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Nokia and RIM Respond To Apple's Antenna Claims

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the pot-v-kettle-round-xixiivii dept.

Bug 514

awyeah writes "In response to Apple's press conference, where videos of a few devices were shown losing signal bars with a tight grip, RIM and Nokia have both taken shots at Apple. RIM's co-CEOs say that Apple's claims 'appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple's difficult situation.' Meanwhile, Nokia, noting that they are pioneers in antenna design and were the first company to bring to market a phone with an internal antenna, prioritizes 'antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.'"

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Steve and his FUD (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938534)

Apple says the iPhone 4 drops one more call per 100 calls. So only 1%. No big deal. But Stevie left something out. How many calls are dropped per 100? He's good at this game; he didn't say. AT&T claims their dropped call rate is 1.4%. 1.4% + 1% is 2.4%. That's a 70% increase. 70% is quite a bit, especially when the antenna is supposed to be better than the previous generation. Yes, Mr. Jobs, "Antennagate" is real.

Re:Steve and his FUD (2, Interesting)

Wingsy (761354) | about 4 years ago | (#32938638)

He left it out because ATT told him to. That information is confidential to ATT, so how can you blame Steve for not telling you? (You're good at your game too.)

Re:Steve and his FUD (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938670)

That's what he said, and there may be some truth to that, but that isn't the point. That information is available on the internet, and with it, we see that the problem is actually much more severe than he made it sound. He knew very well that most people would understand what he said incorrectly, ie, "oh, there are only 1% more dropped calls than with the 3GS."

Re:Steve and his FUD (0, Troll)

Wingsy (761354) | about 4 years ago | (#32938686)

Ohhhh.... the information that ATT was holding as confidential is "on the internet". Trusty source, that internet.

Re:Steve and his FUD (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#32938818)

Trusty source, that internet.

So, you believe a CEO's claims about his own product are necessarily more truthful than "the internet"?

Re:Steve and his FUD (2, Insightful)

Wingsy (761354) | about 4 years ago | (#32938858)

I believe we're talking about whether or not it is the truth that ATT asked Jobs not to reveal the actual dropped call rate, not a product claim. So yeah, I'd believe him over "the internet" since lying about this would be so easy to discover (ATT says "we did not") and very damaging if he did.

Re:Steve and his FUD (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938910)

No, we're talking about whether or not ~1.4% is a reasonably accurate number. Does your experience with dropped calls tell you it's much higher or lower than this? The number is certainly somewhere between 0% and 5% (you'd have to be insane to refute that range), which still means that what most people understood by Steve's statement (only 1% more dropped calls than the 3GS) is way off. If Steve were to get up and say that the iPhone 4 drops 20% more calls than the 3GS (based on the ridiculously high 5% number), what do you think people would have thought?

Re:Steve and his FUD (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#32938812)

He left it out because ATT told him to.

And you know this how?

Re:Steve and his FUD (1, Informative)

Wingsy (761354) | about 4 years ago | (#32938828)

Because I do not think Jobs lied about it when he said so in the press conference. Did you listen to it or watch it?

Re:Steve and his FUD (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938914)

If Jobs would lie to Woz and steal money from him (his best friend) why don't you think he would lie to you?

Re:Steve and his FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938920)

you're good at your game too: he can't give out ATT's absolute number? Then the natural thing is to give out the relative number. (For example: 15% more). Instead, he does something really interesting: he gives out a delta where we don't know the order of magnitude to the underlying number. Nobody does this. (The change is an additional one per hundred, but I won't tell you compared to what). Would you be happy if Yoplait said the batches of yogurt you've been eating actually only contain less than one part per hundred more mercury than the ones you ate until last month? So while there is an increase... No?

See, what Steve did was give you neither the absolute nor the relative number.

Re:Steve and his FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938642)

Heard Leo Laporte on his show today (Saturday) that he had more then 4 dropped calls, all from different callers. Obviously for any "cellular" and/or land line based system, one dropped call is one too many.

For my VoIP system, Skype, I do not have any dropped calls, of course its not cellular either.

Based on Leo's comments, my guess is the dropped call rate is actually much higher, much worse than what is being stated publicly.

Re:Steve and his FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938646)

Was it 1 out of 100 more calls dropped, or a 1% higher dropped call rate than the 3GS?

Re:Steve and his FUD (2, Informative)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938662)

Re:Steve and his FUD (1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#32938892)

1 more dropped call per 100 calls.

Let's say you had no phone service one day out of 100. Would that be acceptable to you?

So Jobs says the iPhone 4 drops 1 more call per 100 than the 3GS, which was not among the cellular phones with the most reliable connections. So, does the number go from 20 to 21 out of 100? Or from 10 to 11 out of 100?

We've had cellular phones for what, about thirty years now? My old blackberry and my friend's iPhone 4 are both on AT&T, both in the same neighborhood of the same city (Chicago). I don't remember the last time I lost a call when I wasn't driving the underground on Lower Wacker Drive. He complains about dropped calls regularly. Neither of us has a case or bumpers or black electrician's tape wrapped around our phones.

