Apple says iPhone 4 calculates bars wrong, software fix forthcoming

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  • Reply 181 of 435
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    So basically they are saying that they're going to update your phone to tell you that your reception is worse than it really is, bar wise. This doesn't fix anything. This isn't going to fix the people who live in lower reception areas from losing service completely or drop low enough to drop calls, where their previous iPhones or whatever they used works fine.



    Don't waste your breath, people round here won't take that sort of a comment seriously. Even if they should.
  • Reply 182 of 435
    clark80clark80 Posts: 28member
    So in this case when I hold my phone in landscape mode it will drop to no signal sooner? and kill of data connection...
  • Reply 183 of 435
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,692member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    Just to re-write your list based on the technical explanations I've read:



    1. Signal attenuation caused by something (your hand) blocking the signal.

    2. Antenna de-tuning caused by direct physical contact with the antenna and/or bridging the gap between the two antennas.



    3. The proximity sensor issue.



    #3 I think is irrelevant to this discussion. My understand is that is simply a display issue with the the sensor not properly lighting/dimming the display when the phone is held close to your face.



    #1 is the issue Apple says common to all cell phones. They are right about that. All cell phones, all radios, will suffer in performance when something blocks (attenuates) the signal from getting to the antenna. You don't need direct contact for signal attenuation. Just something between the receiver and the transmitter.



    #2 is the issue Apple is completely ignoring/denying. Their design exposes the antenna to direct contact, which affects antenna performance. Anyone who has ever used rabbit ears on a TV knows this. Standing near the TV can have a mild effect on the reception. Actually touching the rabbit ears has a huge effect on the reception.



    I disagree with your rephrasing of the issues involved, as I think your analysis confuses the issues in a way that distracts from the actual issues involved. To repeat, I think the issues are correctly defined as:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
    1. Attenuation caused by touching the antenna

    2. Complete data service [interruption] caused by bridging the seam

    3. Misfuntioning of the proximity sensor




    Not being an antenna expert, I will defer as to whether attenuation or de-tuning is the correct word to describe issue 1, however, I don't think that changes the correct description of the issues. (And, no, I don't think one needs to be an antenna expert to correctly analyze the issues. Perhaps to solve them, but not to identify them.)



    Issues 1 & 2 need to be distinctly and precisely delineated because issue 1 affects all iP4s, whereas, issue 2, based on reports, affects only some iP4s irrespective of location*. On affected iP4s, bridging the antenna seam results in predictable and repeatable interruption in data service. On unaffected iP4s, it does not. The effects from simply touching the antenna vs. bridging the seam are quite distinct, with a random touch on any iP4 causing issue 1 and bridging the seam causing issue 2, but only on some iP4s. This is a very important and defining characteristic of issue 2, which is not the case with issue 1, and strongly indicates that it is not a design issue, but some issue specific to only some iP4s.



    You are correct, however, that Apple has not, at least in this announcement, addressed issue 2. That doesn't preclude the possibility that they are aware of it, investigating it, or may address it with a software update (if possible). They may simply not be addressing it at this time because they don't yet fully understand it. But this is in fact the primary issue that does need to be addressed.



    I also disagree that issue 3 is irrelevant. Clearly this is causing some number of disconnected calls from the end call button being accidentally pressed. It's quite likely that at least some number of reported "dropped calls" are related to this issue**. So, I think it's important that this issue be part of the discussion.





    * With 2 iP4s in close physical proximity to each other, a case where they should be receiving approximately the same signal, one iP4 may display this behavior while the other may not.



    ** This assumption is based on reports of "dropped calls" that don't appear in the logs as dropped calls.
  • Reply 184 of 435
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobility View Post


    Even if this is true, it doesn't seem to be true for a vast number of people. There have been over 2 million phones sold (if you ask me to prove that I will ignore that request for a couple of reasons). Where are the numbers? How many people actually wind up in a situation where the signal degradation is "worse than other phones"? Then, when you factor in the issue of holding different phones in different places along their edges, how does the iPhone 4 stack up then?



    My point is, there may be an issue, affecting a tiny percentage of people more because of where they use it than the actual device (as compared to other iP4 devices) they are using. However, the amount of ink spilled over this is completely and totally out of sync with the actual magnitude of the problem.



    We don't know the number, because Apple hasn't released the numbers. You are right, where they are using it is a factor, as the Anand article points out. But, it is simply physics that a contact with an antenna will cause signal degradation and the iPhone 4 is the first iPhone to have an external antenna. How much of a problem it is needs to be determined, but it is a obvious issue. Is too much being made of this? Probably. But for anyone in an area with moderate to low signals, it is a real issue where it might not have been with earlier models. At the same time, the improved reception by moving outside, means those same people can get a usable signal if they aren't holding it wrong, where the older models might not have been able to get on network at all.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobility View Post


    Also, do you know anything about how field tests are done and certification with carriers is performed? Serious question.



