US Sen. Schumer writes letter to Apple CEO over iPhone 4 antenna

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Democratic New York Senator Charles Schumer on Thursday issued an open letter to Steve Jobs regarding the iPhone 4 antenna issues, calling Apple's current solutions "insufficient" and asking the company to provide a free fix for consumers.



The U.S. senator said he wants Apple to explain in writing to consumers the true cause of poor reception with the iPhone 4 with regards to the so-called "death grip," experienced by some when covering the handset in its bottom left corner.



Schumer said Apple's solutions so far, including a forthcoming software fix that will provide a cosmetic change on how signal bars are reported, have been "insufficient." He also said the company's suggestion to buy a case to cover the handset's external metal antennas is not adequate.



"The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device," he wrote. "To address this concern, I ask that Apple provide iPhone 4 customers with a clearly written explanation of the cause of the reception problem and make a public commitment to remedy it free-of-charge."



He also praised Apple for its "innovative approach to mobile technology," as well as "its service to millions of iPhone users nationwide." The letter specifically cited this week's statement from Consumer Reports regarding the iPhone 4, in which the nonprofit organization said it cannot recommend Apple's latest handset because of reception problems that are a result of the hardware design.



The letter comes a day before Apple is scheduled to hold a press conference on its Cupertino, Calif., campus. Some members of the press have been invited to Friday's event, scheduled for 10 a.m. Pacific Time, where the company is expected to address the antenna issue and provide a potential solution for users.



Schumer's letter is included in its entirety below:



July 15, 2010



Dear Mr. Jobs,



I write to express concern regarding the reception problem with the Apple iPhone 4. While I commend Apple's innovative approach to mobile technology and appreciate its service to millions of iPhone users nationwide, I believe it is incumbent upon Apple to address this flaw in a transparent manner. According to Consumer Reports' review, released Monday on its website, the iPhone 4's signal-strength problem is a hardwire glitch triggered by gripping the device in a particular manner. This finding, according to Consumer Reports, "call[s] into question? Apple?s recent claim that the problem is ?largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software." Consumer Reports declined to recommend the iPhone 4 because of this hardware design flaw.



Given the discrepancy between Consumer Reports' explanation of the reception problem and the explanation provided by Apple in its July 2 letter to customers, I am concerned that the nearly two million purchasers of the iPhone 4 may not have complete information about the quality of the product they have purchased. The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device. To address this concern, I ask that Apple provide iPhone 4 customers with a clearly written explanation of the cause of the reception problem and make a public commitment to remedy it free-of-charge. The solutions offered to date by Apple for dealing with the so-called ?death grip? malfunction?such as holding the device differently, or buying a cover for it?seem to be insufficient. These proposed solutions would unfairly place the burden on consumers for resolving a problem they were not aware of when they purchased their phones.



I also encourage Apple to keep its promise to provide free software updates so that bars displayed accurately reflect signal strength; I further urge Apple to issue a written explanation of the formula it uses to calculate bar strength, so that consumers can once again trust the product that they have invested in.



I look forward to Apple's swift action on this matter, and once again laud Apple for its innovative efforts and service to millions of Americans.



Sincerely,



Charles E. Schumer
«13456710

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 197
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
  • Reply 2 of 197
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Afghanistan, Iraq, BP, unemployment, financial crisis, Sarah Palin, and now iPhone.



    Our politicians sure have their hands full these days.
  • Reply 3 of 197
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,578member
    Even though this antenna thing pisses me off, Schumer needs to STFU.
  • Reply 4 of 197
    erybovicerybovic Posts: 37member
    Geese
  • Reply 5 of 197
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    Dear Mr. Schumer,

    Get a f*cking life.

    Thanks
  • Reply 6 of 197
    erybovicerybovic Posts: 37member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    Afghanistan, Iraq, BP, unemployment, financial crisis, Sarah Palin, and now iPhone.



    Our politicians sure have their hands full these days.



    Yea hands full of death grip
  • Reply 7 of 197
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 822member
    This confirms my suspicions.



    A lot of the hue and cry is Google's (and probably MS's) increasing lobbying dollars at work. Apple needs to get into the lobbying business, otherwise they will never hear the end of the FCC, Congress, etc. (note how the App Store is being investigated for monopolistic practices when it is part of the iPhone which is the 2nd best selling smartphone, which is a very small part of the much much larger phone category. OTOH, Google's purchase of AdMob, the combination of 2 monopolies (web advertising, and mobile advertising) was greenlighted on the basis of competition from a non-existent competitor (iAds at the time)).