Please tell me, what motivates a person to staunchly defend a corporation against any and all criticism?

Re:Steve and his FUD (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 4 years ago | (#32938926)

He said 1, less than one. Watch it again.

Your math has problems (1)

Elfich47 (703900) | about 4 years ago | (#32938754)

Just because issue A has a 1% incidence rate and issue B rate a 1.4% incidence rate does not necessarily mean that A+B = 2.4% incidence rate. How many of those incidence overlap or not?

Re:Your math has problems (4, Informative)

RedK (112790) | about 4 years ago | (#32938792)

Is math is dead on, Steve said that the 1% was a delta, he said "1 out of 100 more". You just completely misunderstood, which I think is part of why Steve presented it the way he did. To make it sound like 1%, when it actuality it's 1% more than some unknown number which is now said to be 1.4%.

Re:Your math has problems (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#32938912)

Steve said...why Steve presented...

I'm loving the first-name basis. The lack of self-consciousness over using the first name of a CEO of a consumer electronics company that you buy stuff from is part of what makes Apple fans endearing.

Re:Your math has problems (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938810)

Actually... you seem to either not understand the available facts or math in general. "http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/16/apple-iphone-4-drops-less-than-one-additional-call-per-100-tha/ ). How are you interpreting that?

Re:Steve and his FUD (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 years ago | (#32938756)

Apple says the iPhone 4 drops one more call per 100 calls.

How to Lie With Statistics 101:

Fact 1: iPhone4 only drops an additional 1 per 100 calls compared to the competitors.
Fact 2: Millions of calls are made per day using the iPhone v4.

The Lie: Omitting any mention of what a +1% increase in dropped calls really means when applied to millions of calls.

Re:Steve and his FUD (1)

otuz (85014) | about 4 years ago | (#32938814)

Not necessarily. If the drop rate for 3GS is as low as 0.4%, that plus "less than 1%" would equal just the average.

Re:Steve and his FUD (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938842)

Yeah, but 97.6% uptime, that's still one nine! Pretty good for Apple! Way better than I ever got on my goddamned iPhone... (still zero dropped calls on Verizon/Incredible after two months!) Not so good for telecom, though. I suspect Apple/AT&T is a major driver of the growth of texting over phone calls.

Another funny numbers game Steve played. He claimed only .55% of iPhone 4 users have called in to complain so far. But ya know... after years and years of Apple denying any problems with the iPhone, MacBook Pro (constant kernel panics that mysteriously went away with a patch about a year later, but there was never any problem, noooo; the high-pitched whining sound, the ball-basting heat, etc.)... and censoring any mention of these problems from these forums; after seeing thousands of people complaining about the issue on the Internet-- maybe people figured it wasn't worth their time to call in. Obviously Apple knew about the problem, and obviously they'd eventually have to give out free bumpers, because this was too big to ignore. So why waste your time waiting to talk to a tech support rep who is paid to lie to you about the problem? Let them try stonewalling for a month or so, let them trash their own reputation by treating their customers like crap-- plenty of others will call. It's not like you'll be telling them something they don't know.

The way to tackle this... (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 4 years ago | (#32938846)

... and I'm sure that Nokia and the other manufacturers will agree, is to get the Oprah and Jenny Show out of the regulatory process. RF radiation does not cause brain cancer or anything else, and there is absolutely no reason to force consumer electronics manufacturers to design their antennas as if it does.

Where there is no demonstrable physical mechanism or repeatable empirical evidence for health effects, the burden of proof should rest firmly with the tinfoil-hat crowd. That's the only way we can move forward as a civilization, scientifically or otherwise. But instead, it's necessary for the wireless manufacturers to prove a negative. What Jobs should have said was, "Even though there is no physical mechanism or explanation for such a phenomenon, we have to assume our device will give you brain cancer if we don't use a really crappy antenna that's designed specifically to send most of the outgoing signal energy into the palm of your hand."

It's one of those elephants in the room that nobody seems to want to talk about. It would be great if a cellular carrier or handset manufacturer would take one for the team, and put the issue of faith-based RF exposure regulations on the table for discussion. We'd all get better phones as a result... and that's all we'd get.

Re:The way to tackle this... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#32938902)

>>>most of the outgoing signal energy into the palm of your hand."

So now I'm going to get hand cancer, or possibly arthritis? Well that sucks. I'd rather have a stubby antenna sticking out the top of my phone.

Of course they did. (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#32938544)

During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage.

RIM's market are business people and others who really use their phone for calling, email, and other communications. They bought it to do a function.

People bought the iPhone because it was Apple and they wanted to have a stylish phone. They wanted to look marvelous.

If it wasn't the case, then why did the iPhone sell like hot cakes in markets where AT&T was known to have shitty service? Consumer Reports have been tracking that for years.

