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iPhone 4 Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the good-luck-with-that dept.

Iphone 479

Readers today have been sending tons of stories about the iPhone 4, so here are a few of the highlights: Following the Consumers Reports announcement that the iPhone has antenna problems, Andy Patrizio asks if Apple can withstand the pressure to recall, while CNet estimates that a recall would cost them $1.5B. But that's just the latest on the iPhone 4 — the long running carrier exclusivity lawsuit rumors have been upgraded to Class Action status.

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Stock price is falling too (5, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | about 4 years ago | (#32899824)

CNet estimates that a A recall would cost them $1.5B

It's not only that cost. In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%, costing Apple and their shareholders millions of dollars and creating huge image problems.

It also look like Apple's PR team completely messed up, from the "learn a new way to hold a phone" to removing of any critical comments from their support forums. Considering PR and marketing is one of Apple's strongest areas and which pushes everything they do forward, they did some incredibly stupid decisions.

Now that they are basically ignoring the problem, any more time they take doing nothing will cost them even more.

Re:Stock price is falling too (1)

jaygatsby27 (894445) | about 4 years ago | (#32899854)

If they dont release a patch, their stock will be useful only as wallpaper by the weekend.

Stock is not a big problem. (5, Interesting)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | about 4 years ago | (#32900032)

If they dont release a patch, their stock will be useful only as wallpaper by the weekend.

Except, that is what many savvy investors are counting on, because the fall in their stock price is really a reaction of fear.

Savvy investors never trade on emotion, and they bank on the emotion of others by reading the emotions that drive the market. This still works because the majority of those who trade stocks are still very emotional.

Apple basically shot themselves in the foot, and their wounds are bound to heal. That is far better than if someone else (like MS) shot them and they got hurt, as that would be a sign of vulnurability to competition.

Re:Stock is not a big problem. (5, Informative)

nicke999 (575910) | about 4 years ago | (#32900398)

"the majority of those who trade stocks are still very emotional"

Not true. The major owners in Apple, as any major company on the stock market, are mutual funds and institutional holders with 72% [yahoo.com] of the stocks. Maybe the majority of the small time investors are emotional, I don't know, but that is a completely different thing since they can only affect the stock price so much.

Re:Stock is not a big problem. (4, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 years ago | (#32900816)

Given that stock pricing has a lot to do with how many buy/sell orders get placed and not quite as much with how many shares get bought/sold, churn in that little 28% can have a huge effect on price considering they are probably 99% of the shareholders by headcount.

Re:Stock is not a big problem. (0, Flamebait)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32900784)

>>>that is what many savvy investors are counting on, because the fall in their stock price is really a reaction of fear.

In that case they should wait until 2011 because the stock will fall a lot lower after the US Dollar is abandoned as universal currency. To quote Obama's pastors: "America's roosters are coming home."

As for Apple they made a mistake - it happens. What matters next is how they handle the mistake so as to keep customers happy, and so far they've done a lousy job. No doubt many customers are now thinking their next "iPhone" will be an Android or Nokia model instead.

Re:Stock is not a big problem. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#32901158)

In that case they should wait until 2011 because the stock will fall a lot lower after the US Dollar is abandoned as universal currency.

Sounds interesting. What's happening in 2011 to make that happen?

Re:Stock is not a big problem. (1)

socz (1057222) | about 4 years ago | (#32901240)

No doubt many customers are now thinking their next "iPhone" will be an Android or Nokia model instead.

Android: They are too old. Yes. Too old to begin the training.

Apple Users: But I've learned so much.

Android: Will he finish what he begins?

Apple Users: I won't fail you! I'm not afraid.

Android: Oh...you will be. You will be.

Re:Stock price is falling too (5, Funny)

dintech (998802) | about 4 years ago | (#32899898)

iPhone 4 Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

I'm more interested in why CmdrTaco sounds like the narrator from Wacky Races.

Re:Stock price is falling too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32899900)

Australian Release in 10 Days, I'll judge this problem based on Telstra/NextG performance; from an Infrastructure perspective - it is one of the worlds best networks.

If it fails here on NextG - The phone is fucked.

Re:Stock price is falling too (2, Insightful)

ericdewey (167132) | about 4 years ago | (#32900694)

Except Consumer Reports tested it in a shielded lab environment and it failed. As far as infrastructure goes, it doesn't get any better than that.

Re:Stock price is falling too (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32901200)

Question:

If a device has antennae wrapped around the outside of it, and its signal strength gets screwed up when you bridge the two...why would it matter which network the phone was on?

Re:Stock price is falling too (5, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 4 years ago | (#32899920)

"learn a new way to hold a phone" means don't hold the phone how we hold it in every commercial/ad for the iPhone 4, where they touch the bottom left. - Steve

Re:Stock price is falling too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900006)

Back in the bad olde days MS would just sit back and wait. When Apple would inevitably screw up MS would be there to scavenge the bones. Now it is 2010 and MS is sitting on vaporware hoping to have something ready by Christmas. Droid and Rim are the only alternatives at the moment, and Rim is in the dog house. Droid is still rough around the edges, but it is the low cost alternative that operates on a wide variety of platforms. Google has been working hard to make droid functional and attractive to a wider variety of developers. They are slowly taking up market share and growing the market as a whole. The more things change...

