iPhone

Poll: What should Apple do about the iPhone 4 antenna problem?

The pressure is mounting on Apple to respond to the widespread reports of iPhone 4 antenna problems. What do you think Apple should do? Here are three options.

The pressure is mounting on Apple to respond to the widespread reports of iPhone 4 antenna problems. What do you think Apple should do? Here are three options.

Take the poll

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

87 comments
Slayer_
Slayer_

Make a left handed version of the phone, problem solved. That 5% of the left handed population can get their phones replaced for free with a left handed version. Creates minimal financial impact, minimal PR impact and minimal re-engineering.

radar_z
radar_z

Somewhere between 7% and 10% of the population is left-handed. Fortunately many left-handers are smart and can adapt, unlike most right handed folks.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

Studies (both personal and "real") have demonstrated that lefties make up a higher percentage of people in the science/technology field. One would think that the technophiles would be more into Apple products, and therefore contribute a more significant voice into the matter. For the record, I am left-handed. We suffer enough prejudice and potential injury living in the right-handed world without additional goofy "you're holding it wrong" advice...we're ALWAYS "holding it wrong" and somehow manage to make things work in other areas in spite of this. Me, I lean toward developing ambidexterity to solve my problems.

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

Jerry Casale of DEVO is a lefty, too. He plays bass and keyboards at times. Of course you know Paul McCartney is a lefty as well, and supposedly the reason he chose the Hofner bass is because the symmetry allowed him to play it upside down without it looking too weird. I bought a violin a few months back and have to restrain myself wanting to use it "backwards" because my inclination is to want to do the fret(less) work with my right hand and the bowing with my left. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a left-handed violin, and my future teacher will just have to chide me if I slip; the chin rest makes it harder to play that way. I have an electric guitar that a friend gave me that I have to fix but it is right-handed (and I need lessons for that as well). In college I took piano lessons and that was easier but I did want to play the lead line with my left hand, just a bit.

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

I am the lead singer for my band. :p Although, I do play guitar and bass as though right handed. I play my drums setup for a right handed person, but I do not do the hi-hat/ snare crossover. Also, I find my left hand is a lot more responsive when I want to do lead keyboard/ piano work. I imagine if I were not self taught in any of my instruments, the lessons would have taught me to work with my right hand more effectively. I only play for fun anyway, so it is OK with me. :)

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

Or have you chosen something that doesn't require handedness, like being the lead singer for your band?

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

Hey, I didn't know you were a leftie too. :) We're taking over!! :p ;)

NexS
NexS

Right-handers are very much alike to Apple users; They refuse to believe there's any other way...

NexS
NexS

For when they return their phone to the store, the clerk produces a company hacksaw and proceeds to remove their left hand. Problem solved: They are no longer left handed.

ralpha40
ralpha40

Yesterday on the Early Show there was a guest from Consumers Reports who explained and demonstrated a solution to the issue. He placed a piece of black tape over the seam on the side where the antenna is located and that corrected the reception issue. Now I'm not suggesting that people put black tape over there $200 iPhone but if Apple could develop something that fit over this area of the phone that is more attractive, that could be a viable option for people who do not want a case. In fact either option could be made available to the consumer.

coolmark82
coolmark82

Apple released a rubber "Band" that goes around the iPhone that prevents this from happening. Just get an iPhone 4 and put a rubber band over the meal part, or just simply hold it a really weird way.

JamesRL
JamesRL

While my friends at RIM would wince to hear me say it, if Apple wants to keep growing in iPhone sales it has to maintain a good reputation. Does anyone remember the Newton? I had a prototype, worked fine for my messy handwriting, thought it was a useful device. But it soon gathered a reputation as a quirky glitchy device that couldn't read handwriting, and any software updates and fixes couldn't overcome those Doonesbury cartoons (I admit, I laughed). The regular iPhone already has a mediocre rep for its phone functions. Don't give the corporate buyers an excuse to explore the competition, who are not standing still. James

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

So if Apple recalls the iPhone 4, then we'll find something wrong with the replacement. Maybe press "9" and it displays a "1", press "8" and it displays a "2",.... :-)

NexS
NexS

And they're not losing customers, that's for sure. So the iPhone fanboys(and girls) will probably just have to suck it and wait for the next version of the phone.

