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No iPhone 4 recall today, but 'voluntary' recall, full refunds possible

post #1 of 120
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Though reports have indicated Apple will not initiate a full recall of the iPhone 4 at its press conference today, some prominent Wall Street analysts believe Apple could institute a "voluntary" recall, or refund dissatisfied owners the full purchase price.

Reports from both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on Thursday indicated that Apple will not institute a full recall of the iPhone 4 at its press conference today, scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific Time, 1 p.m. Eastern. The Times also suggested that the widely reported antenna issues with the iPhone 4 have been a longstanding problem with both the hardware and software found in all iPhones, and could be remedied with a software fix.

With a full product recall apparently off the table, Wall Street analysts weighed in at the last minute on Friday, to share what they think Apple will reveal at the press conference on its Cupertino, Calif., campus.

RBC Capital Markets

Analyst Mike Abramsky sees a voluntary recall as a likely option for Apple, particularly if the issue affects a specific set of serial numbers with the iPhone 4. In that scenario, only iPhone 4 buyers who qualify -- and only those who request a new handset -- would have their faulty hardware replaced. This would save Apple face, and money.

Abramsky sees Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs today offering an apology to customers, and suggesting that users who think their hardware is affected can go to Apple's website and enter in their serial number. From there, users could opt to try out a free bumper to see if that resolves their issue, or if they prefer, they could exchange their device for a new iPhone 4.

In this scenario, Abramsky said, he could see Apple requesting users' contact information, to let them know when their updated handset can be shipped to them. Users will be able to exchange at no cost, and will receive a $50 gift certificate for their problem.

If there is a hardware fix, Abramsky said he believes Apple will say it began shipping the updated devices this week. This would ensure customers considering a purchase that their handset will not be affected.

He sees the total impact costing Apple between $131 million and $525 million, with anywhere from 400,000 to 1.5 million iPhone 4 replacements.



"Steve (Jobs) has to show Apple cares deeply about its customers," Abramsky said of today's press conference. "If he doesn't, the downside impact to the Apple brand -- already tarnished by this issue -- may be significant. Can Apple and Steve pull this off? My call is they will."

Gleacher & Company

Analyst Brian Marshall expects that Apple will make minor tweaks to future production of the iPhone 4, adding a nonconductive coating to avoid antenna issues with future models. He said Apple will likely offer both a verbal and monetary apology, in the form of a free bumper or $30 gift card.

But he expects the Steve Jobs-hosted event to focus on the fact that signal degradation issues are experienced by less than 1 percent of customers. He also sees Jobs as adopting a "humble approach" for today's press conference.

Marshall said dissatisfied customers will likely be allowed to return the iPhone 4 in exchange for the full purchase price. He also expects that there will be no change to production build plans, nor any reduction in consumer demand for the product.

Gleacher & Company has dubbed the method of holding the iPhone 4 to cause reception issues the "monkey grip." Marshall said that using this grip, he was able to "force our iPhone 4 into submission," using an "extremely specific (and painful) manner."



"We call it the 'monkey grip' because our experience shows that in order to effectively recreate the reported signal degradation issues, one's hand needs to be not only huge but flexible as well (similar to that of a monkey's)," Marshall wrote.

Kaufman Bros.

Shaw Wu, analyst with Kaufman Bros., said that although a recall is "unlikely," he could see a smaller exchange being offered by Apple. He said checks with sources have indicated that Apple is exploring both hardware and software fixes for the issue.

Those sources have said that Apple has considered minor manufacturing tweaks that will help insulate the "gap" on the lower left side of the iPhone 4. The company could also utilize a different metal composite to provide better insulation.

"While all metals conduct electricity and radio waves to a degree, there are different grades of conductivity," he said.

On the software side, Apple is also allegedly working on better antenna algorithms. Sources indicated to Wu that Apple is "furiously working" to improve them and account for different human body shapes and water levels. Those sources also said that the math is "complex but not insurmountable," and "may take some time to write."

"We don't claim to be material science or antenna engineering experts, but from our conversations with sources familiar with the situation, these fixes will make iPhone 4 less prone to interference, and hopefully put an end to the bad rap AAPL has been taking," Wu wrote. "Fortunately, our checks indicate the 'death grip' has impacted only a small fraction of users and is not as dramatic as the media frenzy has made it out to be."

The analyst said he expects that Apple will announce that another software fix for the iPhone 4 is forthcoming. He also reiterated his believe that handing out free bumpers would be a simple and cost effective way for Apple to appease customers.
post #2 of 120
Wow. I'm speechless at Wu's explanation and understanding of RF engineering.