Re:Of course they did. (5, Informative)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 4 years ago | (#32938694)

During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage.

RIM's market are business people and others who really use their phone for calling, email, and other communications. They bought it to do a function.

People bought the iPhone because it was Apple and they wanted to have a stylish phone. They wanted to look marvelous.

If it wasn't the case, then why did the iPhone sell like hot cakes in markets where AT&T was known to have shitty service? Consumer Reports have been tracking that for years.

Having used both, I'll have to say that I like having an easy to use phone. The Blackberry that I use for work is crap in this department. An iPhone is more functional for non-work use (video, games, pictures).

I'm not saying that there are people who bought it to be stylish, but you're over-simplifying things.

Re:Of course they did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938822)

Having used both, I'll have to say that I like having an easy to use phone. The Blackberry that I use for work is crap in this department. An iPhone is more functional for non-work use (video, games, pictures).

I'm not saying that there are people who bought it to be stylish, but you're over-simplifying things.

Silly me, I thought the primary purpose was that it was a PHONE. That works. I don't care if the thing prints money while giving me blowjobs- if it doesn't make calls reliably, it isn't a phone.

Re:Of course they did. (3, Insightful)

Giometrix (932993) | about 4 years ago | (#32938886)

Well, these days for many people making phone calls is not #1 on their list for their portable devices (we call them cell phones for traditional reasons). Most of us don't want to carry around additional devices, so we appreciate modern cell phones that consolidate cell phone, pda and mp3 player into one device.

Still, it should always be function over form. Even if making calls isn't my #1 priority (which it isn't); when I DO make a call, I want it to not be dropped.

Re:Of course they did. (0, Flamebait)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 4 years ago | (#32938854)

People bought the iPhone because it was Apple and they wanted to have a stylish phone. They wanted to look marvelous.

Keep telling yourself that, Mr. Ballmer.

Quiet nokia! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938552)

Nokia should STFU. Their N97 GPS antenna design leaves much to be desired.

Re:Quiet nokia! (5, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | about 4 years ago | (#32938588)

Yeah, it's not like they had hundreds of models on the market over decades, most of which without signal issues! Who the hell are they to talk about phones?!

Re:Quiet nokia! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938596)

I should think that the GPS antenna design isn't really responsible for dropped calls, though...

In this case it is PEBKAC (1)

Elfich47 (703900) | about 4 years ago | (#32938790)

The issue is not the phone antenna and not the GPS antenna. The issue is when your hand (or a strip of metal for that matter) bridges between the two antennas. The effective length of the antenna is changed so the ability of the antenna to receive and transmit signals is significantly affected.

PR versus PR (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 4 years ago | (#32938562)

As long as no one is arguing over numbers and talking about anecdotes and "priorities" or whatever, this should be maximally annoying...

One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity.

It must be particularly galling to RIM that a lot of people prefer even an iPhone that drops calls to a Blackberry that doesn't, even when people are given the option to return their iPhone at no cost to them.

Re:PR versus PR (4, Interesting)

RedK (112790) | about 4 years ago | (#32938806)

Where do you get that people prefer the iPhone ? RIM have a bigger marketshare in the smartphone sector than Apple does.

Re:PR versus PR (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 4 years ago | (#32938894)

I am struggling to recall RIM selling a million of anything in a weekend.

I don't think there's any debate that many, many people prefer an iPhone to a Blackberry. It's no skin off RIM's nose, of course: before the iPhone, these people simply used feature phones, because the Blackberry was more expensive and didn't have compelling features, like multimedia, a good web browser, etc. It still doesn't, for the most part. So what if your Pearl has 5 bars if the web browser doesn't have teh snappy and there is no app store?

Blackberry case problems are different (3, Interesting)

lullabud (679893) | about 4 years ago | (#32938836)

No, you don't need to use a case to make a call with a blackberry, but you do have to use a case if you want to conveniently prevent somebody from making a call from their pocket with one. Historically, Blackberries have had no auto-lock timer, but required being put into the case or hitting a key combination in order to lock the device. I've gotten countless pocket calls from my boss and other folks on my team at work, sometimes several in a row, sometimes during heated discussions that had sensitive company information as the topic. I'm not sure if it's still this way since my team entirely abandoned Blackberry, but if they haven't fixed the software then they have an outstanding problem of their own that could have significantly more potential damage.

People like me who hate phone cases are screwed either way.

Because the competition never lies, right. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938566)

I suspect all the Apple haters will be using this as "evidence" that other phones don't have problems like this, because we all know a company would never take the chance to bash its competitors (especially high-profile ones like Apple)...

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938584)

Yesterday:
I suspect all the Apple lovers will be using this as "evidence" that other phones have problems like this, because we all know a company would never take the chance to bash its competitors (especially high-profile ones like Apple)...

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938636)

Apple says: "...btw, it's not like we're the only ones who have had problems with our antenna designs.". Hardly a controversial statement (unless you hate Apple or are their competitor).