PoppaPrince
PoppaPrince

Mobile phones are required to be able to call 911 ... NO MATTER WHAT. No SIM card - doesn't matter. No service - doesn't matter. Phones MUST be able to call 911. The fact that a 911 call can drop (or that a 911 call cannot be made) because of the way you hold a phone should be an immediate recall. The FCC should have MANDATED the recall long ago.

Jye75
Jye75

batteries would be nuclear powered, and there would be no power button on them. FCC doesn't mandate the device, but puts rules on the service providers to allow 911 calls to go through for any device not on their network. http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/wireless911srvc.html

razorex
razorex

... however, hyperbolic drama poster probably won't read that all the way through, and will still make the same mistaken statement again at a later date. Apple will most likely turn around and do something about this. It will more than likely be along the lines of a rebate or reduced rate to upgrade to the iphone4.1 rather than a recall, free service, or free gear of any kind. At least that would seem most consistent with what I've seen them do over the last 30 years of being someone who actually pays attention to things electronic. I'm surprised with what the iPhone means to Apple's revenue profile, that they didn't catch this before it got out the door. With the EVO and DroidX on the market though, I guess there was a little pressure on to get something out there that competed with the market leaders. I like some of the things they've done to the new version of the iPhone, but if this kind of "you don't know what you're talking about, there's nothing wrong" mentality keeps up, I'll certainly avoid Apple products. This likens to their policy on security and how paltry their efforts have been to make sure their OS has been hardened against malicious software. The attitude of the rabbit, looking in the hole and thinking if it can't see the problem, the problem doesn't exist doesn't kick it in this information and technology based world.

mzs1
mzs1

Im of the opinion that if you pay for quality then that is what you should get Im actually pretty glad that my contract renewal is not for another few months, because to pay from roughly 400 upto 900 pounds for a smart phone you should get a reception from mars never mind no reception because you are supposedly not holding it properly. Sorry steve but its back to the drawing board with this one, this is a major fault and should be rectified asap,to tell your loyal customers who are willing to queue for your product they are not holding it properly is a joke. I think ill be opting for a htc android if apple are still rolling out this iphone4

jfuller05
jfuller05

I don't own an iPhone, but from what I have read about the problems, Apple could at least give their buyers free cases to solve the iPhone antenna problem. I doubt that Apple will do a product recall.

Jye75
Jye75

If Apple were to give free cases to iPhone 4 buyers, it will probably alleviate some of the problem with reception. However, a consumer shouldn't HAVE to put a case on what is otherwise a small, sleek, beautiful piece of technology, for it to work properly. Its form factor was one of the most touted features, yet now, because of a design defect, you are supposed to cover it up? Nope... If Apple had any concern for its loyal customers, they'd issue a recall and do a true fix, not a band-aid.

jfuller05
jfuller05

just to fix the problem. You're right, a user shouldn't have to put a case on their iPhone for it to work properly. I might be wrong, but I can't help thinking Apple won't recall their products. It's a shame that iPhone 4 owners have to buy a case or stick duct tape on their, like you said, sleek iPhone just to get a good signal. If I had the phone I would be feeling a bit outraged too.

Jye75
Jye75

I don't, nor will I ever own an iPhone. I don't like them, not because I'm anti-Apple, but they just aren't my interest. I'm quite happy with my EVO 4G. But hey, what's right, is right... for any product that you'd expect to not have to jerry-rig right out of the box.

icbhod
icbhod

Its not just the antenna that's wrong with the iPhone 4, its the formula for figuring signal strength in the first place....and the problems that have been reported with Exchange....I have never been a fan of Apple's business practices...less so after they had their customers shell out for what amounted to a beta product with the original iPhone..... Recall the product and fix it.

