back to article Consumer Reports: 'We were wrong about the iPhone 4'

One of — if not the — most respected product-testing labs has reversed its original positive opinion of the iPhone 4, citing results of its comprehensive testing of the Jobsian handheld's pesky antenna. "Consumer Reports has confirmed that the iPhone 4 has an antenna problem," says spokesman Mike Gikas. "We tested multiple …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thank you science...

    ..for confirming that Jobs is a lying piece of crap.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Science eh?

      It has a lovely habit of catching out charlatans and soothsayers...

    2. Doug Glass

      Or Maybe ...

      ...he's just not as intelligent as all his fans ASSume him to be. Maybe he's the ultimate shill; the ultimate mouthpiece. Maybe he's the bite out of the apple.

    3. Anonymous Coward


      You can prove anything with 'facts'.

  2. David Barrett

    I did wonder...

    When they came out saying it was a software fault I did wonder how they were going to explain the you tube videos showing the fault ONLY when they are bridged... Waiting to see them backtrack again will be fun!

    Im going to go an patent rubber coated arials before apple get onto the idea...

  3. Lewis Mettler 1

    idiots at Apple

    No doubt idiots run Apple.

    Yea, put some duck tape on that device. It will improve it.

    1. blackworx
      Thumb Up

      Duct tape

      Normally I'd be all for that sort of advice. If it can't be fixed with duct tape then it ain't worth having!

      But since this is Apple and I'm a Reg commentard I say Cupertino should be bombed to oblivion, all Apple fanboys burnt at the stake and Steve Jobs encased in carbonite as a warning to (and reanimation risk for) future generations.

      1. Antony Riley

        Duct tape

        Apparently in Finland and Sweden they call it Jesus tape.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: idiots at Apple

      "No doubt idiots run Apple."

      Well, Apple make some pretty decent profits, so no doubt even bigger idiots run some of their competitors...

      "Yea, put some duck tape on that device."

      That'll stop you from touching the ariel, so it's cheaper, better and smaller solution than El Reg's suggestion that Apple gives away free cases!

      btw. It's "duct tape" - unless of course you're talking about some vetinary-only tape for use on aquatic avians that us normal people never get to hear about?

      1. Wrenchy

        You do realize...

        "Duck Tape" is an actual brand of duct tape.

        So calling it duck tape could also be correct.... Sort of like saying "Scotch Tape" for adhesive tape.

        If only I had some Penguin Tape for my 12 year old Linux Box....

        1. James Melody

          Or sellotape?

          I have never heard someone say adhesive tape.

          1. Gordon is not a Moron


            as it's being put on a mobile phone wouldn't that make it a cell-o-tape?

          2. David Simpson 1


            In Australia they call sticky tape Durex !

      2. Mark 65


        "That'll stop you from touching the ariel"

        Is that "ariel" as in the Disney character, or as in the washing powder?

      3. J 3


        "unless of course you're talking about some vetinary-only tape"

        I believe the Patrician's name is spelled Vetinari, and I shudder just to think of what he might do with such exclusive tape.

        1. Oliver Mayes

          @ J 3

          "I believe the Patrician's name is spelled Vetinari, and I shudder just to think of what he might do with such exclusive tape."

          He wouldn't do anything, he'd just casually leave a roll sitting on his desk when you turned up for a meeting with him and let you imagine the worst yourself.

      4. Mat
        Thumb Down

        Duck tape is a brand...

        Here it is.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I don't know where you "normal people" come from

        ...but around here we like our Hoovers, Aspirin, Sellotape and

        1. Anonymous Coward


          The thing about Hoover and Sellotape is that they achieved synonymity by innovating or by cornering the market and cementing their own presence in the public mind.

          Duck tape is only called Duck because they're trying to cash in on the fact that the world seems to be full of idiots who can't spell "duct".

          1. frymaster

            "duck tape is a brand of duct tape" - you want a bet?


            apparently - (and other sources on the net bear this out) "duck" is the original word used

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            And idiots who don't know

            that it's really called gaffer tape.

            I'm told that it's short for godfather, a nickname for the head electrician in a theatre (running the gods, i.e. alll that stuff over the stage an audiences heads) as he (invariably male) would hold it as it used to be rather expensive.

            1. Tom 35

              that it's really called gaffer tape.

              No gaffer tape is different. When you peel it off you don't have sticky bits left behind. Duck tape is designed to stay stuck, gaffer tape is designed to stick for a time (say holding down cables) then come off clean when the job is done. It also costs a lot more then duck tape.

