In the wake of Consumer Reports announcing that it would not be recommending the iPhone 4 due to the much-discussed antenna problems, there have been calls for Apple to recall the device.
While a recall could be damaging to Apple's reputation, it would also be a costly endeavor, according to some calculations made by Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. In a research note on Tuesday, Sacconaghi estimated that while "a full product recall of the iPhone 4 (is) highly unlikely," it would cost Apple $1.5 billion, or 3.5 percent of its total cash on hand. … Read more
We're hearing from more folks that AT&T is giving our free microcells to make up for its lousy service. Oh, and so is Verizon. Plus: Apple's Toyota moment, Windows XP gets a reprieve until 2020, and the undead crash their car.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
The mountain of damning evidence is incontrovertible: Apple's iPhone 4 antenna design is flawed. Consumer Reports is only the latest publication to complete a battery of testing and declare what other reviewers have discovered as well: holding the phone a certain way causes repeatable reception problems that, in weaker signal areas, can lead to dropped calls.
Those lucky folks who live in areas with rock-solid AT&T reception likely won't run into the problem. Those less fortunate can reproduce it virtually at will. Here at CNET, Kent German demonstrated in video how dramatically a hand over the … Read more
Consumer Reports announced Monday that it can't recommend the iPhone 4 due to problems with its reception. According to a story posted on Consumer Reports' Web site, it is withholding the recommendation after its engineers found that when you touch the gap in the antenna on the phone's lower left side, "the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you're in an area with a weak signal."
The iPhone 4's radio woes are well-documented. The most recent tests, like our own, show dramatic radio performance issues when a part of the external antenna is gripped.
This week on the Roundtable, we delve into the electronic and radio engineering issues affecting the iPhone 4's antennas, as well as other phones. Our guests are CNET's Maggie Reardon, author of "5-bar phone signal: What's it get you?," and AnandTech's Brian Klug, who tested the iPhone for that site and co-wrote "Apple's iPhone 4: Thoroughly Reviewed."
If you want to really understand why the iPhone behaves the way it does, watch or listen to this episode of Reporters' Roundtable.
Show notes and talking points… Read more
Not to beat this dead horse any further, but there's one thing I don't get about the whole iPhone 4 antenna hubbub: don't 99 percent of users carry their phones in a case anyway? I can't remember the last time I spotted a "naked" one. (iPhone, that is, not user. Come to think of it, haven't seen many naked users, either. Which is good.)
Given Apple's carefully worded statement from July 2, we weren't expecting that the coming software update would fix the ongoing reception issues with the iPhone 4's antenna. So it wasn't surprising that an Apple Care representative confirmed that belief this afternoon.
During our call, the Apple Care rep said the update would address only how bars are displayed in the signal meter on the handset's screen. As he put it, it would fix a problem where more bars are mistakenly shown when users are in areas with poor AT&T reception. As for the … Read more
Though we've kept you informed about the ongoing debate with the iPhone 4's antenna, we haven't said what that really means for users. You may see your bars drop when you hold the handset a certain way, but how does that affect the phone's performance?
In data speed and call quality tests (see attached video), we've seen significant changes when we cover the antenna gap on the handset's lower left side. Indeed, in one call quality test, the audio cut out completely when we covered the trouble spot. But to give those findings some … Read more