ZOMG a "huge" -5%?! (5, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | about 4 years ago | (#32900050)

That puts the share price at a mere 177% of its value 1 year ago. Their investors must be pissed!

Re:ZOMG a "huge" -5%?! (4, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#32900214)

You realize that's 5% JUST from the buzz around Apple, and doesn't even include the cost and repercussions after they preform a recall?

Yes, their stock price is still healthy.

Yes, after it's all said and done, they'll probably still be above what they were a year ago.

But these sort of things have far reaching consequences. Do you realize how many people buy Apple products because they "simply work"? This one unreliable product has planted the seed of doubt.

Re:ZOMG a "huge" -5%?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900536)

Do you realize how many people buy Apple products because they "simply work"?

But that has long been a stupid reason because at least in my experience Apple hardware is much less reliable than pretty much everything else I own.

The real reason people buy it is the perception that it "simply works" because it looks good, damn the facts.

It always boggles my mind when people buy Apple after Apple and practically every time I talk to them it's in the shop because of some problem. Any other company would lose business for crap like that.

Re:ZOMG a "huge" -5%?! (2, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | about 4 years ago | (#32900538)

and doesn't even include the cost and repercussions after they preform a recall?

What the hell makes you think a recall is going to happen?

Re:ZOMG a "huge" -5%?! (1, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#32900686)

Well it would be the SMART thing to do.

If they don't - I expect the stock price to keep dropping slowly but surely.

It does "simply work" (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#32900810)

Do you realize how many people buy Apple products because they "simply work"? This one unreliable product has planted the seed of doubt.

Except that in real-world use it's not unreliable. It's been very reliable, more so than the older phones. So the people more on the fringe of tech will pretty much hardly even notice this kerfluffle and just keep buying what they like and works well.

If the iPhone 4 is seeing such huge problems why is there a 3-week backlog for new orders?

Re:It does "simply work" (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 4 years ago | (#32901116)

Real-world tests by Wired, Engadget, etc. all show that you can have 4 bars and great signal. Hold the phone and have zero signal.

What real-world use are you talking about? I'm not even activating my iPhone 4 until I get my bumper in the mail I just ordered.

I also hate this notion that Apple products always just work. iTunes has wiped music, ringtones and such from my phone multiple times. It crashes all the time. It messes up tags on my MP3s and stripped away album artwork so it won't display correctly in Windows Media Player.

I have app crashes on my phone. The email app still leaves a lot to be desired. I'm missing basic crucial functionality. Contacts can be in groups, except there is no way to put contacts in groups on the phone.

Apple products are not nearly as perfect as people make them out to be.

Re:It does "simply work" (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 years ago | (#32901184)

Except that in real-world use it's not unreliable. It's been very reliable, more so than the older phones

More so than other Apple Phones on AT&Ts network. Because we all know that iPhone users have been bitching since release that the best phone in the world is only best if you don't need it to actually make phone calls.

Re:Stock price is falling too (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#32900084)

It's not only that cost. In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5% ...

We must have a different definition of huge when applying that adjective to percentages. Let's see it's 10:15 EST on Wednesday morning. Stock is currently at 252.11 [google.com] . Three stock market days ago would have been Friday morning at 10:15 EST and the price was 257.04. Okay so that comes out to be 4.93/257.04 = 1.9%. If you meant to say it's down a "huge five dollars" then maybe. Yes, they opened and plummeted down to $247 on Tuesday so if you compare that to their seven day high of $261 you get five percent. I don't think that's anything to be concerned over. A five percent fluctuation really isn't that big of a deal. If you look at Microsoft from Friday morning at 10 AM to now they've jumped five percent ... it's just the stock market game. I can find arbitrary percentage numbers bigger than this in many technology stocks all day long.

Re:Stock price is falling too (5, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#32900112)

How does the share price going down cost Apple anything?

Sure it costs the shareholders something, but why Apple itself?

Are they borrowing so much money that a 5% drop in their share price has upped the interest rate they pay? Are they doing a share issue to generate cash?

Wouldn't it reduce the cost of any stock/stock option components of remuneration packages, and hence save Apple money?

Re:Stock price is falling too (2, Interesting)

bmacs27 (1314285) | about 4 years ago | (#32900692)

LOL, borrowing money? They have 20+ billion in cash. No, they'll shake off all this trolling, wait for the trolls to be tired, then remind investors that they haven't even reported a quarter's earnings that included iPad sales.

Re:Stock price is falling too (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#32900834)

That was the point.

Re:Stock price is falling too (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#32900186)

Hey, what do you expect from, basically, 'iPhone Death' [wikipedia.org] ? ;p (at least as far as part of important markets is concerned; but it seems you might Apple marketing to little credit / they knew what they were doing in naming it so? ;) )

Re:Stock price is falling too (2, Interesting)

andy1307 (656570) | about 4 years ago | (#32900246)

Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%

That could be selling by investors who bought the stock in anticipation of the iPhone 4 launch. The "Buy the rumor, sell on the news" effect.

