While thousands of Australians would love to have bought the new iPhone 4 on 24 June alongside the estimated 1.5 million Americans who did at its launch, it seems there's a sunny-side to being asked to wait.
US customers have been reporting a variety of issues with the new smartphone, including some seemingly serious problems with network reception and faulty displays.
On the day the latest iPhone hit stores, and customers pockets, reports started to arise saying yellow bands or spots of colour were obscuring parts of the iPhone 4 display. Tech blog Gizmodo had 55 readers send in photos of the screen issue. To be fair, there will always be a portion of products that slip through manufacturing quality assurance, and the number of iPhones with discoloured displays does seem to be only a tiny fraction of the total number shipped.
More worrying is the widely reported issue of signal loss after users cover the antenna band of the headset with their hands. Apple highlighted the newly designed external antenna band on the iPhone 4 as being one of the phone's hot new features, indicating that it would offer users significantly better reception than the previous generations of iPhone. Instead, this external antenna is reportedly the cause of even weaker signals than in previous years, a problem observed by several experts even before they had a chance to use the new iPhone handset.
While the screen issues can be put down to bad luck, the design of the external antenna seems to be a major engineering blunder by Apple. This problem is currently solvable by purchasing a US$30 rubber bumper that runs around the rim of the phone (is anyone else suspicious that Apple had these accessories ready to sell at launch?) or by applying some low-fi ingenuity like the iPhone users who ran gaffa tape around the rim of the phone.
What we want to know is if these issues are making you think twice about buying a new iPhone? Are you concerned that the antenna issue could turn your shiny new iPhone into a very expensive paperweight? Let us know in the comments below.