I don't dabble in nuclear engineering, so why is he dabbling in RF engineering when it is painfully obvious that he doesn't have a clue?
post #3 of 120
He-he. They already gave it unofficial try. Not a single retarded dick came!
Reeeee-eeeecall my ass...

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post #4 of 120
If Apple does implement some sort of recall (voluntary or otherwise), free bumpers, or an exchange for a hardware corrected model, how many people here that have claimed they never have a problem end up taking advantage of the offers.

"I don't believe there is a problem, I haven't seen a problem and everyone that does is just a whiner! But, I will exchange, just in case"

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #5 of 120
Wow, I know this is a rumors site and all, but there's something that seems particularly amusing about the "rumor round-up" for a conference that will address one single issue and that's only an hour or two away.
post #6 of 120
The money back if you don't like it idea (within 30 days) is the best solution. This will shorten the waiting times for the majority. Although I doubt too many will be returned. I am pretty sure most of the moaning on these blogs are from 'interested parties' not real owners.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #7 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixPenceRicher View Post

Wow. I'm speechless at Wu's explanation and understanding of RF engineering.

I don't dabble in nuclear engineering, so why is he dabbling in RF engineering when it is painfully obvious that he doesn't have a clue?

I found Wu's comments totally acceptable. He is repeating information that has been provided to him from sources in an objective manner; even disclaiming his lack of expertise.
post #8 of 120
"Wow. I'm speechless at Wu's explanation and understanding of RF engineering.

I don't dabble in nuclear engineering, so why is he dabbling in RF engineering when it is painfully obvious that he doesn't have a clue?"

And, in your expert opinion, what exactly did Shaw Woo report that is incorrect? Seems to me he was reporting what persons familiar with the situation stated. He made no claim to an expertise in RF engineering.
post #9 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Rick_V_ View Post

Wow, I know this is a rumors site and all, but there's something that seems particularly amusing about the "rumor round-up" for a conference that will address one single issue and that's only an hour or two away.

Well then what is the point of speculating AFTER the press-conference? If you want to get your name in the headlines for your latest bit of make-believe as to what your best guess will be as to the content or outcome of the press release - you have to get while the getting is good.

If the result of the press conference is something along the lines of only 1% of units are affected and those will be exchanged or repaired at no charge - then the whole issue *should* fizzle away.

(although personally my bit of speculation based on the number of reports and random sampling etc - is that the number may be more like 10%)

Let's hope the press conference isn't going to be just education on how to hold the phone properly
post #10 of 120
I have never had a reception issue with my Iphone 4G. That is because I use a case and thus my antenna never gets blocked by the "death grip".

People just need to whine about something with the new Iphone.
If you don't like it, return it and stop bitching.
post #11 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

If Apple does implement some sort of recall (voluntary or otherwise), free bumpers, or an exchange for a hardware corrected model, how many people here that have claimed they never have a problem end up taking advantage of the offers.

"I don't believe there is a problem, I haven't seen a problem and everyone that does is just a whiner! But, I will exchange, just in case"

that is absolutely disingenuous. i haven't seen anyone here tell anyone who has the problem on their phone say that to anyone voicing a valid complaint.
"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
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post #12 of 120
Sadly, AI continues to ignore making distinctions about the track record of analysts (AI does occasionally bring it up when quoting media sources).

Take Shaw Wu's comments with a very large grain of salt. He is not a star-rated analyst.

Abramsky and Marshall actually are star-rated analysts meaning their predictions are more accurate than those of their peers (as judged by StarMine).

I wish Apple rumor sites would stop taking all analysts' statements as gospel. There are good Apple analysts and there are bad ones. Apple rumor sites should point out the accuracy of their sources. Very easy to find: just visit Yahoo Finance.
post #13 of 120
"The Times also suggested that the widely reported antenna issues with the iPhone 4 have been a longstanding problem with both the hardware and software found in all iPhones, and could be remedied with a software fix."

Interesting. That might explain the higher-than-average call drops.
post #14 of 120
What would a 'recall' mean? Would that include the option for an exchange? I sure hope so.

iP4 is a simply phenomenal product, except for this minor irritant (with which one can muddle through, albeit with a grimace), and I would definitely want to stick with it.
post #15 of 120
It just doesn't feel like a complete "idiots on parade" until Katy Huberty weighs in.

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post #16 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyAppleUser View Post

I have never had a reception issue with my Iphone 4G. That is because I use a case and thus my antenna never gets blocked by the "death grip".

People just need to whine about something with the new Iphone.
If you don't like it, return it and stop bitching.

No one is whining. Stop over-reacting.

