Wireless experts weigh in on iPhone 4 reception issues

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Comments

  • onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Perhaps those that have an iPhone 4 could help assist in identifying the source of the issue by providing some basic, anecdotal, non-scientific, attitudinal information. But possibly consoling for some no matter what side of the fence they are on.



    Certainly it could help to determine whether it is an idiosyncratic reaction, e.g., as in medicine, a adverse reaction to a medication of 1/10,000, to wide spread across the 5 countries in which the iPhone 4 is currently available.



    For example:
    Store Purchase

    \t
    • Date:

    • Name:

    • \tLocation (City/State/Country):

    Pre-Order

    \t
    • Date of Confirmation:

    • \tDate Delivered:

    Usage

    \t
    • Primary Location (City/State/Country):

    • \tSignal Attenuation: 5=Excellent; 4=Very Good; 3=Goof; 2=Fair; 1=Poor; 0=Inoperable

    \t\t
    • Cupping Tightly

    • Holding Naturally

    • On an Open Palm

    • Holding Naturally inside Case

    • \t\tComment:

    Action

    \t
    • Contacted Apple Store Genius

    • \tCalled Apple Support

    • \tSoft Reset

    • \tHard Reset

    • \tiTunes Restore

  • robin huberrobin huber Posts: 2,693member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post


    What has me concerned is that this is going to turn into Apple's Toyota moment.



    Reports started to surface that there were problems with Toyota's automobiles.



    . . .



    Schadenfreude.

    Derived from the German words for harm and pleasure, it means the joy we sometimes cannot help but experience when we hear about another's misfortune.



    One very big difference is that Toyota took a very long time to address their issue (years?). Apple is being pilloried because it hasn't solved the problem in a week.



    Defining the words you use, assuming other readers of this forum are not as literate as you, is presumptuous and demeaning. Use the best word, as you did, and let others decide whether to look it up if they need to.



    Otherwise, I agree with your sentiments.
  • rob55rob55 Posts: 1,182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Glockman View Post


    iJobz cannot keep insulting us with his denial and useless rhetoric forever!



    Fix this freaking problem!





    As much as I love Apple (and I own many of their products), I have to admit that I'm baffled at their (Apple's) lack of a real response (so far) and apparent indifference on this issue.
  • chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,517member
    Quote:

    Dick Gaywood?



    wrote "AppleStud"...



    Things that make you go "Hmmmm?"
  • mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,451member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plagen View Post


    I guess, you missed the part where I intentionally dead short it with a metal coin and still don't have a substantial drop in the connectivity. So, all the theories of 'shorting' the gap with skin don't hold water.



    Well that's it folks. Plagen says there isn't a problem! Time to pack it up and move on!
  • chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post


    As much as I love Apple (and I own many of their products), I have to admit that I'm baffled at their (Apple's) lack of a real response (so far) and apparent indifference on this issue.



    Apple almost never responds unless they have a fix ready.
  • aiaddictaiaddict Posts: 487member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plagen View Post


    I guess, you missed the part where I intentionally dead short it with a metal coin and still don't have a substantial drop in the connectivity. So, all the theories of 'shorting' the gap with skin don't hold water.



    Shorting it does have an impact, but it depends on where you are among other factors. I personally think it is a total non-issue. Get a case, or coat the metal...done. Apple should offer to coat it for you if you don't have a case and don't want one, but I personally think the new design needs a case for other reasons anyway.
  • zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
    OK, I need to point something out no one else has. The Anand article does something else unexpected... it shows how much better the iPhone 3GS is to the Nexus One as a phone. Not bad consisdering the 'consensus' on blogs like Gizmodo and Engadget is the reverse.



    Everyone's focusing on Apple because of their success, but if the same amount of scrutiny was put on some of the HTC handsets, iPhone would look a lot less troubled by comparison.
  • ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plagen View Post


    I guess, you missed the part where I intentionally dead short it with a metal coin and still don't have a substantial drop in the connectivity. So, all the theories of 'shorting' the gap with skin don't hold water.



    I did not miss anything in your post. It has been already explained thousand times, that in zones of 5 bars reception the loss of connectivity, which you can only achieve by loading the UMTS antenna with either GPS/Bluetooth input circuits or your own body can not influence the integrity of received data.



    Care to read more about discussed issues before you post.
  • tulkastulkas Posts: 3,691member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    So there you go, buy a case for the iPhone 4. Done.



    Yes, that means there isn't a problem that needs to be fixed. And of course, it should be up to the consumer to correct a manufacturing/engineering/design problem.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    How do you explain Anand Shimpi's findings on the Nexus, when you are quoted as saying no other phones exhibit this behaviour?



    Just read what he wrote and you will find your own answer.

    Quote:

    These two pieces of advice conflict because there are two underlying mechanisms at work here that damage the iPhone 4’s ability to receive a signal. The first is the commonplace attenuation that happens when a user holds the phone by the antenna; the second is the iPhone-only effect presumably caused by placing an electrically active antenna on the outside of the case. The attenuation on other cell phone models isn’t changed at all by using a case on them.



    For the reading impaired: Some attenuation will occur with all phones, but the size of the differential between holding it naturally in your palm without a case and with a case is unique to the iPhone 4.
  • bigdaddypbigdaddyp Posts: 811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    One very big difference is that Toyota took a very long time to address their issue (years?). Apple is being pilloried because it hasn't solved the problem in a week.



    Defining the words you use, assuming other readers of this forum are not as literate as you, is presumptuous and demeaning. Use the best word, as you did, and let others decide whether to look it up if they need to.



    Otherwise, I agree with your sentiments.



    Perhaps you are correct and I should have not posted the definition. I meant no offense.



