×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Hires Antenna Engineers. Really.

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the you're-holding-it-wrong dept.

Cellphones 417

kangsterizer writes "Sometimes, news items are just about a good laugh. You may or may not like Apple, but the way it has been handling its antenna issue has been like a small tech soap opera — Steve Jobs, the CEO, saying 'not to hold the phone that way,' rumors of software issues, and the latest but most crunchy part, since the antenna issue has been widely discovered, on 23 June, several 'antenna engineer' positions opened up at Apple. Seems someone got fired: Antenna engineer job position 1, Antenna engineer job position 2, Antenna engineer job position 3." I just figure they did all their testing in California, where AT&T dropping calls is as common as $4 coffees.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

417 comments

The funny part is, it's still better than Android (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744022)

Even with the antenna issue, the new iPhone is still miles better than any Android phone.

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744030)

[trollface.jpg]

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744064)

The worst part of this is that I can't tell if this is a troll or just a fanboi. It gets so hard to tell sometimes. I'm guessing troll, because a fanboi would probably suggest sucking Steve Jobs' dick as a solution.

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744098)

The biggest problem with any Android phone is the terrible software it's saddled with. Some of the HTC devices look pretty nice, spec wise, but the OS on them is utter shit. And, no, openness doesn't make up for being shit.

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744138)

Specifics? Last time I checked, there is nothing that the iPhone OS can do that Android can't do (and, aside from Android being "open", the reverse is more or less true as well.)

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744878)

Specifics? Last time I checked, there is nothing that the iPhone OS can do that Android can't do (and, aside from Android being "open", the reverse is more or less true as well.)

Does it have [extremely specific game X]? Does it have [extremely specific game Y]? Does it have [extremely specific game Z]? Does it sync with [designed-for-vendor lockin media player A]? No? That sounds pretty useless to me! What do you EXPECT me to do on these phones, anyway?

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744200)

Depends which phone you've got. The Nexus One has a great interface and an ever growing list of available software. Plus since Google doesn't banish software from the market for duplicating functionality or allowing people to see naughty things, you can customize things quite a bit more if the interface isn't to your liking.

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744310)

Have you even actually used an HTC Android phone? Android + Sense pretty much blows iOS4 out of the water.

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (1)

jfoobaz (1844794) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744888)

Have you even actually used an HTC Android phone? Android + Sense pretty much blows iOS4 out of the water.

Dont' know about the AC, but I have, and it most certainly does not blow iOS4 out of the water.
Android's ok, I guess, but the iPhone software is just much more polished and usable.

Yes... but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744832)

a fanboi would probably suggest sucking Steve Jobs' dick as a solution.

I tried that when my new phone starting dropping calls, but he kept telling me "not to hold it that way."


...
Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress, try the veal.

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (4, Interesting)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744156)

OP have you ever used an Android phone? The platform is maturing extremely fast. I just switched from an iPhone 3g to an Evo 4g and I don't have regrets. The features of the iPhone 4 just didn't impress me enough. Plus, once I got an android I realized how much the iPhone was stifling my inner geek. I've loaded custom roms, overclocked, rooted, everything...It has been a lot of fun and I recommend android to any geek I know. And if you're not a geek, I still recommend it.

Ok, I do have ONE regret about my switch: a unified mailbox. There's probably one in the android market...hmmm brb!

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744742)

OP have you ever used an Android phone? The platform is maturing extremely fast. I just switched from an iPhone 3g to an Evo 4g and I don't have regrets.

Evo 4g? I don't care [youtube.com] . I want the one with the bigger geebees.

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (2, Funny)

mesanchez (1829880) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744566)

What the fuck has to do Android with what we are reading/talking here? go to some Andriod news, god i hate this stupid jerks with their "my choices are better than yours" mental problem

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (1)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744748)

What the fuck has to do Android with what we are reading/talking here? go to some Andriod news, god i hate this stupid jerks with their "my choices are better than yours" mental problem

This nested discussion stems from an Apple fanboy bringing up how much better the OS is than Android, actually. Kind of silly to say what you said, isn't it?

Re:The funny part is, it's still better than Andro (1)

mesanchez (1829880) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744904)

Wooooow, i get it all wrong, now that i've realized know that i've re readed the comment, hahahaha, SORRY, my mistake, i got it all wrong. P.S.: I HATE Apple, nobody is allow to tell me what to do and what not to do with a product i bought.

