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Apple Offers Free Cases To Solve iPhone 4 Antenna Problems

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the enemy-at-the-antennagate dept.

Iphone 917

Apple just finished their press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna issues that have been widely reported and discussed in the past few weeks. Steve Jobs started by showing that the problem wasn't limited to iPhones, using videos of the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the HTC Droid Eris, and the Samsung Omnia 2 as examples, all of which dropped bars while being gripped in certain ways. He said, "This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren't perfect. It's a challenge for the whole industry. Every phone has weak spots." He went on to say that only 0.55% of all iPhone 4 users have called in to complain about reception problems, and that the return rate on the iPhone 4 so far is less than a third of the return rate for the 3GS. Jobs then said that according to their data, the iPhone 4 drops an average of less than one additional call per hundred than the 3GS. He continued by pointing out that because the 3GS was based on the 3G, there was already a large supply of Bumpers, which most customers left the store with. When the iPhone 4 came out, the old Bumpers didn't fit, so stock was lower and fewer customers used them (80% vs. 20%). Therefore, Apple's solution to the antenna problems is to give a free case to every iPhone 4 purchaser before September 30. Refunds will be offered for those who already purchased one. Since they can't make the Bumpers fast enough, they'll be supplying other cases from third parties. Jobs also acknowledged recently reported problems with the proximity sensor, promising a future software update to fix it. Engadget's liveblog of the conference has a ton of pictures and more direct quotes from Jobs. It's worth looking at if only for pictures of Apple's anechoic testing chambers.

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'Bout time (4, Insightful)

misophist (465263) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928708)

They should have just owned up to the problem and offered this fix from the beginning of this mess!

Re:'Bout time (4, Insightful)

agent_blue (413772) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928804)

This thing's only been out for a month!! at least give them some time to do their own testing, which they did!

Re:'Bout time (4, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928822)

Well, Steve Jobs conclusion was this:

So we've worked the last 22 days on this trying to solve the problem. And we think we've gotten to the heart of the problem.

So the heart of the problem is, smartphones have issues

Epic.

Re:'Bout time (5, Insightful)

Taelron (1046946) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928942)

What about the months of testing they did on the unit before they um, I dont know, RELEASED it?

Re:'Bout time (1, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929084)

What about the months of testing they did on the unit before they um, I dont know, RELEASED it?

What months of testing?

Re:'Bout time (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929138)

This thing's only been out for a month!! at least give them some time to do their own testing, which they did!

Don't you think they should have done the testing before it came out?

( I'm holding the sarcasm meter in my left hand )

Re:'Bout time (4, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928850)

They did NOT own up to the problem. There was no apology. It was more like, "We haven't done anything wrong, but because we are such a great company, we are going to do you a favor and give you a case" NOT "Sorry, we screwed up, this free case should make it better. Our bad."

Re:'Bout time (0, Flamebait)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929032)

Do you own an iPhone or is this just Apple-hate?

Re:'Bout time (2, Informative)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929082)

I recently bought an iPhone, and I have fairly large hands, and when I talk I hold the phone in my right hand. As such, I cannot talk without a case, for fear of dropping the call.

Also, I'm on an ATT family plan so my options were iPhone or terrible other ATT phone.

Re:'Bout time (3, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929108)

Actually, what I've now read on Apple users forums even they are furious. They expected a real fix and they get what, a rubber band you put around the phone? That looks so slick and awesome.

Re:'Bout time (2, Insightful)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929150)

Do you own an iPhone or is this just Apple-hate?

Doesn't matter. What if Microsoft had pulled a stunt like this? The entirety of this website would be flooded in a fit of rage, trolling, and Apple fanboys saying "That's why I have an iPhone!!!"

Re:'Bout time (4, Insightful)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929036)

You make it sounds like they created a product capable of killing people when the accelerometer sticks. It's just a toy for gadget whores.

Most critics of apple decry the pedestal that the fanbois and Apple put the products on. To me, Apple's sincere apology could only come off as more self agrandizing. Steve Jobs saying, "I'm deeply sorry for our oversight.", comes across as "We know that nobody deserves to be without an iphone and everyone's lives practically depend on them."

