By now everyone's heard about the iPhone 4's controversial antenna problem, which Steve Jobs has labeled as a "non-issue." But while this is all relatively recent news to consumers, an Apple engineer claims he warned Jobs during the early design phase of the iPhone 4 that dropped calls was going to be a strong possibility, Bloomberg reports.
This isn't just any Apple engineer either, but a senior antenna expert in Apple's ranks who, according to Bloomberg's anonymous source, foresaw the scenario now being played out.
"Last year, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple's management the device's design may cause recpetion problems, said the person, who is not authorized to speak on Apple's behalf and asked not to be identified," Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg goes on to say that a carrier partner also raised concerns about the antenna before its June 24 release. By all indications, this is something that could and should have been avoided, but then again, we'd be left without entertaining quips, both from Jobs himself (telling users they're holding the phone wrong), and from Microsoft, who likened the iPhone 4 to Vista.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that," Microsoft's COO Kevin Turner said during his keynote speech at the Worldiwde Partner Conference.
You know those reception issues iPhone 4 users have been complaining about? Of course you do, it's been the subject of plenty of media attention, including here. But what you didn't know is that it has nothing to do with the antenna at all, but how the iPhone 4 calculates its bars, Apple says.
"To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars," Apple wrote in an open letter. "This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones. But some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.
"We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising."
Hit the jump to find out what Apple says the culprit is, and how it can be fixed.
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.
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."