    I post under the assumption that the majority of people on here are smarter and better informed then I.
  • glockmanglockman Posts: 9member
    Am both surprised and disappointed. And considering I was the 1st to report the problem to Apple tech support last week (on Wednesday before the launch) I am particularly interested in them owning up to it and getting it fixed permanently. I truly believe if they don't it will cast severe doubt on any future versions of our beloved iPhones! Timing is exactly wrong for Jobz to be this arrogant considering all excellent alternatives to his precious cash cow. Hopefully he will see the light soon...I keep refreshing iTunes for an iOS 4.01 update!
  • daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Looks like the issue might be beyond Apple's current 'engineering team'... http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget....-engineers.jpg
  • tulkastulkas Posts: 3,691member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    One very big difference is that Toyota took a very long time to address their issue (years?). Apple is being pilloried because it hasn't solved the problem in a week.



    Defining the words you use, assuming other readers of this forum are not as literate as you, is presumptuous and demeaning. Use the best word, as you did, and let others decide whether to look it up if they need to.



    Otherwise, I agree with your sentiments.



    The difference, I think, isn't that Apple hasn't solved it. They are being pilloried because they won't even acknowledge it. Maybe Dick and Anand are wrong and Jobs is right and there is no problem. If, however, there is a problem unique to the design of the iPhone 4, then they deserve to be called on it, if they choose instead to simply deny the problem.
  • sacto joesacto joe Posts: 603member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post


    Well, it looks like this is a hardware problem that won't be fixed with a software update. I don't think this will end well for Apple considering they plan to ignore the problem completely.



    Actually, there's a partial solution in software. Note that the bars are not "mapping" the availability of a signal properly. That's a simple fix.



    For the rest, I agree that Apple needs to at least drop the price of the bumpers. At the same time, Apple needs to spread the word that the antenna's improved sensitivity has a price, namely, you have to be careful how you hold it.



    BTW, does a "coating" or bumper inhibit signal? If you want to download an app, you'd want the best possible signal. How hard are these "bumpers" to take off and put back on, and do they get "loose" the more you do it?



    In other words, this may be a question of "whose ox gets gored", the phone part or the download part....
  • rob55rob55 Posts: 1,182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    Perhaps those that have an iPhone 4 could help assist in identifying the source of the issue by providing some basic, anecdotal, non-scientific information. But possibly consoling for some no matter what side of the fence they are on.



    For what it's worth, I pre-ordered on the 1st day and my iPhone 4 shipped on the 24th from China. It arrived yesterday morning (the 29th). Primary location is northern NJ. The overall signal strength where I live and work is good to excellent. I typically hold the phone in my right hand and currently don't have a case or bumper for my phone. I'm currently experiencing minimal or no noticeable attenuation based on the phone's signal strength display. As a result, I haven't felt the need to contact Apple to report a problem. However, it's only been 1 day and I'll see what happens over the coming week(s).
  • tulkastulkas Posts: 3,691member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


    Apple almost never responds unless they have a fix ready.



    Then the fact that they have responded, and said there is no problem, might be worrying.
  • ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post


    Well, it looks like this is a hardware problem that won't be fixed with a software update. I don't think this will end well for Apple considering they plan to ignore the problem completely.



    And what do you consider not ending well? Will the company fall to the bottom of the ocean? Will their stock drop 200 bucks? I think Apple will get past this. They will take their punches, but they'll be fine overall.



    The voices of the unhappy will always be louder than those who are satisfied. I get the reception issue from time to time, but it never affects my ability to maintain a call or make one. My co-worker has made fun of the issues Apple is having, but what's funnier is when he tries to replicate the situation on my phone. He tries one way, tries another and tries another way again. At that point, I told him that he is now just trying to force the reception issues instead of using the phone normally as he would.





    I know there are serious issues for some, but it comes down to getting what works for you. If the 3GS worked fine and now the i4 fails, you know what to do. If you have to have the i4, then expect some less than optimal issues. Vote with your wallet.



    PS: A free bumper would be nice to get to all existing iPhone 4 users and new ones should be $4.99. Too bad they don't fit in the i4 dock when attached.
  • daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Plagen View Post


    I must be doing something wrong. With full 5 bars my phone shows 2.2Mb down and 1.2Mb up. Then I short the gap with a METAL COIN! In 5 min the bars drop to 4. But it sill shows about 2Mb down and 1 Mb up.



    As far a "lousy" phone - the phone clarity and connectivity is much better than my previous 3G.



    That could simply mean that the iPhone 3GS was a 'lousier' phone...
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The testing is interesting but people seem to be reaching wildly different conclusions from it being not a problem to it making a lousy phone. One guy on Engadget commented that out of all the phones between him and co-workers, the iPhone 4 was the only one that could make a call 20ft underground. Others are reporting much fewer dropped calls than previous iPhones.



    Then there are those reporting the exact opposite. I guess this is the magic that Johnny Ive keeps going on about - it exceeds your ability to understand how it works and when it doesn't, they don't know how to fix it.



    It didn't even seem to hold up too well inside the case when held wrongly.



    The problem is that there's nothing other than anecdotal evidence. Anand at least made an attempt to measure things in a semi-controlled environment. and to implement controls. Gaywood did neither.



    Note also, that Anand's conclusions were that the iPhone 4, even with its minor glitches was a considerably better phone than the iPhone 3GS - or any other phone on the market. And that was after a wide range of comparisons, not just Gaywood's one uncontrolled experiment.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post


    As much as I love Apple (and I own many of their products), I have to admit that I'm baffled at their (Apple's) lack of a real response (so far) and apparent indifference on this issue.



    How do you know there's no response? Are you managing Apple's R&D labs? Based on history, they're not going to say much until they have a fix.
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