BWAHAHAHAHA (1, Redundant)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744026)

AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (5, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744120)

From a memo to AppleCare reps:

Exact procedures AppleCare reps must follow when dealing with any reception complaints regarding the iPhone 4.:

1. Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy – your tone when delivering this information is important.

a. The iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4’s overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS.

b. Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world.

c. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand.

d. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band.

e. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.

2. Do not perform warranty service. Use the positioning above for any customer questions or concerns.

3. Don’t forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band.

4. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it.

5. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers.

Re:AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744314)

From the Customer Handbook:

1. So you say there is a problem if I hold the phone the wrong way? (wait for response). Please show me the correct way.

2. That seems very impractical and uncomfortable. I'm liable to get hand cramps. Is it true you have a rubber bumper that will fix the problem?

3. Well since we've established the phone is defective, and this rubber bumper fixes the problem, then it should be free. So I'll give you a choice: Either give me a full refund for my phone, or fix the problem at no charge. Pick one. Or else I and a million other customers will drag you into court, and make your life a living hell.

4. Remember:

There's no excuse for corporations to Steal money from customers with inferior or defective products. The customer is not always right, but in most cases the Consumer Protection Laws are on your side. Previous corporations that challenged the U.S. Government typically lost, and the customers received refunds or free fixes.

Re:AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (4, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744372)

P.S. This will probably get me modded down, but I don't care. Robin Hood helped the poor by taking-back what the rich had stolen from them. I consider this to be the same deal. (Especially since Apple received a taxpayer bailout - they stole that money IMHO.)

- Buy rubber bumper.
- Install on iPhone to fix its defect.
- Return empty envelopes with tracking number.
- Wait two months.
- Call credit card company to explain that you returned the rubber bumper, and would like to be refunded the money. Provide tracking number.

Apple owes every customer a free fix for their defective phone.

Re:AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (4, Insightful)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744552)

Uh, isn't this credit card fraud?

I suppose, if you had to pick *any* industry or group of companies larger than Apple to piss off, that would be a good one. However, I don't think it will end well for you if you give it a try.

Re:AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (0, Offtopic)

vslashg (209560) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744890)

Uh, isn't this credit card fraud?

It's obviously fraud. Adding a sarcastic "Uh" to your rhetorical question doesn't help make your point, though.

Apple bailout? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744616)

(Especially since Apple received a taxpayer bailout - they stole that money IMHO.)

Huh?

Re:AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (5, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744798)

Yes, because committing fraud is a reasonable response. How about you just return the damn phone.

Re:AppleCare memo on how to mislead users... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744596)

Take the case to AT&T then.

I purchased a phone and it drops calls. I purchased the phone through AT&T on the understanding that it takes and places calls.

You can't provide me a working phone, then I demand a release from my contract minus the termination fees. I will raise a stink about it, contact the BBB, and encourage every other iPhone user to do as such as well.

Or you can provide me with the rubber bumper.

I shouldn't have to pay $30 for a small piece of rubber because you are selling a defective product.

Alternative antennas (3, Funny)

jabberwock (10206) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744136)

Apple's next product announcement will be for special color-matching paperclips ($9.99) and tin cans ($49.99) as antenna boosters.

Re:Alternative antennas (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744470)

Time to enter the market with the Pringles Cantenna for iPhone 4! Only 7.99$ and you get a pile of chips* as a bonus!

* burned electronics flavour available for a limited time only!

Messed up links (1, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744080)

The second and third links both point to the same URL as the first.

Re:Messed up links (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744090)

"If you experience problems with links sending you to the wrong URLs, just don't click on them that way." -Steve Jobs, paraphrased

Re:Messed up links (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744422)

A new meme was born and they saw it was good.

Unless they just got fixed... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744444)

...they're all different URLs, different job postings, and different requisition numbers.

However, it's probably not likely that these positions are in any way related to the iPhone 4 launch, considering the time that these positions have probably been in the pipeline.

as common as $4 coffees (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744102)

I just figure they did all their testing in california where AT&T dropping calls is as common as $4 coffees.

Shouldn't they cost more than $4 in Cali?

Re:as common as $4 coffees (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744228)

I believe that may be central to the writer's point - $4 coffees and AT&T dropping calls both being rare in Cali, Apple's testing was insufficient. I have no idea if any of those points are accurate, however.

Re:as common as $4 coffees (1)

pieceofstone (1579885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744320)

The coffee part is confusing to me. I live in California and I don't think I have ever seen a cup of coffee at any size costing as much as $4. Maybe the writer meant that people have a tendency to buy the largest possible size of flavored, espresso-based steamed milk drinks, but I'm not sure.