I'm not sure what you want from apple. either return the phone because you don't like it, or rejoice in getting a free Bumpa'

(i don't want to hear the argument "what if someone needs to call 911 and only have their left hand available to hold the phone")

Re:'Bout time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929062)

Cell phone quality has been so low for so long and people have become accustom to dropped calles "Are you there"s, etc that there is no need to apologize or say you did something wrong. Cell phone quality and its acceptance have become such a norm that my company is thinking of going to VOIP for its telephone including 911. Even landlines have their issues with heavy use. Special holidays and whatnot give those "We're sorry all circuits are busy, please try again later".

Also, with these shiny "smart" phones, the last thing on people's mind is making calls. Everyone I know who has one talks about everything besides using them as a phone. If you want a phone, you buy a phone.

Re:'Bout time (5, Insightful)

die444die (766464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929072)

No, they said some people might have the problem that everyone's been blowing out of proportion. But only .5% (not 5 percent, half a percent) of users have even reported the problem. Most of the people foaming at the mouth about this don't even have iPhones, they just want to see Apple fail. Because these people have been so loud, the perception is that most people are having reception problems, which is simply not true. For most people the reception is better. Because the media has created this perception, Apple is giving everyone free Bumpers.

Re:'Bout time (1)

Cogneato (600584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929086)

Yeah, and another thing... Google has never apologized for the Nexus One having the exact same problem as the iPhone! What is it with these smart phone companies thinking they can screw up and never apologize!

Oh crap, I forgot, we only focus on Apple problems here. Other smart phones with the same problems don't count, especially Google.

Re:'Bout time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928974)

To be fair, they had to test to verify the problem. Reports of problems are not necessarily indicative of actual problems (or at least problems as major as suggested by reports). Ask Toyota and the NTSB.

To think that a company should immediately cough up a mea culpa and restitution at the first sign of trouble is simply unfair.

Ok. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928720)

They should have offered free cases as soon as the problem became evident. Still, better now than never.

I have antenna problems... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928734)

But they are mostly when im using my iphone as an anal dildo on cmdrtaco down at the gay bathhouse

Upgrader returns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928742)

the return rate on the iPhone 4 so far is less than a third of the return rate for the 3GS.

I'm wondering how much of that was driven by upgraders from the 3G who realized that the iteration from 3G to 3GS was not worth it.

Re:Upgrader returns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928842)

I've spoken with several people who were unsatisfied with the speed of their 3G and upgraded to the 3GS, which they claimed was much faster.

I see a lot of denial in this post (2, Insightful)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928746)

Steve goes out of his way to claim that it's really just a trifling little problem. That's not how to win customers.
The way to win customers is to say, "We admit that screwed up, and bad. We'll make it right. Here's how."

Denial? No. Stevie boy just knows his customers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928812)

Apple customers seem to like being treated like idiots.

Re:Denial? No. Stevie boy just knows his customers (1)

die444die (766464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929114)

I'm an Apple customer, and I do not like being treated like an idiot. I do like seeing Apple defend themselves against idiotic claims and faulty "tests" that mean nothing.

Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928898)

Considering the size of Apple, I would say he knows a little better than you how to win customers.

Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (2, Insightful)

getNewNickName (980625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928956)

No, how to win customers is give them a free case with every purchase before September. I think Steve understands customers quite well.

Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (5, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928976)

When you put it in perspective and consider the data offered, it is a fairly minor problem.

1) Every phone exhibits signal attenuation to some degree when the hand is placed on/near the antenna assembly, and many can be made to exhibit this same behavior;
2) The dropped call data from ATT shows that the iPhone 4 has performed less than 1 *more* dropped call per 100 calls than the 3GS - an increase, and a sign of a problem, but certainly not in the "IF YOU HAZ IPOHNE 4 U WILL DIEZ" class of problems.
3) 1.7% have been returned so far (about 1/3 the rate for the iPhone 3GS)
4) ~0.5% of the sales have prompted a call to AppleCare about this problem.
5) 3 Million units have been sold so far.

