Skip to comments.Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4 [Apple's fix for the 'faulty' antenna]
Posted on 07/02/2010 7:03:12 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
July 2, 2010 Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4 Dear iPhone 4 Users,
The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apples history. It has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever, and users have told us that they love it. So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them. Here is what we have learned.
To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones. But some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.
At the same time, we continue to read articles and receive hundreds of emails from users saying that iPhone 4 reception is better than the iPhone 3GS. They are delighted. This matches our own experience and testing. What can explain all of this?
We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising.
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. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they dont know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.
To fix this, we are adopting AT&Ts recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhones bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.
We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.
We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same the iPhone 4s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. For the vast majority of users who have not been troubled by this issue, this software update will only make your bars more accurate. For those who have had concerns, we apologize for any anxiety we may have caused.
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.
We hope you love the iPhone 4 as much as we do.
Thank you for your patience and support.
Its not a bug its a feature ping.
I have a theory on how these issues slipped by. I think all of the folks who had units to beta test had bumpers on them so casual observers couldn’t tell it was the new phone. The bumper would certainly mask the antenna issue because it would insulate your hand from the metal. I wonder also if the design of the bumpers wouldn’t also mask the proximity sensor issue causing dropped calls. The sensor works on light so a bumper may seal against your skin and block light whereas a naked phone would not.
Everyone I know with the iPhone 4 has all of the reported problems. Most have gotten bumpers and the problems go away.
Fix kit is set with enough duct tape to securely affix it to the phone.
The bumpers cost WAY too much for what you get. I am sure they would cost Apple next to nothing. Why doesn’t Apple throw the bumpers in and be done with it?
I finally gave up of the iPhone and went with a Motorola Droid. Love the change.
They built it so the bar display would fib to their customers—and it’s backfired on them.
As long as you don't hold it in your hand....
...or they are now just going to mask the real antenna problem by changing the way the bars are displayed.
You're right. Did you catch this line in the Press Release:
"Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G."
Well, if the software error has been present since the original iPhone, then why hasn't the "you're holding it wrong" problem also been there since the beginning?
Apple’s Customer Support Sheet:
1. Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy your tone when delivering this information is important.
a. The iPhone 4s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4s overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS.
b. Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world.
c. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand.
d. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band.
e. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.
2. Do not perform warranty service. Use the positioning above for any customer questions or concerns.
3. Dont forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band.
4. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it.
5. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers DONT promise a free bumper to customers.
Easy fix, put on tin foil hat and run wire from hat to phone. LOL