Re:as common as $4 coffees (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744746)

In the greater Cupertino area, my iPhone 2G almost never drops calls unless I'm driving and there's a handoff failure. In San Francisco, by contrast, calls only survive about two minutes between call drops (with five bars of signal). Terrain and density makes a mess of GSM, so it depends highly on where in California you mean.

Re:as common as $4 coffees (2, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744322)

Believe it or not, some people still drink plain, black 12 oz coffees. The poor ones that can only afford $4!!! HAHAHAhahahahaaha. ha?

Secrecy is a double edged sword. (3, Interesting)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744122)

That must have been a really, really, really awkward conversation.

Although to be honest, I wonder if this is Apple's secrecy coming to bite them in the ass. If you are uber careful about how many phones you have out in the field, you're a lot less likely to run into scenarios where your product fails in real world situations.

beta testing, google does it for a reason.

Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (4, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744236)

Because it's too expensive and time consuming to remove the word "beta" from the website?

Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (2, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744780)

You're being facetious, but you're probably not that far off the mark... not that it's too expensive to actually remove the word, but because it could be too expensive to remove the word if things go pear-shaped and some corporate entity that's using the service loses all their work/documents. By keeping the word Beta there, they discourage people from relying on it for money-making purposes, and that in turn discourages idiots from trying to sue them when it breaks and they lose a day's pay. And even if somebody is dumb enough to try to sue them over a gmail outage, they can reply "sorry, but it's still in beta testing. That's clearly advertised on the site. It's well known in computing that 'beta' means that it's still in testing and has no guarantee that it'll work 100% of the time, it's your own damned fault you relied on it."

Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744286)

beta testing, google does it for a reason.

And they'll never stop beta testing anything. Ever. ;D

Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744664)

Didn't Wave and Voice both just leave beta?

Do they have a major product/service still in beta?

Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744818)

Although to be honest, I wonder if this is Apple's secrecy coming to bite them in the ass. If you are uber careful about how many phones you have out in the field, you're a lot less likely to run into scenarios where your product fails in real world situations.

I think you're right that this issue was not discovered because of Apple's secrecy. If you remember, when they gave their staff phones to test they didn't want people to realise there was a new iPhone about - so they disguised them as iPhone 3s. The 3G didn't have the metal band, so the test models either didn't use one or - my guess - had it hidden under a fake iPhone 3 cover, meaning that this issue never came up.

Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744896)

Completely unrelated, but do you realize that even VHS tapes must have gone through beta-testing?

Re:Secrecy is a double edged sword. (5, Interesting)

ballwall (629887) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744922)

Well, they probably did test, but their testing apparently included a case that looked like the iphone 3gs to hide the fact that someone was out using a new iPhone. I'm wondering if that's why they didn't discover the issue sooner. None of the testers were using bare phones.

heheheh this is funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744132)

Who the hell did Mr. Jobs have before to design his antennas, a plumber? Glad they're fired. Hopefully the new engineers will re-design the iPhone to have the best reception of any cell phone on the market and Stevie puts out a recall.

He's got me by the balls cause I'm stuck with the iPhone 4 and was so quick to sell my 3GS. Steve better hurry!

Reading into it? (5, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744158)

Someone got fired, or they just realised that you can't expect it to work properly if you don't hire experts. Reminds me of all the issues with noise in the G5 towers getting onto the supply rails and then into the audio I/O and Firewire power that lead to them hiring analog electronics experts to fix it. When I first read that the stainless steel surround was an antenna, I predicted these kinds of problems - you can't expect an antenna to maintain tuning while allowing a meatbag to touch it, especially when you need to be able to tune several microwave bands from hundreds of MHz to GHz. The laws of physics are against you, and any engineer should be able to point that out. Other handsets have issues where your hand can obstruct the signal, but the iPhone 4 is unique in allowing you to place things in galvanic contact with the antenna, which has a far bigger effect on its RF performance.

Re:Reading into it? (4, Insightful)

random coward (527722) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744194)

So how likely was it that someone in marketing thought it would be "cool design" to have a visible antenna on the outside of the unit?

Re:Reading into it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744472)

Or in engineering. Who says Apple's engineers aren't the hippy cool bunch?

Re:Reading into it? (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744704)

You have metal around the case to bring the front and back pieces together. Why not make that piece of metal useful?

Sounds like reasonable engineering to me, except for the fact that it ended up introducing a new problem.