            2. Anonymous Coward

              Theatre Gods

              last time I checked, the Gods were the really cheap seats. Very high up above the lighting rigs, where you can't see the back of the stage, which is why all the luvvies come right to the front of the stage to be seen by everyone. The stuff above the stage is the flies, which is they fly stuff in and out of the stage.

              But tape belonging to the Stage Manager, so the boss or 'gaffer', who's job seems to be wandering around the stage, putting stuff on the floor to mark prop\scenery positions does make sense.

          3. Anonymous Coward

            Idiots who can't spell duct tape?

            No, the final letter in 'duct' gets absorbed into the first letter in 'tape' when spoken together, and the words seem to be 'duc tape' As most people don't use tape on their ducts or know what a duct is, but do know a duck when they see one. Quack quack

        2. FreeTard
          Thumb Up


          ... you mean disprin or paracetemol, never heard anyone ever say Aspirin, except in Hollywood movies, or for thinning out your blood.

          I'm with you on the rest though.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            "you mean disprin or paracetemol"

            Are you saying you think paracetemol is brand name for aspirin?!

            Glad you're not my doctor!

          2. James Hughes 1


            Aspriin???? To be honest, everyone I have ever met calls it Aspirin. Not disprin.

            Parrots Ate them all on the other had.

      6. Brian 64

        Yes, def fail.

        "btw. It's "duct tape" - unless of course you're talking about some vetinary-only tape for use on aquatic avians that us normal people never get to hear about?"

        btw Duck Tape is a brand of duct tape. Don't spend much time at the ole home and garden store do you, smartass?

        Oh, and by the way, it's "veterinary ".

    3. Big-nosed Pengie

      Duck tape?

      Would that be tape made out of ducks, or tape used on ducks? Is that like tape used on hamsters?

    4. this

      Sticky-backed plastic!

      Blue Peter could fix this, no problem.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    has anyone seen the antenna test on a white iphone?

    as an anonymous coward, I ask one question. Does the antenna issue occur with the white iphone? could the need to rectify such an issue explain the fact that this model is not currently available?

    1. Robert Hill
      Jobs Horns

      Don't think so...

      they admitted shipping delays to the white iPhones weeks before the antenna fault (not an issue, now we can call it a FAULT!) came to light. I suspect it really is just a fact that they could not get a durable white finish on the glass back that they were happy with.

      Now if only they had tested the ANTENNA as much as the white finish...

    2. BeefStirFry
      Thumb Up

      Your over reacting guys...

      Ok, you know that black iPhone and its antennae problem, its actually caused by the phone being black! I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but think about it, black as a colour has a different light wavelength than white. And therefore, the delayed White iPhones will work much better... Nothing to do with the White iPhone being re-engineered...

  5. BigFire

    reality distortion field

    Lets see how well Steve Job's "Reality Distortion Field" holds up. To the fanboys, nothing to see here. It's an Apple iPhone, what more do you need to know?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Move along now... Nothing to see here....

    Interesting report. Not so much that the iPhone4 reception is affected by bridging the gap and detuning the antenna, which is to be expected, especially if you have a sweaty hand and press hard (though from my own experience no discernible effect with normal dry hand holding). More that from my reading of the article they don't get any effect holding any other phone! Plenty of decent authoritative reports on the web, in addition to youtube videos, showing exactly the same issue with plenty of other makes. Basically, if you stick the antenna on the outside you'll get better reception than if you put it on the inside but this will drop to some degree if you hold it and detune the antenna. The effect should be somewhat less noticeable with an internal antenna but it's reception will be a little poorer to start with. Reception in both cases will be affected by sticking a bag of water (eg a hand) between the phone antenna and the rest of the world.

    IMHO it's all a non issue since the phone works at least as well as any other phone that I have used and certainly better than some. I happen to like a lot of the other features so am delighted with it. It fulfils the Apple promise of 'just working'. If you don't like it... just buy something else, there are plenty of phones to choose from... just try never to pick your phone up if you're that worried about reception ;-)

    1. DaveyDaveDave

      "It fulfils the Apple promise of 'just working'"

      Really? Do you want to think about that for a minute? Surely this entire fault is around the fact that it definitely doesn't *just work*, at least, not for making calls.

      1. hplasm
        Jobs Horns

        It just works-

        -just about.

  7. Robert Hill

    Damned faults...

