My one big issue with Apple’s response to iPhone 4 antenna issue

by Justin Horn on Jul 16th, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

My big problem with their explanation is that it misses the fact that the iPhone 4 suffers worse attenuation, with less touching, than any other phone out there. They back up their claim with a bunch of videos of other phones dropping bars in the death grip, just like the iPhone. I back up my claim by looking at the chart from AnandTech above. You can see the iPhone 4 when held naturally (not death grip) drops almost twice as much actual signal strength compared to the Nexus One.

Until Apple releases a video of another phone siting on a desk, being touched with one finger, and severely degrading signal, their statement will stand in my eyes as an excuse, rather than fact.

What bugs me even more, one awesome reporter (this was Ryan from GDGT - @ryan) directly asked them about the concern I brought up here, but was given a non-answer (via Ars Live blog):

Q: Your demo shows a vise grip on the phone to make the bars drop, but online we’ve seen that you can touch with a single finger.

A: Your body is a pretty effective signal absorber on any phone when you make contact with that phone, its performance is less than its free space performance.

With the amount of money on the line, I guess Apple can’t really admit their antenna design causes worse attenuation than the rest of the industry. There only option here was to ignore this fact and try to blend in with the rest of the attenuation crowd. With that said, I’m glad they are giving away free bumpers and third party cases…it’s a quick, cheap, solution to the problem.

I’ll guarantee you this…similar looking design or not, the iPhone 5 will not have the same issue.

Follow me on Twitter @justin_horn



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Antenna Issue, iPhone 4

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  1. [...] a few sites like Ars Technica and When Will Apple? will raise a fuss over it, but it’s done. Competitors dove headlong into it. And since Apple [...]

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