Re:Reading into it? (0, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744222)

You don't need an expert to design an antenna, just someone with a half-assed knowledge of mathematics and an RF guide.

Re:Reading into it? (3, Funny)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744536)

When I first read that the stainless steel surround was an antenna...The laws of physics are against you, and any engineer should be able to point that out.

Well, now we know the material selection criteria. Laws of physics...or sleek and shiny?

Re:Reading into it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744924)

"while allowing a meatbag to touch it"

HK-47? Is that you??

Probably not antenna designers' fault (5, Insightful)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744166)

Somehow I doubt it was the idea of an antenna designer to put it on the outside where one would hold it. Anyone with any antenna theory knowledge at all knows that your gain would then be changed easily based on how it was held by a conductor (eg, you)

The only think you could blame the antenna engineer for is not properly stating what a bad idea it is.
Heck, it's entirely possible they didn't have any antenna engineers and now realize that's probably idea for a product masquerading as a phone.

Re:Probably not antenna designers' fault (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744588)

I hope they at least compensated for the capacitance of the human hand touching the antenna by using a varicap circuit to tune the antenna. (You use a longer-than-ideal antenna, add capacitance to compensate, then back off the capacitance if you determine that it's too high because somebody is touching the antenna.) I'd expect them to have something like that anyway because it's impossible to build an ideal antenna for such a broad range of frequencies.

If they have a *software-controlled* varicap, they might be able to fix the entire problem in software by just pushing the capacitance higher when they determine that a human hand is bridging the antennas. So a software update might be possible if they have a good way to test the capacitance on the antenna with the existing hardware (or I suppose they could just watch for a sudden drop in signal strength and try adjusting up, see if it helps, then try adjusting down if it made things worse).

Re:Probably not antenna designers' fault (4, Funny)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744872)

The only think you could blame the antenna engineer for is not properly stating what a bad idea it is.

They did. They were ignored because form is more important then function (this is Apple remember). The product then launched. The engineers were then overheard saying "we told you so" in the halls one day. And now there are 3 positions that recently became available.

Better than asking an interview question (4, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744170)

So candidate "X": how would you deal with RF absorbtion and detuning of a microwave antenna when brought into close proximity of a human body?
< candidate answers, based on practical experience >
Interviewer writes down answer, says "That's very interesting, next candidate please"

Three positions, really? (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744202)

What's with all the three links having same URL? Maybe it's the new government program for decreasing unemployment. Look, we've tripled the amount of open positions!

Re:Three positions, really? (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744368)

I hope you don't have a job that requires an eye for detail.

Unless the links really did go to the same URL at the time of your posting, that is.

Good RF Engineers are expensive and rare (2, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744266)

Most companies have a hard time recruiting any good RF engineering. It's not a 'digital' domain and the Educational System just plain isn't putting out many (any?) good RF engineers anymore. It isn't even something you can passably fake with 'SPICE' like some of the lower-frequency analog.

I doubt if Apple can afford that kind of engineering. They can't even afford mechanical engineers with the skill-set to design a robust replaceable-battery-compartment into their products. (the most recent attempt I can remember is the battery compartment in the Newton, and almost every Newton I have ever seen has a broken battery compartment)

Re:Good RF Engineers are expensive and rare (3, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744442)

I doubt if Apple can afford that kind of engineering.

Tens of billions of dollars of cash-on-hand and they can't afford a few engineers with six-figure salaries. Sure.

Re:Good RF Engineers are expensive and rare (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744794)

It's still taught in college. I'm almost certain the RF class was required for EE's at Penn State. Probably optional for the CE's though.

And the battery thing is more just a choice Apple made. In fact, even the layout inside the new MacBook Pro looked plenty user-serviceable. I think they just want to make more money by charging users for the servicing.

Prototype fail (2, Insightful)

damnfuct (861910) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744268)

It sounds like they didn't have this problem while they were testing them in cases that look like iPhone 3s. Maybe apple will start shipping them with iPhone 3 cases?

Fired Engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744290)

What a coincidence, McDonald's just hired three former antenna engineers.

Exotenna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744324)

This exotenna idea seemed so good to Steve Jobs since he always beats himself off with his left hand. He always held his iPhone with his right hand since his left hand was either in motion or cum-covered.

And, now, us consumers pay the consequences. Those of us who already sold our 3GS's are in a really sticky situation!

The frame is the antennas (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744398)

You hold the phone in your left hand, you bridge the two antennas [macrumors.com] , wireless gets affected. That's not rocket surgery.