    Now Apple has done it - I delayed buying one due to "not wanting to be an alpha tester", and boy am I glad I did....

    The problem is, I STILL need to buy one, even knowing the faults, as the battery on my 2 year old 3G isn't that good anymore, and I really do want to use iOS 4. And I have too many applications to really want to move to Android.

    Does anyone that actually HAS an iPhone 4 have opinions (sure to be) on how much of an issue this is for them in real life? Without a case or bumper? I'll probably wait a week or two at least to see what Apple's reaction to this is, but I'd love to know what others are experiencing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is a real problem

      I've had the phone about a week now, and can say that the issue is certainly real. As I am right-handed, my usual grip for one-handed operation of the phone is fine. But for two-handed operation, holding the phone in the left hand resting against the base of the thumb, the signal will drop to nil. Using the phone two-handed in landscape mode tends to be OK for me.

      I have been using the phone without a case.

    2. the bat
      Thumb Up

      That Battery can change

      Check the web they are videos on how to change the battery. will call for a soldering gun and patience.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        re: That Battery can Change

        I'm sorry, but that's one of the major reasons I've refused to buy an iPod, iPhone, or MacBook Air: when the battery runs out, you throw the whole goddamn' device away (or, iirc, in the case of the MacBook Air, you send the whole damn computer back to Apple to have the battery replaced).

        Jeezus, that's just wasteful as hell, man. After forty-odd years of warnings about pollution, resource depletion and "throw-away society", producing devices like that is just goddamn' criminal.

        1. Robert Hill

          Battery replacement...

          I have heard about the 3G battery replacement, and I am rather handy with a soldering iron myself.

          And I am aware that preserving my 3G is ecologically the "sound" thing to do.

          But I bought the 3G KNOWING it would only really be current for 18 - 24 months. I am burdened with a sock drawer full of unused mobile phones: a BB Bold 9600 (that I really should sell), a 1st gen HTC Touch, a huge HTC WinMobile slider with a 3" touchscreen and a full qwerty keyboard, even a Moto A780 Linux touchscreen phone that is rare as hen's teeth. There are a few even older ones kicking around as well, and an N95 that is missing, presumed dead.

          The point is, I only have one left trousers pocket, and I want a current phone in it. The big deal for me is the new camera and flash, funnily enough - I seem to carry either my full DSLR set-up, or just my mobile. Guess which is more available most of the time? So that is something that just replacing the battery will not fix...nor will it get me iOS 4.

          But thanks for everyone's input - it is very very instructive. I suspect that Apple will start giving away bumpers soon, but I hate them and probably will just watch the way I hold it, as several have said they do. The fact that Tescos does a 12 month contract for the iPhone 4 may make buying one palatable - you can put up with flaws if you know that in a year it will be replaceable with a fixed model - and I can always sell my old one to keep it out of a landfill! Well, I probably have to, I am running out of room for socks in that drawer...

        2. Vialli


          You can change the battery but it is quite scary unless you are comfortable taking electronic devices to pieces. I changed the battery on my 3rd generation iPod once it became utterly unusable and I was almost surprised when it worked perfectly afterwards! Looking at the guide for the newer iPhones it is even more difficult as the battery is soldered in. It really should be easier to do.

        3. B 9

          Except that what you just said is not true

          You can get a new battery installed on any of those devices. Problem solved. Rant defused.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The battery on iphone 3g and up is taped into the device...and connected using sprung contacts.

        But you have to remove the motherboard as the battery is underneath it.

        LOADS of tiny little screws...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      As someone with one...

      I've had one since the day after it came out (NOT a fanboy though) I'd have to say there's a lot of variation in how big a problem this can be - if you're using the internet or have just 2-3 bars then touching it in the bottom left or indeed almost atall on the metal can sometimes kill it (and even when you remove your hand it remains confused for a few minutes).

      It's not so much of a problem for phone calls in the middle of a city, or even data usage in mid-city, since the signal's so strong it doesn't really do too much harm, but it's still not ideal - there's large areas with just a couple of bars in all cities due to buildings/etc after all.

      It's been obvious to me since day one that regardless of what Apple would say (and have said) it's clearly a major fault with their hardware design. It's not affected me too much, but when it has and then Jobs comes out with some BS about it being a faulty signal indication code snippet which makes no sense whatsoever it's rather annoying. I've not bought a bumper simply because selling bits of plastic & rubber with likely a 10000% markup, when they've likely only been made because Apple had this problem, is scumbaggish. I'll be buying a decent case from someone else at some point though, likely even if/when Apple is finally shamed/forced into giving free bumpers out.

