iPhone 4 antenna hardware fix anticipated as some orders are delayed

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
As some customers have had their iPhone 4 orders delayed, a new rumor suggests that Apple will offer a free "brute force" internal hardware fix to existing customers in order to improve the device's antenna.



Analyst Ashok Kumar with Rodman & Renshaw spoke with AppleInsider on Thursday and revealed that overseas suppliers have indicated to him that Apple has decided on a hardware fix for the iPhone 4. He said sources have told him that the "mechanical fix" is the equivalent of placing a rubber stopgap on the inside of the phone, leaving the outside of the device untouched.



"From a cosmetic purpose, it's going to be completely transparent," Kumar said. "But from an engineering perspective, it's going to be more of a brute force than an elegant addition."



The goal, he said, aims to offer a quick fix to address concerns for customers. Kumar said it doesn't make sense for Apple to recall all iPhone 4 handsets and rebuild them from scratch with a "clean slate" design.



But Kumar said he expects the iPhone 4 antenna to be redesigned and fixed internally with a more "elegant" engineering solution when the Verizon iPhone 4 launches in the near future. He said it would also make sense for Apple to eventually apply the same internal fix for the current UMTS iPhone as well, once demand has been met.



"They're going to have a much more elegant design instead of putting a mechanical contraption inside," he said.



Kumar also said that AT&T has seen its fill timeline for new iPhone 4 orders stretched out to 8 weeks, suggesting delays in the manufacturing process as Apple settles on its approach. Recently, AT&T was waiting just 7 to 10 days for iPhone 4 orders.



In addition, AppleInsider has received word that some people have been notified that their iPhone 4 orders have been delayed. Some received e-mails direct from Apple citing an "unexpected delay." There has not been any indication that the delay notifications are widespread yet.



Kumar said he believes Apple decided to hold a press conference on Friday because the company's quarterly earnings report is next Tuesday. Addressing the antenna issue before then could save the company the burden of being bombarded by analysts about the issue next week, when the company's executives conduct their quarterly conference call.



Kumar was criticized last year after he noted that iPhone sales in China were "disappointing" before the device was even on sale. Also, in January of this year, he said he was told that the iPad would be available on the Verizon network through a subsidy -- a prediction that proved false. However, last fall, Kumar also correctly stated that Google would release its own custom-built handset, which came true when the Nexus One was announced.



Last year, Kumar told AppleInsider that a CDMA-only iPhone with a chipset from Qualcomm will be released for the Verizon network in the U.S. in 2010. He said a new dual-mode chip from Qualcomm will not be available in time for a summer 2010 launch for the new iPhone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    sendmesendme Posts: 567member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    As some customers have had their iPhone 4 orders delayed, a new rumor suggests that Apple will offer a free "brute force" internal hardware fix to existing customers in order to improve the device's antenna.







    I don't believe this. If it were true, Apple would not have announced that a software glitch was the culprit.



    So much for THIS rumor...
  • Reply 2 of 69
    hdasmithhdasmith Posts: 145member
    How is a stopper inside going to stop your body shorting the gap between the two antennas?
  • Reply 3 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SendMe View Post


    I don't believe this. If it were true, Apple would not have announced that a software glitch was the culprit.



    So much for THIS rumor...



    Pathetic.
  • Reply 4 of 69
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SendMe View Post


    I don't believe this. If it were true, Apple would not have announced that a software glitch was the culprit.



    So much for THIS rumor...



    Enough. We get it. You have now almost 100 posts in a couple days with your act.
  • Reply 5 of 69
    bfrenchbfrench Posts: 3member
    The delays seem to suggest a hardware manufacturing change strategy is in place. The question - what will they do about the existing phones in the wild? Take a "replace if you complain" strategy?



    With all the controversy surrounding the iPhone 4 antenna issues and my sense that this device is providing me with unsatisfactory connectivity performance compared to my old iPhone3GS, I decided to conduct some comparative simple tests. Check out my data and let me know if you've seen similar results.



    http://iphonecto.com/2010/07/15/ipho...d-heres-proof/
  • Reply 6 of 69
    benjerbenjer Posts: 87member
    My iPhone is slated to ship on July 23rd; just checked and the date remains the same. Anyone here experience delays?
  • Reply 7 of 69
    dougaadougaa Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post


    How is a stopper inside going to stop your body shorting the gap between the two antennas?



    It can't. The fix as described can't prevent shorting the antenna elements on the outside. Sometimes it's very evident how non-technical the analysts are.
  • Reply 8 of 69
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post


    How is a stopper inside going to stop your body shorting the gap between the two antennas?



    Because the antennas won't be exposed anymore but insulated from within.



    Btw, not to tout my own horn, but this was my uninformed suggestion a couple of days ago, better insulation of the antennas within the frame.
  • Reply 9 of 69
    dougaadougaa Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    Because the antennas won't be exposed anymore but insulated from within.