Next question?

An apple engineer walks in a bar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744408)

oh, wait a moment!

Did nobody else read that as HiRes? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744498)

Sure, you only get 4 colors in hires on an Apple, but what can you draw with a 40x40 grid anyway (except, maybe, a Mark Spitz retrospective).

Re:Did nobody else read that as HiRes? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744656)

I was expecting HiRes pics of the current apple antenna engineers. Or what's left over.

Wrong idea, Jobs. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744504)

If it was me, I'd have said "We put a pair of headphones with an integrated microphone in that box, yet you insist on holding the phone up to your ear! How are you going to operate your iPad with one hand near your head? Do like I do, and use the headphones for total freedom when using your giant iPod Tou... err iPad."

Bumpers (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744522)

Or they did all their testing with bumpers on the phones. If you have a piece of rubber between your hand, and the antenna, you don't complete the circuit.

Re:Bumpers (5, Interesting)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744712)

They did the testing with the iPhone 4 inside an iPhone 3GS case... so no one would know what it was.

Re:Bumpers (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744868)

My guess is they did testing in an RF chamber. They never had anyone hold the phone during testing and then they put test phones in cases as a disguise.
They just never did a valid real world test. More than one company has made that mistake. What is so funny is how everybody now is going duh...

offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744544)

Quoted from jobs description:

"* Detail oriented - taking data, using Excel, and making meaningful tables/graphs/averages."

I guess "i"Numbers is not being used internally in Apple ;-)

iPhone! The Movie (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744580)

"There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy your new 4G iPhone. By the way, is there anyone out there who knows how to design an antenna?"

.

Hands on? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32744672)

From the job description:

* Must have working experience of antenna design and tests, anechoic chambers, and RF test equipment. Hands-on is a must.

Latest Accessory (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744744)

The iTenna. Suction cup adhesion to your forehead for a hardwired auxiliary antenna. Only $69.99. Guaranteed to improve reception (if your forehead is not too greasy) and announce to the world that you are one of the iConnected!

I don't think I'll be applying to work at Apple (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744774)

The only reason the old antenna engineers did what they did was because they were forced to by Apple marketing and industrial design groups. And the only reason the next ones won't make the same mistake is because of hindsight, not because the new ones will be somehow more competent than the old ones.

Apple sounds like a horrible place to work. Every decision you make has to put aesthetics ahead of every other practical consideration. I bet you'd get fired for complaining too much about a problem early in the design cycle, and of course, if something goes wrong, you'll get fired for lacking the forethought. Rock and a hard place.

Different Job Titles Needed (2, Informative)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744778)

Clearly the marketing department is the end-all, be-all decision makers in a product design at Apple. As an RF engineer (I am) I would not be jumping up and down to work for Apple. Antenna designs are always a compromise between aesthetics and performance.

I bet that the Apple phone worked just great in their corporate offices with an AT&T cell site right next door. The signal levels would be very high and you probably could have wrapped the phone in a 10 pound ham and the signal would have looked just great. I doubt that they did any real-world testing in a weak signal environment.

Much of the weak-signal specifications for any RF device are usually determined on a test bench or in an anechoic chamber where conditions are controlled. The ugly reality of someone's sweaty, meaty hand seldom makes it into the engineers lexicon.

The job titles for these folks should be "Fall Guy #1, Fall Guy #2 and Fall Guy #3.

Ahhhh! Steve is a Geeeeeniiiius! (1)

redbeard55 (1002526) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744784)

Well boys and girls having problems with reception on you shiiiiinnny new iPhone 4 . . . Wellllll . . . Have we got a product for you, for just $29. YES ONLY $29, you can purchase our Apple Bumper cover. Guaranteed! Yes I said GUARAAAANTEEEED!! To improve your ability to make AND receive calls! Yes this product has been thoroughly tested and proven to improve your ability to make AND receive calls! Why this product has been tested more than the original iPhone 4 was before it was shipped out . . .

Other job posting spotted... (1)

Petronius (515525) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744886)

"Looking for engineer to build next-gen antenna that can operate near reality distortion field. Send resume to steve(at)apple(dot)com."

Hammertime! (5, Funny)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32744900)

Now all Apple needs to do is make a commercial with MC Hammer.

"Can't touch this!"

Best part is, they could use the same video - it's already people dancing in front of a white background. Just crank up the contrast until the people turn into silhouettes, and add some headphones.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c4L4CPfQY8 [youtube.com]

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...