Originally Posted by Wiggin
Note that the formula that Apple currently uses is VERY similar to what Android uses. And yet Apple is claiming it is "totally wrong."
Apple’s claiming that it’s wrong compared to AT&T’s current bar-display guidelines, which they will now follow—which would be a stupid lie to tell if it’s not true. And it’s also wrong in an observable way: Anandtech has been noting this software issue ever since the first iPhone came out. (See their iPhone 4 review—they mention that fact.)
The fact that Google went for a similar formula suggests that the “wrong” formula had its merits too. But other phones use different formulas. No need to seek for a dark conspiracy.
Originally Posted by freddych
No one is arguing that signal attenuation to any degree is unique to the iPhone 4. It's the degree of signal attenuation that is unique to the iPhone 4.
Certainly—but you’re failing to note that the Apple’s unique antenna design also BENEFITS reception. The RESULT of the benefit minus the attenuation is what matters. Daring Fireball called it three steps forward, one step back. That’s still moving forward. Now, cell reception is highly complex, and ANY new design (even internal) that gets overall better reception will, in some situations, get worse reception. If the iPhone 4 gets unacceptable coverage where you live, then the refund policy is your friend. Same goes for any phone—try before you trust.
As Anantech notes, even when showing just one measly bar, the iPhone 4 can hold a voice call AND transfer data simultaneously, in areas where the 3GS was useless. So there are really six
different things going on:
* The bars as displayed (which previously failed to show a weak signal sometimes—and this is being fixed); one result of this: sudden drops of many bars in a short time when hold the phone a certain way; scary even if you didn’t lose a call over it
* The grip-related attenuation due to your body water (as affects all phones); usually insignificant, but can be a killer in borderline locations
* The additional grip-related degradation if you bridge the two external antennas; usually insignificant, but can be a killer in borderline locations
* The signal strength available from AT&T in a given specific location
* The resulting signal experienced by the phone due to the combination of the above factors
* The performance experienced by the user (such as an iPhone 4 doing great with 1 bar where a 3GS fails)