iPhone 4 owners report fewer dropped calls than iPhone 3GS

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new survey of iPhone 4 users has found that owners of Apple's latest handset have experienced fewer dropped calls than those who own an iPhone 3GS, suggesting the real-world impact of the iPhone 4 antenna issue is a non-factor.



ChangeWave Research on Wednesday released the results of a new survey conducted between July 19 and 28 of new iPhone 4 owners. The company waited until a few weeks after the handset launched to allow the impact of the device's antenna controversy to set in.



The survey of 213 new iPhone 4 owners found that users claimed to experience fewer dropped calls than those who own an iPhone 3GS. A June 2010 survey of iPhone 3GS owners found that 6.3 percent had experienced dropped calls. But in July, just 5.2 percent of iPhone 4 owners said they had dropped a call.



"Despite all of the issues surrounding the antenna, in actuality iPhone 4 owners reported experiencing fewer dropped calls on the average than iPhone 3GS owners," said Paul Carton, vice president of research with ChangeWave.



Those numbers are actually different from the data that Apple reported last month at its iPhone 4 press conference. There, Chief Executive Steve Jobs revealed that the iPhone 4 drops slightly more call, at a rate less than one call per 100 greater. Jobs said he believes this is because there were not many cases that fit the new form factor of the iPhone 4 available when the handset launched in June.



Respondents were also very satisfied with Apple's response to the antenna controversy, in which the company will give away free cases to all customers through Sept. 30. Users can select an Apple branded "Bumper" case, or a number of other third-party options.







The survey found that 35 percent of iPhone 4 owners were "very satisfied" with Apple's response, while 38 percent were "somewhat satisfied." Another 18 percent fell into some degree of "unsatisfied."







Significant media coverage of "antennagate," however, did have an impact on consumer perception of the iPhone 4, the survey found. Despite the fact that iPhone 4 owners experienced fewer dropped calls, the satisfaction rate for Apple's latest smartphone is slightly less than it was with the iPhone 3GS.



"The iPhone 4 comes close, but isn't quite at that level from what we saw a year ago," Carton said.



He said it's not that surprising, given that the reception issues gained a great deal of attention from the mainstream media. In fact, he said he views it as an accomplishment that the satisfaction ratings stayed high for the iPhone 4 in spite of the bad publicity.



In all, 13 percent of respondents said they were disappointed with their iPhone 4. With iPhone 3GS owners, that number was just 6 percent.



Those surveyed liked the high-resolution Retina Display of the iPhone 4 best, with 49 percent of respondents choosing it as one of three things they liked best. In second was the 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, taking 31 percent, followed in third by the touchscreen interface with 30 percent.



Multitasking came in fifth with 22 percent, and FaceTime video conferencing took ninth with 15 percent. Carton noted that the survey did not include teenagers, and he believes FaceTime may have performed better if a younger group were surveyed.







As for the most disliked features, tops was the restriction to AT&T's network. And second was the coverage, speed and quality of AT&T's 3G network. Together, close to half of all users had a problem with AT&T in some capacity. That's the same complaint users have had for years with Apple's handset.



The notorious "antennagate" controversy played a part in this category as well, with antenna issues coming in third as the most disliked feature of iPhone 4. A total of 24 percent said the antenna issues were something they disliked -- something, Carton said, that was to be expected.



"It would have been astonishing to us to ask about dislikes and not have the antenna issue or have the dropped call issue appear in the grouping," he said.



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Comments

  • macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:

    The notorious "antennagate" controversy played a part in this category as well, with antenna issues coming in third as the most disliked feature of iPhone 4.



    I don't understand this data point. Is this referring to customers who bought the phone, never experienced antenna issues, yet still state that they disliked said antenna issues?



    I'd hope that the data only take into account users who actually experienced a problem, and are not just responding psychosomatically to the negative publicity.
  • maury markowitzmaury markowitz Posts: 293member
    > Apple's latest handset have experienced fewer dropped calls than those who own an iPhone 3GS



    Is anyone really surprised to hear this? Even the statistics reported by Apple at the press conference was almost certainly statistically insignificant. I'll bet that another month's numbers will show the dropped call numbers have gone down.



    Maury
  • rajkiranrajkiran Posts: 5member
    Infact when I hold my iPhone 4 with the soo called death grip I see an increase in the number of bars...
  • dgmvwdgmvw Posts: 54member
    They should publish stats on how many people lose calls because they hung up on people with the proximity sensor issue. This is a big issue for me and I would like it to be fixed.
  • blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,179member
    I think these numbers are highly suspect. The numbers that Apple reported (showing an increase in dropped calls) are based on the most definitive source around -- AT&T's records.



    But still, the whole antenna thing has been blown way out of proportion. Of course, I'm still happy to accept my free bumper
  • ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I agree with the less dropped calls. I haven't used mark the spot in quite awhile for dropped calls or failed calls. I do use it for slow data speeds, but not for lack of data or service. I am happy with the voice/data portion of the phone.
  • bytorx1bytorx1 Posts: 11member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rajkiran View Post


    Infact when I hold my iPhone 4 with the soo called death grip I see an increase in the number of bars...



    I too actually have seen stronger signal with the Bar graphic on the phone.

    Again as most people will note, there's actually nothing defective or wrong with the iPhone4.



    People exist out there who just enjoy the drama so to speak and be a part of it.



    Loving iPhone4!!!
  • nickborowitznickborowitz Posts: 7member
    I don't see how thats possible. If I have 3G on my phone doesn't make calls. it takes 30-40 seconds to start ringing then hangs up 10 seconds in...
  • anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I think these numbers are highly suspect. The numbers that Apple reported (showing an increase in dropped calls) are based on the most definitive source around -- AT&T's records. ...



