelves.

    Both (A) and (B) seem highly unlikely...which leads me to believe (C) is the likely outcome. But course Apple doesn't want to cannibalize sales of existing iPhone 4 stock and slow down sales momentum, so they're keeping info about revised hardware under a very tight wrap. Maybe that means you should buy an iPhone 4 just yet?

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