Re:Stock price is falling too (4, Informative)

Haffner (1349071) | about 4 years ago | (#32900288)

In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%

Citation needed. Average price end of last week: 257. Average price today/yesterday: 251. 5% of 250 = 12.5. The local max (Thursday, 262) and the local min (Tuesday, 247) come out to 6%. And the max to the min means nothing, especially when they are as brief as they have been with AAPL.

Not to say Apple's stock has not dropped, but it has not gone down a huge 5%. Source: google.com/finance

Re:Stock price is falling too (2, Interesting)

lazarus corporation (701348) | about 4 years ago | (#32900322)

Considering PR and marketing is one of Apple's strongest areas and which pushes everything they do forward, they did some incredibly stupid decisions

Marketing is Apple's strongest area, but PR has never been been their forté.

Re:Stock price is falling too (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#32900478)

Previously I made this remark on the subject:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1716900&cid=32881054 [slashdot.org]

It would seem my guesses, assumptions and observations are bearing out. Apple has extended itself too far beyond its fan base and has gone into the jungle of varied user types with varied expectations, varied tolerances, varied temperments and varied mentalities.

Apple once worked within its cult. Growing outside of that is proving difficult. Trying to push that cult into the hearts and minds of new users is also proving difficult.

Re:Stock price is falling too (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#32900534)

In 3 days Apple's stock has gone down a huge 5%, costing Apple and their shareholders millions of dollars and creating huge image problems.

Your horse is behind your cart. It's the image problems causing the stock price drop, not the other way around.

Now that they are basically ignoring the problem, any more time they take doing nothing will cost them even more.

Considering how badly their PR team has been screwing this up, maybe nothing is the thing they should do (besides fix the damned design and replace the defective phones).

Not any more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32901072)

Not any more. Now stock prices go for what you can sell them to others for. If others aren't buying because it's going down, then you can't sell. If you can't sell, then you won't buy. Not because Apple (or any company, really) is in actual *trouble*, but because the IMAGE of the stock price is "going down, DO NOT BUY".

Re:Stock price is falling too (0)

Keebler71 (520908) | about 4 years ago | (#32900700)

costing Apple and their shareholders millions of dollars

BS... if your house goes up in value 50% and then drops 5% you haven't "lost" anything. The only real losers are anyone who happened to buy stock in the last 3 days.

CNet estimates that a A recall would cost them (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 4 years ago | (#32900776)

CNet estimates that a A recall would cost them $1.5B

It would cost them a LOT more than that. If the letter A were recalled, they'd be Pple Corportion.

And they'd sell iPds instead of iPads. Their stock symbol would have to change from AAPL to PL - but that's taken, and so is PPL. PPLE is available, but pple.com is owned by a squatter.

And it's not just Apple. If the letter A were recalled:

  1. Canada becomes Cnd.
  2. The planet Mrs? I though women were from Venus!
  3. Caucasian sounds kind of dirty when you're a kid - but nowhere near as bad as Cucsin.
  4. Barack Obama becoms Brck Obm
  5. Barbara becomes Brbr (sounds more like an abbreviation for bathroom break).
  6. The United States of America becomes United Sttes of Meric.
  7. email becoms emil - sounds french
  8. spam is no longer spam
  9. who wants to ride in an uto, a trin, or a plne - but a bot sounds fun
  10. when you die, you're ded, and they hold a wke to celebrte.
  11. neither utumn nor fll sound like a season
  12. Does Pril sound like a month? How about My? Ugust sounds windy instead of hot.

About the only good thing about recalling the letter a is that vaginas stay vgins - no matter how many times they're poked! Hmmm, on second thought, maybe it's worth 1.5 billion.

Re:Stock price is falling too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900884)

I would not say that PR is a strong suite for Apple. Remember how they handled the Jobs medical leave of absence?

New territory for Apple... (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | about 4 years ago | (#32901230)

Apple makes some excellent products but it is a commercial, public, for profit, enterprise; it is not a sacred icon.

What is new for Apple is that they are now one of the biggest players (if not the biggest) in a huge market place and their customers are not all Mac zealots or other customers who are encultured in and accepting of the Apple Way. The Apple Way includes: simple interfaces (er... I would call them functionally deficient and somewhat paternalistic/controlling/condescending), and mostly excellent hardware (except for the odd laptop that falls apart on you).

The Apple Way also comes with an arrogant attitude and flat out denial that anything could be less than excellent with anything that Apple produces. This is likely an inherited trait from the executive management team.

With a huge customer base that goes beyond the repeat Mac buyer group, Apple has to learn that the old way of dealing with problems just won't work for serious issues and the one thing that really does not fly is denial of an obvious, demonstratable, repeatable, and serious problem. Waving the PR flag and smirking that it is 'the signal strength meter that is not reading right/you're mistaken on your expectations' comes across like the proverbial lead fart.

Apple has to do something significant here and the longer that they drag the issue out, the more they will have to pay. They should just fess up and come out with a fix. eg: free bumpers to existing customers, new iPhone 4.1 in the works. Some kind of discount/rebate for the iPhone 4.