Does this sound like it's a widespread problem where 3 million iPhone 4's are nonfunctional? If all these iPhone 4's were causing call after call after call to drop and just weren't working, the return rate & AppleCare volume would be much higher. Their response is to adjust the signal strength algorithm being used to more accurately reflect the strength of the signal, to offer a free bumper case with each purchase, and to say "if you really find it intolerable, return it for a full refund." If you were following any of the coverage, Steve Jobs actually did offer an apology to "the small number of users affected by this," as well.

What more, realistically, do you expect them to do?

My God Are You A Fucking Loser (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929118)

Double tap shotgun blast just to make sure a foaming at the mouth Apple Zombie like you is really dead...

Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928978)

Steve goes out of his way to claim that it's really just a trifling little problem. That's not how to win customers.
The way to win customers is to say, "We admit that screwed up, and bad. We'll make it right. Here's how."

Which is true, if you really have screwed up badly. The verdict is still out on that. Everything around Apple gets spun to the extremes...Every new release is either the most revolutionary, innovative, magical product ever, or it's total crap that's so restricted you can't scratch your butt with it. Nothing ever in between.

Self deprecation doesn't work if there are no facts to justify it. If the problem is a minor one, which only affects 1% of users, as Apple claims, then how do you make a grand gesture to "make it right?"

Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (4, Insightful)

flitty (981864) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928980)

Agreed. After reading through basically a transcript by Engadget, it was weird how defensive Apple is about the whole thing. You don't come out and hold a highly anticipated and hyped press conference, claim that this isn't a problem, then give away free cases to everybody (which you previously were charging $30+ for). If it's not a problem, why even bother giving out cases? Why bother showing your test facilities and talk about how many engineers worked on the phone? This is like Microsoft coming out and saying "Well, we had 300 Computer Science Engineers working on Vista, and 50 testers constantly testing Vista, so there isn't a problem."

This whole press conference was weird, including the errors in the slides he was showing...

Re:I see a lot of denial in this post (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929056)

The data backs up that ascertation pretty well though. If this were as big of an issue as people were making it sound, the numbers would show it. They probably should have responded sooner, but the phone has been out less than a month. It took Microsoft a lot longer to respond to an issue than impacted way more consumers and didn't manange to catch as much he'll as Apple seems to be getting. For whatever reason people get some kind of massive hardon about everything Apple and either rush to defend them or rush to attack them.

So unless you want to accuse Apple of hiding data, misrepresenting it, or some other diabolical plot just accept that the whole thing was overblown and don't expect them to grovel at your feet over a few anecdotal reports that spun into stories of a massively defective product that would need a recall. He'll, even though Consumer Reports didn't give it their recommendation, they still rated it the best phone on their site. Seems like a non-issue for most. If it is for you, enjoy your free case or just take the phone back and get something else.

No surprise (5, Interesting)

Monoman (8745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928756)

Pretty much what we would expect from any company in Apple's shoes. Damage control at minimum cost.

Apple's numbers are suspicious. Everyone I know with an iPhone 4 has the issue(s) but NONE of them have called AppleCare or gone to the Apple store to complain. They have all been patiently waiting for Apple to take care of them.

Re:No surprise (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928900)

I'm sure that's how most have dealt with the issue. They read online that the issue is "wide spread" so they assume others have reported in groves, and Apple will take the hint. Turns out, only the most vocal of people have reported it so Apple can spin that to their advantage with those lose report numbers. I don't fault Apple for this, as you don't want to come out and say, we goofed up on probably the biggest gadget to date, although I wasn't expecting them to take the time to research all the other phones that had a similar issue.

Re:No surprise (5, Interesting)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928910)

That's key, and I don't see any way that they could have honestly believed that only 0.5% of their users were having trouble. They issued a press release saying they were going to work on a software update, and many were waiting for some kind of magic improvement.

My wife and I have both had problems, but neither contacted Apple Care. Apple Care was simply telling customers there was no problem, as they were instructed to do by Apple. This made it into the press and onto user forums. After that occurred, why would anyone go to Apple Care about this when they already knew what the result would be?!?

Re:No surprise (0, Troll)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929020)

Apple's numbers are suspicious. Everyone I know with an iPhone 4 has the issue(s) but NONE of them have called AppleCare or gone to the Apple store to complain.