      Let's be frank: unless Jobs is an utterly arrogant & deceptive little toerag, he knowingly lied to all iPhone 4 owners & fanboys and has been since this first came to light. If he

    4. ThomH

      Yep, happens for me

      I'm a right handed person, and therefore in the habit of holding the phone in my left hand in order to reliably touch things on the screen. Holding it naturally causes the reception bars to drop from five to one in my central London flat (though it retains the 3G signal) and from five to three in my not-quite-so-central office.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        I got one with a bumper

        I got the bumper before this issue was raised to stop the fascias getting scratched and to give a little cushioning if i drop it.

        I haven;y noticed any problem at all.

    5. Paw Bokenfohr

      I have one...

      ...and I don't have any problems at all. I do have it in a case of course, but for me that's normal; I've had mobile phones since 1994 and always had a case on them. I like to upgrade from time to time, so it protects the resale value, stops them getting scratched up from the inevitable knocks that real life gives, and probably in this case stops me having any problems with the signal strength. It's at least as good if not better than my old 3G, and definitely better than my partners current 3GS. It's actually as good as my Nokia 6230 which I still have and keep as an emergency phone (or use abroad with a local SIM), and that's saying something as Nokias in my opinion are the best in that field.

    6. Ascylto

      I've got one

      I've had my iPhone 4 for a few weeks and I've had no problems at all with it. However, I wonder if it's just not a problem where I am. I'm with o2 and their signal is just fine in Manchester area UK.

    7. hplasm
      Jobs Horns

      Just replace the battery in your 3G...

      oh- wait...

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Robert Hill - From Someone With the iPhone4

      Yes, I have one! I live in an area with a strong singal. I've made calls with and without the bumper and don't have problems. However, if your area isn't too great with signal, I couldn't recommend it without testing it myself.

      Bottom line is - I'm having no problems but I do live in an area with very good signal

    9. BeefStirFry

      iPhone 4

      I had the problem with the iPhone 4 reception losing 3G signal completely from 5 bars when bridging the bottom left area without a case on. I got a bumper, and still got the signal loss from 5 bars to 1 bar, but it just about held the 3G reception still.

      Sold it on eBay and made £200 profit... Waiting for the re-engineered version to come out in September..

    10. B 9

      Doubt this will get published

      I have one and love it. No problems whatsoever. Only advice, advice I would have given anyway, is get a case to protect your $600 phone. The bonus is the case you get now insulates you from this problem (assuming you would have had the problem at all). I am completely happy with mine and I think the issue has been overblown by Android fanboys.

  8. Narg

    I confirmed this too...

    I also confirmed with my iPhone 4 this problem does exsist. However, I fixed it with the Apple Bumper accessory. I think Apple should included Bumpers at no cost (and reimburse those who have paid for the Bumpers). The phone looks better with the bumper IMHO anyway.

    It's too bad Apple chose form over function on this pass of the iPhone. Apple will always be about themselves, and never about the consumer.

    1. ThomH

      How well does the bumper protect against falls though?

      It looks to me like they're charging more for less protection?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        OMG, how often do you drop your phone? Me, I've never dropped my phone, and I'm not the most physically coordinated person in the world, so why would someone be *so* worried about dropping the phone? Setting it down on something or sliding it on the table is what I'd be worried about, not dropping it. I would suggest that quite a few phones won't survive a drop, this one shouldn't be any different?

        The bumpers aren't guaranteeing protection against a drop, just average everyday use.

        1. ThomH

          I'm quite clumsy

          It's way above even my average, but I've had the phone four days and so far dropped it twice. Well, once, and once it just slid off a surface that appeared to be flat but apparently wasn't quite. Both times onto hard wood floor and not a scratch yet, but I never underestimate my own clumsiness. And, yes, the brand of phone is irrelevant.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          off a four foot wall (watering the garden) a few years back, onto asphalt, and my RAZR flew out of my pocket and into the road, the battery and back cover separating and bouncing away and it all worked fine when I put it back together. A year or so later when I got pissed off with T-Mobile spamming me and decided to bin the sim on my KZR, I couldn't get the back off. Eventually I threw it against the wall. The cover came off. I binned the sim. I still have that phone and it still works perfectly well. No cosmetic damage either. The RAZR had so little it wasn't really noticeable if you weren't looking for it. I take Motorola robustness as the benchmark these days.

