AppleCare: iPhone 4 Update will NOT fix Antenna Issue

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Well there you have it. you need a bumper, hold it differently or wait for iPhone 5



http://gizmodo.com/5580587/applecare...ntenna-problem

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    Gizmodo says:



    "We called AppleCare three times today to confirm it."



    I think unless they have the audio tapes, it's best not to believe what they say. Remember, they stole an iPhone 4 and are in some very hot water right now and got banned from WWDC.



    It's certainly possible that Applecare are saying these things but I wouldn't take anything from Gizmodo as the truth.



    As to what they are claiming AppleCare are saying, well it's common knowledge. Apple have stated that the signal bars display wrong so I'd expect that's all it will correct.



    So previously, the top bar would allow a drop of over 20dBm so holding the bottom left stays around 5 bars in a high signal area. In any area lower than that, the bottom 4 bars only cover that amount together so it wipes them all out.



    The modification will mean that 5 bars stays 5 bars as before but the signal will drop off much more quickly in low signal areas so that covering the phone to reach a dropped call state will only require a drop of a couple of bars so it then becomes AT&T's problem for it being 1 or 2 bars in the first place.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,737member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Gizmodo says:



    "We called AppleCare three times today to confirm it."



    I think unless they have the audio tapes, it's best not to believe what they say. Remember, they stole an iPhone 4 and are in some very hot water right now and got banned from WWDC.



    It's certainly possible that Applecare are saying these things but I wouldn't take anything from Gizmodo as the truth.



    When AI was being sued by Apple, we didn't use that to write off their articles.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    As to what they are claiming AppleCare are saying, well it's common knowledge. Apple have stated that the signal bars display wrong so I'd expect that's all it will correct.



    So previously, the top bar would allow a drop of over 20dBm so holding the bottom left stays around 5 bars in a high signal area. In any area lower than that, the bottom 4 bars only cover that amount together so it wipes them all out.



    The modification will mean that 5 bars stays 5 bars as before but the signal will drop off much more quickly in low signal areas so that covering the phone to reach a dropped call state will only require a drop of a couple of bars so it then becomes AT&T's problem for it being 1 or 2 bars in the first place.



    It becomes AT&T's issue when the bars more accurately show actual signal strength (assuming AT&T's algorithm is more accurate) and shows a low signal area. It however remains a device issue if, in an area where you receive 20dBm and perfectly good for calls and data, touching it drops you to 0 and you lose your connection.



    This engineer has some interesting commentary on the issue.





    Edit: something wrong with the forums today? Can seem to embed a link properly.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    When AI was being sued by Apple, we didn't use that to write off their articles.



    AppleInsider only comments on Apple, Gizmodo doesn't. Gizmodo is far more likely to go on some petty vendetta and just start bad-mouthing them at any opportunity.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    It however remains a device issue if, in an area where you receive 20dBm and perfectly good for calls and data, touching it drops you to 0 and you lose your connection.



    Maybe but when people look at the phone, they will see only 1 or 2 bars and just assume they are in a bad area so actively try to get a better signal by holding the phone with finger-tips and walking to a better signal.



    The main improvement should be that it will never display a drop of 5 bars, which looks really bad.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    bavlondon2bavlondon2 Posts: 694member
    Will Apple not just fix it and phase them out with allowing people to return them?
  • Reply 5 of 12
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    The 64-million dollar question is "How do you fix it?"



    Apple can't redesign the entire phone on a whim.



    What do you do to the antenna/metal band to negate this issue?

    We know the interior makeup of the phone, and I still haven't seen anybody offer a serious idea.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    physguyphysguy Posts: 914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    The 64-million dollar question is "How do you fix it?"



    Apple can't redesign the entire phone on a whim.



    What do you do to the antenna/metal band to negate this issue?

    We know the interior makeup of the phone, and I still haven't seen anybody offer a serious idea.



    The solution is very simple, even to do at home.



    First let me emphasize that I don't find this to be a real problem. No matter how I hold the phone the overall experience is much better than my previous iPhones.



    I did tests in one space and when I would grasp FIRMLY I would definitely see a drop in bars. I then simple put a ~5/8 piece of clear scotch tape over the bottom left antenna as shown below and voila no more problem. Now if a grip really really hard I still see some drop, probably due to capacitive couple with my hand, but for a casual grip I don't see any significant (i.e. discernible from background drift) in the bars.







    Again, I wasn't having any real problems in the first place but this basically mitigated the reported issue.



    Scott
  • Reply 7 of 12
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    I'm really curious about real statistics on how many people are encountering problems in the iPhone4 where another phone would do fine. Anecdotal evidence is incredibly deceptive and humans are hardwired to put far too much stock in it... the reality is often quite different. The Internet makes for a particularly bad examples of this by allowing people to complain easily, yet providing little or no motivation for people without problems to bother saying anything at all.