Unless you know hundreds of thousands of people, I'm going to trust AT&T and Apple's numbers, which cover _MILLIONS_ of users more than your anecdotal evidence covering, what, a half dozen?

Re:No surprise (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929070)

Everyone I know with an iPhone 4 has the issue(s) but NONE of them have called AppleCare or gone to the Apple store to complain. They have all been patiently waiting for Apple to take care of them.

In other words, thave unrealistic expectations about their partner's emotional sensitivity.

"Why haven't you fixed the issues I haven't told you I'm experiencing?"

Re:No surprise (4, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929120)

Really, and is AT&T not logging your friends' dropped calls too, like they do with every dropped call on their network? Or are they just not making or receiving calls at all because the problem is so horrible for them that they just can't get a connection, and "waiting patiently" for someone to come fix their phone?

Signal attenuation due to grip is a more pronounced problem with this antenna design than with other phones. But the question is - does it matter at all, and is it impacting the day-to-day usage of most people? And the answer to that question is that it is not actually dramatically impacting most users.

FIRST (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928774)

I would have been first but my touched my iphone in the wrong place.

So how bad was it? (4, Interesting)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928782)

I'm not a big fan of Apple in general, but I don't know how big this problem actually is. Is it really worse than other smartphones? Apple is acknowledging that is there a problem, but is that because they got more flack for it than other phone manufacturers?

On the other hand, first acknowledging that there is a problem, and then making excuses about other smartphones if the iPhone 4 is indeed worse seems odd at best. Acceptance and denial at the same time?

And finally, what are these cases? One of the things that people find appealing about the iPhone is that it looks good. Will people suddenly find themselves with a much less good looking phone if they want a proper signal?

Re:So how bad was it? (5, Insightful)

ashridah (72567) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928880)

It seems like they're trying to cloud the issue, since there are two problems. One that all smartphones face: Your hand can capacitively interact with the antenna in the phone, and cause signal loss.
The other, that the Apple iphone 4 supposedly faces (And didn't in previous generations): bridging the gap between two different antennas causing noise to be effectively introduced to both, drastically reducing signal.

The thing is, you can trigger the latter problem without your hand being near it by using something metal to bridge the two antennas, I've seen that in action.

A Rubber bumper around the edge is enough to prevent problem two, and problem one just isn't as significant a loss, so it's acceptable.

Re:So how bad was it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928896)

It is as you said, damage control. There is more than enough empirical evidence (videos, AT&T's drop call/service issues with the iPhone, the wonky way the signal bars work in 4.0) to demonstrate that the iPhone4 is a weaker contender than competing phones when it comes to RF communication.

Re:So how bad was it? (4, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928902)

Well, I have one, and I don't use a case. I'm not sure if I can tell you how bad the problem really is, since I don't make many phone calls, and even though I do use my left hand when I do, my natural grip doesn't touch the weak spot.

Using data, it seems like it's slower when I touch the weak spot, so I don't do that. It's not my natural grip when using it for Web browsing either. And usually I'm using wi-fi anyway, in which case it doesn't seem to matter at all.

Not sure if that answers your question. I think it depends a lot on the user.

Re:So how bad was it? (-1, Offtopic)

rinoid (451982) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929142)

My natural grip causes it to all feel like a weak spot.

Oh wait, this thread is about the iPhone. Sorry.

Re:So how bad was it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928946)

There's been tech sites that did comparisons with other smartphones. Yes, every phone has an issue to some extent, but iPhone 4 had the highest dB drop. It's definitely worse than "normal" (specs I saw was ~25% bigger dB drop on average I think), but Jobs wouldn't admit that.

Any nonconductive coating, whether a case or just an extra layer would help. From an aesthetics point of view, probably working out a thin clear caoting would be best. There's some cost/technical issues to work out on it though - lot harder than just slapping on a case.

Re:So how bad was it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929102)

I've got a Milestone (EU version of the Droid) and try as I might I can't make a single bar drop below the regular 3 bars (max 4) where I am right now. Looking at the signal level, the worst I can do is drop it to -93 dBm, when I'm basically enveloping the whole phone (minus front screen) with my somewhat sweaty palms.

So no, it's not even close to the iPhone 4 issue.