Apple has a lot of "goodwill" value in their brand name (billion$$$) and they are pissing it away with bad PR. Apple needs to look long and hard at how they want to be viewed in the market place. Supposedly they are a quality brand meaning people expect both innovation and high quality. Along with that, the customer should be treated with respect and not like they are moronic sheep. My apologies to sheep afficienados for my insensitive remark.

It's a shame too because other than the antenna issue, the 4 is an excellent phone.

One Point Five Billion Dollars (4, Informative)

DWMorse (1816016) | about 4 years ago | (#32899880)

How you like them Apples?

I already returned my iPhone 4, barely got it out of the box before return shipping. Droid X looks like it'll be replacing my half-functional iPhone 3G tomorrow.

smart move (5, Interesting)

p51d007 (656414) | about 4 years ago | (#32900196)

The reason I have passed on ALL of the iPhones so far is I don't buy into the hype, not to mention a LOCKED OS. Hey, if you just pick up a phone to use it, then perhaps the iPhone is for you, but, if you are a "tinker" type, I don't see how the iPhone would be good. Even given all of the faults with WinMobile, at least you can hack it til the cows come home. The way I look at it is it is MY phone, and I'll screw around with it how I want to. I don't like "locked" phones. My current phone, HTC Rhodium (Tilt2) never even had the stock OS fired up. I told the guy at the at&t store that I would set it up later (since I already had a Touch Pro). Took it home, unlocked it, wiped out the stock OS and put one from XDA-Developers on it and tweaked it exactly how I wanted. Job's & Company have a MAJOR public relations nightmare on their hands, and a golden opportunity for some of their competitors to run ads that exploit this problem.

Re:smart move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900366)

2007 just called. It wants its comment back...

Two words for you... (1, Interesting)

sean.peters (568334) | about 4 years ago | (#32900750)

Jail. Break. The iPhone is just as hackable as other systems out there.

Not trying to be an Apple apologist here, as I share the distaste for Big Steve's control freakery. But seriously, if you have a mind to hack your iPhone, it's highly doable. People have gotten Android running on it, for heaven's sake.

Re:Two words for you... (3, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | about 4 years ago | (#32900912)

Freedom isn't free, and by buying and jailbreaking an iPhone you financially support Apple's douchebaggery and encourage the development of more crippled, locked down systems, perhaps with more effective jails.

Why do that when you can have an Android phone which you're encouraged to hack on, with real multi-tasking and an open source OS?

Re:Two words for you... (1)

donny77 (891484) | about 4 years ago | (#32901134)

So you want Freedom, but it is unethical to support a closed system that many people CHOOSE? Then we all complain about users getting hit with Malware and Social Engineering scams and we say "somebody" should do something about that, without imposing on our freedoms of course.

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 4 years ago | (#32900276)

If you're fond of hacking, though, stay away from the Droid X -- the signed bootloader on it will make loading any other ROM than what Motorola provides nearly impossible (the GSM milestone has been out for more than half a year and it's _still_ not cracked yet).

However, if you're not fond of hacking your phone, the Droid X will probably make you happy as hell.

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900662)

*Hint* stay away from anything Motorola, they've always been known for locking down their software.

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (1)

DWMorse (1816016) | about 4 years ago | (#32901032)

I view my cellphone as more of an appliance, than a system.

Appliances do well at the handful of tasks they're designed for. I don't browbeat Maytag because I can't plug in a higher-class engine by Whirlpool into their washing machines. I've been happy with my 3G, and at the time of the 3G release, it was the king of smartphones anyways. But that's not true anymore.

I like that my Droid X will be more open and customizable, not to mention the lack of draconian app store approvals, but it's not a dealkiller if it's not as open to tinkering as, say, the Nexus One. My phone's an appliance, I have PCs for tinkering. Some stuff, you just want to work, and keep working, without a lot of tech support. ;)

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900370)

So you are switching carriers too?

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (1)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about 4 years ago | (#32900558)

I believe they don't like them apples much indeed, but I also believe they have something like forty billion dollars in their "rainy day" fund. Apple has made some pretty dumb moves this past year, but as a business, they run a pretty good ship (no debt). Their policies are another thing.

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (1)

Me! Me! 42 (1153289) | about 4 years ago | (#32900614)

Oh, I like em! When I saw the CU article I immediately sold 100 shares of AAPL in my ROTH for 257.62. Yesterday I bought them back for 47.95. Today its back up over 253.
It makes me cry when the big boys FUD Apple, all the way to the bank.

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (1)

Me! Me! 42 (1153289) | about 4 years ago | (#32900634)

(that's 247.95)

Re:One Point Five Billion Dollars (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32901262)

The DroidX suffers from far more problems, as do *ALL* HTC/Android handsets. This has been shown over and over and over again and yet the google fanboys continue to spew their lies about "returning" iPhone's for android handsets. You folks need to learn a new story from your masters at google.

Think Different. Think Better. THINK APPLE!

Recall? No way! (4, Informative)

vvaduva (859950) | about 4 years ago | (#32899930)

Jobs is too arrogant to allow a recall...they'll find a way to blame customers for this eventually, or weasel out of doing a full recall.