RIM and Nokia say: "Our phones have never had any antenna problems, function over form every time, honest injun!".

Yeah, it's the Apple fanboys that are being irrational here...

While there will always be fanboys who defend "their" brand to any extreme I think it's only Microsoft and Apple who have such a staunch army of haters willing to use the slightest flaw as an example of how they're evil and their products worthless.

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 4 years ago | (#32938736)

Your argument kind of makes sense until you look at their respective track record [wikipedia.org] . Of course they've had some bad models, but for all intents and purposes, that's within the error margin in this discussion.

This is like Santa Claus mocking their logistics.

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (3, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938600)

No, we don't need any more evidence; Steve gave us all the evidence we need yesterday that there is a serious problem with iPhone 4's antenna. It drops nearly twice as many calls as the 3GS. It required a bit more research since Steve didn't tell us the baseline for how many calls the 3GS drops per 100, but based on some AT&T statements in the past, it's probably between 1 and 2%, meaning that 1 additional dropped call per 100 *calls* is a good 50 to 100% increase.

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (3, Funny)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 4 years ago | (#32938652)

but based on some AT&T statements in the past, it's probably between 1 and 2%, meaning that 1 additional dropped call per 100 *calls* is a good 50 to 100% increase.

This is a bit like being stuck on the roadside arguing with your girlfriend about how much gas you put in the tank at the last stop: "We had half a gallon left, and I put in half a gallon! I INCREASED OUR FUEL BY 100%!"

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (2, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938718)

Not at all, no. Dropped calls tend to affect people in certain areas more than they affect others. In this case it also affects people without bumpers more than people with them, and people who don't know to avoid the death point more than people who know about it. This means that it's likely that certain people are dropping *many* more calls than they otherwise would.

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 4 years ago | (#32938746)

This assertion is not captured in the statistic. It's merely truthy unless you can find support for it.

Watch your weasel words: "tend to," "likely."

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938880)

Weasel words? You mean like "the iPhone 4 only drops 1 more call per 100 than the iPhone 3GS" ? Steve knew very well that most people would interpret that as only 1% more dropped calls, or perhaps statistical noise based on the amount of available data.

Are you refuting the claims I made? I don't have statistics, but they are pretty common sense claims. Bringing additional factors into a set of statistics does exactly that.

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | about 4 years ago | (#32938726)

A flaw, yes. A *serious* flaw, no.

Re:Because the competition never lies, right. (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938850)

50% to 100% more dropped calls is not a serious flaw? Wow.

Nokia ftw (2, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | about 4 years ago | (#32938568)

"You're telling us about antennas?"

Video Proof (-1, Troll)

ericdano (113424) | about 4 years ago | (#32938586)

Ah RIM, it must hurt seeing your Phone subjected to the same sort of pain Apple has been having. Proof is in the video. Sure, it might not happen at all, but it does happen, and we have video proof of it. RIM and Nokia need to deal with it.

I for one haven't had an issue at all with my iPhone 4. It's been great.

Re:Video Proof (4, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | about 4 years ago | (#32938630)

From engadget's transcript:

"10:43AM Ryan from gdgt: You showed people almost covering the entire phone in their hand, but on the iPhone 4 it can happen with just a touch. Can you explain that difference?
Bob: When you touch the phone, you put yourself between the signal and your phone, so when you touch that spot you can attenuate the signal, and if you grip it with your whole hand, you can attenuate it even more. We don't build phones with an antenna on top...

Hmm, that didn't really sound like an answer to us."

No matter how much you complain about the bad press Apple has been getting lately, it is certainly deserved. The iPhone 4 antenna issue is *not* the same issue that other phones experience, and is much more severe.

Re:Video Proof (-1, Flamebait)

ericdano (113424) | about 4 years ago | (#32938696)

Bullshit. I am putting my hand on that spot and NOTHING HAPPENS. Problem? No, I don't see it. Maybe some people do, but it's not severe. Certainly doesn't happen to most everyone or there would be TONS of these phones being returned.

Case closed.

Re:Video Proof (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938766)

Facepalm...

The fact is that people can make it happen with the tip of their finger, while they can only make a similar thing happen to other phones by covering most of it. The question was asked about how the issues are different, and Bob didn't answer. Obviously they are different issues, but Apple is trying to get the world to believe that they are one and the same. Also, if they were caused by the same issue, why does covering the antenna (like other phones do with the standard casing) with a bumper solve it?

Re:Video Proof (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938784)

Bullshit. I am putting my hand on that spot and NOTHING HAPPENS

Yeah, your wife agrees.

Re:Video Proof (1, Flamebait)

tftp (111690) | about 4 years ago | (#32938802)

Bullshit. I am putting my hand on that spot and NOTHING HAPPENS.

Apple hopes that most of the iPhone 4 sucke^W users live and work in areas with great AT&T coverage. Sure, if you sit under the tower you will see no problem. Keep the phone. Then drive someplace with poorer coverage (easy to find on the AT&T network - I have an AT&T phone myself) and get zero bars. The phone is not returnable any more, so you are stuck. Unless, of course, you want to buy a redesigned iPhone 4.1, for full price, when Apple sells the entire manufacturing run of iPhone 4.0.