    Well, the numbers from the press conference were very specifically for a fixed period following the launch period of the iP4 vs. 3GS. These numbers seem to be for iP4 at some point in July vs. 3GS at some point in August 2009, which is a different post launch window for the respective devices. So, it's hard to say, really, how comparable the numbers are.



    However, I think it does point out that the antenna is not a real issue in real world use, despite what the detractors would like us to believe -- and I'm sure some of them will be along shortly, trying to convince us that reality is other than it is.
  • iancass79iancass79 Posts: 80member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post


    > Apple's latest handset have experienced fewer dropped calls than those who own an iPhone 3GS



    Is anyone really surprised to hear this? Even the statistics reported by Apple at the press conference was almost certainly statistically insignificant. I'll bet that another month's numbers will show the dropped call numbers have gone down.



    Maury



    I think that it IS/WAS an issue that has been solved by the simple fact that cases are now more readily available. With the 3GS, there were tons of cases before it was even out since it was no different in size and shape as the 3G. With the iPhone 4 there were no cases at the launch so the defect in design was very noticeable. Now that people have cases that they can buy, the problem is going away. I had serious problems at first, the bumper has since fixed them. If i take my phone back out of it, problems are back. Simple as that.
  • matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I think these numbers are highly suspect. The numbers that Apple reported (showing an increase in dropped calls) are based on the most definitive source around -- AT&T's records.




    Keep in mind that the data Steve Jobs presented is gathered from when IP4 just released. The new owners could swarmed the network testing their phones.
  • applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member
    No sh*t. I have seen nothing but improvement going from a 3G to an iPhone 4.



    No dropped ca... make that... NO DROPPED CALLS SINCE MY WIFE AND I PICKED UP OUR IPHONE 4s ON LAUNCH DAY.



    A much faster and better Internet connection. I just got back from the gym where I streamed a UK radio station at 160kbps for over an hour without a single drop out.
  • gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    I don't understand this data point. Is this referring to customers who bought the phone, never experienced antenna issues, yet still state that they disliked said antenna issues?



    I'd hope that the data only take into account users who actually experienced a problem, and are not just responding psychosomatically to the negative publicity.



    This was the impact (and, frankly, the whole point) of the 'antennagate' churn... to stir up FUD. Less dropped calls, but increased concern about the antenna.



    Mission accomplished, haters.
  • crawdad62crawdad62 Posts: 87member
    WAY less dropped calls. Well not WAY less since I didn't have that many with the iP3G. But since I've had my iP4 I've dropped one call and that was in an area that I couldn't even use my old iPhone. I've been nothing but pleased in the iP4.
  • addicted44addicted44 Posts: 808member
    Actually, the headline is misleading.



    CW's study is showing that fewer iPhone 4 users are reporting dropped calls, and not that iPhone 4's are dropping less calls.



    This would explain the discrepancy in numbers (ATT seeing more dropped calls). Less people (a very small number, actually) have an issue, but for those who do, it is a big issue.



    And that makes sense, since for this to be a problem, there are many factors that need to coincide:

    1) Small coverage window where network is bad enough that attenuation will cause a call drop, but not so bad you couldn't make the call in the first place.

    2) No case.

    3) Touching a very small spot on the phone, and with a certain window pressure.

    4) Some other mysterious factor (atmosphere? moisture on the hands? Only some devices?)



    It also explains people who are not having an issue at all.
  • jz1492jz1492 Posts: 40member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I think these numbers are highly suspect. The numbers that Apple reported (showing an increase in dropped calls) are based on the most definitive source around -- AT&T's records ...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    Keep in mind that the data Steve Jobs presented is gathered from when IP4 just released. The new owners could swarmed the network testing their phones.



    +1. Picture every early iPhone 4 owner strangle-holding their phones in every single way imaginable until they got the diminishing bars effect, even a dropped call, then doing it in front of friends and relatives till banned.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,034member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    This was the impact (and, frankly, the whole point) of the 'antennagate' churn... to stir up FUD. Less dropped calls, but increased concern about the antenna.



    Mission accomplished, haters.



    True, but I think all it did was polarize people along pre-existing prejudices. Some of my friends who sat on the fence asked me if I had any problems, so some people were open-minded. Everyone else simply took the side they were predisposed to believe without really looking into the facts.
  • 2oh12oh1 Posts: 474member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DGMVW View Post


    They should publish stats on how many people lose calls because they hung up on people with the proximity sensor issue.



    My thoughts exactly... but... I wonder how many people who have had dropped calls because of Proximity sensor problems even realized that was the cause. I think I accidentally hung up on someone this way. I've had two 'dropped calls' so far, and that was one of them (if so, it doesn't really count as a dropped call).



    I'm LOVING my iPhone 4. It might be the best tech purchase I've ever made.
  • nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    Good Radiance. Say this loud and clear to all the iPhone 4 bashers.
  • foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Too many variables to say what's actually occurring.



    #1. This is a self-reporting survey, which is an highly unreliable and inaccurate method for data collection.



    #2. Everybody knows they should encase their iPhone 4, but no such admonishments have been made for the 3GS.



    #3. The iPhone 4 may have newer cellular electronics that might offer better performance than the 3GS, independent of the touchy antenna.



    #4. AT&T may have tweaked their network to favor the iPhone 4 at the expense of previous iPhone users.



    For a simple, quantitative assessment of the iPhone 4 antenna, all Apple has to do is bring back Field Test Mode, which is found in every release of iPhone OS and which was removed from iOS 4.
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