Re:Recall? No way! (4, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | about 4 years ago | (#32900016)

By the time they class action is done, all the customer is likely to see will be a $50 credit on their next iPhone.

Re:Recall? No way! (4, Funny)

east coast (590680) | about 4 years ago | (#32900092)

I was thinking more along the lines of a free iPhone app.

Re:Recall? No way! (4, Funny)

ProppaT (557551) | about 4 years ago | (#32900324)

An iPhone app depicting the correct way to hold the iPhone, followed by another class action lawsuit started by people who couldn't download the "You're Doing It Wrong!" app because, well, they were doing it wrong.

Re:Recall? No way! (1)

iammani (1392285) | about 4 years ago | (#32900804)

Or a coupon for their $30 rubber case

Signals (5, Funny)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 4 years ago | (#32899952)

So what we're saying is that the new iPhone is getting a bad reception??? :)

Re:Signals (1)

kg8484 (1755554) | about 4 years ago | (#32900168)

<puts on sunglasses>

YEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Who cares? (5, Informative)

w00tsauce (1482311) | about 4 years ago | (#32899966)

With all the Apple publicity they probably made an extra $1.5 billion. It's not like the iphone is gods gift, anyone ever been to europe/asia? They had phones like this five years ago.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#32900034)

They've had phones with bad performance which you could only install vendor approved apps on for ages? I must've been misinformed about the technical superiority of them in the mobile phone arena.

Re:Who cares? (1)

east coast (590680) | about 4 years ago | (#32900232)

Can you name a few? This isn't a troll but rather a real question. I'm interested in seeing who else has what in the way of phones. While recent progress in the American market makes me hopeful, I can't help but feel that there is so much more that could be done.

Re:Who cares? (4, Informative)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 4 years ago | (#32900340)

Yep, there's nothing new for Asia.

Oh, wait. Whoops! [businessweek.com]
And that was for the previous version of the iPhone.

Re:Who cares? (3, Informative)

progr (861248) | about 4 years ago | (#32900392)

I live in Europe and 5 years ago I didn't see a phone nearly comparable to an iPhone 4.

$1.5B is a BOGUS number... (5, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | about 4 years ago | (#32900074)

The problem is the antennas being shorted by a slightly conductive (sweaty) finger bridging one or more of the three breaks.

Apple doesn't need a recall to fix the problem: future phones can have a coating, and a free bumper ($10 cost to Apple) to existing customers solves all the problems.

At 2M iPhones, the "recall fix" would be a whopping $20M.

Re:$1.5B is a BOGUS number... (2, Funny)

bmacs27 (1314285) | about 4 years ago | (#32900782)

Better yet, mail everyone a complimentary roll of scotch tape. They wouldn't even need to use the whole thing!

Re:$1.5B is a BOGUS number... (5, Insightful)

ftobin (48814) | about 4 years ago | (#32900868)

Having a bumper would be a wart. Apple clearly has style in the forefront of their minds when they design a mobile device; it is part of their brand image. Anything interrupting the sleekness of the product would tarnish perception of the company. It would be a constant physical reminder of a flaw.

I think it is most likely in Apple's best interest to get new phones out to people with a redesigned antenna solution.

Recall far less than $20M? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 4 years ago | (#32901078)

The problem is the antennas being shorted by a slightly conductive (sweaty) finger bridging one or more of the three breaks.

Apple doesn't need a recall to fix the problem: future phones can have a coating, and a free bumper ($10 cost to Apple) to existing customers solves all the problems.

At 2M iPhones, the "recall fix" would be a whopping $20M.

I suspect $20M is a worst case scenario. A cost of $10 might be accurate if it includes the labor of someone walking into the store and having an employee plug in their phone to check eligibility and then install the bumper. If the owner opts to get the bumper online the cost would be far less. More importantly the recall would be "voluntary" not "mandatory". Only someone experiencing or fearing the problem, or someone wanting a free bumper, would bring their phone in. I expect many would ignore the recall.

Re:$1.5B is a BOGUS number... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32901182)

I have iphone, and i have a full body cover covering all the sides. When i hold the phone on he left side it suffers from the "death grip" even though no part of my palm is touching any metal

You must either not own an IPHONE or generally have no idea what you're talking about....

but thanks for playing...

Apple: Send a free case, it will cost you less (5, Insightful)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about 4 years ago | (#32900076)

Look, I love Apple products. I own / have owned a MacBook Pro, 2 iMacs, an iPod 2G, an iPhone 3GS, an iPad, an Airport Express, and an iPod shuffle. I get it.

But, seriously Apple, you did a recall with the MacBook battery issue. You replaced batteries and even though it cost you some money your karma was helped by it. Do the same with the iPhone 4... offer owners a case which you test to make sure fixes the problem. It will probably cost you $20 per for these including shipping and processing assuming you can get the cases for $4 or so. But you will instantly shut up the majority of people who are complaining VERY loudly about the problem AND you will have "done the right thing".

NO company is capable of 100% preventing mistakes, but it's how you act as a company that determines how you're perceived. You can be cool and hip all you want but if customers are afraid to purchase your products because you've stuck to your guns and forced lawsuits to happen you lose in the long run.