DimBulb
DimBulb

Consumer Reports suggest using a small piece of duct tape over the offending corner. Red Green would be proud!

Jye75
Jye75

And CNN has a video talking about the same thing. The guy in the video puts a huge piece of duct tape on his iPhone, and it looks like crap.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'd rather have a unit in a case that works than a sleek attractive one that doesn't. If I had one, I'd rather receive a free case. If I have to ship the unit back to compete with millions of others for repairs, along with the attendant waiting period, potential loss of unit, etc, I'm probably never going to buy another product from that manufacturer again. Give me the case, and offer free repairs if I'm not satisfied with the results.

Jye75
Jye75

that a free case is better than nothing. And while shipping them back to Apple and waiting for a replacement is undesireable, if Apple were a stand-up company, they'd announce a plan that goes something like this: -Put a hold on selling the current version of the iPhone 4 -Let consumers know that they are working on a hardware fix that will cost them nothing other than the gas to travel to a vendor. -Once new phones are manufactured with the fix, offer 1st generation iPhone 4 users the opportunity to go to a local vendor and swap theirs out without having to wait with no phone.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Toyota, BP, Apple. Thirty years later, and PR flaks still haven't figured it out. Denial and evasion are the quickest way to lose the public. It doesn't matter what the problem is; what matters is the public perception of the problem. For those of you born after 1975 who don't get the title reference, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tylenol_murders and see the 'Aftermath' section. Or ask any Marketing instructor; it's still the textbook example of how to handle a PR disaster. http://www.aerobiologicalengineering.com/wxk116/TylenolMurders/crisis.html

Juanita Marquez
Juanita Marquez

deliberate coverup or purposeful abuse vs. outside malicious tampering. When a company tries to knowingly and deliberately slip one by on the consumers due to corporate greed to rake in the $$ from the latest product release, thinking nobody will care, and are eventually discovered, very little damage control or PR spin will save them. Look at the bank fiasco - everyone hates them now, and there's no going back. I think the phones come under neither category at this point, I think it had either a bad batch of antennas, poor testing, or a design flaw that just wasn't as easy to notice in-house.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Apple has a PR problem. However, instead of aggressively working to reassure the public like J&J, Jobs is passing the buck and expecting people to pay for work-arounds. It doesn't matter who's fault it its; a poisoner or programmer, a nut case or an external case. What matters to shareholders is this is negatively affecting public opinion and (even worse) starting to impact sales.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"There's an app for that." Thank you! Y'all have been great! Drive safely! Good night, Tri-state area!

NexS
NexS

BWAhahaha

NexS
NexS

But I've got the last watermelon. (Can you guess the reference?)

NexS
NexS

With a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side. :D But iPhones and ice-cream don't mix so well. Perhaps that's reason enough...

NexS
NexS

Mine, mine, mine, mine...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I have opted to ignore robertrmo. Please consider not feeding this seagull.

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

But I do love the smell of fresh baked Apple Pie. ;) :D

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

robertmro, how do you suggest Apple handle this situation?

NexS
NexS

I hate Apple fanboys...

santeewelding
santeewelding

Don't you be messing with my moron. You get too full of yourself -- or, others too full of you -- count on Palmetto to ground you.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I can assure you he posts on here frequently, and on a wide variety of subjects. If I look at his "Tylenol" post he has a point. Whereas all you've done lately is insult him. Attack his ideas if you like, with counter arguments and alternatives. If all you have to contribute is school yard banter along the lines of "Did not, did too" then perhaps another forum might be a better fit for you. I'm an Apple Fan. I've interviewed Guy Kawasaki, met Michael Spindler, spent lots of time under non disclosure. But no company is perfect. All companies make mistakes and should learn from them. If you really love Apple and want them to be successful in the long term, then perhaps you should consider a more constructive outlook rather than a combative one. James

seanferd
seanferd

So really, what is your deal?

yobtaf
yobtaf

That's all you do all day is criticize things all day especially Apple. Do you actually have anything else to do?