Steve Jobs and the rest of the Cupertino gang have come under fire recently for an issue with the iPhone 4 that causes it to lose reception. The worst part about this is all you have to do to inadvertently knock out the signal is...hold the smartphone. The issue is most prevalent when holding the smartphone a certain way (read: normally) with your left hand, and until that inevitable revision pops out of the Apple camp, the only solution to this so-called "non issue" is to grip the iPhone 4 differently. Or buy a case. Gee thanks.
Well, there's another solution, one which involves two strips of Scotch Tape. In a YouTube video, user "chedacheese" demonstrates how covering the black strip on each side of the iPhone with a strip of tape prevents the signal from dropping out.
"I have used some Scotch Tape to hold onto the sides here, and it actually keeps the signal bars steady," says chedachese in his out-of-focus video. "We've got full signal strength here. We are holding the device in its normal spots, and it is keeping the signal bars pretty steady. It's pretty well taped on the sides. And no other place but on the sides."
You can view the video here, and for those of you tired of the iPhone 4 coverage, perhaps this video will be more to your liking.
Well. That didn’t take long. With problems beginning at pre-order failure and extending to some fairly serious reception issues, the iPhone 4 started experiencing a backlash almost immediately. Yet, the handset is still sweeping up fans left and right, selling an estimated 1.5 million units upon release (with 77% of those being upgrades). We waited in line like everyone else to get our review handset. Here’s what’s being said about Apple’s latest offering:
We try to keep our Apple coverage to a minimum, as we know that it's not the favorite company of most of our readers. That’s why you generally won’t see a review of a new MacBook or iMac on this site even though these machines are, for all intents and purposes, personal computers.
All the same, we’ve always covered new iPhone releases, and we’re not about to stop with the release of the iPhone 4. It’s not that we’ve suddenly developed an affinity for the House That Steve Built. Nope, our motivation is based purely on comprehensiveness: It’s simply impossible to cover smartphones in any authoritative way while ignoring the biggest single player in the field. That’s why we trundled out to the local mall in the black of night and lined up for the iPhone 4. Here’s everything you need to know about the device, and how it’s going to change the mobile landscape.
Having recpetion woes with your new iPhone 4? Don't blame the device, you're just doing it wrong, suggests Steve Jobs and the rest of the Cupertino gang, who dismissed the reception complaints as a "non-issue."
"Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas," Apple said int a statement. "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone.
"If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of the many available cases."
The above statement is an expanded version of Steve Jobs' initial answer to an email asking what Apple plans to do about the signal dropping issue. Short and to the point, Jobs simply stated, "Non issue. Just avoid holding it that way."
Spencer Webb, an antenna designer, goes into a bit more detail on his blog, explaining that the iPhone 4 has two symmetrical slots in the stainless frame. When covered, the antenna performance inevitably suffers, he says.
"There is no way around this, it's a design compromise that is forced by the requirements of the FCC, AT&T, Apple's marketing department, and Apple's industrial designers, to name a few."
Steve Jobs might think the iPhone 4 is the greatest thing every to happen to smartphones, but some early adopters are walking away with a decidedly different opinion. Reports have cropped up pointing to a potential problem with the iPhone 4's display whereby users are seeing yellow spots in various places.
In addition to yellow spots, some users have complained about yellow lines running across the screen. This isn't the first time Apple has had problems with discoloration, and when the current gen iMac launched earlier this year, it too suffered from yellow spots and lines. So what's the deal? According to one Apple Insider forum poster, it's the result of rushed manufacturing.
"Apple is using a bonding agent called Organofunctional Silane Z-6011 to bond the layers of the glass," the forum poster wrote. "Apparently, Apple (or more likely Foxconn) is shipping these products so quickly that the evaporating process is not complete. However, after one or two days of use, especially with the screen on, will complete the evaporation process and the yellow 'blotches' will disappear.
How do I know? I was involved in pitching Z-6011 to Apple."
In addition to the display woes, some users also report dropped signals when holding the iPhone 4 a certain way, which is apparently the result of the external antenna placement. The solution? Put the phone down for a minute or so until the signal strength is restored. Or hop over to Verizon and jump on the Android bandwagon.
The iPhone 4's launch day is here, and if you managed to fight your way through the lines and get your hands on one, you may want to consider an insurance plan. Early indications suggest the latest iPhone is a bit more durable than Apple's previous smartphones, but hey, things happen, like dropping one in the drink when out on the lake fishing for bass.
With that in mind, there are some things you can do to protect your investment. AT&T's MobileProtect just announced an insurance plan that will cover your iPhone should it become stolen or damaged, which the company says are responsible for half the claims they process.
Believe us, we've learned to be fairly skeptical in regards to display technology announcements. Our sister publication Mac|Life was too, especially after Steve Jobs publically stated that the new iPhone 4 will sport a "Retina Display". The quest for clarification brought Mac|Life's Michelle Delio into contact with many industry professionals, each who had their own interesting opinion of Jobs, who has been known to push the credibility barrier, and whether or not this "Retina Display" is a sham, a myth, or an actual possbility.
If you've got the chance, swing over to Mac|Life and check it out!
Perhaps Apple should send Gizmodo a Thank-You card for helping to hype the hell out of the iPhone 4 weeks before its release, or at the very least call off the dogs and lift the unofficial ban on Gizmodo from Apple-sponsored events. As it turns out, Steve Jobs and company would have bigger concerns with the iPhone 4, like trying to keep up with record-setting orders.
"Yesterday [June 15] Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 4," Apple said in a statement posted to its website yesterday. "It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock."
According to AT&T, the only wireless vendor in town officially allowed to carry and service Apple's smartphone, pre-order sales for the iPhone 4 were 10 times higher than they were for the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3GS.
"Given this unprecedented demand and our current expectations for our iPhone 4 inventory levels when the device is available June 24, we're suspending pre-ordering today in order to fulfill the orders we've already received," AT&T said.
The iPhone is ready for its fourth refresh and there are still no signs of sales slowing down. The new iPhone’s arrival is expected to provide fresh sales impetus to the franchise. Recent comments from Asia Optical chairman Robert Lai provide some insight into Apple’s preparations and sales expectations.
Lai told Digitimes.com that his company began shipping VGA lens kits for the iPhone 4 in May. According to Lai, Asia Optical has been asked to deliver 3 million units every month. It is conspicuous from Lai’s revelation that Apple is prepping itself for unprecedented demand.
The sheer volume of components ordered by Apple is also being regarded as the death-knell for AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity. Some people believe that Apple will have to end AT&T’s exclusivity for the iPhone 4 to sell the way it wants it to.
As expected, Steve Jobs officially unveiled Apple's iPhone 4, the next generation iPhone that has been leaked all over the Web courtesy of Gizmodo, earning the tech site an unofficial ban from WWDC and other Apple events.
"In 2010, we're going to take the biggest leap since the original iPhone," Jobs said. "This is really hot."
According to Jobs, the iPhone 4 is 24 percent slimmer than the iPhone 3GS and sports a slightly larger battery allowing for up to 7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi Web browsing, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music. What we were expecting to be a front facing camera is exactly that, and there's also the rear camera with LED flash.
There's a stainless steel band that goes around the side, and this serves as the iPhone 4's antennae. Other features include an IPS display similar to the iPad, 800:1 contrast ratio, and the same A4 processor that's found in the iPad.
With "a little bit of work," Jobs said developers can make their entire app compatible with the new high resolution display. Apple is also opening access to a new gyroscope for developers, giving them six axis motion control.