          If anyone would like me to throw their iPhone against a wall, get in touch!

  9. regviewer

    Apple lied to consumers - not good.

    Apple lied to themselves so they can lie to consumers without guilt. Does that mean Apple's own laboratory results that showed no problems with the iPhone 4's antenna design is also corrupted to produce false results? Apparently so. I can't believe Apple lied to their own iPhone fans.

    So if your iPhone 4 is working perfectly fine, think again. It's just Apple's admittedly deceptive practices in manipulated the signal graphic bars to look good, when in fact, is fake. And when your call drops unexpectedly even though a neighboring person with an iPhone 3Gs works perfectly fine, you might consider returning your iPhone 4 back to the store for a full refund. But if you don't and find yourself in an emergency situation without reception signal, don't tell the judge you were not warned.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ...because you've got one and are in a better position to make claims than the other posters who do?

  10. Bear Features
    Jobs Horns


    ... and there was me thinking it was a software issue. I mean, Apple know their product better than anyone right? I mean, they wouldn't have said it was a software issue to pull the wool over our eyes would they? They are honest folk. We all chortle everytime Jobs sends one of his one liners where if it was anyone else we'd call them rude sonsabeeches.

    So this means Apple lied? *gasp*


  11. Monty Burns

    fanboi mate of mine

    I mentioned that Jobs had finaly flipped when he said that "your holding it wrong" to a new iPhone 4 owner friend. He said, and quote "I call BS. I have no issues no matter how much I try to recreate it".....

    Accused me of hating the iphone, which I don't. I think it would be a great phone for my fiancee however, ANYONE who claims i'm holding a phone wrong..... well, thats where it all goes wrong. Seriously, did you ever hear Gates say anything like that?

    Between Jobs at Apple and the fiasco that is the directors of MS, is it any wonder Google are taking big chunks of market share?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Your friend might be a crazy hardcore Apple fanboy, but it's possible he's just being foolish when trying to recreate the issue. I don't get any change to the bars immediately when I try to recreate the bridging effect (though certainly the effect happens ~immediately), you have to wait a while.

      From what I would expect and have experienced, I suspect the bars are updated every minute/few - so you might have to wait an entire minute for it to be visible, and on average at least 30 seconds. If he's like most of the people who try to test this, they'll put their finger there, press hard, etc - but then remove their finger 5 seconds later and exclaim there's no visible change. No actual testing of data speeds/call performance & no patience.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @Monty Burns

      "Seriously, did you ever hear Gates say anything like that?"

      No but he did famously say "Who is going to need more than 640k of memory?", so maybe not the best comparison.

      1. Beritknight

        Bill Gates? No he didn't.

        Actually all available records suggest that Bill Gates *didn't* say that.

        If you've got an actual source for Bill Gates saying that, I'd love to see it.

        (A proper citation, date, time, location, who he was speaking to, etc, not just "I read somewhere that Bill Gates said")

  12. Gregg Stuart

    It's not just the iPhone

    I've found HTC has the problem as well. If you run the bluetooth, GPS and charge the phone in your car (which is perfectly reasonable if like me you also us the phone as your primary GPS), the phone will heat up a lot and you'll see that your GSM reception goes right down or drops off altogether. I've had this happen on a XDA Ignito (P3600) and the newer HTC HD2.

    1. Steve K

      HTC HD2 has other problems too

      I agree with the heating/signal issues on the HTC HD2. I got rid of mine bacause the signal dropped out even though the indicators were showing full-strength 3G.

      The HTC HD2 is proof that you can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter. That turd is mainly Windows Mobile 6.5, but partly the HD2 hardware/firmware too. I should have got an iPhone....


      1. Anonymous Coward

        HD2 hardware = turd???

        In what way? It was top of the line for HTC devices when it came out.

        It has HSDPA 3G, Wifi-N, removable battery, microSD support for up to 32GB, a 1GHz snapdragon CPU, an 800*480 4.3" capacitive scratchproof toughened glass screen, and decent enough battery life.

    2. deadbeef

      RE: It's not just the iPhone

      But your describing a different problem there all together. Bluetooth, GPS + charging in a car and heating up resulting in signal drop? The iPhone issue is when just simply holding the phone. I can't say I've seen the signal symptoms you describe when stationary in my car using Sat Nav software with GPS. I could understand it if your driving around though, as that's to be expected.