This was an entertaining one (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928792)

From the Q/A:

10:41AM Q: I can't get my Bold to drop right now, maybe you can show me how to do it?
Steve: You may not see it in certain areas.

Re:This was an entertaining one (1, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929060)

Why? Covering most phones causes them to lose a certain amount of signal strength. In many phones the five- or four-bar zone covers a huge range [metalev.org]. If you're at the strong end of the range, you could lose 20 decibels and not see the bars drop at all. If you're at the weak end of the range, it could drop down to one bar.

The moral: Don't trust bars.

At Least There's Discolsure for the Omnia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928794)

At least my Omnia has a sticker that says "Don't hold the phone here or your reception will drop". It's called getting out in front of the problem even if you can't fix it.

What's that? You're breaking up! (4, Funny)

embolalia (1561119) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928798)

Only 0.55% have called in, because the rest can't get a signal.

Re:What's that? In actual numbers? (1)

beanluc (780880) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929148)

0.55% of 3 million iPhone 4 buyers == 16,500 complaints.

At the press conference today it's been said that 3 million have been sold, and that 1.7% have been returned. Three times as many people have just up and returned them as called to complain about them.

So we've got 67,500 iPhone 4 buyers pissed-off about it enough to do something which impacts Apple.

An Embarrassment To Watch Unfold (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928800)

I don't think I've ever been more sickened by computing company. Ever.

Let's just sum up Job's disgusting spiel:

* Smear other well designed phones that no one has ever had problems with

* Deny the well documented antenna design defect

* Offer silly bumpers for a problem he just claimed doesn't exist

Everyone knew this damage control press conference was going to be bad. But this was beyond anyone's most outlandish predictions about the lengths Jobs would go avoid taking responsibility for the PIECE OF SHIT iPhone 4.

Smear other company's cellphones Jobs? Really? My god...

iFanboys In Full Scale Damage Control Mode (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928906)

Red Alert! Red Alert!

All Hipster Douchebags fire up your accounts with mod points and bury the unbelievers!

Less than 1 is an increase of what percent? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928808)

"The iPhone 4 drops an average of less than one additional call per hundred than the 3GS."

Okay, so how many calls per hundred is the 3GS dropping. If the 3GS drops two calls per hundred and the iPhone 4 drops 2.8 calls per hundred then that would indicate the iPhone 4 drop rate is over 70% higher than the 3GS. We need more data than "less than one additional call per hundred" for it to mean anything.

Re:Less than 1 is an increase of what percent? (1, Troll)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928854)

3GS: 99.2% of calls dropped
4: 99.9% of calls dropped

So a very low increase percentage-wise... ;-)

Re:Less than 1 is an increase of what percent? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928996)

If the 3GS drops two calls per hundred and the iPhone 4 drops 2.8 calls per hundred then that would indicate the iPhone 4 drop rate is over 70% higher than the 3GS.

Fail at math much? 2.8 - 2 = .8 difference. .8/2 = .4 or 40% increase. Now you can say in this scenario that the 3GS only suffers 70% of the amount of dropped calls as the iPhone 4 but that isn't a 70% increase.

Re:Less than 1 is an increase of what percent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929128)

True that. Wrote it backwards. Point still remains. Thanks for the correction.

Hey Steve, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928814)

I have a Palm Pre, you insensitive clod!

Only .55%? (5, Funny)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928824)

He went on to say that only 0.55% of all iPhone 4 users have called in to complain about reception problems

Yet there's a suspiciously high number of calls on that line where the caller mumbles something incomprehensible and then hangs up.

Apple sermon (5, Funny)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928826)

The Apple giveth.

The Apple taketh away.

And on the third week of the coming of the iphone 4 Jobs said it was good... And gave to all gifts of bumpers to yoke the strength of the signal bar.

And it was good.

So sayeth the wise Jobs.

Steve Jobs is such a sales whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928836)

Its all your fault users, oh wait its all other smartphones just as bad oh wait its not us its not us its not us

Sad, really

The others (5, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928840)

It kind of bugs me when people admit they have done something wrong but because other people also have problems then it is not that bad. Wonder what Jobs would say if there was a coding error in OS X? Doesn't matter 'cos MS do it all the time? It's the normalisation of mediocrity.

