iPhone

Poll: What will Apple do to address the iPhone 4 antenna problems?

Apple is expected to announce how they will address the iPhone 4 antenna problem at a press conference Friday. What do you think they will do?

Photo Credit: Jason Hiner / TechRepublic

Updated 7/16/2010: At its press event on Friday, Steven Jobs said Apple will give away a free case with every iPhone 4 purchased through September 30. Current iPhone 4 owners will be able to get a free case by registering through Apple's website. And, those who already purchased a case will get a full refund for the price of the case. Apple has also released iOS 4.0.1, which reportedly fixes an issue where more signal strength bars were shown than should have been and an Exchange bug.

In a recent Sanity Check poll, Jason Hiner asked TechRepublic members what Apple "should" do to address the iPhone 4 antenna problem (real or perceived).

On Wednesday, Apple announced it would hold a press conference on Friday at 10:00 AM PST. While Apple hasn't officially told reporters what they will address at the event, nearly everyone expects the company to make a statement about the iPhone 4 antenna problem. But, just exactly how the Cuppertino company plans to address the issues is up in the air.

Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief at TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet, hopes Apple still shock most analysts (and customers) by announcing a full iPhone 4 recall.

As Dignan wrote in his open letter to Steve Jobs:

"People going into Friday's press conference expect bumper cases and an apology. Give them a full recall and Apple can show they love their customers as much as they love the company's products."

I hope Larry's right, but I'm not overly optimistic Jobs and company will be so bold. What do you think?

More on the iPhone 4 antenna problem:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

36 comments
Barry Latham
Barry Latham

Here is an interesting tidbit that might be worth checking out. In some of the apple stores and probably all of them, the new IPhone 4 is on display. For those that have an IPhone and would like to visit the store and check this out, if appears that Apple as already fixed the antennae issue but very few may know. It appears that the antennae has been moved from the bottom, where you must hold it in your hand and block signal, to the top corner. Evidently, there has been a new version of the phone shipped to stores that have this modification, and from a test against the one without, it appears when held the same way doesn't loose the signal. Apple evidently hasn't told anyone, but if you pick it up and view about this IPhone on version etc. you will find that the newer one is a totally different mod. I had a friend try and get one of these as a replacement but just to his amazement, he couldn't get this one yet, and was told they didn't know if he could. He actually made them open everyone in the store and see if one had this mod. Again they didn't. Only the display had it. So I would say the recall isn't in the picture, but I believe the fix has been made, but not let out to the public.

tripplec
tripplec

Well seeing is believing. Anyway we don't have them here in Canada yet. But I would not even think about getting on without that issue fixed (not a rubber band solution but a permanent one) and the proximity sensor. I've had my problems with dropped calls with many phones on the Rogers network and believe me it really a pain in the....much so that after years of that my phone use is about 25% now of what it had been. I don't get the calls I used to nor call as often or stay on as long. Knowone wants to keep calling back or constantly repeat themselves because of network issues.

nhiep_nguyen
nhiep_nguyen

First the software fix is supposed to show the correct levels of the signal strength but it does not do anything regarding signal strength deterioration. Second, I have a rubber bumper that wraps around the back and sides of the iPhone4 and the signal still is degraded by two segments at least when holding it the normal way to hold a phone.

gueibor
gueibor

What? We gave you a God Gadget that does everything but cheeseburgers and you're complaining because you can't make CALLS on it? Who the hell TALKS on phones anymore? Learn the Secret Hold or lose your hipster cred, thou wretched ingrate!

tripplec
tripplec

Yeah, Jobs probably come out with a holster that hangs on your ear or head so you won't grip the antenna. Here here, fix the dam... thing and hire better Engineers. US engineers who understand antenna technology.

nhiep_nguyen
nhiep_nguyen

If I w

Zwort
Zwort

Following the Jobsian claim that all smart phones/mobiles have a similar problem I tried masking the signal with my hands on my now very old Nokia (Vodafone). It did cut down the number of bars. Strangely enough I have never noticed a problem with reception on it though. With the Samsung (T-Mobile) no difference made at all, but I frequently experience problems with the provider. I get around it by using the Vodafone account. I'd really like a nice toy, but in view of the recent spate of problems it won't be an Apple. I'll look around for a while longer and buy something that seems a little more reliable.

nhiep_nguyen
nhiep_nguyen

Sorry one part of my post is missing. I said if I were to design this antennae I would have a sandwich of two metal parts separated by an insulating layer.

milkanonlb
milkanonlb

Problem doesn't affect everyone. More likely they will do something like extend return period and/or replace under warranty as needed.

dknichol
dknichol

This is an excellent example of what happens when a product is put on the market before the bugs are fixed. Now all the customer is expected to accept is a fix We are expected to put down our money for this kind of product & service - and of course it's always our fault when we point out a companies' "LACK OF FOLLOW THROUGH" in their R&D. I never buy a new product until the price and bugs are ironed out, and I do understand that many people are too eager to wait because of the marketing hype. It's Shiny & New! and YOU Want THIS...

llsdigitek1350
llsdigitek1350

They should have fixed the problem before shipping the first phone...

dataweb
dataweb

You will be able to buy the upgraded model that has the fix. You never get anything from Apple without it costing extra.