      What I certainly know for sure though is that when holding my HTC HD2 normally in either my left or right hand it doesn't have signal drop offs. In fact I even see the HSDPA or 3G signal bars increase on occasion.

      I only see the signal drop a bar or two ONLY if I completely wrap both hands around ALL edges of the entire phone (extreme case obviously). But it never drops to the point where I have poor or no signal like on my girlfriends iPhone 4G. If I have say 2 bars of HSDPA signal and I wrap both my hands around it and two bars drop down, then it switches down to 4 bars of 3G. Still a very very strong signal. Even in a bad signal area and loosing the 3G signal it would still be fine dropping down to 4 bars of slower GPRS signal.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You won't see that overheating problem on an iPhone because when the iPhone gets too warm it does this which kills all signal and all phone usage.

  13. ArmanX

    I've not been able to see the effect in person on an iPhone...

    ...but I have seen a similar effect on my MotoDroid. When I hold the phone landscape-wise and grasp both ends... I get another bar of signal strength. This works regardless of bars, all the way down getting a single bar when before it said "no signal."

    I'm sure the effect isn't the same for every Droid, but it does point out one thing - when you attenuate the antenna, assume your user will be holding it. Anything else is product suicide.

  14. Number6

    Not just any tape...

    No doubt there will be a piece of Apple Approved tape in a suitable colour scheme that will blend in with the overall look-and-feel user experience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re:Not just any tape...

      Don't be daft.

      There will be a pack of 5 Apple Approved tapes one each of a range of colours, so you may attach the one that best matches your mood on the day.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        The 4 colours of the Bumper

        4 grey, 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 Black

        Monday - Thursday, I don’t like the lost calls but I accept the Jobsian excuses,

        Friday, I couldn't phone my girlfriend, Grrrr

        Saturday, I was going to complain to Apple, but I changed my mind.

        Sunday, god I hate this heap if useless shit.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It does seem an amazing coincidence that the iPhone 4 is the first iPhone to feature an Apple OEM bumper accessory if there isn't an issue as Apple claim.

  16. JaitcH
    Jobs Horns

    What do Ford and Apple have in common?

    Both Ford Motors and Apple share defective lead products. The Ford Edsel < > was the joke of the automotive world, just as Apples iCrap 4 is a much-hyped engineering failure.

    Jobs/Apple lied, more than once, trying to act 'surprised' his software engineers got it wrong. He also lied about the antennae being defective.

    Now a respected organisation, the US Consumer Reports, has confirmed the defects which must be the biggest gauntlet that Jobs/Apple is likely to see this side of government.

    But watch the Apple Lemmings continue flocking to the nearest iCrap store to buy yet another failed Apple product. Truly unbelievable! I think the old adage "There's one born every minute" is wrong when it comes to buying these defective things.

    By my calculation 1000000000 minutes (or suckers) works out to be 1000000000 / 60 = 16666667 hours ; and 16666667 / 24 = 694444.5 days and these 694444.5 / 365 = 1902.6 years for the a minimum total number of Lemmings who have wasted their money on these things.

    Jobs claims to have sold over 50-million iCrap phones < >. 1,902.6 times 5 = 104, 643 years in which idiots need to have been born, and assuming they had limitless lifetimes.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      Wow, what a ridiculous rant. Did you have to wipe off your keyboard after hitting submit?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    RE: What do Ford and Apple have in common?

    "But watch the Apple Lemmings continue flocking to the nearest iCrap store to buy yet another failed Apple product"

    Oho. I find it far more amusing that people still buy Windows. There have been more copies of that garbage sold than their have iPhones.

    ps. the iPhone 4 (or 'ICrap" as you call it, presumably because you're so retarded you got distracted half way through writing) isn't the "lead model". It's version 4 FFS!

    1. Anonymous Coward


      The difference is that windows lusers don't harp on about how brilliant the blatently flawed product is. Most of them just dont have a suitable alternative or are force fed at work.

      the windoze fanboi really is a very rare thing.

    2. JaitcH
      Jobs Horns

      Linux Rules

      I use Linux not Windows, along with Rim's (for security).

      The point is:

      (a) Jobs and Apple have lied - hard to fix a hardware defect with software;

      (b) Only a fool would buy a defective product;

      (c) And it's use is restricted - unlike competing products;

      (d) Even Windows is usually right by the second service pack - and Apple is on Version FOUR!..