Re:Apple: Send a free case, it will cost you less (2, Interesting)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 4 years ago | (#32900492)

Maybe they already did it, tested it, and found out that the problem is even more serious? I wonder if this the case, or some stupid stubbornness.

Re:Apple: Send a free case, it will cost you less (1)

dzfoo (772245) | about 4 years ago | (#32900556)

Just buy a bumper or return it for a full refund. It's not a big deal.

          -Steve

--
Sent from my iPhone

Re:Apple: Send a free case, it will cost you less (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | about 4 years ago | (#32900754)

Better yet, mail everyone a complimentary roll of scotch tape.

Re:Apple: Send a free case, it will cost you less (5, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | about 4 years ago | (#32900904)

But, seriously Apple, you did a recall with the MacBook battery issue. You replaced batteries and even though it cost you some money your karma was helped by it.

Bad batteries are completely different from bad cellphone reception. The former can cause a fire, damage to the laptop, damage to the home if the fire spreads, and possibly death. Not doing a recall on batteries would probably land them in serious trouble with the government, especially if there were fatalities. The same can't be said for mere bad cellphone reception.

Additionally, at the time the MacBook batteries were recalled, there were plenty of other batteries from other vendors having problems, hence Apple didn't stand out. In contrast, the iPhone 4 problems are obviously Apple's alone.

They've really shot themselves in the foot (4, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 4 years ago | (#32900124)

I'm very disappointed in the way they've handled this. The least they could do is issue certificates for free bumpers IMMEDIATELY for any iPhone 4 owners who want one, in addition to waiving the restocking fee (which they already did). That would have done a lot to shore up customer loyalty and keep their image good.

Warranty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900160)

Millions of Apple fans have learned in the hard way that warranty doesn't cover a device if it suck by design. It's a "rear lights warranty", as we know in automotive field - "warranty void when the rear lights disappear from sight".

The thing is... (4, Interesting)

sjonke (457707) | about 4 years ago | (#32900206)

... that my iPhone 4 is outperforming my 3GS, in terms of 3G connection quality and reliability, sometimes to pretty miraculous degree, such as at the train station I wait at every work day, where my 3GS's signal would jump up and down and go away and come back and even when it was showing 5 bars the performance was horrendous. With the iPhone 4 I can in fact reproduce the signal drop when held in my left hand, going pretty dramatically from 4 bars to only 1, but even at 1 bar the performance is outstanding and for the first time ever I've got a 100% reliable and fast connection here. I can stream audio and browse the web and it's fast, even at 1 bar. At 4 bars if not left handed.

So I'm not downplaying the drop in signal strength issue, as that is there when you hold it left handed (and I do usually), but that in practice it performs better, even a lot better, then my iPhone 3GS. So is the antenna flawed or not? I would say that it is flawed, but only from a PR standpoint. It's a public relations disaster, brought only by people who don't have an iPhone 4 and who seem to have a vendetta against Apple for not making a phone that they want, and due to magazines like Consumers Reports, who aren't seeing the forest for the trees. They are focusing solely on that there is a drop, and ignoring how it performs in practice. You need to just use the phone and see how it works for you, and most, I suspect, once they stop staring at the signal strength gauge, are going to find that it does better then their previous phone, even by a wide margin. The iPhone 4 is a great phone. Yes, you should put a case on it, as that will reduce the signal drop issue, but that issue is not nearly as big of an issue as it is being made out to be. It's not a non-issue, it just not the main thing you should be concerned about. You should be concerned about how it performs in practice, and the iPhone 4 excels there.

Re:The thing is... (1)

mldi (1598123) | about 4 years ago | (#32900568)

In the consumer reports video, I was seeing signal strength numbers drop down in the -105dbm to -108dbm range or worse. That's enough to drop a call. That's a real flaw.

Re:The thing is... (4, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | about 4 years ago | (#32900710)

Anandtech's review (which I believe is far more in-depth than the CR?) claims that the iPhone4 holds onto a call at -113dbm. There is no doubt there is a antenna gap bridging problem and that this DOES cause the signal to drop, but at the same time the overall antenna performance seems better versus ie the 3gs. Weird.

From my day of testing, I've determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar). Previously, dropping this low all but guaranteed that calls would drop, fail to be placed, and data would no longer be transacted at all. I can honestly say that I've never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4, so it's readily apparent that the new baseband hardware is much more sensitive compared to what was in the 3GS. The difference is that reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 in actual use.

Re:The thing is... (1)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | about 4 years ago | (#32901054)

... It's a public relations disaster, brought only by people who don't have an iPhone 4 and who seem to have a vendetta against Apple for not making a phone that they want...

So you're saying that this is all a conspiracy?, that this is some sort of bullying on the school playground?

"Stop picking on poor, defenseless Apple! Can't you see you're hurting Steve Jobs' feelings?!"

Re:The thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32901202)

Boy, your 3GS must have been really screwed up!

Re:The thing is... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32901222)

Giving truth to the misinformed? Good luck with that. [slashdot.org]

iFail? (0, Flamebait)

Ibetthisisvalid (1845368) | about 4 years ago | (#32900338)

Just don't but apple! Simple. Let all the fanbois think they're cool with the 'appulzzzz' and then laugh when their call drops just as they're telling you how 'great' the iFAIL is.

