Tuesday, July 20, 2010

iPhone4 Antenna: Father Steve is Blind

[updated: see bottom]

I'll skip the jokes and mockery; Apple had its share with the iPad.

A lot of buzz and fuss has been rumbling in regards to the iPhone4's antenna. Is it really a problem, or are users blowing things out of proportion?

I'd like to point out that the problem is being mixed and stirred with another problem, to dilute the first problem which is a major design flaw. The issues at stake here are:
  1. Improper antenna design
  2. Incorrect signal-display formula

When Apple was caught pants down with the antenna issue, it told the public that it discovered, just now, that the problem is their function to display the signal strength (bars): their formula to calculate the signal strength and represent it in terms of bars was wrong, and this problem has been there since 2007 (iPhone 3G).

Apple then had the nerve to take an extra step and publish a page comparing its iPhone4 to other phones to show that all other phones suffer from signal attenuation when held from a specific spot.

What's important to note here is that Apple failed to mention in that page is that their antenna design is flawed because of two things:
  1. Their antenna is actually exterior and touches the body of the phone
  2. Their antenna is located in an often-used spot to hold a phone

When holding the phone from that spot, the human body works as a short circuit to the antenna and drains the full signal. Apple is giving away free cases now to amend the problem, but the problem isn't really fixed, it's just polished.

If you look at the link above, you'll notice that the BlackBerry's antenna is located the bottom where no one holds a phone from, and HTC's Droid Eris's antenna is located the most top, where also no one holds a phone from.

Why did this happen now?
I believe that due to Apple's over-zealous secrecy and being up tight about all its products, the beta products (pre-releases) are tested by very very few people, and Steve Jobs assumed that these very few people's experience represented that of the whole consumer base.
Hey, it worked for so many years, so why stop now, aih? You were foiled by an ill-designed phone, which apparently none of the beta testers held from that dead spot.

It's even more hilarious that Steve's first reaction to the problem is asking people to not hold the phone from there!
It's like when your car is rattling when you reach 100 kmh and you complain to the dealer, and the dealer's response is: Don't drive over 80 kmh. It's safer anyway!

This whole charade reminds me of Vista. People rushed to Amazon and tagged the product: Defective by Design. And this is what iPhone4 is: Defective by design.

I'd like to share two links:


Anonymous said...

Have to say, really don't agree with you. At all. The call drop videos say it all (as do the legions of iphone 4 users who have NOT experienced any problems) id say before you act like you know what you are talking about, acquire an iphone 4 and test it. use it in every day use for a few weeks. I think you will find this whole thing is one ridiculous joke and you have fallen into the same trap as everyone else. Media Hype. Until you do, know that you cannot know what in the hell you are talking about.

MBH said...

Uh oh! Seems like I pissed a fanboy :p

A friend has an iPhone4 and claimed to not have experienced this issue. When I grabbed his phone, the signal dropped to zero.

There maybe people who are not affected, but there are many that are. Maybe the flaw was caught after a certain dispatch and fixed in the newer ones, or maybe there's something else to it.

While you concentrate on those who haven't experienced the problem, which is a typical defense mechanism, any company worth its reputation should focus on why there ARE problems with some people.

Apple eluded the users & tried to fool them by masking the issue as a software thing, when it's clearly a design problem.

I grabbed my Nexus One from where the antenna is and completely surrounded it with my palms and only had 1 bar drop. The signal strength was about -98dBm.

If the design wasn't a failure, why is Apple giving away free cases?