    3. ChrisC Silver badge
      Thumb Down


      "I find it far more amusing that people still buy Windows."

      People still buy Windows because, despite its flaws, it forms the software core around which you can build a genuinely useful and productive system. Yes, other OS's exist and may be an equally good if not better choice for certain people performing certain combinations of tasks, but Windows is really pretty good at being a jack of all trades OS.

      "the iPhone 4 (or 'ICrap" as you call it, presumably because you're so retarded you got distracted half way through writing) isn't the "lead model". It's version 4 FFS!"

      It's the lead model if, as I suspect the OP was doing, you use "lead" in place of the slightly longer "leading", or as an alternative to "premier", "top", "frontline" or any other word intended to describe a product as being the latest and greatest piece of kit being pushed by the manufacturer.

      Indeed, whereas this use of "lead model" sits quite comfortably with me, the use you have in mind - "lead" being synonymous with "debut", "initial", "launch" etc - is one I've only heard used rarely, and usually then only around the time when the first version is released - e.g. "we'll lead with the release of version X before introducing version Y later this year".

      Then again, given how crap the iPhone 4 can be at holding onto a signal in the wrong hands (or even the right ones if placed wrongly), perhaps the OP actually meant it was about as much use as an inflatable gas container constructed from a base metal...

  18. Mike Flugennock
    Jobs Horns

    Duct tape?

    Duct tape working, but spoiling the look? No problem; I'm sure your local Apple Store will be more than happy to sell you small roll of perfectly-sized and colored iPhone Antenna iDuct iTape™ for $200.

    (Disclaimer: Loyal and enthusiastic MacOS user since 1985)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Nice Sarcasm, BUT

      The bumper™ is $29.99

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Failure to understand the problem

    Okay, to everybody who says other phones experience the same problem:

    Uh, really?

    Because the problem in question is that you can touch the antennas. What other phone is designed so that you can touch its antenna(s)? Are you talking about a StarTac from 10 years ago with a pull-out antenna? Or did you disassemble your Droid to do this?

    If you just want to say that you can hold your phone in such a way that it loses a bar or two of signal, then please STFU and go away. You are part of the problem.

    1. Neil 7

      @Failure to understand the problem

      "Are you talking about a StarTac from 10 years ago with a pull-out antenna?"

      Actually, the pull-out antenna on the StarTac was made of plastic and existed only because American focus groups convinced Motorola that a visible antenna was required after their engineers had carefully hidden it internally...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Duct tape is more than a miracle adhesive

    it's a balm for the soul of the unprepared and inept.

    1. Ralphe Neill
      Jobs Horns

      Somebody had to say this ...

      It's also like the FORCE ... it has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe (and iPhones) together ...

  21. Wrenchy

    The REAL problem here is....

    The guys at Consumer Reports were testing the iPhone 4 wrong...

    They never consulted one of those Apple Geniuses on how to properly test the phone...

    1. James Hughes 1

      Apple don't have any testing genius's (genii?)

      That should be self evident by now......

  22. stolennomenclature

    when is a phone not a phone?

    Some irony here in the fact that the one main function this device cannot perform correctly is its supposed prime function - being a phone. It is after all called an iPhone. Perhaps they should call it an "iThing" or "iGadget" instead? That might be cheaper than trying to fix it.

    Seriously, how could such a flawed device ever get out of the labs of a major company like this without being properly tested - what a blunder. And to think people have to pay a premium price for this device.

  23. Big-nosed Pengie
    Jobs Horns

    Who cares?

    It's not a phone - it's a fashion accessory. It makes you look cool. That's all it needs to do.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    For sale...

    Not satisfied with reception of your iPhone? Not willing to shell out 29.95 for bumpers? How about $20.00? No? $10.00 still to outrageous? Since you are a personal friend of mine, send me $5.95 (plus s&h) and you too can be the proud owner of not 1, not 2, not 3 but FOUR iAntenna repair kits (tm, patented, sm, copyright, finders keepers, habeas corpus).

    We’re not like Apple, we won’t sell you a bushel of goods that don’t deliver. Our product has been independently verified by CU! (full red circle!)

    You can have any color as long as it’s silver; but you can paint them, color them, put them on the kids, or your friends! Be the life of parties, save marriages and part water with iAntenna patch repair kits (tm, ptented, sm, copyright finders keepers, habeas corpus).

    If you buy two sets and I’ll bark like a dog for free!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They will just sue you.

