Apple Explains iPhone 4 Antenna Problem, Blames Faulty Algorithm

37

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

Glycerin

Whew, glad that got fixed! I was almost going to suggest to just not hold phone at all! You know, just sit it on a desk and pull your head down to it and talk on it whilst being uncomfortable.  What a shit company, i'll never buy their phones, i'll NEVER buy their shitty computers. I love being able to pick and choose every single computer component that I want. And then build a computer out of it. And then install a great OS called Windows7 (from a company who offers FREE service packs). And do with it what I want.  Or... OR, I could get a expensive as shit pre-built PC from a company who owns the rights to the hardware AND the software.  And they control how I use it. 

I'll sick with GOOD companies known as Microsoft, AMD/ATI, nVidia, eVGA, Intel, ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, Crucial, Kingston, Corsair, Thermaltake, Antec, PC Power & Cooling, and Western Digital for my desktop computer needs, thanks.

Go to HELL JOBS!

avatar

jgraves000

You're doing it wrong, Steve.

avatar

Mark17

Just when you think he can't possibly say anything more absurd, he somehow finds a way.

avatar

M-ManLA

BS! I mean, AT&T is enough to prove that it is not going to have the best reception. 

 

Electronically charged

avatar

peteyj222

The irony in all this for me is that where i live we are in void of verizon coverage, so att is the only option, so i have to be kinda att loyal, but im not getting an I Fart. hehe yeah i just came up with that, i am looking at the Aria though, Android finally made it to att.

avatar

makius

 

Alright for the sake of argeument let's say this BS explanation from Apple is true, ok?

This would still mean that Apple knowingly and willingly allows their product to be used on an inferior network. Then on top of that they don't even allow their customers the option of using a different, more reliable network. So even if you buy this load of crap you should still be even more upset that your beloved Apple knowingly forces you to operate on an inferior network. So no matter how you dice it, it's BS.

And that's besides the fact that it is complete BS. Come on guys, for once look beyond the shiny logo and think for yourselves.

avatar

tkid124

That they got reception on the other side of the moon something funny was going on?

Sorry if it had been another company or a company that wasn't so secretive and controlling I might believe them, but this is like my congressman saying trust me the new tax won't affect you. And while congresses new tax on tanning truly doesn't effect me or my bride it does make me chuckle and think, just because someone tells the truth once doesn't make them a saint.

avatar

mesiah

This is an obvious case where trying to cover up one issue exposed another issue. Anandtech posted solid figures for signal strength on their site. Not just bars but actual signal quality. There is obvious deception going on here. For one, apple removed the test feature that shows actual signal strength on the iphone 4. This is a hidden feature on nearly every brand of phone including apple phones used by techs to gauge signal quality. It was intentionally removed from the iphone 4 to cover up their deceptive signal quality meter (Only through some creative use of iphone 3gs backups was anandtech able to trick the iphone4 into installing and displaying the signal readout from the iphone 3gs.) Apple then changed the formula for calculating bars (this was no mistake.) usable signal strength ranges from a low of -113db to a maximum strength of -51db. Apple sets their 1 bar strength at -113 but 5 bars starts at a mere -100db. That means 80% of the usable signal range on the iphone 4 is considered 5 bars. This is obviously apples "fix" for the complaints of AT&Ts terrible coverage. The same amount of dropped calls, but the appearance of better network coverage or reception.

 Doing this exposed a key fault in the iphone 4 design. That of the antenna. While it is true that the signal loss is exaggerated by their signal meter shenanigans, it is still on average twice as bad as any other major smartphone. When holding the phone naturally there is a 20db signal loss from the iphone 4. Compare that to a 10db signal loss from the nexus one or even the mere 2db loss from the iphone 3gs. to put that 20db loss into perspective, thats %50 more signal loss than it would take to go from 5 bars to 0 bars on the iphones exaggerated scale. 

What we have here is apple trying to deceive their customers, and when it backfired on them they concocted a lie and reversed their deception to avoid recalling phones. Make no mistake, the antenna is faulty. But instead of admitting it and recalling the phones, apple would rather adjust your signal meter to make things look ok. I can only hope that the real truth behind this actually sees the light of day, and that the general population can finally see what kind of company they are really dealing with. But even then, people have their heads so far up steve jobs ass that I doubt they would even notice.

avatar

thetechchild

I know that most people here are avid Apple-haters... Still, anandtech "...also found that when held otherwise, the
iPhone 4 provided much better reception than the 3GS." Apple has made a mistake there, although hasn't it also been reported that a cheap iPhone case will fix the problem entirely? The company has made some mistakes, but if it were reported from another company as a problem on their phone, would the response still be the same?