richardw66
richardw66

Apple should do a recall sometime after Sony-Ericsson recalls the K750i which has been working fine for me for the past 5 years or so - but can also go from 4 bars of signal to none if I hold it under the right conditions. Those conditions are holding it in my hand in no special way at the side of my desk. If that constitutes a faulty phone design then sure - recall it. But I have had no problems with my K750i reception that were not due to the prevailing signal availability, and the normal factors, and so I had no complaints. The testing done by Steve Wozniak as reported on ZDNet confirms that the level of the iPhone is slightly worse in low signal areas if the phone is held in certain ways. Why should Apple recall a mobile phone that behaves like a mobile phone? Because some people are nervous about the new antenna design and seeing something they just did not notice about other phones? Unless Apple has information that has not been mentioned anywhere else about there being a real issue then why would people want to lose the phone that will under reasonable conditions work well for them? It would be the first recall of product due to failure by the press to report about it in a responsible manner.

yobtaf
yobtaf

That's all I know. I have no opinion on the matter. Mine works fine but I keep it in a case. P.S. Where's Palmetto?

santeewelding
santeewelding

Has been relieved of duty by The Presidium. We, now, have you in our sights. You are an easy target. When you drop them as you have, bent over, and spread (how ugly!}, in front of God and everyone, it's a snap.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Rotate 1/2 turn and compare.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I was wondering what happened to you. Good to have you back. You're my hero.

yobtaf
yobtaf

I was wondering what happened to you. Good to have you back. You're my hero.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Of the four, Apple will NEVER have a recall - although one estimated it will cost around $20 to do [I'd assume that excludes labour, shipping, etc.]. A software fix will never be able to correct the problem. So either Apple will give everyone a case or continue to deny there is an issue and/or blame people for their problems.

QAonCall
QAonCall

They will give you a Partial credit toward the purchase price (which they will over inflate like they do all their stuff) and no one will want because there will not be enough 'bedazzled' ones in stock. Or they will say, it will issue some partial credit is the user wants to upgrade to the new version (yet to be determined when it will be released). Then they will go back to China and have their slave labor rework all the turned in phones. (jk)

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Apple is expected to announce how they will address the iPhone 4 antenna problem at a press conference Friday. What do you think they will do? Take the poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=1903

RipVan
RipVan

Now it seems that those haters of industry are about to get involved, same as they do to shake down ANYONE successful! As much as I hate Jobs and the Apple flavored Kool-Aid, I DESPISE government shakedowns.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Can you provide links supporting claims of government involvement, please?

Economix
Economix

Always been an iPhone user, fan, and advocate, but this issue is crap - simply insulting. It shouldn't even be an issue. How did they let a hardware issue slide unnoticed? And how do they expect a software update to fix a major hardware issue? As a fan of the iPhones in general, Apple needs to grab hold of their "Apple Bag", man up, and put the recall out. I don't want a free bumper... I want a phone that works. This issue has caused me to not upgrade to the iP4 yet, they're losing my business as a loyal customer and advocate of their other iPs. Whatever happened to the PHONE part of the cell phone working? Isn't that the root of these devices anyway? Have we gotten away from or forgotten that? This is sad that their development team was more concerned about not communicating with others verbally over the phone that our society would rather text, email, or Facebook, and no one made sure the damn phone worked!? Only 19% (at the moment) of those polled felt a recall was in order!? The lowest response rate of those polled?! Ya'll want a rubber bumper for free huh? Shame on us all, we've allowed this and it's setting more precedence.

Lockout
Lockout

The poll is not what we want Apple to do... It is what do we think Apple will do... Historically Apple has put design over function, and always taken an elitist attitude when called on it. This is the same thing. Steve Jobs could simply state that he would email a link to a video out on how to correctly hold the iPhone, and all of the fanboys would be happy with that.

Economix
Economix

You're correct in that the poll is what we think they will do. Maybe this is more wishful thinking OR a way for users to post feedback on HOW Apple should handle this situation. In reality, they live in a bubble, as do most companies blinded by profits and less about consumers - maybe they should go BP here and fix it at all costs? There really are a ton of other SmartPhone options now, BUT Apple only cares about one so they better get their stuff right or eventually the people will stop eating the Apples - including someone who really digs the device like myself. Simply put, it's gotta work right. Recall the X-Box 360 issues?! They put the unit out to beat Sony to the punch on the PS3 knowing it didn't work (65% or so fail rate last I knew, please correct if you wishbut you get the picture) and since then Microsoft spent over $1-billion fixing the problems - and is still spending money. Major black eye for MS and the X-Box brand and a reason to switch to the PS3 - great promo for Sony! In this case, the Android looks pretty good right now (cept for the Motorola chip in the Droid X that allows it to be a useless device, another bag o worms there tho)

tripplec
tripplec

As Economix stated the device is a phone first and should work very well as a phone. Good reception, no dropping calls due to design. I typically buy a carry case to tote the device around but remove and hold it in my hands to answer and talk holding it to my ear. Any bumper would compromise a fit within a case and cause difficulty removing it due to significant drag. They really need to see the reality here and fix the phones antenna system and proximity sensor which also is a problem for many. That the bottom line. Software will not change anything but may make things worse. It really shocking for an RF engineer to evening think they could place an antenna where the user to make contact with it during use. Any antenna will suffer in performance very significantly if contact is made with it. Apple must think we're all sheep. NOT and I am for getting on of the new Android 2.2 phones once they hit my carriers here in Canada. I don't need Apple, they need us and that number will decline the more the act above us with there nose in the air.

asif
asif

I totally agree with you, Apple should own up and recall the iPhone 4. But also remember, there are other options on the market that are just as good as the iPhone or better. Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S Android coming out from all the major carriers...better than the iPhone in my opinion. The iPhone is a great device, but call quaility sucks (all iPhone models)

Spadam
Spadam

Introducing ..... The i-glove!

Zwort
Zwort

...the iGlove Nano, for children.

Slayer_
Slayer_

They will make you pay to take a course on how to hold your phone properly for maximum signal strength. There may also be a certificate to get... Might even open their own school. Ya know, anything to avoid admitting they made a mistake.

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