Re:Video Proof (0)

Moridineas (213502) | about 4 years ago | (#32938922)

The phone is not returnable any more, so you are stuck

That's not true... Jobs explicitly said that you can do a full return for 30 days after purchasing an iphone with no restocking fees, and get your at&t plan fees refunded as well.

Why did you think it's too late to return it? I don't think I'm missing anything? If you were the earliest iPhone adopter around, getting one on launch day, you'd still have another full week to decide if you want to return it or not...

Re:Video Proof (4, Informative)

RedK (112790) | about 4 years ago | (#32938826)

Hand in your geek card. You have no grasp of the issue and it shows. Anand performed tests and the iPhone 4 loses 20 db of signal when lightly touched in the proper spot (lower left gap between antennas). 20 dbs might not result in a visible result on the bar display seeing how 5 bars is larger than that.

What has Slashdot become that we now have to deal with ignorant mass-consumers instead of just geeks with actual curiosity for researching and understanding ?

Re:Video Proof (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | about 4 years ago | (#32938776)

If you're going to use the term "severe", you might want to cite some numbers. From everything I'm reading it's a minor issue. I don't own an iPhone and and have no intention of buying one so I don't have a dog in this fight, but without actual numbers / comparisons using the word 'severe' is simply inflammatory, unfounded rhetoric.

Re:Video Proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938634)

Ah RIM, it must hurt seeing your Phone subjected to the same sort of pain Apple has been having. Proof is in the video. Sure, it might not happen at all, but it does happen, and we have video proof of it. RIM and Nokia need to deal with it.

I for one haven't had an issue at all with my iPhone 4. It's been great.

yes ... because you use the way Steve wants you to use it : pull it out of your pocket ever once in a while when some hot chicks are around and then carefully put it back in. My fiancé's ICrap4 drops calls all day long while at home and mine doesn't ... I have an old arse Curve and we are both on ATT ...

looks and simplicity over function (4, Insightful)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 4 years ago | (#32938592)

Apple has and always will be a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity over function. It's the same reason their products have almost no user options. They are too complicated. They force you to use the product the way they want you to.

Erm... (-1, Redundant)

teh31337one (1590023) | about 4 years ago | (#32938632)

Apple has and always will be a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity over function. It's the same reason their products have almost no user options. They are too complicated. They force you to use the product the way they want you to.

Re:Erm... (2, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | about 4 years ago | (#32938648)

I think you read that wrong. He was saying they don't include many options because they [the options] are too complicated.

Re:Erm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938658)

[x] simplicity: trying to make a design with no antenna protruding by putting it on the outer edge of the phone
[x] complicated: telling users to perform hand acrobatics (i.e. hold it different) to make a call on a damn phone
[ ] telling truth: Steve Jobs

Re:Erm... (4, Insightful)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | about 4 years ago | (#32938684)

I think he meant to say that user options make a product too complicated.

To paraphrase Bjarne Stroustrup:

"An organisation that treats its users as morons will soon have users that are willing and able to act like morons only."

Re:Erm... (1)

feuerfalke (1034288) | about 4 years ago | (#32938712)

He means that Apple leaves out these options because they're too complicated for the average Apple user. (Reading comprehension: you should work on it)

Re:Erm... (0, Offtopic)

frosty_tsm (933163) | about 4 years ago | (#32938716)

Apple has and always will be a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity over function. It's the same reason their products have almost no user options. They are too complicated. They force you to use the product the way they want you to.

+1 Excellent use of bold.

Re:looks and simplicity over function (1)

knappe duivel (914316) | about 4 years ago | (#32938654)

Apple has and always will be a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity over function. It's the same reason their products have almost no user options. They are too complicated. They force you to use the product the way they want you to.

User options? Force you? We are talking antennas here. Nobody is forcing anybody, nobody is limiting your options or forcing you to do anything. Don't panic please!

Re:looks and simplicity over function (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938690)

Apple has and always will be a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity over function. It's the same reason their products have almost no user options. They are too complicated. They force you to use the product the way they want you to.

Assuming you're talking about their phones, sure.

I don't have an iphone or ipod, but I do have a Mac, and there are quite a few options and settings exposed through the GUI, and quite a few more exposed through the command line/config files (eg. Defaults [apple.com] )

Re:looks and simplicity over function (1)

diegocg (1680514) | about 4 years ago | (#32938710)

a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity

Yeah, usability is great. But I'm afraid that normal people love it. Guess why there are a lot of people who would rather buy iPads instead of netbooks with the awesome touchpad input interface?

Re:looks and simplicity over function (2, Informative)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | about 4 years ago | (#32938838)

Becuase they're fucking retarded and can't handle a touchpad?

