Apple

54% say Apple should do a recall of iPhone 4

Leading up to today's Apple press conference, here's a look at what users think the company should do about the iPhone 4 antenna issue, based on a member survey from TechRepublic.

Leading up to today's Apple press conference about the iPhone 4, there has been plenty of speculation among press and analysts about what Apple will do or should do to remedy the iPhone antenna issue and the publicity nightmare that has resulted from Apple's response to it.

But what does the public think? TechRepublic surveyed its members on July 13-16 and got 2,257 responses. Of those, over half said that Apple should do a recall of the iPhone 4, despite press reports that Apple is not planning a full recall.

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About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

35 comments
The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

that has such a basic flaw - the network connection!

SanthoshKA
SanthoshKA

But whether 2,257 responses where of APPLE users !!! It seems to be a survey conducted among general public who may not seen APPLE phone at all!!! Also Blog seems to say that only issue with IPHONE is reception problem.. otherwise is it the best phone in the market ???

Zwort
Zwort

The iPhone problems are not restricted to 'reception': blue tooth problems, aerial problems, telco coverage problems/signal strength (thereby worsening a bad situation), proximity sensor problems, iOS 4.01 update installation failures (so for some at least the aerial problem remains, regardless of its status as a posited software problem), the battery problem supposedly overcome by the Somertek iphone extended battery case, failure to listen to advice on the antenna prior to release: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/15/jobs_was_told_about_judas_phone_antenna_problems/ Furthermore, it is completely irrelevant that the survey included non iPhone users; to suggest that only iPhone users can comment on the problems associated with this seemingly deeply flawed product is pure cultural relativism, that is, only people from the Apple culture can comment on truths in respect of this machine. It's a very bad theory of truth, it's a very flawed argument, and it will not work. The data are available, people can comment on them, and they have done so. So what happened to this supposedly well designed, chic item of technology that it ended up with so many flaws, and is Apple now using dodgy techniques? You tell me: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/05/imac_refunds/ and http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/13/iphone_support/ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/10/google_co_founder_larry_page_accuses_steve_jobs_of_rewriting_history/ I think so, especially having read Steve Jobs supercilious blather here: http://infoworld.com/d/hardware/10-reasons-why-the-pc-here-stay-889 Some other related links that justify stuff throughout my post: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/the-iphone-4s-second-vietnam-the-proximity-sensor-updated-3x/7440 http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/add-bluetooth-to-the-iphone-4-list-of-woe-updated/7588?tag=nl.e539 http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/apples-iphone-4-antenna-flap-overblown-hubris-or-simple-testing-mistake/36681?tag=nl.e539 I've a Samsung mobile phone (plus an elderly Nokia which works fine, organiser and all). It's about a year old, it's not the smartest phone on the market, but has never given me a problem. I won't be trading up for an iPhone. I'll continue to watch user comments on other smart phones. A lot of Apple iPhone posters think this is PC vs Apple. If they read the stuff above one more time and consider, for just a minute, what they expect from Apple - who are supposedly so very good - they might want to rethink their attitudes and comments. Apple is no less vulnerable to making mistakes than any other company, and they have made their share, not least of which are the security problems with various Mac OSs, the Time Machine problems [...]. If Apple had not tried grandstanding over PC problems - which, due to the nature of the market/multiple manufacturers are well publicised by a community that takes things to pieces and puts them back together - if they'd not made themselves out to be so flawless, impeccable and better than the collected PC and PC software market, then maybe they'd not be experiencing such a kicking right now. As it is it seems to me that Apple fans have only one defence left; that non Apple users have it in for them. Weeeellll, maybe if they had not mounted the myth that Apple is so good and better than its competitors from the IBM compatible market they'd not be in receipt of said kicking. If they restricted themselves to making one part of their market they'd not make as many mistakes, and they'd not be responsible for problems that penetrate their market so deeply. Apples problems stem at least in part from their ambitiousness and, it would seem, from their pre iPhone 4 hubris when confronted by warnings about aerial shortcomings: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-15/apple-engineer-said-to-have-told-jobs-last-year-about-iphone-antenna-flaw.html The best phone on the market? With so many flaws? I doubt it, especially when I consider the cost, tied provider [...]. Maybe it's the best iPhone on the market. You tell me; does it have fewer problems than earlier incarnations of the iPhone? I don't think it likely.

NemesisTWarlock
NemesisTWarlock

Everyone saying this a survey is not valid simply because not everyone responding is an apple owner please stop. An opinion survey asks opinion and as such anyone can give an opinion without the requirement for any specific qualification (as is clear from many of these comments!). Some people love Apple no matter how bad they get while others will hate them no matter what great things they do. Both sides will attempt to shout down the other and often anyone in between. Give an opinion and recognise the rights of others to give theirs even if it isn't the same as yours. However, it is always your right to argue with said opinion as long as you avoid saying they have no right to opinion in your argument. But hey, that's just my opinion.

thannon
thannon

This poor quality workmanship and design is typical of nearly everything you buy today. I've seen this from everything from the quality of homes, autos, building materials, etc. that you buy. Generally, everything you buy is junk. Corporations care only about profits and nothing else. As long as people continute to accept this, I see the situation only geeting worse.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

While I'm known for questioning the workplace value of some of their products, usually their design and engineering results in consumer satisfaction. Their customer base isn't used to this sort of (perceived?) failure.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

