Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

I'm officially tired of hearing about the iPhone 4 antenna problem

15

July

For the record, I'm sick and tired of the ping pong match that continues with the iPhone 4 antenna issue. One day it's not a problem, the next day it is. Consumer Reports goes thumbs up, then goes thumbs down then says the bumper case fixes the problem so we're thumbs half-up again. It's the daily trip to Waffle House except I'm never hungry for more. I'm guessing some of you are sick of it too. But hey, it's my job to let you know what's happening so here goes.

I picked up my iPhone 4 on launch day and have had a bumper case from day one. I actually picked up two that day, one was for my son, and neither of us have experienced the "death grip" signal loss issue. Our phones have been great and the signal is weak in the same places as it was with our iPhone 3G and 3GS.

I don't mean to imply that because our experience has been good that means all the reports are bunk. It just seems like a moving target and it's time for someone, anyone, to line it up in their sights and nail it.

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(Photo from Gizmodo)

In the past two weeks the battle has continued to rage on.

  • July 2 - Apple announced an upcoming iOS software update that would make the signal strenghth bars on all iPhones. This was quickly debunked as smoke and mirrors designed to distract everyone from what seems like a hardware design issues.
  • July 2 - Consumer Reports says the iPhone 4 signal problem "may not be that serious."
  • July 6 - A company called cases.com offers to send free silicone cases to iPhone 4 users to fix the antenna problem. All you pay is $3.73 for shipping. This likely is in response to many who believe the problem would largely go away if Apple agreed to give iPhone 4 owners free bumper cases.
  • July 12 - After testing the iPhone further, Consumer Reports says they can't recommend it.
  • July 13 - Gizmodo reports a "silent recall" of the iPhone and posts reports from users who exchanged their phones for other reasons but noe have no signal loss issues.
  • July 14 - The iOS 4.0.1 update is released to developers and intitlal reports are that it does nothing to help the antenna issue but makes the signal bars look better, just as everyone expected.
  • July 14 - Consumer Reports chimes back in, saying the bumper case fixes the signal loss problem.
  • July 15 - Bloomberg reports a senior engineer at Apple told Steve Jobs the antenna design could lead to dropped calls
  • July 15 - AppleInsider posts an open letter from New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) that criticizes Apple's handling of the iPhone issue and asks Steve Jobs to provide a free fix.
  • July 15 - The iOS 4.0.1 update is available for download through iTunes.

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And here's the big one...Apple has called a double-secret probation press conference Friday that is invitation-only for a select group of tech jounalists. This presser is said to have been called to deal specifically with this ongoing iPhone saga and it's scheduled for 10 AM PST. Any guesses on what will happen? A recall? Price drop? Free bumper cases for all? Official lessons from Steve Jobs on how to hold the iPhone properly ? Who knows? I just hope that whatever it is it will move us toward ending this incessant supply of waffles.

 

[Last modified: Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:11pm]

    

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