Re:looks and simplicity over function (1)

vague disclaimer (861154) | about 4 years ago | (#32938896)

Apple has and always will be a company that prioritizes looks and simplicity over function.

Wrong. Apple is a company that considers looks and simplicity to be part of function

So the videos are true? (4, Interesting)

diegocg (1680514) | about 4 years ago | (#32938640)

It seems they are giving vague answers instead of answering the real question. Steve Jobs played videos [apple.com] where you can see clearly how Blackberrys lose signal depending how you hold them. Are the videos true? If they are, how must I hold a Blackberry to avoid losing signal? If they aren't true, why RIM isn't suing Apple? That is the question I want to see answered.

Re:So the videos are true? (3, Insightful)

brufleth (534234) | about 4 years ago | (#32938698)

They did respond. They're effectively saying, "this is stupid." They don't need to give more of a response because while Apple has created a few phones Nokia and RIM have created hundreds of different models from the stupid to the very cutting edge smart phone. It is like Starbucks getting into the light bulb industry and telling GE they're doing it wrong. It isn't worth dignifying with a response.

Re:So the videos are true? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 4 years ago | (#32938834)

It is like Starbucks getting into the light bulb industry and telling GE they're doing it wrong.

Strangely enough, there were people from time to time that argued that GE was doing it wrong, mainly by building planned obsolescence into the bulbs, and tried to bring competing solutions to market. Luckily for GE they had a cartel [wikipedia.org] that allowed them to not "in-dignify" themselves with a market response.

Not saying that RIM and Nokia are a cartel or anything, but if they want to assert their superiority it's not reasonable for them to do it on the back of their "reputation" or any such nonsense. Nokia makes phones with OK reception -- their OS's suck, however, and smartphones require both.

Re:So the videos are true? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938860)

Steve Jobs's point wasn't that Nokia and RIM make bad phones or don't know how to design antennas. Watch the video. Jobs wasn't slamming Nokia or RIM. In fact, he went out of his way to say that they make great phones. All Jobs did was to take twenty minutes to put the problem into context for the reporters who've spent a month making it sound like 1) Apple is the only company in the industry with this problem; and 2) the iPhone is a total dog.

His point was that 1) Apple isn't the only company that makes phones that can lose reception when you put your hand on it and he showed the videos to prove it; and 2) if the problem really was as hideous as reporters had made it sound, Apple would be getting a lot more customer complaints and products returns than the data shows. And Jobs backed up his arguments with empirical data.

Personally, I'd like a little empirical data on how many Slashdotters who are slamming Jobs in this thread have actually watched the video. I'd bet the percentage is vanishingly small.

Re:So the videos are true? (3, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | about 4 years ago | (#32938862)

They don't need to give more of a response because while Apple has created a few phones Nokia and RIM have created hundreds of different models

Just fwiw, you've just made as your argument one of the most classical and basic fallacies -- an appeal to authority.

Re:So the videos are true? (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#32938786)

Well if they are true, I can't replicate it. My Blackberry for sure has signal variations based on its position. I'm quite sure my body interferes with it too, no way it can't. However it doesn't drop calls when I hold it. I grip with the "whole hand wraparound" method all the time, just how I hold the thing. It always seems to work.

As for a suit, RIM might but then again that's a pain in the ass. Lots of money involved and nothing might get decided in the end. I mean if Apple can show a case where they are right, even if it is a longshot case, that can be enough. They say "Well when we did this, we lost signal," and that could be enough. They weren't lying.

Also with libel cases you have to prove three things:

1) That the words written were false. As I said, maybe Apple can show that indeed it does happen in a 1 in a million case. Could be enough. The truth is a total defense against libel.

2) That the person writing the words knew they were false, or at least reasonably should have known. If you write something honestly believing it to be true, that's not libel. You have to be aware that it is false.

3) That the words were written with the intent to cause harm. You can write knowingly false statements for other reasons, like parody, and that's not libel. It is only libel if the reason you did it was to attempt to harm the party you were writing about.

In this case, proving all three of those might be real hard. As such, easier to just issue a press release saying "They are full of shit."

Re:So the videos are true? (4, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | about 4 years ago | (#32938900)

I don't have an iPhone 4 nor at the moment a blackberry, but when you say:

Well if they are true, I can't replicate it. My Blackberry for sure has signal variations based on its position. I'm quite sure my body interferes with it too, no way it can't. However it doesn't drop calls when I hold it. I grip with the "whole hand wraparound" method all the time, just how I hold the thing. It always seems to work.

It sounds an awful lot like what many iPhone 4 users have said (including friends I've seen with an iphone4 personally, and, eg, the Anandtech review). If you're in a good reception area, the deathgrip makes you lose some signal but does not automatically drop the call. If you're in a low reception area, you can go all the way down and drop a call.

But if you're in a sold 5-bar area with your blackberry OR iphone, it's very possible that even a substantial drop in reception won't move you from 5 bars.

