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'Worst case' in iPhone reception issue: Apple gives away bumpers

post #1 of 162
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Despite well publicized reports of iPhone 4 reception issues, one analyst said he sees Apple, in the "worst case," discounting or giving away protective bumpers with little financial impact on the company.

Analyst Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors Friday in which he discounted the antenna concerns as "overdone." Since the iPhone 4 launched, discussion of dropped calls from holding the device in one's left hand has grown, and Apple even publicly commented on the issue.

"We don't think the antenna issue is that big of a deal where it would warrant a product recall," Wu wrote. "The reason is that most users have a case anyway to protect their iPhone and to customize to their personal preferences. In our view, in the worst case, Apple provides a discount on the $29 iPhone 4 bumper case or includes one for free with an iPhone 4 purchase. Either way, we do not think this would have a material impact impact on our forecasts."

Apple, in a statement, said that gripping any mobile phone will affect its antenna performance. The company suggested that users avoid gripping the device in the lower left corner.

But the problem is also alleviated by using a case, which prevents the metal band around the perimeter of the device from making contact with the user's skin. The issue can reportedly be avoided when using the official "bumper" case sold by Apple.

Wu is particularly bullish on Apple's launch of the iPhone 4, predicting that the company sold between 1.5 million and 2 million units. On the high end, that would double the debut of the iPhone 3GS a year ago.

Wu's prediction of 2 million is higher than other analysts who believe Apple will sell closer to 1.5 million of the iPhone 4 at launch. Last week, after the first day of preorders, Apple revealed that more than 600,000 devices had been sold.
post #2 of 162
incredibly optimistic and insanely unlikely that this is "all" they'd be on the hook for.
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post #3 of 162
Personally...

I'd rather they had better designed/engineered the device prior to release, as opposed to this (proposed) half-hearted 'fix'.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #4 of 162
That's exactly what I said earlier today. I assume they'll look at the design of the phone to see if they can improve the issue, but for the million plus units that are already manufactured, if a bumper solves the problem (and it sure sounds like it does) then they can give free bumpers to people that complain about the problem.

Again, I think they need to look at changing the design going forward, but assuming that bumpers do solve the problem I don't see why they'd be on the hook for anything beyond that.
post #5 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Personally...

I'd rather they had better designed/engineered the device before release, as opposed to this (proposed) half-hearted 'fix'.

It is surprising this left the door, I'll admit. However, throwing in a $29 bumper for $5 (which costs them $0.25) is an easy solution to the problem. It is a pretty stupid design flaw (in retrospect) that they should have seen coming and addressed already.

But, it isn't going to impact purchases or profitability.
post #6 of 162
What happens when you're in a high humidity area? Or go from a cool to warm environment? Or pick up the phone after putting down your cold drink?

The bumper case can't stop condensation.

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post #7 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

It is surprising this left the door, I'll admit. However, throwing in a $29 bumper for $5 (which costs them $0.25) is an easy solution to the problem.

If it helps them avoid lots of returns or a class action suit, I'd think they'd be happy to give them away. Depending on where this whole thing goes, I could see them including one in the box until they can tweak the design/manufacturing. Is there room in the box?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell View Post

What happens when you're in a high humidity area? Or go from a cool to warm environment?

The bumper case can't stop condensation.

Is that an actual issue? Have people reported having that problem or is that just a hypothetical?
post #8 of 162
giving away bumpers is far better than saying "go buy a bumper" when apple gets a 10,000% profit on them [assuming they cost 29 cents each to manufacture, package and ship.

btw, you can buy a bumper for the iPhone4 for 2 bucks here [or 3.50 with a protective film]:
http://www.sourcingmap.com/iphone4g-...-983_2036.html
post #9 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

That's exactly what I said earlier today. I assume they'll look at the design of the phone to see if they can improve the issue, but for the million plus units that are already manufactured, if a bumper solves the problem (and it sure sounds like it does) then they can give free bumpers to people that complain about the problem.

Again, I think they need to look at changing the design going forward, but assuming that bumpers do solve the problem I don't see why they'd be on the hook for anything beyond that.