    This post shouldn't be misconstrued as saying there is no iPhone 4 antenna issue. What I am trying to say is that the issue is not so major (WORST CASE situation involves users spending another $29 and using a bumper) that the FCC and Congress get involved.
  • Reply 8 of 197
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Someone needs to explain to this idiot that "senator' doesn't mean 'God-emperor".
  • Reply 9 of 197
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Even though this antenna thing pisses me off, Schumer needs to STFU.



    Ditto. (Except it isn't the antenna issues that bother me, it is Apple's reaction so far).
  • Reply 10 of 197
    seffisseffis Posts: 1member
    Where's the letter to AT&T?
  • Reply 11 of 197
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,582member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post


    This confirms my suspicions.



    A lot of the hue and cry is Google's (and probably MS's) increasing lobbying dollars at work. Apple needs to get into the lobbying business, otherwise they will never hear the end of the FCC, Congress, etc. (note how the App Store is being investigated for monopolistic practices when it is part of the iPhone which is the 2nd best selling smartphone, which is a very small part of the much much larger phone category. OTOH, Google's purchase of AdMob, the combination of 2 monopolies (web advertising, and mobile advertising) was greenlighted on the basis of competition from a non-existent competitor (iAds at the time)).



    This post shouldn't be misconstrued as saying there is no iPhone 4 antenna issue. What I am trying to say is that the issue is not so major (WORST CASE situation involves users spending another $29 and using a bumper) that the FCC and Congress get involved.



    Well, if Sen. Schumer wants to get involved in something for the benefit of consumers, he should address the bait and switch by AT&T on the iPad data plans.
  • Reply 12 of 197
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Funny. I don't see the big deal with him writing this letter. It's not like it takes a long time to write this.
  • Reply 13 of 197
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by erybovic View Post


    Geese



  • Reply 14 of 197
    avidfcpavidfcp Posts: 381member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post


    Dear Mr. Schumer,

    Get a f*cking life.

    Thanks



    This is NOT going away.



    Apple is getting a bundle of negative press and now that they are fairly large, ie msft, this issue will be pressed until either a recall or free bumper until rev 2 resolves these issues.
  • Reply 15 of 197
    Schumer is an idiot. Typical politician who loves getting his name in the media more than he loves accurate information and a well tought out statement. He should worry more about fixing this country than Apple fixing bars on an iPhone. Oh yeah, he has been in office long enough to be one of the ones who's messed this country up in the first place.
  • Reply 16 of 197
    atlbucatlbuc Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Funny. I don't see the big deal with him writing this letter. It's not like it takes a long time to write this.



    I agree totally, I dont see what issue the negative commenters have with this letter other than you all might be republicans. Hell, he could have written this on his iPad while taken a crap. Not a big deal to me.
  • Reply 17 of 197
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,582member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AtlBuc View Post


    I agree totally, I dont see what issue the negative commenters have with this letter. Hell, he could have written this on his iPad while taken a crap. Not a big deal to me.



    Well, chances are he didn't write it at all. Some staffer was probably assigned to write it and he just signed his name.
  • Reply 18 of 197
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Even though this antenna thing pisses me off, Schumer needs to STFU.



    What's wrong with the Senator doing his job? Politicians are there to represent us on a very wide range of fronts that are of concern to the community. Though it's pretty unprecedented for a politician to give a crap about a single phone, I think it shows that Schumer has his finger on the pulse of what's annoying constituents. He ought be commended for gently encouraging Apple to make its phone deliver everything that users expected.
  • Reply 19 of 197
    atlbucatlbuc Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Well, chances are he didn't write it at all. Some staffer was probably assigned to write it and he just signed his name.



    Even more of a reason not to have an issue with it.
  • Reply 20 of 197
    atlbucatlbuc Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benice View Post


    What's wrong with the Senator doing his job? Politicians are there to represent us on a very wide range of fronts that are of concern to the community. Though it's pretty unprecedented for a politician to give a crap about a single phone, I think it shows that Schumer has his finger on the pulse of what's annoying constituents. He ought be commended for gently encouraging Apple to make its phone deliver everything that users expected.



    Agreed.
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