The question said "What do you think Apple WILL do" [emphasis mine] Not "What do you thing Apple SHOULD do" BIG difference - the results might have been even stronger Many of us have been burned by Apple before, and have come to expect a certain [non-]service level from them.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

one asking each question. The "What should they do?" was the earlier of the two; maybe you missed it. I'm surprised a link to it wasn't included in the Results article.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Most of the respondents do not have an iPhone 4 and probably have never owned an iPhone of any model. To be valid, it should have only included members who owned or honestly planned to purchase an iPhone4. The issue is too easily bypassed and easily enough resolved within a few weeks. You can't really expect them to just pull all of this model off the market just because a bunch of naysayers want to 'break the bank' as it were.

dougogd
dougogd

I sure wouldn't buy one with the antenna problem. I know of a couple of people that have one and don't like the fact that they loose signal when they hold the phone. They are wanting to return the phone and get one that doesn't have that problem. I check out every phone I buy. If it doesn't work right i don't get it. I agree with everyone it should be voluntarily recalled only if that is what the owners of the iphone4 want. It should be left to the consumers to make the final decision. But apple should do something about the problem voluntarily.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

According to real numbers offered by AT&T, the poll was 98.3% invalid and according to Apple's numbers, 99.45% invalid. I'm not denying there's an issue, only that the issue was blown up grossly out of proportion to the facts. Expect to see a modified version of the iPhone 4 on the shelves starting in October. I'm betting the 'gap' that's now on the bottom left corner will be at the top left corner then.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's a PR problem too. It's making Apple look bad in the eyes of potential customers, not just the 'Had to have it on Day One' crowd. I went with the 'free case' option. I don't think a recall would be effective because I don't see how that would fix the problem any more effectively than a case or the bumpers already offered. What do people expect to happen under a recall, a complete redesign and rebuild of each unit?

SKDTech
SKDTech

While a more fitting solution would be to fix the design error and provide a free replacement swap or free repair they should at least own up to their mistake and do something to mitigate the PR storm. I don't own an iPhone but if I did I would be content with a free case as long as it solved the problem.

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

An alternate fix, other than the case, would be a better fix for those users who do not want the additional bulk from said case.

NetComSulting
NetComSulting

In an article by Apple, they placed the antenna on the bottom of the phone to reduce the radiation level of the phone near the ear itself, so putting the antenna on the top would cause more problems that not.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Since I both repaired RF systems and taught about them years ago. It's going to require a redesign of the frame (which is the antenna, believe it or not) but by essentially flipping the phone 180 degrees bottom to top, you'd put the gap at the top of the body instead of the bottom. This can't be done literally because of the connector opening at the bottom, but you can redesign the frame pieces so the gap is moved and you should maintain the same improved quality with less risk of shorting the antennae.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm no electrical engineer, but I don't see how you can move the antenna at this point. What are the options, assuming it isn't a software problem?

evargas
evargas

voluntary recall on the devices that are affected only. i read that they are able to determine if your phone is affected by the serial #

melias
melias

Can you post links?

yobtaf
yobtaf

He must have some pearl of wisdom.

papeirce
papeirce

Definitely... A recall should be done. All people should have to do is go to an Apple Store and have the antenna replaced - unless Apple made it difficult to do so. It's Apple's response that made my decision to go with the HTC EVO 4G with Sprint.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Explain to me how you can replace the antenna, [i]when the antenna is the entire frame of the device?[/i] I'm glad you chose the EVO, it probably fits you better.

papeirce
papeirce

...now let's just play nice. Like I said, I am not Apple-bashing, as I love my iPod Touch. Besides, I also happen to like the WiFi Hot-Spot capabilities of the HTC EVO 4G, as well as the open source development of Android.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Isn't the problem with the POSITION of the antenna? Replacing it is only going to put another antenna in the same location.

papeirce
papeirce

I'm NOT Apple-Bashing, for I am the happy owner of an iPod, which I use on a daily basis. ;-)

jameypurcell
jameypurcell

What other companies and Senior executives have such a blatant disrespect for customers as Apple and Steve Jobs???? There's arrogance and then there appears to be Jobs and Apple!!!! Blaming customers for holding the phone incorrectly ... GET REAL!!! Perhaps they need to add that instructional tidbit to the user manual!!!!

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Remember the Microsoft flop called Vista? I'm sure their 'Vista Ready' campaign make a lot of people happy--since most of those machines could barely use the 'unenhanced' features. What did Microsoft do? They simply said, "Buy a better machine!" Sheesh! Talk about Double Standards! Why isn't NonZealot here saying this? Because he has Double Standards too?

NetComSulting
NetComSulting

There are minimum system requirements right on the box and there are recommended requirements to get the enhanced functions of Vista, right on the box. Where does it say on the iPhone that the signal will be degraded by touching it?

QAonCall
QAonCall

the obvious is frequently understated!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

How did you miss all the Vista criticism? It was universally lambasted and the sales went down the Ceramic Water Slide. Why do you an earlier article was titled, "Is the iPhone 4 Apple's Vista?" As you noted, the largest part of Vista's problem was that it was marketed to those with equipment that wouldn't run it, or pre-installed on unsuitable hardware. MS's "Buy a better machine" is no different from Apple's "You're holding it wrong"; both attempt to blame the user. MS's guilt can be shared with those vendors who pushed Vista systems knowing they were underpowered; AT&T can be indicted as Apple's co-conspirator.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's the results of a poll of TR members. There's no connection between it and any position Apple had taken. It's what we think they should do, not what they say they'll do.

yobtaf
yobtaf

That's terrible.

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