Apple obviously thinks it is a serious enough issue, as does much of the world, o/w we wouldn't have today's event. If it's not an issue for you, great.

Run along, now.....
post #17 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

that is absolutely disingenuous. i haven't seen anyone here tell anyone who has the problem on their phone say that to anyone voicing a valid complaint.

Sure they have. They've told them it is normal and they should change their grip. They've told them they are whining. They've implied or stated that the CR test reports are the result of pressure from RIM, Google, MS. They've told them to STFU and just return it. They've said "I haven't seen the problem, my friends haven't seen the problem, the problem doesn't exist".

Mostly, whether they acknowledge the issue or not or try to reduce the severity, they simply say "STFU and stop whining".

It will be interesting to see what the posters making statements do after the event today.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #18 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

If Apple does implement some sort of recall (voluntary or otherwise), free bumpers, or an exchange for a hardware corrected model, how many people here that have claimed they never have a problem end up taking advantage of the offers.

"I don't believe there is a problem, I haven't seen a problem and everyone that does is just a whiner! But, I will exchange, just in case"

Recall just for the sake of getting rid of my iPhone? No. I'm not having trouble with mine but if they have a "corrected model" then yeah I'd exchange it for that. Just because I'm in an area that has good coverage I haven't experienced any trouble and in fact have better reception than my iP3G had doesn't mean I'll always have. But if they came out with a model that unequivocally eliminated any chance losing a signal than sure. Why not?
post #19 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

If Apple does implement some sort of recall (voluntary or otherwise), free bumpers, or an exchange for a hardware corrected model, how many people here that have claimed they never have a problem end up taking advantage of the offers.

"I don't believe there is a problem, I haven't seen a problem and everyone that does is just a whiner! But, I will exchange, just in case"

Exactly. You can bet that they will not be posting here boasting that they did!
post #20 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixPenceRicher View Post

Wow. I'm speechless at Wu's explanation and understanding of RF engineering.

I don't dabble in nuclear engineering, so why is he dabbling in RF engineering when it is painfully obvious that he doesn't have a clue?

Yeah, that was a bunch of startlingly dumb stuff he said there. I know practically nothing about antennas but even I could tell what he was saying was absolute bullsh*t. He doesn't even seem to understand the basic principles of electromagnetic radiation or maybe even electricity.

Best to keep your mouth shut when you are that clued out on the specifics.
post #21 of 120
I am waiting for the ones who will bitch and compain no matter what Apple does. Final determination won't be placed by me until after the press conference.
post #22 of 120
The *real* reason for the con call is to place all the blame on AT&T and to announce that the iPhone will be available on Verizon effective today with expected sales of 5 million Verizon iPhones over the weekend.
post #23 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Exactly. You can bet that they will not be posting here boasting that they did!

post #24 of 120
A lot of people upgraded from their 3GS and promptly sold their old phone on eBay. Now if they want to return their i4, they will also need to repurchase a 3GS with a new no unlimited data contract. So they really aren't back to square one. Hopefully whatever they made on eBay will cover the expense.

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post #25 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

that is absolutely disingenuous. i haven't seen anyone here tell anyone who has the problem on their phone say that to anyone voicing a valid complaint.

Then you haven't read enough!
post #26 of 120
This was a great story right up until I saw the name Shaw Wu.....
post #27 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Sure they have. They've told them it is normal and they should change their grip. They've told them they are whining. They've implied or stated that the CR test reports are the result of pressure from RIM, Google, MS. They've told them to STFU and just return it. They've said "I haven't seen the problem, my friends haven't seen the problem, the problem doesn't exist".

Mostly, whether they acknowledge the issue or not or try to reduce the severity, they simply say "STFU and stop whining".

It will be interesting to see what the posters making statements do after the event today.

If I were them, I'd cover myself in a blanket and will not come out of the home for 2 weeks. By then, Apple would release new Apple TV or something else and I'd come out and sing praises of that new amazing magical product.
post #28 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Well then what is the point of speculating AFTER the press-conference? If you want to get your name in the headlines for your latest bit of make-believe as to what your best guess will be as to the content or outcome of the press release - you have to get while the getting is good.

That's the way it works. Everyone throws in their silly guess - and a few of them end up being correct - at random. Then they can run around bragging about how they knew what was going on. The people who were wrong are forgotten - until the next issue comes up and then everyone forgets that they were wrong last time and eagerly fawns over their every utterance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

If the result of the press conference is something along the lines of only 1% of units are affected and those will be exchanged or repaired at no charge - then the whole issue *should* fizzle away.