    My suspicion is that this problem really is overblown, and that Apple's PR campaign to mitigate it will do just fine. The cases where it is an actual problem do exist, but their impact on Apple's market (once the PR situation is resolved) could be so trivial as to be irrelevant. No redesign may be warranted.



    Of course, if somebody had some real and believable statistics.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    The 64-million dollar question is "How do you fix it?"



    Apple can't redesign the entire phone on a whim.



    A popular suggestion is to add an insulated coating onto the metal band but there are videos showing the same issue on phones that have used insulating tape.



    From the WWDC slides, about 2/3 of the way down the following page:



    http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/07/s...rom-wwdc-2010/



    you can see that the top left chunk of the metal band is the bluetooth, wifi and GPS and the entire bottom right and part of the top is the 3G/cellular antenna. That's why only bridging the bottom left gap does damage as that's where the two different antennas meet - the same probably happens bridging the top join.



    The bottom right gap is either cosmetic or splits the 3G and cellular parts up.



    What they should have done is make the wifi antenna a u-shape on the top so that the bridging gaps were at the top of the phone and then just have the 3G/GSM at the bottom like the following:







    I'm not sure if that would adversely affect wifi usage if you hold it in landscape but very few things seem to affect the wifi signal on the iPhone 4.



    This means that the 3G/GSM signal is entirely away from the head as per the FCC rules and the gaps are all symmetrical. They could have made the gaps even less noticeable by blending them with the sim tray and top left buttons.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    chopperchopper Posts: 246member
    Marvin...



    You wrote:



    "I think unless they have the audio tapes, it's best not to believe what they say. Remember, they stole an iPhone 4 and are in some very hot water right now and got banned from WWDC."



    ...and followed up with:



    "As to what they are claiming AppleCare are saying, well it's common knowledge. Apple have stated that the signal bars display wrong so I'd expect that's all it will correct."



    You're telling us that Gizmodo are probably lying, but that you actually agree with what they're reporting? Confusing logic there.



    If what they're saying is, as you put it, "common knowledge", how can they be lying? Or are you claiming that they're probably lying about actually ringing AppleCare? In which case, what would be the point if it's already "common knowledge"? No news value in that, surely?
  • Reply 10 of 12
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 797member
    Fix is coming as we all know. Question remains to see if its just a cosmetic fix or one which goes a little deeper to resolve the problem.

    I have to agree with the post about NOT BELIEVING anything that Gizmodo says.

    Lets give APPLE some credit here, its hard to believe that they are only going to do a cosmtic fix which adjusts the bars to different signal strengths. In any case stay tuned the fix should be coming in the next week or two.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chopper View Post


    "I think unless they have the audio tapes, it's best not to believe what they say. Remember, they stole an iPhone 4 and are in some very hot water right now and got banned from WWDC."



    ...and followed up with:



    "As to what they are claiming AppleCare are saying, well it's common knowledge. Apple have stated that the signal bars display wrong so I'd expect that's all it will correct."



    You're telling us that Gizmodo are probably lying, but that you actually agree with what they're reporting? Confusing logic there.



    If what they're saying is, as you put it, "common knowledge", how can they be lying? Or are you claiming that they're probably lying about actually ringing AppleCare? In which case, what would be the point if it's already "common knowledge"? No news value in that, surely?



    What I mean is that what is generally assumed to be common knowledge to us is not what AppleCare will necessarily say. Gizmodo are trying to make their assumptions official and trying to boost their petition to get Apple to issue free bumpers. It will of course generate click-throughs too.



    The iMac superdrive slots are scratching DVDs and is known by Apple but if you called AppleCare, you probably wouldn't be told that it's a known issue simply because they have no solution for it - it's a design flaw.



    If AppleCare were to officially suggest a known flaw in the iPhone 4 and it was recorded by a customer then it could a warrant a recall or support the class action lawsuits.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Programmer


    My suspicion is that this problem really is overblown, and that Apple's PR campaign to mitigate it will do just fine.



    Definitely. The people who actually own the iPhone 4 seem to love it and it's the vocal Apple haters online who so desperately want to see Apple fail that build up whatever flaw they find who are making such a big deal about it - usually people who don't own one but have an EVO or Nexus One instead. They used to go on about the camera quality, no flash, lower resolution screen, slower processor, daylight performance, itunes requirement etc. It's really just a moving target for their hate.



    On the other hand, as noted in other threads, it seems odd that Apple would decide to take a few weeks to address this software issue. We can only really know what the deal is when the software update arrives.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Software fix, if only feasible --- well, it theoretically may be --- is a real mess. It's a huge load of work presenting the very high degree of risk to introduce severe regressions.

    Nothing new with that, all possible types of coating would always be better...
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