Re:The others (1, Troll)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928904)

It kind of bugs me when people admit they have done something wrong but because other people also have problems then it is not that bad. Wonder what Jobs would say if there was a coding error in OS X? Doesn't matter 'cos MS do it all the time? It's the normalisation of mediocrity.

No, it's about pointing out media sensationalism.

Re:The others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929002)

Because the only valid sensationalism, is when it comes from the Jobs himself?

Re:The others (5, Interesting)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929022)

No, it's about pointing out media sensationalism.

The primary feature of the phone is flawed. All they have to say is they made a mistake. The majority of this press conference was sugar coating a flaw which was probably known after the phones were through the manufacturing process.

Re:The others (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929044)

Maybe if Apple wouldn't have used media sensationalism to hype their product in the first place, there wouldn't be such a backlash against unrealistic expectations. Apple's PR can be a double-edged sword....

Re:The others (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928938)

He wasn't saying they did something wrong, he was saying that all phones have that characteristic. Showing the videos of other phones doing the same thing is proof that they didn't do something wrong, they are just constrained by the laws of physics like every other company.

Re:The others (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928958)

It kind of bugs me when there's a fairly common problem, and it gets swept up all out of proportion in one particular case. YMMV.

Apple Fanboys Get What They Deserve (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929018)

Hipster Douchebags become so dependant on Apple's marketing and lifestyle branding to prop-up their sad little lives that they defend the company and its products no matter how defective or lacking compared to other competing products.

What incentive does Apple and Steve Jobs have to do anything other than what they just did at this nauseatingly dishonest and sleazy damage control event.

Lie about the problem and smear other well designed cellphones? The Apple Hipster Douchebags will lap it up.

Free cases are nice but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32928872)

it is royally pissing me off to be sitting on the iWaitingList at multiple stores for 3 weeks, only to find out they arn't shipping any new iPhones out until August. And, i'm not going to pay twice the price for one on eBay either.

What the hell, Steve? (4, Interesting)

iLoveLamp (1676532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928890)

You justify your phone having issues by basically saying that other phones are poorly designed too? That's not thinking different. That's thinking like a politician. What a great solution too. Here is our brand new super thin phone that has reception problems. Here a thick case to wrap around the phone to fix that. Gee, thanks Steve.

Re:What the hell, Steve? (1)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929030)

fwiw, the case in question only covers the circumference of the phone. It adds a few mm to the x and y measurements, nothing to the z. So your thin phone is still thin.

-b

lots of talk (1)

elbiatcho1 (1554817) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928926)

Soooo much arrogance in the live blog.

Apple exec even stated (complained?) that he had to come from Hawaii to attend the event.

"As for investors, he wants investors for the long haul. No apology coming. If we hit a bump in the road, it's just like having kids, he jokes."

WTF? (5, Insightful)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928936)

Did Slashdot really just post some news within an hour of it actually happening? I think I may have clicked the wrong bookmark.

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929140)

Did Slashdot really just post some news within an hour of it actually happening?

I think I may have clicked the wrong bookmark.

It's about The Steve TM. What did you expect?

OK, can we move on to other Apple bashing now? (0)

wfolta (603698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928950)

We now have 623 Boatloads of Internet Hysteria that were manufactured for the iPhone 4 and Apple and we're not sure what to do with it now. Maybe there's a future in "I'm an Android" t-shirts? Or "Your wimpy iPhone's a Walled Garden, but my Droid's unwalled-but-landmined", or something like that.

Re:OK, can we move on to other Apple bashing now? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929010)

Long time Microsoft user here, laughing at your outrage over Apple being "unfairly" attacked.

You guys are #1 now, DEAL WITH IT.

Good idea? (1)

ceraphis (1611217) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928954)

I'm surprised that he didn't do something else like offer a gift card, but this seems reasonable. I'm sure anyone who's unhappy with the phone will be happy they don't get a restocking fee, and anyone who isn't crazily attached to using the phone naked will be happy with a free case.

Most of all, it was really nice to see them be upfront about it, and it sounds like they've been working pretty hard on it.

Any reason I should think otherwise?