I would hope that if a new rev of the phone happens a straight exchange of old for new could happen. Users should not be required to use the bumpers to solve the problem (if it exists for them).
post #10 of 162
Considering the $29.00 bumpers probably cost Apple all of 29 cents to manufacture, I'd have to agree with the article and agree this of minimal financial impact to them. Still isn't Apple opening themselves up to a flood of requests for free bumpers? Do you really think the techs at the Genius bar are going to verify every user who comes in and claims poor service when they touch the antenna? At some point you just reach under the counter into the big box of overpriced rubber bands and hand them out to all comers... I love Apple and their products, but the 29 dollar iPhone rubber band has to be their most audacious money grab in some time. (this from the guy who paid $40 for their iPad wetsuit)
post #11 of 162
I suggest everyone take a deep breath and wait until some controlled testing reveals whether this "flaw" is indeed such. It is possible that Apple is right, and that all phone signals are effected by the hand that holds it to one degree or another. Only scientific testing alongside the other models and competing phones can determine this. Not people standing in lines, or people posting on blogs.

If it is shown that there is a problem, then discussions of remedies will be germane.
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post #12 of 162
Free bumpers is one thing. The hit Apple is going to take on its engineering and aesthetics is going to be immeasurable.
post #13 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

I would hope that if a new rev of the phone happens a straight exchange of old for new could happen. Users should not be required to use the bumpers to solve the problem (if it exists for them).

You're saying if they revise it to improve this, they should take back a million phones even if a bumper solves the problem? You can hope for that, but I doubt that would ever happen. Even a "win" in a class action lawsuit would probably just result in something like an apple store coupon.

And if apple did offer an exchange for a new design for people with the problem, you know that most people would trade it in even if it was working fine for them.
post #14 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I suggest everyone take a deep breath and wait until some controlled testing reveals whether this "flaw" is indeed such. It is possible that Apple is right, and that all phone signals are effected by the hand that holds it to one degree or another.

Of course Apple is right. The iPhone 4 just exhibits this problem to an extreme. Doesn't everyone understand marketing-speak?
post #15 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

If it helps them avoid lots of returns or a class action suit, I'd think they'd be happy to give them away. Depending on where this whole thing goes, I could see them including one in the box until they can tweak the design/manufacturing. Is there room in the box?


Is that an actual issue? Have people reported having that problem or is that just a hypothetical?


Believe it or not, manufacturers takes these things in consideration when designing their products.

1 year ago the iMacs had fogging issues behind the glass panel. If moisture can get behind that, it can certainly get behind the rubber bumper.
http://discussions.info.apple.com/me...sageID=9748968

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post #16 of 162
Wow. Worst case, huh?

If this isn't fixable (and I really only mean "visually" at the least) by a software update, then Apple is in a world of s**t.
Free rubber band ain't gonna bail them out.
post #17 of 162
Just curious about how bad it really is. I wanted to be an early adopter, but the lines were crazy at midnight. There was no way I was going to wait that long.

Are we talking INSTANT dropped calls every time or do the bars just go down? I find that the bars on my 3Gs fluctuate all the time while talking, but I don't lose the call.
post #18 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Of course Apple is right. The iPhone 4 just exhibits this problem to an extreme.

Exactly. Plus it seems like in the case of the iPhone it's not just the hand blocking the signal, but touching the two parts of metal at once and basically causing a short between them, which likely happens in few if any other phones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell View Post

Believe it or not, manufacturers takes these things in consideration when designing their products.

Of course they do, I never said otherwise. I asked if condensation is something that people have had happen using bumpers or just a hypothetical you came up with, which you didn't answer.
post #19 of 162
You need to hold your phone in an apple approved fashion.

Otherwise, your warranty may not apply.

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post #20 of 162
And there you have it.

And yet, with all the screaming negativity, AAPL is only down less than 1/10 of a percent.