Hey, look! (1)

Petersko (564140) | about 4 years ago | (#32900988)

"Just don't but apple! Simple. Let all the fanbois think they're cool with the 'appulzzzz' and then laugh when their call drops just as they're tellng you how 'great' the iFAIL is."

Careful, let's not scare it away. It's a "stupidicus moronicus", in it's natural habitat. This creature drops into conversations, injects poorly thought-out misspellings of brand names into a text stream, staples "Fail" into it somehow, and moves on.

We're desperately hoping they go extinct, but there's no sign of a decrease in their numbers. We may have to institute a culling season.

Should have used GPL 3.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900390)

None of this would be happening now.

See, you can't actually sell things with GPL. You have to only give it away.

Three reasons why they have kept silent (5, Interesting)

BodeNGE (1664379) | about 4 years ago | (#32900410)

Design: Only an ignorant fool would put an external, metal antenna on a phone. Not only does nobody do this, nobody has ever done this in the history of mobile phones. Even the whip antennas of the 80's were coated in plastic for the very reason that a direct connection changes the electrical length of the antenna (and hence the frequencies that it can transmit and receive. When you are part of the antenna you radiate too.
Cannot admit: iPhone4 irradiates you when you hold it wrong. It may appear that the iPhone4 gives you cancer.

Manufacturing: There may be a manufacturing component to it as well. We know they were rushed out the door without even time for the touchscreen bonding glue to dry. Clearly the Foxconn QA was not followed. If an engineer leaves a thumbprint on an internal antenna it detunes it. Imagine what a rushed assembly with leaky glue would do to the tuning characteristics.
Cannot admit: Apply don't pay their manufacturers enough and circumvent their own QA guidelines to rush product to market. They may appear like greedy bastards.

AT&T: The drop problem is also in a small, small part down to AT&T's 3G network topology. Nowhere near as bad as the old iPhone problem of congesting the signalling channels, this is simply due to the fact that 3G signals are way more sensitive to received signal strength. When you hold it the wrong way not only does the handset not heat the base station well (showing fewer bars on the phone) but it is the network that cannot hear the iPhone that causes the call drops as your entire hand and arm are radiating instead of the antenna. When you broadly detune the antenna with your hand the lower powered 3G signal is simply too feint and distorted to be heard by the base station. It does explain why the locations where the issues appear are random and seemingly not related in all cases to the downlink signal strength shown on the handset. RF signals are like that.
Cannot admit: The issue clearly isn't all to do with AT&T and they blamed them the last time with the 3GS.

And one more why you are wrong (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#32900702)

Design: Only an ignorant fool would put an external, metal antenna on a phone. Not only does nobody do this, nobody has ever done this in the history of mobile phones.

Ok Rosie.

Except that I had a number of mobile phones with external pull-up antennas, in the early days...

And the external antenna on the iPhone 4 means I get a lot better reception and data throughput than I did with the 3Gs.

It's pretty obvious there's an idiot here, but it's not Apple. It's all the people going on about a phone they have never even touched. The design is a good one, it provides real value - they simply need to coat the area right around the gap to prevent conducting, which happens in real life only occasionally at worst. I do not have a case, don't live in an area with a very strong signal, and I have yet to drop a call from this.

How a Penny Killed the iPhone 4 (1)

MikeDataLink (536925) | about 4 years ago | (#32900544)

This is sad, funny, and true.

http://vimeo.com/13252563 [vimeo.com]

i raise my glass to this news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900630)

Proprietary BS

DRM

and most of all for spreading cheesiness..

a few reasons to chuckle

From the "Amazing alliteration apartment"? (1)

starglider29a (719559) | about 4 years ago | (#32900636)

I assume admins are active in an annual affirmation of amazing alliteration as apparent amid abnormal (also atypical) alphabetical arrangements!

First, fed-findings-fault-fat-feet
Reception Recall Ruckus Roundup

What's next? "Open Office dot Org offers Oracle, Overstock, Opera, Oprah, opplications for the oPhone?"

Best actual fix for existing & new phones? (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 years ago | (#32900714)

What's the best actual fix for existing & new phones? Assuming there is a real problem with the antenna, but only when shorted with hand in "right position".

Idea #1: A new antenna design using coatings or some factory installed bumper/widget/plastic spacer installed with a modified antenna? This assumes a "4.1" phone design which would be sold instead of the current design.

Presumably this could be retrofitted onto existing inventories of iPhones and these could be swapped for existing iPhones in the field, which could be further refurbished and swapped, etc.

Idea #2: Fix phone through methods above. Sell new phones only based on this design. Existing users get free bumper or some kind of credit.

idea #3: Do nothing. Revise design for 2011 iPhone seasonal launch.

Re:Best actual fix for existing & new phones? (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | about 4 years ago | (#32901024)

Put a piece of scotch tape on it. Problem solved. Next please.