Should, but won't. Too many people with a vested interest in dragging this out. Apple could give every single iPhone customer a new iPhone 5 that makes calls to Saturn without difficulty, 30 year battery life, more features, no dropped calls EVER, a $50,000 check for their inconvenience - and some people would STILL be complaining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

that is absolutely disingenuous. i haven't seen anyone here tell anyone who has the problem on their phone say that to anyone voicing a valid complaint.

That's pretty much true (with perhaps an occasional exception). The main complaints about the whiners are 2-fold:

1. There are still a lot of people complaining about the issue and in the same breath saying they don't own an iPhone, have never touched and iPhone and never would. If they've never touched one and have no plans to, 'STFU' is an appropriate response. They have no objectivity and no facts to base their opinion on. They're simply repeating the most negative comments they can find.

2. There are some people who want miracles. They want the phone to never lose any signal no matter what you do to it. No matter what Apple does, they will not be happy -- yet they refuse to return their phone for a refund. Clearly, their expectations are unreasonable. (Although I suspect that many of them are actually in group #1).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It just doesn't feel like a complete "idiots on parade" until Katy Huberty weighs in.

Oh, there are more. I wonder why we haven't heard from Paul Thurrot on this issue. Or the usual Gartner clowns. Or almost anyone at ZDNET.
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post #29 of 120
post #30 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

The Nexus one got the same problem:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xe0...grip-demo_tech

Oh no - the signal loss is infectious - keep your other cell phones away from the iPhone 4 else you will be infected as well!
post #31 of 120
A voluntary re-call? Sounds like a silly way of saying 30 day money back guarantee. The re-call idea is ridiculous and the fact that it keeps being bandied about by every Tom Dic and Harry just goes to show that Tom Dick and harry really are sheep and not people.
post #32 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

"The Times also suggested that the widely reported antenna issues with the iPhone 4 have been a longstanding problem with both the hardware and software found in all iPhones, and could be remedied with a software fix."

Interesting. That might explain the higher-than-average call drops.

Yep. It won't happen but how interesting would it get if AT&T sued Apple for damage to their reputation.

Verizon is thanking their lucky stars they didn't get the first exclusive iPhone contract.
post #33 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkiran View Post

If I were them, I'd cover myself in a blanket and will not come out of the home for 2 weeks. By then, Apple would release new Apple TV or something else and I'd come out and sing praises of that new amazing magical product.

I expect we will see a lot of rationalizing.

If and when Apple acknowledges the issues, many here will subsequently acknowledge the issues. Others are going to feel a little butt hurt that they were wrong, but that will wear off and they will forget they were wrong.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #34 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyAppleUser View Post

I have never had a reception issue with my Iphone 4G. That is because I use a case and thus my antenna never gets blocked by the "death grip".

People just need to whine about something with the new Iphone.
If you don't like it, return it and stop bitching.

the hole reception thing

Yay! Another angry and illiterate new member!
post #35 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

The Nexus one got the same problem:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xe0...grip-demo_tech

Or to re-phrase - Nexus is also a mobile phone.
post #36 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

A voluntary re-call? Sounds like a silly way of saying 30 day money back guarantee. The re-call idea is ridiculous and the fact that it keeps being bandied about by every Tom Dic and Harry just goes to show that Tom Dick and harry really are sheep and not people.

A voluntary recall wouldn't have a 30-day limit. The point of recalls is to allow returns that are past a normal return or warranty period.
post #37 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Should, but won't. Too many people with a vested interest in dragging this out. Apple could give every single iPhone customer a new iPhone 5 that makes calls to Saturn without difficulty, 30 year battery life, more features, no dropped calls EVER, a $50,000 check for their inconvenience - and some people would STILL be complaining.

And some people would STIILL complain that others are complaining and whining! Not sure why they bother!
post #38 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Should, but won't. Too many people with a vested interest in dragging this out. Apple could give every single iPhone customer a new iPhone 5 that makes calls to Saturn without difficulty, 30 year battery life, more features, no dropped calls EVER, a $50,000 check for their inconvenience - and some people would STILL be complaining.

You never get tired of trotting this out, do you?

post #39 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I expect we will see a lot of rationalizing.

If and when Apple acknowledges the issues, many here will subsequently acknowledge the issues. Others are going to feel a little butt hurt that they were wrong, but that will wear off and they will forget they were wrong.

I agree and that's what bothers me. Why should anyone be so obsessed about anything that they cannot see a deficiency ever?

I use a lot of apple products and love most of the. But it's hard to imagine any of them being "perfect". If they were, they don't need to invent more and more "amazing" and "magical" products every year!
post #40 of 120
The Physics

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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