Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat

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Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Dan: The drama surrounding iPhone 4 reception issues moved up a few notches yesterday when Consumer Reports announced that they were reversing position and announced that they could not recommend the iPhone 4 due to a design flaw in their external antenna. Bear in mind that they seem to love every other aspect of the phone and give it a score of 76 out of 100 with the next highest ranked phones, the iPhone 3GS and the HTC Sprint Evo each getting a 74, but the particular antenna issue is, for them, a deal breaker.

As the day went on, things heated up. Twitter was buzzing, the blogosphere was blogging and we were chatting away behind the scenes. Then last night Cult of Mac ran a post entitled “PR Experts: iPhone 4 Hardware Recall is ‘Inevitable'”.

I emailed a link to the post to Judie, Larry and Carly with the “extensive” commentary of  “Holy Crap!”.

The following Gear Chat then unfolded …

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Larry:

While I’m not saying it won’t happen I’d be very surprised if there was a recall at this point. Apple would lose millions. It’s not like a car where a simple trip to the dealer and that slap a new part in.

We’re talking about them having to replace millions of phones – based on what this perceived issue is that would involve an entirely new design, which means not “repairing” the phone but replacing them all with brand new models. It would be utterly devastating for them financially. I think they stand to lose less by calling it a non-issue and telling people to simply hold the phone a different way.

I also believe the media is blowing this issue way out of proportion. I’d love to see a survey of real-world users and how many of them are effective by, or even aware of this issue.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Judie:

I am not going to send in my flipping iPhone if there is a recall, since I do not have any issues. Then again, if they want to send me a new iPhone and let me swap mine out, then I am down with that. 😉

But seriously. I have no issues, but I wouldn’t object to a refund from Apple for the two bumpers I ordered, however.

By the way, my mom even mentioned that she had read there is a class action lawsuit coming together.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Larry:

Yup, The first suit was filed 10 days ago by two people in Maryland, and since then at least five additional class actions suits have been filed, including one in Texas.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Judie:

Gah. Nutty. Again, Kev and I both have iPhones with no issues. Do you two have any??

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Dan:

If I hold it tightly I do see a drop. But that is only when I hold it tightly without a case … Which I don’t do.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Larry:

No issues here, but I have the Clear-Coat on still – I think the side pieces stop the issue. I also don’t really hold my phone in the lower left. I tried to replicate the issue tonight for a friend and couldn’t.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Dan:

In part, this is just the blog world getting worked up in hysteria. At the same time Apple is not helping themselves by being quiet. I have a case on mine so I’m happy with it, but they can’t hide from the issue anymore.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Larry:

They aren’t hiding — they are saying it’s a non-issue. According to them, the issue is how the phone is held. Simply don’t hold it on the lower left corner and all is well. Easy fix.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Dan:

Come on. For the first time ever they release their own case … like that is an accident? They knew this was an issue. They made something that fixed it, but then charged a ton for it.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Larry:

Well sure. But that’s their fix. No one is being forced to buy the phone or the bumpers. If it doesn’t work for someone, then they have every right to return it.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Dan:

Agreed. Just don’t feed us some nonsense that it is all about the formula used to report bars etc. That is just insulting. Come clean and be done with it. Say something like “We made a design choice. It was a trade-off and we made a judgment call”. Oh, and it is not a “fix” if you have to buy it.

Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat Carly:

The amazing/stupid thing is that none of this circus would have happened if Apple had just given free bumpers to complainers. People who were angry would have been mollified by free stuff, and that’s the end of it.

This sort of reminds me of the iBook logic board issue a few years ago…apple quietly replaced logic boards but claimed a non-issue, and then suddenly if your serial number was between x and y, you could get a new board even out of warranty. (The details are fuzzy but I vaguely remember that being the solution).

My guess is free bumpers in the future to complainers…which silences enough of them that the outcry dies down.

So are you having reception issues? Does this color your perception of Apple? If you don’t have an iPhone does it make you more or less likely to get one? We want to hear from you.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.