Technical details from AnandTech (4, Informative)

InvisiBill (706958) | about 4 years ago | (#32900796)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review/2 [anandtech.com]

Anand found that gripping the iPhone 4 a certain way could indeed cause up to 24dB of signal drop. This was worst-case, with a sweaty deathgrip. Touching more lightly or with less moisture had less of an effect. Gripping other smartphones near their antennas also caused a drop in signal.

The non-linear signal representation of the "bars" can also lead to some confusion related to this. The valid range is between -113dB (no signal) and -51dB (full signal). However, 5 bars represents the range of -51 to -91. 4 bars is -91 to -101. 3 bars is -101 to -103. 2 bars is -103 to -107. 1 bar is -107 to -113. If you have a full strength 5 bar connection, that 24dB drop won't even move you out of the 5th bar. If you've just barely got 5 bars, the same 24dB drop can put you down to 1 or 0 bars.

Anand's testing also confirmed what sjonke said in the comment above. Even when it was showing the same signal strength, the iPhone 4 was better at not dropping calls compared to the 3GS. The page shows a screenshot of a 625/31 run on Speedtest.net during a call with only -113dB.

That would be an interesting argument in court. (4, Interesting)

fredmosby (545378) | about 4 years ago | (#32900948)

Defense Lawyer: "Can it be used to make phone calls?"
Expert Witness: "Well...yeah, but it's reception isn't as good as it could be."
Defense Lawyer: "Is the reception worse than most other phones on the market?"
Expert Witness: "Well no, but..."
Judge: "Next case please."

I'm not surprised that that the iPhone 4 isn't absolutely perfect in every way. No product is. This is a pretty minor issue that has been blown out of proportion. If I were in charge of Apple I would just give out those 'bumpers' for free and hope this all blows over.

There's also iOS4, and how it sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32900976)

Everyone I know who has "upgraded" their 3GS to the new iOS4
has regretted it.

I suggest that greed and the anxiety of other hardware becoming
competitive has caused Apple to release hardware and software
which should not have been released, because it was not
ready to be released.

I use an iPhone, but after Apple's imperious conduct in the App Store,
and the new strategy of iAds, it will be my last iPhone, that is
certain. I hate to say it, but it's looking more and more like Apple
would be better off without Steve Jobs making dictatorial
decisions which end up coming back to haunt Apple.

I welcome anyone's suggestions for which hardware to buy, in order to replace
what will be my last iPhone !

You don't know me, but... (1)

Petersko (564140) | about 4 years ago | (#32901104)

"Everyone I know who has "upgraded" their 3GS to the new iOS4 has regretted it."

Chalk me up as somebody who didn't regret upgrading. I'm not blown away by anything, but it's working fine on my 3GS. I haven't noticed any problems.

will they take a cue from Sharper Image? (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 4 years ago | (#32901174)

Since Apple's "fix" is "don't hold it the way we show it held in our marketing collateral" I think that Consumer Reports is clearly in the wrong here. Maybe Apple should, instead of actually fix the problem, consider suing Consumer Union another overpriced niche-product maker did [quackwatch.org] . (too bad the case was dismissed)

And, from one of the linked articles:

"If the only thing that Apple is changing in this software fix is how the bars are calculated, then this is simply a pacifier for people who like to watch bars," said Spencer Webb, president of AntennaSys, an antenna design firm. "And signal 'bar watching' is a dangerous way to draw technical conclusions about a phone's reception."

Indeed, the bars that one sees displayed on any cell phone can be misleading. This is not just an issue for the iPhone, but for all cell phones, Webb explains.

If checking the number of bars "is a dangerous way to draw technical conclusions about a phone's reception" then a) why include the bar graph at all b) by what means do you recommend customers determine reception c) the bars are supposed to reflect dBm in a user-friendly way, and last I checked dBm is exactly what is used to determine an antenna's performance and d) when cell companies tout "more bars" as a key feature of their network, shouldn't it mean better reception and fewer dropped calls throughout their network?

iOS4 (1)

codepunk (167897) | about 4 years ago | (#32901216)

I don't know about the design flaws in the new iphone because I do not own one. However the IOS4 upgrade made my 3g a sluggish piece of crap. I have a strong suspicion it is related to adding multitasking. I could have cared less about multitasking I knew it was a recipe for disaster and I was certainly not proved wrong. Besides the sluggishness there are a ton of other bugs with it, mail sync with gmail is horribly broken etc. I have not confirmed but it also seems to leak resources.

about coating the antennas (1)

kamikaze2112 (792393) | about 4 years ago | (#32901226)

is coating them with something non-conductive enough to solve the problem? i see that BestSkinEver (and Zagg as well) has some little plastic bits included in their skin that looks like it covers the antennas. could someone that has one with a BSE or Zagg shield chime in and let us know if it's made any difference?

Apple joins Sony in the do-not-buy list (5, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | about 4 years ago | (#32901258)

I have to support hundreds of iMacs and MacBooks at work, and I've had to call in tons of warranty repairs the last couple years (easily 10x than from our pool of HP and Dell machines). I thought maybe apple was ditching quality on the macs in favor of the iPhone, iPod, because of iTunes $$$, but it seems they're just neglecting quality across the board. It doesn't "just work" anymore; it just looks pretty (until the style looks outdated).
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