    Apparently in German bars?



    Actually, nothing at all.
  • Reply 185 of 435
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post


    I've noticed that the bars sometimes seem to be showing more bars than I would expect however the simple fact still remains that I can download 3G radio streams with no issues and then lightly hold the phone in my left hand and drop out of 3G to to the slower network and then get no service all within 10 seconds or so. And Apple thinks that normal!



    Whatever Apple thinks they aren't admitting an antenna design issue. Which looks to be the case. For whatever reason it doesn't seem to affect those with a very strong signal, so Apple are using that to help their denial argument.



    I personally don't want to spend ?599 to try it out. I'll be awaiting iPhone 5 - with it's: "there was nothing wrong with the last antenna design, but for some strange reason we have redesigned it."
  • Reply 186 of 435
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Everyone take a breath and read Gruber on this...

    http://daringfireball.net/2010/07/translation_iphone_4
  • Reply 187 of 435
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,717member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    As a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.



    Likely discussed in this thread somewhere, but has anyone done this and been told their ATT contract renewal is terminated as part of the "full refund?"
  • Reply 188 of 435
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iadroidx View Post


    The iPhone 4's Solution:

    image: http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...tch_tape2a.jpg

    image: http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...ail_polish.jpg

    image: http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r.../tape_duct.jpg

    image: http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...pple7/band.jpg

    image: http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...e7/2dcfgis.jpg

    ^bandaids come in a variety of colors



    or for a last resort just use a pair of....

    image: http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...le7/Empire.jpg

    or fork over 30 dollars for an apple bumper.



    *this new design should have been tested without a rubber case/cover before launch. If they did, they would have discovered how bad this issue really is.



    There is another option and that would be,

    image: http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...droidxalot.jpg



    I'll add to your list...


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Whatever Apple thinks they aren't admitting an antenna design issue. Which looks to be the case. For whatever reason it doesn't seem to affect those with a very strong signal, so Apple are using that to help their denial argument.



    I personally don't want to spend ?599 to try it out. I'll be awaiting iPhone 5 - with it's: "there was nothing wrong with the last antenna design, but for some strange reason we have redesigned it."



    Considering every iPhone is redesigned each year I guess your pretty safe on being able to claim victory on your prediction. Being pragmatic isn't a crime.
  • Reply 189 of 435
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    The part you keep leaving out is that EVEN WITH THE SIGNAL ATTENUATION, the iPHone 4 gets better reception than other phones. So why fix something that's already better than the alternatives?



    Oh, fucking stop with the bullshit lying. I actually quoted that part of the article in another post.



    Yes, the iPhone 4 antenna and baseband work vastly better in low signal conditions. This doesn't change the fact that it creates conditions for low signal simply by allowing the antenna to be touched by having it on the outside.



    Again, the 4 uses the signal it gets better and will better reception overall. It will also lose signal more dramatically when touched than previous models. A fix would be to prevent such a dramatic loss of signal.



    It is insane that people try to ignore this is an actual issue. Even Apple admits a case will improve the situation. Head up ass is not a flattering look for anyone.
  • Reply 190 of 435
    captain jcaptain j Posts: 313member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    No, reception is better because of the exposed antenna.

    The perception by John Q is completely due to the hysterical parroting of nonsense by ignorant bloggers and media.



    The reception is better due to the better antenna and external placement. However, as a result of the antenna's location under certain commonly occurring conditions, the reception is vastly worse. The two are not contradictory. Apple can still have the ebtter reception but with a slightly different design to avoid the problem. This is basic.
  • Reply 191 of 435
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    It doesn't 'technically' get better reception... it really does get better reception. I live in AT&T hell... wilderness edge in Marin, and spend time in SF.

    Reception in both has greatly improved.

    Frankly, if the price for most people getting better reception is that a few folks have to use a bumper (I use one simply because its a great case, btw) or have to skootch their fingers a centimeter one way or the other, then its an overall win, and the disaffected can now take theirs back if they're truly that lazy, and stop whining. (I'm really searching for another term, but its SO appropriate here.)



    You are getting better reception because you're holding it the right way. For those like me who are lefties or hold it in their left hand there will be worse reception.



    I'll get the new iPhone with a Bumper anyway because the phone is so fragile. Tests from Anandtech have shown the signal drop is at par with other phones which theoretically means better reception than my 3G.



