Apple Breaks Their Silence on iPhone 4 Reception Issues

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jrb89728

I use the Itouch and my Wifi has been crap ever since I updated to 3.1
The Ipad has the same problem and it is Wifi.
The iphone uses AT&T for it's network and using 3.1 os.
Now we have the iphone 4 using 4.0 with the same network.
I updated my itouch to 4.0 and I still have the same problem with Wifi.
Great signal one moment sitting directly in front of my router and then it starts trickling down.
I think the Software is a large part of the reception problem. The iphone is constantly looking for a better signal "Better Deal" and it continues to hop around looking for better reception. The Antenna being placed on the outside of the new iphone only compounded the preexisting problem from 3.1.
They antenna was the blame for the ipad for it's signal problem as well. Now Apple is going to rewrite the formula to give you the illusion that your glass is always full instead of half empty. Smoke and Mirrors. I have two itouchs and one has 2.2.1 and the other has 4.0. Side by side and 2.2.1 has Great Wifi and 4.0 is hit and miss. Apple only compounded your problem with the Antenna. Take out your sims card and try and run off straight Wifi and you will see that the software is a problem as well.

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hummerzdca

Okay, so I didn't get my iPhone 4 ordered early. Waiting for it to leave Anchorage, (that's Fedex speak for tracking shipment) I still can't wait formit to get here! I've had all of the iPhones, and all the improves' they've made, I can take a little oops' now and then. The true Apple Crew don't jump to whine and sue at the drop of a hat...(or Aapple) I have three Macs, and four PCs in my office. Believe me, life after PCs helps me spend more of it actually doing stuff other than troubleshooting (PCs)! So again, do more with your imperfect life, and let someone make a mistake once in a while. This isn't BP in the gulf, so "please hang up and try your call again"!!!!

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vermicelli

The issues here are not complicated:

1. Apple created a phone with an exposed antenna. They either did not apply a protective coating, or misapplied it on some or all iPhones. It is common knowledge that an exposed antenna when touched will attenuate the signal
2. Apple did make substantial improvements in overall reception. Those improvements are in large part nullified by (1) above.
3. Apple also decided selling bumpers was a good idea, for the first time. They also disabled the ability to measure actual signal strength. Both suggest–but don't prove–that they knew they had a problem on their hands.
4. Apple's PR has been subpar.
5. Their software fix for the signal strength display problem will do nothing to improve reception. The fact it will take a few weeks for this software fix suggests they will also try to address the antenna problem via software. I don't know if that is possible. Even if they do, they will not announce that part of the SU.
6. Recalling all the iPhones sold to apply a coating to the antenna is prohibitively expensive. Giving away a black bumper for black iPhones and a white bumper for the upcoming white version would take care of the issue for now, and regain customer goodwill.
7. Apple is almost certainly altering iPhones currently being assembled so that the antenna is protected from contact with skin. Finding the best, cost-effective antenna coating will take some time. They probably will not announce this modification publicly. Most consumer electronic companies don't, for legal and other reasons.
8. Apple should extend their warranty and allow returns at no charge until their software fix has been released. They are admitting to this defect, after all. AT&T should also waive the restocking charge, as should all other retailers who are selling the new iPhone. Apple should be willing to absorb the restocking fee for all resellers.
9. For those who sold or otherwise disposed of their current phone to buy the new iPhone and are unhappy with it...well, part of that responsibility is yours. If your business depends on it, return the phone and buy a 3GS (if you want Apple) or any other phone, and wait for the release of the software fix. You can then decide, once it's out and tested by third parties, whether you want to buy the new iPhone again. If you don't, there are many many alternative choices on At&T and other carriers.
10. For those who have iPhones on order, cancel the order. That's what I did with my iPhone order for four iPhones. Do you really want to gamble on $200 or $300, and more importantly, the value of your time if the phone does not meet your expectations? Alternatively, budget for a bumper or case of some kind to nullify the antenna problem.
11. The BOD for Apple should ask Jobs to stop responding to emails; the same applies to those who answer emails for him. This is a business decision. Most of the email responses have been a bit condescending, and that is bad PR and could a) affect the share price and b) further jeopardize Apple's legal strategy when dealing with lawsuits.
12. For those who want to try out the new iPhone, Apple should (as in the past) report stock availability at each of their Apple stores, updated daily. They should also make sure that they have plenty of black bumpers in stock right now and sell them for $5 (or give them away gratis, as a thank you gesture for choosing the iPhone).

This controversy is not only leaving a bad taste in the mouth for Apple loyalists, but diminishing brand perception. By doing 1-12 above, there may be a negative impact on the quarterly profit for a quarter or two, but long-term negative trends in stock value should not occur.

I doubt Mr. Jobs wants his legacy at Apple to end on this very negative final note. The photos of him with Medvedev shows a very sick man (I'm a physician familiar with end-of-life issues, but it doesn't require an MD to see the pronounced muscle wasting apparent). Do the right thing, Mr. Jobs and when you leave the company, we can celebrate all you've done for Apple for the past 25 years. You have every right to be proud, but a little humility now would help an awful lot.

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teawithanaccent

I am very happy with my IPhone 4. I only had my new IPhone 3GS a couple of weeks and then received my new one. I have to say that reception is better than with the 3GS. I have done my own investigation and fine that without the case if I hold it there is definately a problem. However once the case is on there are no problems at all. Being in the retail business myself, you will never make everyone happy at the same time.