    Btw, not to tout my own horn, but this was my uninformed suggestion a couple of days ago, better insulation of the antennas within the frame.



    But that doesn't match the description of the fix, which is adding a "stopgap" inside. Moving the antenna elements inside would be a huge change.
  • Reply 10 of 69
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,182member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dougaa View Post


    It can't. The fix as described can't prevent shorting the antenna elements on the outside. Sometimes it's very evident how non-technical the analysts are.



    I am not sure I believe this rumor but I know I don't believe you!



    Look at the teardown and it is fairly easy to imagine an isolation block between the 2 antennas that get bridged.



    I am personally very careful about saying never, can't, always and other absolutes since they almost always come back to bite you (see how nicely I covered my ass).
  • Reply 11 of 69
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dougaa View Post


    But that doesn't match the description of the fix, which is adding a "stopper" inside. Moving the antenna elements inside would be a huge change.



    Sorry I read this diagonally because I d read it elsewhere on the web first, I thought he meant isolating the whole antenna inside, provided the framE itself is not part of the antenna.



    Still a stopper could wrap around about 1.5 cm At in each end at the potentially touching ends of the antenna, and then it would take a big ass thumb to short this. Of course other types of full hand grips will manage to short the phone.
  • Reply 12 of 69
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Enough. We get it. You have now almost 100 posts in a couple days with your act.



    Started posting on the very day that SpotOn was banned. Just so we know.
  • Reply 13 of 69
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Started posting on the very day that SpotOn was banned. Just so we know.



    Man I d get such a headache if I had to come up with so many nicks as the trolls have when they reregister.
  • Reply 14 of 69
    If this rumour has truth to it and Apple do a hardware fix, then the minute someone drops a call or makes a bar fall away it'll start all over again.



    We see this with cars. When a customer has a squeak on the brakes, you can change the pads, discs, completely overhaul the brakes. But the moment the squeak comes back the paranoia starts.



    They ultimately are never happy until they sell it on or swap the vehicle. To some, iPhones, like cars stir pretty emotive responses. It's quite a phenomena and fascinating to observe. I love coming here to watch it all unfold.



    I'll say it again, Apple need a new product launch and they need it soon. New Apple TV anyone?
  • Reply 15 of 69
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    Man I d get such a headache if I had to come up with so many nicks as the trolls have when they reregister.



    I just wonder how bored they are in their lives that the would even want to spend so much time posting in a forum about a company and products they hate. It seems a girlfriend could help a lot of them.
  • Reply 16 of 69
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,555member
    Anand's latest article:



    Quote:

    I can’t stress enough that this issue impacts all users. The variability is in how strong of a signal you have to begin with. That’s the absolute only reason there’s debate in these discussions from phone to phone. At my desk I don’t get great reception on AT&T. With the iPhone 4 I’m usually at -96dBm. If I keep a tight grip on the phone or if I’m holding it to send text messages I can sometimes lose all signal entirely. This is a combination of poor reception at my house and the fact that the 4 loses more of its signal than other phones when held certain ways.



    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3821/i...1-signal-fix/1
  • Reply 17 of 69
    dougaadougaa Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post


    I am not sure I believe this rumor but I know I don't believe you!



    Look at the teardown and it is fairly easy to imagine an isolation block between the 2 antennas that get bridged.



    I am personally very careful about saying never, can't, always and other absolutes since they almost always come back to bite you (see how nicely I covered my ass).



    As I read the description of the fix, it involves putting something on the inside of the phone and not changing the outside of the phone at all. ("From a cosmetic purpose, it's going to be completely transparent.") In that case, the elements of the two antennas are just as exposed as before, and just as easily shorted as before. A completely internal fix would be great, but I just don't see how that's possible.
  • Reply 18 of 69
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    that *sounds* like they intend to electrically isolate the exterior antenna from the internal connector - which sounds to me like you would be permanently limiting the antenna's range until a new and improved internal only solution is devised.



    If am reading that right (and the report is correct) then it sounds like the fix for sometimes I get lousy reception is to always get lousy reception.
  • Reply 19 of 69
    Placing a rubber dielectric in the phone will accomplish nothing. This is an antenna detuning problem caused by a conductive material (i.e. skin, metal, whatever) that causes the signal (generation, reception) to be attenuated.



    Electromagnetism 101.



    Putting a salami sandwich with mayo and roma tomatoes (thinly sliced) in the phone will accomplish just as much as an internal rubber bumper. Until they isolate the metal of the antenna from external conductive materials, this problem will continue to occur. This is exactly why the external bumpers are so effective.
  • Reply 20 of 69
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    I just wonder how bored they are in their lives that the would even want to spend so much time posting in a forum about a company and products they hate. It seems a girlfriend could help a lot of them.



    There's clearly an s/m angle here, to make others miserable and then consequently to be chastised by others for it. Typical s/m, but like you said, nothing a leather clad whip mistress won't solve.
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