    Even that poses new problems since many third party cases and docks can't connect through the Bumper.
  • Reply 192 of 435
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Captain J View Post


    The problem here is the return window is going to close before Apple admits the antenna problem lat alone comes up with a solution that might or might not help. We're over a week in and they've still not admitted the real issue exists.



    Do you know a real issue exists?



    Do you know that an above normal percent of the 2.5-3 million devices are experiencing the real issue?



    Do you know that Apple won't resolve any real issue? problems to the satisfaction of the customer, regardless of return window (including: refund, replacement, compensation, etc)?



    I don't know you-- but you appear (according to your posts) to be a whiny complainer.



    I know Apple! They make excellent products. They pride themselves in customer satisfaction!



    My bet is on Apple!



    .
  • Reply 193 of 435
    captain jcaptain j Posts: 313member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    Whoa their pardner.

    If you've been spouting off all this time WITHOUT EVEN HAVING ONE, you really need to show some intellectual honesty be returning it before you even open it.

    You have NO grounds for griping.

    Return it now so someone who deserves it can get their hands on it.



    No thanks. I've used them and operated them from other people and in AT&T stores. I have hands on experience with the phone and the issue. I am waiting to see if my phone with a case is usable. If it is, as I hope it to be great. If not some other person can deal with it's quirks.
  • Reply 194 of 435
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    And you explain the fact that most users (myself included) are experiencing far better reception in weak areas... how?



    Because it is an improved design. By moving the antenna outside (and improving the baseband) you get much better reception in low signal areas.



    Moving it outside results in it doing a better job at doing what it does. It makes it a better antenna. It also makes it more susceptible to degradation sue to touch.
  • Reply 195 of 435
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    Emphasis mine!



    No, they are going to more-accurately report your true reception!



    The truth hurts... fact of life!



    .



    But how does that explain the people who no get slower speeds and dropped calls going from a 3G or 3G S to an iPhone 4? It doesn't. Fair enough if they reporting the bars wrong, but simply side by side tests of different iPhone show the iPhone 4 cannot transmit data when held a certain way. Whereas other iPhone can. They might slow, but they don't slow like iPhone 4. Location dependent of course.
  • Reply 196 of 435
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple


    ... Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong ... since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G ...



    I find this to be absolutely hilarious.



    If this isn't the most obvious lie and the most facile cover-up of said lie in Apple's entire history I don't know what is. They (and especially Steve Jobs), often bend the truth a bit but they rarely outright lie like this.



    It also sounds like valley girl talk. "Dood! we totally didn't notice! Srsly!"



    What's really "stunning" is that we are supposed to believe that they have been doing this since the very inception of the iPhone and never noticed it? Riiiight.
  • Reply 197 of 435
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,692member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Because it is an improved design. By moving the antenna outside (and improving the baseband) you get much better reception in low signal areas.



    Moving it outside results in it doing a better job at doing what it does. It makes it a better antenna. It also makes it more susceptible to degradation sue to touch.



    Freudian slip?
  • Reply 198 of 435
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,757member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    No, reception is better because of the exposed antenna.

    The perception by John Q is completely due to the hysterical parroting of nonsense by ignorant bloggers and media.



    It is ignorant to say someone like Anand is an 'ignorant blogger'.
  • Reply 199 of 435
    irelandireland Posts: 17,785member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by moofrank View Post


    I like Apple, and I actually adore the Iphone, but I seriously hope they get crucified over this.

    While there is often some amount of confusion and tiny deceptions permeating the computer industry, this is actually close to full out deception and fraud.



    Their response to this issue has actually caused me to rethink future Apple purchases.



    The actual problem is not really that bad. You just have to use the new iphone in a case or suffer dropped calls and data in weak signal locations. If Apple had admitted it, sent out a few free Itunes credits or some bumpers, we would have just all moved on.



    I bet the next round of Apple job reqs will be PR people.



    So true.
  • Reply 200 of 435
    jennygjennyg Posts: 14member
    Honestly, what they state in the original letter wouldn't actually surprise me. My old phone before the iPhone only ever reported a couple bars at best in my condo. The iPhone: claimed 5 bars fresh out of the box. I'd always wondered if the phone was really that much better, or if something else was going on. Perhaps not coincidentally, my condo's the only place I've managed to reliably get (or see, at least) The Death Grip Effect. So it'll be interesting to see how it goes with more accurate signal strength reporting.



    For perspective, though: I've had an iPhone since launch day and have never dropped a call, so my propensity for freaking out over all this is naturally kind of low to start with...
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