Thank you Apple for all of the great products that you put out.

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teawithanaccent

I am very happy with my IPhone 4. I only had my new IPhone 3GS a couple of weeks and then received my new one. I have to say that reception is better than with the 3GS. I have done my own investigation and fine that without the case if I hold it there is definately a problem. However once the case is on there are no problems at all. Being in the retail business myself, you will never make everyone happy at the same time.

Thank you Apple for all of the great products that you put out.

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johndm3inv

What a horrible response...and VERY disappointing. I might have actually believed the response if I didn't personally switch from 3Gs to iPhone4 and notice the considerable reception differences between the two phones!!! However...Im sure this response was created with just that in mind...to calm the fears of future buyers, versus providing a solutions to current owners.

No joke... 80% of the time... my calls take 2 to 5 times longer to connect and start ringing... I have lost service repeatedly in areas where I never lost service with the 3Gs...and even the data network is considerably spotty and often freezes while using a browser now.

Answer those questions Apple. This is not just a visual issue...it's an ACTUAL issue! Good thing I have Verizon and a Droid Incredible as well so I can make & receive calls when my iPhone reception sucks.

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b_dubb

everyone likes to talk smack about Apple product releases. if the iPhone were flawless, someone would find something to complain about. I've run into numerous owners of the ne iPhone. none have been able to replicate the describes error. additionally, these bumps and headaches are the price you pay for being an early adopter. so remain calm. a fix is in the works.

btw - AT&T drops calls regardless of what phone you are using

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Thomasj106

So basically what Apple is saying to us is that once we've past our 30 day window of opportunity to return the phone and cancel our AT&T contracts, they will issue a software repair that will in essence, not solve the problem, but trick our eyes into thinking that the problem is solved...not matter how long it takes to download a page in Safari or how many times we have to call back the person we were trying to have a conversation with.

Apple has a more serious problem here. You've simply lost our trust in the company and Steve Jobs. We do not appreciate being taken for fools. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me" The outlook for my future purchases of Apple products seems unlikely unless Apple does REALLY admit that there is a real problem here and will do whatever it takes to correct it without dancing around the facts. When I make a mistake, I fess-up, man-up, and fix it. Contrition goes a long way.

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paidion123

Wow, I can't believe you can return it for a full refund. Who'll jump on this to 'sacrifice' with a 3G(s) model until the end of 2010 and then switch over to Verizon?

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Loup407

I agree with Thomas. I don't care how many bars are showing, my iPhone 4 drops calls where my 3GS didn't; WHEN I AM HOLDING THE PHONE. The Bumper doesn't help that much, either.

Something yet to be addressed by anyone is the iPhone 4's inability to play nice with the AT&T MicroCell. Its enough of a slap in the face to have to pay $150 to fix AT&T's ineptitude; it's another when the new iPhone drops every call while connected to the MCell, and has a stuttering signal when more than 10 feet away. Check out AT&T's forums to see there are a number of people with this problem.

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Thomasj106

Apple says “Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong.”

Tom says “Upon investigation, I was stunned to find that the formula Apple uses to calculate how many idiots they think are out here is totally wrong.”

Fixing the display so that bars indicate a false signal strength does not fix the dropped calls nor the poor call quality. Software cannot fix or compensate for a bad hardware design. You can tell me that AT&T is providing me poor signal quality (which is true fact) but the real fact is if I make a call while showing 4-5 bars and not holding the phone, I can talk uninterrupted & with complete clarity for an entire 20 minute conversation. Without moving from my location, but by holding the phone, the display shows a flatlined signal. I cannot connect many calls, I drop connected calls, and/or the entire conversation is broken up. Changing the display WILL NOT fix that problem. Listen to a portable radio with an external antenna and grab the antenna. The signal is interrupted by grounding the metal antenna and the radio produces poor sound or just static. The problem exists. Period.

While in my office or house (which, btw, has ALWAYS showed 4 bars on my 3GS in both locations and made calls with clarity and never dropped them in either location) the iPhone 4 shows 4 bars as well. The calls are successful AS LONG AS I AM NOT HOLDING THE PHONE.

Apple seems to think that they again are going to pull the wool over our eyes. Steve Jobs needs to man-up, take responsibility for this mistake, step up to the plate and FIX THE PROBLEM. This got past Quality Control. I am not happy about it but it happens. What I am pissed off about is that they are denying it and are looking to make it a casual issue by appeasing the masses with yet another mistake, hoping that the people will be gullible enough to accept it. C’mon Apple, I have become a loyal fan in the past year, switching from a PC to a Mac and from a Palm Treo to an iPhone. Don’t treat me like I’m an idiot. That I won’t tolerate.

I am mad at myself for two things. 1) I know that holding an antenna without insulating myself from grounding it will produce poor signal. I grew up in a time when cars had aerials and we all had transistor radios with retractable antennas that you didn’t touch when you were listening to them. Why that didn’t cross my mind, I’ll never know. 2) Selling my 3GS prematurely. I would gladly take my new iPhone 4 back to AT&T, cancel the new two year contract, and reactivate my (virtually flawless) 3GS. I would have to eat the $$ I spent on protection gear for my iPhone 4 but it would worth it. It would it also serve to re-teach me a lesson that I already knew…NEVER buy a new product the moment it hits the market.

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jiubreyn

You do have the option of returning the phone for a refund. That's why there are return policies in place.

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