Taking an objective view here, so bring on the flames, Apple-haters? (I can't say I disagree w/ you, but whenever anything about Apple pops up, there's many times more hate comments than on any other article)

avatar

TechJunkie

Well, if better reception than 3GS, then why still all the dropped calls and massive signal degredation when holding it a certain way? So it might be better than 3GS when holding it (according to SJ) a different way which is a sorry excuse to tell your customers.

No one should have to put out $30 bucks for a case to make thier 2 or 3 hundred dollar (plus cost of plan) phone to work like it should. Period.

If it were another manufacturer, there would be so much backlash that there would have been a massive recall. Then that carrier would have a serious bad rap on thier hands.

What this is all about is that the iphone has a serious design flaw. So they tell thier customers to "hold it a different way". Then they say "WAIT", it's not the way you hold it, it's the way WE show you the bars. So we are going to fix it by fudging the bars to make it look like you have more signal thus making you feel more giddy inside, but your still going to drop calls holding it like you normally would. But that's your fault cause your not in a good signal area. Hook, line, and stinker.

avatar

ShadowDragoonFTW

Actually, they fudged the bars to begin with to make it look like their phone had better reception out of the gate. Then, when people had problems with bars "suddenly dropping", they put off the shpiel about holding the phone properly. THEN, they fixed their original fudge, so now the bars should be showing properly. Like shit. 'casue, y'know, AT&T. I put up with them for two years. Constantly jumping between no and six bars (yes, six) on my phone, even though it was sitting in the same place in my room the whole time. Ever since I switched to a new Verizon phone two weeks ago (when my AT&T contract expired), I have not ONCE dropped signal completely. So, yeah. AT&T hate. But JUSTIFIED AT&T hate. And Apple hate. Because Jobs is a freakin' whackadoo, and has been running the company into the ground since Woz washed his hands of the company.

avatar

Shadai

Here allow me to translate for the few of you actually smelling Apple's farts and think they are roses:

Yep, its our bad, but its not a hardware flaw!  No, no!  Its a software thing.  The iPhone 4 is perfect.  It's magical.  Our Lord and Master Jobs has doth spoken of it.  He is not a liar.  You see, some idiot in the software part didn't carry the one, and the math got all screwed up so we're going to fix it.

No, not giving you free bumpers, you think those things grow on trees?  Damn we're a poor company, we don't have the money to do that sh*t.  

We're going to "fix" the problem.  You'll get an update in a few days that will fix the bars at full, so when you hold the phone in your left hand (cause you really shouldn't, again, because our lord and master steve said so), accidently of course, the bars will remain the same.  Then you can go back to blaming AT&T for dropping your calls and not us, the hardware company.  Cause its not a hardware problem.  Did we mention that?  The iPhone 4 is perfect.

Give us a few days to make that fix so you never really know what signal you're truely getting, and you can put the blame on AT&T where it belongs.  We here at Apple are perfect.

avatar

AntiHero

Steve Jobs saying it's the algorithm wouldn't give the problems people were having with the phone. The algorithm might be showing some false information, however, it's still not solving the issue. The algorithm does not also control the signal itself, otherwise it would basically register zero bars and shut off the radio, which would make no sense, at all. Realistically, Jobs doesn't want to recall the phones, he'd rather pump out a small software update than admit there was a problem with the hardware. Honestly, I think he needs to suck it up and admit there's a hardware issue, and that it is a concern to the users.

avatar

BinaryMonkey

Oh, it all makes sense now! I'm not losing bars; I didn't have them in the first place. Likewise, my calls aren't constantly dropped; I never made the call in the first place.

Steve is right, it must be all my fault. 

avatar

m1k3_flrs

I think hes just making excuses. The iphone sucks there I said it for you Jobs!

avatar

Avi8or

This is the exact formula used for pricing the iphone 4 as well. "We sometimes display $400 when we should be displaying $188." 

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/iphone_4_hardware_costs_188 

avatar

Bender2000

Anandtech had an article examining the issue:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review/2

Seems that the iPhone 4 does indeed lose signal when held a certain way, even more than the 3GS or Nexus One. But it still performed better at those lower, one bar levels than the other phones. So the assumption that losing bars means it doesn't work is incorrect. If you can still make calls and send data at lower signal levels than your rivals the loss of bars is irrelevant. So this being a non issue may be right after all. ANd changing the algorithm for bars may just end up showing you were in 4 bar, not 5 bar territory when the signal dropped to 1 bar.Whoopty Doo! 

