Monday, July 5, 2010

iPhone 4: Antenna Issues?

As some of you guys would have been busy reading up some further new updates regarding the iPhone 4, I am pretty sure you will stumble into this recent problem regarding the reception of the new iPhone 4.

Apparently, there are lots of complains that the iPhone 4 reception will reduce significantly if you are holding next to the antenna band corner of the phone.
Just to recap, Steve announced that the new iPhone 4 has a state of the art antenna design which uses the stainless steel housing of the phone as the antenna.
Watch the video below for further demonstration.

Apple is claiming that there is no reception issues even though the display of the signal bars are dropping. They were claiming of wrong calculation in the signal bar display. 
Here's the official statement from Apple:

Dear iPhone 4 Users,

The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apple's 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 one 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 four or five 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 two more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display four bars when we should be displaying as few as two 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 don't know it because we are erroneously displaying four or five 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&T's recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone's 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 one, two and three 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 4's 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.

From the above statement we will only see a software updates and probably the updates will only show a weaker signal display than it currently is since the calculation was done wrongly to display more signal strength than it actually is. 
Still unclear is the fact that there are people complaining of drop of signals when holding at the antenna band and there are also information from antenna expert throughout the world saying that the reception performance is no worse than the iPhone 3GS.

 Anybody having such experience with the iPhone 4 with the grip of death?

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