Also, FWIW with the 4.0.1 firmware I get a solid 1 bar with my iPhone 3gs in my house. I used to occasionally get up to 4 and it would move between 3-4 and then drop down to 1. It's clear I'm in a low reception area. The new firmware seems to do a MUCH better job of properly relaying this information.

Re:So the videos are true? (4, Funny)

phantomcircuit (938963) | about 4 years ago | (#32938832)

What videos? All I see is "Get Quicktime".

Problem only with US networks? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938664)

As far as I've read, the 3G problems will unlikely manifest in countries/places with good 3G coverage. For example, it's been said that US 3G coverage is lagging 5-6 years behind the 3G coverage of northern Europe.

I don't know about you guys in the US, but I probably don't even drop one phonecall per year here in Scandinavia. Apple is gonna have a major headache on their hand with the consumer authorities if their phones are shown to drop any amount of phonecalls.

It's pretty simple. (5, Informative)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | about 4 years ago | (#32938674)

Consumer report couldn't have illustrated it simpler. You put your finger *here* and the signal strength drops by 15 to 20% or whatever the number was.

There really isn't much mystery. If the signal is strong, then 20% isn't going to change anything. But people generally move around in the same areas, so if your activites are concentrated in a dodgy signal area, that means your calls could go from a 25% drop rate to completely unusable.

Re:It's pretty simple. (0, Troll)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | about 4 years ago | (#32938816)

Consumer Reports did abbreviated tests and did not do any comprehensive tests or any significant comparison tests. They admitted it. They said they have to do further testing. Consumer reports did what they did for their own self promotion. I used to read Consumer Reports but they went to hell in a hand basket years ago.

Nokia and RIM Respond To Apple's Antenna Claims (5, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | about 4 years ago | (#32938692)

Meanwhile, Nokia, noting that they are pioneers in antenna design and were the first company to bring to market a phone with an internal antenna, prioritizes 'antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.'"

Och! This hits the nail on the head. The original Apple Macintosh used to over heat because it did not have a fan! Why did it not have a fan, because Jobs wanted a quiet machine.
To be far though the case was designed to keep the machine cool and it worked, but there was a problem with the hardware running hotter than it should. Even the circuit board/mother board (don't flame me if I got the terminology wrong I'm no computer engineer) had to be redesigned to look pretty because Jobs wanted it that way. The man has form!

Re:Nokia and RIM Respond To Apple's Antenna Claims (3, Insightful)

jmichaelg (148257) | about 4 years ago | (#32938796)

It's true that Apple ranks style very high and Nokia are noted for their antenna skills.

However I am not convinced that Nokia "prioritizes 'antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.'" It's my understanding that the old rod-style antennas perform better than the now common internal antennas. The antennas disappeared into the phone to gain style points, not to improve overall reception.

Perhaps an RF engineer could comment?

Re:Nokia and RIM Respond To Apple's Antenna Claims (1)

omar.sahal (687649) | about 4 years ago | (#32938916)

This is not really about Nokia, its about Apple. Old rod-style antennas are ugly and cumbersome, I would trade that for slightly worse internal antennas, if that's the trade-of. As I said Steve Jobs has form for design related issues that can backfire, this has been covered at www.folklore.org [folklore.org] a site written by people who know and have worked closely with Jobs. Having said this I would rather have a CEO like Jobs, I don't want to fault the man for caring about his products.

Won't make a difference (4, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 4 years ago | (#32938706)

I personally don't believe that it'll make one difference how many calls the iPhone4 drops; people will still buy the phone. The "cool factor" outweighs the ability to make a phone call. Go back and look at the reviews of the original iPhone, it was always inferior to the other phones on the market, but people stood in lines for hours to buy one.

I have ATT, but with a Samsung Blackjack 1. It's ancient by today's smart phone standards, and I don't get any more dropped calls than anybody else I know. Funny though that we always say iPhone dropped calls are an ATT problem, not an Apple problem. Even now, we've got a million excuses, but when it comes down to it and a call is dropped people blame the carrier.

Ha ha ha (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32938720)

You notice how they are clever to not dispute the actual fact that Apples tests were right?

Re:Ha ha ha (4, Insightful)

MachDelta (704883) | about 4 years ago | (#32938856)

Well of course it's possible to interfere with the antenna from a phone. The issue here is how easy it is to do (accidentally) and how severe the effect is.

To use a car analogy, this is like if Lexus [autoblog.com] made an SUV that was prone to oversteer and rollovers during normal driving, and their response [autoblog.com] (instead of a recall) was "yeah well you can make any SUV roll over! It's a universal problem! See!" followed by a professional driver performing crazy stunts in order to flip some other manufacturers vehicle.

One is likely to happen accidentally, and one is much less so.