This leaves me wondering the pending legal cases. To get recompense you have to prove damage or loss. So if you say to the judge that your phone gets one bar and performs as well or better than the next phone getting 2 bars where is the damage?  

avatar

Seth

haha apple did this to make people feel better. Sorry you wasted so much money on our iphone. Here we'll make it look like you get full signal everywhere so you can feel better about yourself...Untill they got busted

avatar

TH7751

 

Apple and everything Apple need a good dose of DDT...maybe then the world can get on with it....

avatar

Talcum X

 In the design dept. there is a short between the keyboard and the chair.

***********

Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

"In Ireland, there are more drunks per capita than people."  -  Peter Griffin

avatar

r3dd4wg

I can't stop laughing at this obvious line of BS from Steve Jobs.  It is monumental.  This line of crap belongs in the Guiness Book of World Records (or in the White House).

As for all iPhones dropping their signal strength by holding them, a couple of friends just tried with their 3GS models and nothing changes.  They covered it with both their hands and the signal strength stays the same.  I hold my ancient G1 and nothing changes.  Cover it with both hands and nothing changes.

Steve Jobs doesn't know what he's talking about right now ...

avatar

jtrpop

Its not a bug, its a feature!

avatar

dankers

nice reference bro

avatar

Xerloq

This is essentially Steve Jobs admitting that the phones get crappy reception.

"Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it
should for a given signal strength... we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2
bars."

and

"We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results
are the same -- the iPhone 4's wireless performance is the best we have
ever shipped," Apple claims.

Thus we deduce: "The iPhone 4 gets 2 bars of reception - the best wireless performance we have ever shipped."

avatar

bling581

I don't buy it at all.  My biggest question is that why are they investigating this now after they've sold thousdands of phones and not when they discovered the issue during it's design.  You can't tell me they didn't realize there were issues with the signal during internal testing.

avatar

TechJunkie

Steve Jobs is not a master marketer. He's a master bullshitter. He's ONLY doing this to ward off lawsuits by saying, look, it's our fault and we are fixing it, with a bogus OTA update to make the "bars" bigger and to recalculate some stuff. That should make all the fritters happy with a nice placebo effect. If them fritters fall for this....and they will....SJ has effectively brainwashed the public.

 

I have to PooP!

avatar

Caboose

 "He's ONLY doing this to ward off lawsuits"

Doesn't seem to have worked, as a number of states have lawsuits started against Apple...

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

avatar

TechJunkie

Well yeah, but he's hoping that this placebo effect will actually help and the suits will be dropped.

avatar

Baer

PLEASE, No More Apple crapola. Enough!!

avatar

big_montana

Look, if you don't want to see it, than do not read it, and especially do not commen ton it. The rest of us tenchnogly mavens do like reading about ALL things technology related, including Apple products. If you don't switct to PC world or some other dumbed down rag, that will not give you 10% of what MaxPC does.

avatar

Ulrich

The Lemmings will believe anything Jobs says...

 

Oh you are losing bars when you hold your iPhone "wrong" ok we'll just adjust the bars so they aren't as acurrate... 

 

let all the lemmings defend and love their closed systms... they like being told what they can have, and what they can do. 

avatar

NewGadgeteer

It sounds like the 'Can you hear me now?' man wasn't doing his job.  He was probably out bar hopping. :)

avatar

jlh304

He works for Verizon not AT&T.  Must be why Verizon phones work :)

avatar

Bender2000

Oh, our bad. We were calculating it the wrong way! So does this mean Apple was juicing their figures by lying about performance, and can this be a sign of a larger scandal? AT&T says they get the most bars in the country, and now we know why. Sounds like Max PC needs to test a few smart phones for antenna performance and see who's lying and who's not. And while you are at it find out what happened to the Blackbird and Firebird. Did Palm eat them?

avatar

ewoeckel

Apple this, apple that. Enough with apple and their silly bologna excusses. Why would they hire multiple antenna engineers to resolve a coding issue? I'm not buying into it. I would never buy apple equipment and will be over joyed once the Driod X is released.

avatar

lostcause64

Hmmm... I've heard of beef bologna, turkey bologna, and pickled bologna, but Apple bologna? Doesn't sound very good to me either...

John

Have you ever wondered why intelligence can normally be found in an individual, but runs screaming in terror from a group? Though, there are exceptions...

avatar

Athlonite

Next off the crapple tree will be the Crapple 10" iPhuck with the ability to be shoved into the tightest of sphincters and all it will take is for you to fork over your first born and bend over and say AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  

 

Play till it breaks then learn how to fix it!

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.