So much for the Apple is doomed! crowd.
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post #21 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by donlphi View Post

Just curious about how bad it really is. I wanted to be an early adopter, but the lines were crazy at midnight. There was no way I was going to wait that long.

Are we talking INSTANT dropped calls every time or do the bars just go down? I find that the bars on my 3Gs fluctuate all the time while talking, but I don't lose the call.

From what I've seen with data in the Speedtest app, as soon as the gap is bridged, data transfer halts. The bars seem to provide a moving average of signal strength over about the last 20 seconds, so it takes them 20 seconds to catch up. Likewise, after releasing the death grip, it takes another 20 seconds for the bars indicator to be fully restored, even though data transmission resumes immediately.
post #22 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I suggest everyone take a deep breath and wait until some controlled testing reveals whether this "flaw" is indeed such. It is possible that Apple is right, and that all phone signals are effected by the hand that holds it to one degree or another. Only scientific testing alongside the other models and competing phones can determine this. Not people standing in lines, or people posting on blogs.

If it is shown that there is a problem, then discussions of remedies will be germane.

Stop talking sense. I've warned you about this before!
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post #23 of 162


I think iP 4.1 is much better. At least it makes phone calls.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #24 of 162
Doomed I tells ya!

</snark>
post #25 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

You need to hold your phone in an apple approved fashion.

Otherwise, your warranty may not apply.

++

Considering the past blunders Apple has had with warranties, this wouldn't surprise me if it was in the new contract.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #26 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

You're saying if they revise it to improve this, they should take back a million phones even if a bumper solves the problem? You can hope for that, but I doubt that would ever happen. Even a "win" in a class action lawsuit would probably just result in something like an apple store coupon.

And if apple did offer an exchange for a new design for people with the problem, you know that most people would trade it in even if it was working fine for them.

If it is a design flaw Apple will need to bite the bullet. There is no way that an affected user can be required to use bumpers to remedy the problem. The phone was not advertised and sold to require bumpers to function. There would need to be an additional course of remedy, again, IF this is a design flaw.

Oh, and an Apple store coupon as a remedy, I'd see that as a slap in the face, just as the "hold the phone differently" and "all phones have this problem" response was. (Bad move that, I was stunned that came from an official Apple source.) It wouldn't solve any problem, it would be minimal compensation for keeping a problematic phone. No, I haven't bought the new phone yet, I'll delay doing so until this all plays out. My 3G works fine, love the new iOS4.
post #27 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdjohn3 View Post

Doomed I tells ya!

</snark>

That was funny about 10 years ago.
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #28 of 162
Why do people always have to find something to bitch about? Forget all of the reports that people are getting better reception in places they never did before. Instead, Apple should take notice that if I cover up the antenna with my hand, the reception bar goes down.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the California, Steve Jobs is doing a facepalm.
post #29 of 162
IMHO, the blogs are really to blame for this over-reaction. What we've seen over the past 36 hours is a perfect example of how the internet, bloggers, and message boards can turn a mountain into a mole hill.

I'd wager that there are far fewer actual issues from the antennae than reported. Very few consumers have the technical or troubleshooting knowledge to really isolate an issue to be caused by one variable. Logically, in many of the reported cases, there is no way for the user to know if it's the weather, the signal, interference, aliens, or just poor reception.

For the record, my iPhone4 works great. So does my wife's. No issues.
post #30 of 162
Hmm. I wonder if the PERSON has something to do with this? Maybe some people have more salt on their skin or some such. Has anyone that has this problem with their phone tried letting other people use the phone? If so, what was the result?
post #31 of 162
So Gizmodo and Jason Chen are still the coolest, right? We can still believe what they publish about Apple, yes?