HTC Benelux response (4, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | about 4 years ago | (#32938722)

Mark Moons of HTC Benelux posted his response to twitter.
source: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/68622/mobieltjesmakers-reageren-fel-op-antennevergelijking-van-apple.html [tweakers.net]
( the comment threads there are a lovely Apple vs The World whinefest )

Translated (Google fails due to colloquial word usage)
"Is Jobs yacking about the reception on competing devices to justify his own design error? I must seeing it wrong*"
( * "I must be misinterpreting", though that would typically be written as "Ik zal het wel verkeerd begrijpen")
http://twitter.com/markmoons/status/18702074270 [twitter.com]

"....ok, stopped following that fruitlet's sobstory.... got better things to do... he's denigrating the industry."
http://twitter.com/markmoons/status/18702370046 [twitter.com]

damage controle (5, Interesting)

luther349 (645380) | about 4 years ago | (#32938730)

apple is in damage control mode. as nokia said trying to shift the damage away from there defective phone. i have a old original blackberry and it works in spots the iphone does not. seems odd a 10 year old smart phone smokes your supposed new design.

one theory (2, Interesting)

z-j-y (1056250) | about 4 years ago | (#32938732)

one theory says that since iPhone4 makes antenna design, especially the gap, so prominent, it is far easier for people to correlate signal quality with hand position.

on other phones, even if the same problem exists, it is very difficult for people to discover, because the antenna is internal. drop of signal is so common, you just won't think too much about it.

the lesson is, if you have a design flaw, obfuscate it so that people can't easily identify the cause.

Re:one theory (1)

tftp (111690) | about 4 years ago | (#32938888)

one theory says that since iPhone4 makes antenna design, especially the gap, so prominent, it is far easier for people to correlate signal quality with hand position.

People (and animals) are amazingly good in sensing their hand position. If a phone tends to fail with a hand in some specific position it would be unavoidably noticed, given that billions of calls are placed daily. Also the gap between iPhone antennas is not something people would even notice, unless it marks the trouble spot.

The reason that other phones work and the iPhone 4 doesn't is, IMO, because the signal drop in other phones is very small - small enough to stay under the radar, just as intended. There was no such complaint about earlier iPhones either - simply because they behaved reasonably enough.

on other phones, even if the same problem exists, it is very difficult for people to discover, because the antenna is internal.

It's damn easy to discover if your call is dropped when you grip the phone exactly *there*. If this is not discovered on other phones it's only because the calls aren't dropped, and then there is no problem.

drop of signal is so common, you just won't think too much about it.

If the loss of the signal is small then I don't care. If the loss is so large that a perfectly good call gets disconnected then it's clearly a problem.

Nokia 8210 (1)

gtada (191158) | about 4 years ago | (#32938758)

I had a Nokia 8210 a long time ago. Granted it's ancient history, but that phone was definitely sensitive to how you held it. If you touched the top of the phone, the signal strength dropped dramatically. Haven't had a Nokia since.

I'm just sayin'... I've experienced similar antenna issues in other brands... looking at you, Nokia.

about Nokia's responce (2, Funny)

dnaumov (453672) | about 4 years ago | (#32938774)

"As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict."

Judging by how Nokia phones look, must be a lot of conflicts.

The IPhone Cult!! (0, Flamebait)

Pewpdaddy (1364159) | about 4 years ago | (#32938782)

As always any Iphone users will vehemently deny that anything is wrong with their beloved device. Though it may be true that other phones have similar issues. I for one do not believe they are as bad as the Iphone 4. I do love the deflection though. Another funny tidbit, the Iphone 4G(eneration) is only a 3g phone. =] Some marketing there Steve-O. You get a cookie. In my personal anyone with an Iphone will call you crazy should you decide to switch to a different device. Even if it's marginally better ... cough Evo 4G. =] I do not have an Evo by the way just look at the capabilities of each. =p http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL7yD-0pqZg [youtube.com]

Re:The IPhone Cult!! (2, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | about 4 years ago | (#32938852)

As always any Iphone users will vehemently deny that anything is wrong with their beloved device.

Who exactly has claimed this?

Though it may be true that other phones have similar issues. I for one do not believe they are as bad as the Iphone 4.

See also: Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More [slashdot.org]

Another funny tidbit, the Iphone 4G(eneration) is only a 3g phone. =]

I think you're being confused by something -- the name of the phone is "iPhone 4" -- note the lowercase i and no G (you mistakenly added the G in). It's called this because it's the 4th iphone. Difficult, I know =]

In my personal anyone with an Iphone will call you crazy should you decide to switch to a different device.

I'm not sure what you mean, but in all of these conversations, the only people I see insulting other people for their choice in phones are non-iphone users. Could you point me to some example?

Nokia video (2, Informative)

Reverberant (303566) | about 4 years ago | (#32938798)

A Nokia E71 user posted this [youtube.com] a month ago. And this is with a microcell nearby.

Get your own house in order before complaining about Apple airing your dirty laundry.

(FTR, I'm an E71 owner)

Quite stupid PR advice given to both (1)

vague disclaimer (861154) | about 4 years ago | (#32938866)

Q How do you draw attention to the comments of a competitor?

A: Rise to the bait.

Really, really dumb.

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