Apple MacBook Display repair (2, Informative)

jtotheh (229796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32928970)

My daughter has a Macbook, which she worships. A month or two ago, she damaged the screen on it. Nothing else was affected. I walked into an Apple store with it and was told

1. it'll cost $755 to repair
2. you need to make an appointment to speak to us,the next appointment is in 2 hours

These guys are supposedly providing the greatest consumer experience - I didn't think this was so great! The whole computer only cost $800!

We found instructions to replace the screen and the replacement part ($120) online and my son and I replaced it in about an hour. Would have taken someone with better information, experience and tools half that. Good as new.

I know their stuff is nice and shiny but this really pissed me off.

I just found the attitude in the store a little extreme. And the price for the repair.

Software update may make complaints worse (1)

proxima (165692) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929004)

The software update for iOS 4 released yesterday changes the formula determining the number of bars. What's really interesting to me is that it in general it will result in fewer bars (because the old difference between 3 and 4 bars was miniscule in terms of actual signal strength). In some circumstances it was easy to go from 5 bars to 2 bars with only a small change in the signal.

In practice, though, what this means is that people who used to get 4 bars in their house might now get 2 bars and think their signal problem got worse. None of this has any effect on dropped calls, of course, but I would expect that people might actually complain more about the iphone 4 antenna after this update.

Not to mention that because Apple pushes out OS updates as complete packages, it's a several hundred megabyte download.

In the end, giving out free cases was the only sensible solution. It's a shame that the bumper appears somewhat poorly designed - it won't connect well with older, slightly fatter connection cables. It blows my mind that they didn't come up with a simple non-conductive coating for the exposed antenna to reduce this problem in the first place.

my HTC Dream works fine (2, Interesting)

mutherhacker (638199) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929006)

I have been gripping my HTC dream in every possible way for the past 5 minutes. No matter how I grip it, I can't get the bars to go down. 5 bars all the time.

Same with all the iPhone 4's I've tried it on (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929064)

Fact is, Apple showed how Blackberry HTC, and Samsung phones all dropped from 4 or 5 bars to 1 or 0 bars, just by holding it differently.

IN MARGINAL CONDITIONS. Just like the iPhone. If you've got a good signal, the iPhone 4 rocks. If you have a marginal signal, it's still better than its predecessor... unless you have a marginal signal and you hold it in a particular -- and not necessarily unnatural -- way.

It's the way all smartphones work. It's the laws of physics.

Re:Same with all the iPhone 4's I've tried it on (1)

mutherhacker (638199) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929112)

Same with all the iPhone 4's I've tried it on

So if you have good reception then the iPhone doesn't drop bars either?

Double Speak (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32929054)

Steve Jobs: "We've been trying to understand this so when we solve it, we really solve it, not slap a band-aid on it."
Steve Jobs: "Here's a free bumper to fix the antenna issue"

They got their wording wrong (1)

TheOutlaw (1788792) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929068)

"Steve Jobs started by showing that the problem wasn't limited to iPhones..." The word "problem" should be replaced with "feature".

So to sum up... (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929126)

...it's not a problem, the problem is unavoidable, everybody else has this problem too, and we're going to fix it.

Bold claim is bogus (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929136)

I checked this myself by holding my AT&T Bold in one- and two-handed death grips (and in other creative ways) and never from five bars. I do have signal issues due to AT&T at work (my signal will drop from 5 to 1 bar when the phone is untouched on my desk, then back up to five); but holding it exactly the way shown by Jobs made no difference in my reception level. When doing so at home, the signal did not change from five bars no matter what I did.

Make me wonder how they rigged that one up.

PLEASE RATE ME INSIGHTFUL!!!! (-1, Redundant)

gnuguru2k (910038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32929144)

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to tout iPhone's new antenna design during the launch. They made such a big deal about the antenna being on the outside and it getting better reception that people probably had too high expectations of it. It could be iPhone 4 has just as good (or bad) reception as any other smartphone but people noticed the flaws more. Maybe if Steve had just omitted the part of the new antenna in his keynote presentation Apple wouldn't be in this mess now. As jobs said in this article only 0.55% of users are complaining about it. Part of Apple's success is their marketing machine (like M$) but maybe this time they were TOO good at marketing.
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