But forget this reception nonsense... there's a new Gizmodo article that exposes a newly discovered flaw in the iPhone 4 that is sure to send Apple stock spiraling. Apparently, when you engage the sleep button, or turn the phone off, it stops working!! You can't get it to do anything, except in sleep mode sometimes you can receive calls, but that's all. What good is the multitasking if you can't even launch or see the application? That's right... the SCREEN GOES BLANK. This behavior has now been widely reported, and demonstration videos are appearing on YouTube. The Apple fan base is starting to circle, and the trolls are getting warmed up... some are reporting that if in sleep mode and you press the home button, a slider appears allowing you to get back to the SpirngBoard to launch applications, but many are saying this 'workaround' just shows Apple's lack of attention to detail. At any rate, Gizmodo editor Jason Chen is really pulling out all the stops in his bid for the Pulitzer... "Apple is going down" he is reported to have muttered minutes before press time.
post #32 of 162
Since hearsay, anecdotal evidence, blog posts, and rumor are new standards of facts and truth. I will keep my old fashioned notions of science and controlled testing out of this discussion.

Besides, speculation and what ifs are more fun, aren't they. No smiley.
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post #33 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post

IMHO, the blogs are really to blame for this over-reaction. What we've seen over the past 36 hours is a perfect example of how the internet, bloggers, and message boards can turn a mountain into a mole hill.

Don't you mean turn a mole-hill into a mountain?

Actually, you'd be right about AppleInsider forums turning mountains into mole-hills, because apparently any major product problem is "simply not using it as Steve Jobs intended".
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #34 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Funny shouldn't they have done all their testing before the release date?

When it is proven that there is a real problem, then I will agree with you on this point. Google "scientific proof" to see what I am talking about.
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post #35 of 162
I guess there wont be a recall, my friend happens to be left handed and has a major problem with dropped calls due to this.

He does not want to put his iPhone into a cover, he wants it to be seen, conceited granted, but considering Apple's demographic he is hardly going to be in the minority.

Someone f*cked up good and hard on this one.
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post #36 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillin View Post

So Gizmodo and Jason Chen are still the coolest, right? We can still believe what they publish about Apple, yes?

But forget this reception nonsense... there's a new Gizmodo article that exposes a newly discovered flaw in the iPhone 4 that is sure to send Apple stock spiraling. Apparently, when you engage the sleep button, or turn the phone off, it stops working!! You can't get it to do anything, except in sleep mode sometimes you can receive calls, but that's all. What good is the multitasking if you can't even launch or see the application? That's right... the SCREEN GOES BLANK. This behavior has now been widely reported, and demonstration videos are appearing on YouTube. The Apple fan base is starting to circle, and the trolls are getting warmed up... some are reporting that if in sleep mode and you press the home button, a slider appears allowing you to get back to the SpirngBoard to launch applications, but many are saying this 'workaround' just shows Apple's lack of attention to detail. At any rate, Gizmodo editor Jason Chen is really pulling out all the stops in his bid for the Pulitzer... "Apple is going down" he is reported to have muttered minutes before press time.

Very good. You know, I am beginning to think this forum is populated by a high proportion of thirteen year old girls. Mass hysteria is normal here.
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post #37 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillin View Post

...At any rate, Gizmodo editor Jason Chen is really pulling out all the stops in his bid for the Pulitzer... "Apple is going down" he is reported to have muttered minutes before press time.

Wow. They actually want a war with Steve Jobs? Are they nuts?
post #38 of 162
Well this is my first post, but I have been reading this site for a few months now.

I preordered and recieved my iphone 4 yesterday through fedex and it has both the discolored screen and the signal issues. The ATT store I activated at took a note of the screen so I can exchange it later if it doesn't go away.

I noticed the signal issue later when I got home. Where I live I only have edge and only 2 or 3 bars of signal. If I hold the phone in my left hand the signal drops to "no service" and I am unable to make calls if I try. So it is more than just a cosmetic thing, and really did make me drop to no service.
post #39 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post



I think iP 4.1 is much better. At least it makes phone calls.



LMAO!!!
post #40 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

You know whats funny about all this, if this was a new Android phone or something put out by RIM everyone on this forum would be taking about how others don't live up to Apple standards before any true tests came out. Because its Apple now everyone wants to wait and give Apple months to test before coming to a conclusion. ...

There you go again. If you actually read the posts on this topic in the various threads, you would know that your assertion is false. But, truth or falsity don't seem to matter to you.
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