      I thought about hawking 6" lengths of duc(kt) tape for 10 quid outside Starbucks but I don't want to be extradited.

  25. Mage Silver badge

    Bumpers, Cases

    Why all the fuss about the styling of iPhone, iPod, iTouch when the 1st thing people get is a case or bumper?

    No-one else's PMPs or Phones seem to need a 2nd case. The manufacturer's case is good enough. Though on many nokias you can change or replace most of the casing for the price of a couple of coffees.

    1. Adrian Esdaile

      do you superglue your phone to your hand?

      "No-one else's PMPs or Phones seem to need a 2nd case."

      So I guess you go Captain Android and surgically implant your phone then? Or just use Duck Tape and tape it to your duck, then staple your duck to your hand?

      Me, I'm just an ordinary human 1.0 so after I dropped (and broke) my very first mobile phone back in the 90's (A Nokia 1550 - landed on it's aerial and sheared the mainboard apart.) I have bought a good case for EVERY expensive electronic gadget I have ever owned, from a laser tape measure to use on building sites to Palm Pilots, various Nokia/Motorola/Sony/Appple phones.

      If you're human, you will drop things - a thin bit of vinyl or leather costing $20 is better than replacing a shattered $700 bit of kit.

  26. Donald Becker

    Not entirely off-topic: it really is 'duck' tape

    The name comes from the original structure of the tape. It was made of cotton duck, a type of cotton canvas, with a gum adhesive. It became wildly popular with the military in WWII.

    It's actually really bad for sealing ducts -- not the right product at all.

    1. Randy Hudson


      Duck tape for sealing ducts - Remind anyone of the movie "The In-laws"?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do they still do Topics?

      How is it for sealing whacks?

  27. 7mark7

    Maybe ...

    ... the antenna coating they were going to use was toxic and resulted in high 'casualty' rates amongst those who built it?

  28. Paul 129

    Can drop up to 20 dB

    -3dB is 1/2 power

    So the reception power can drop to somewhere between 1/64th and 1/128th, of the origional, just by touching part of the phone.

    Lawyers Ahoy!

  29. Darkwolf

    Easy fix...

    ... since the phone is not meant to be opened up, cover any ports (such as power) with a small piece of foam, then go around the outside of the phone with polycrylic (dont get on foam).

    3 or 4 thin layers of this will then insulate the phone without affecting the look.

    1. Arctic fox
      IT Angle

      Easy? Likely you are right but.......

      .......I'll be damned if I am willing to part with 400 or so of my hard-earned and then have to araldite it to make it work properly!

    2. hplasm

      Or ordinary cement.

      For the rugged look.

  30. Arctic fox

    Lots and lots of.......

    .......wonga, because that what it is going to cost to rescue Apple's reputation this time. Quote:

    "Unfortunately, though, those niceties are overshadowed by the phone's antenna troubles: "Apple needs to come up with a permanent — and free — fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4," Gikas concludes".

    These people actually liked the iPhone 4, praised it strongly in fact! If a highly respected source like Consumer Reports says that the illustrious wallet should now be removed from the illustrious trouser pocket of the Illustrious Steve and opened, then the company should do some hard thinking. It will be embarrassing and it will cost them a very large wedge, however, the damage to their image (and we all know how much that means to them) will cost them a lot more in the long run if they do not bite on the bullet now. The key words are; recall, compensate and fix. Oh and yes, maybe consider saying sorry to your (very loyal) customers as well, you have after all damaged their "cool image" as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns


      Apple aren't going to have to spend a bucketload on rescuing their reputation. You're overlooking the fanboi effect.

      As we've seen on this very thread, fanbois will forgive Apple anything, no matter how bad the fuck up might be. The very same people who queued overnight for the iPhone 4 will be queuing overnight for the iPhone 404 when it comes out, regardless of how soon that launch is. And once they've got their hands on the 404 we'll all be hearing about how great it is, so much better than the last one (which was great too by the way, but not as great as this one), how they couldn't imagine how they'd lived without the latest "new" feature and so on ad nauseam.

      Apple are in a win-win situation - produce a good product (and I'll be the first to admit that they do that from time to time) and everyone thinks they're great. Produce a crappy product and the fanbois will blindly back them up and bail them out as soon as the "upgrade" (read "fix") is released - either way, they make money.

  31. J 3
    Jobs Horns


    Just don't use it as a phone. No big deal.

  32. Flex

    Apple Support Forum

    Its funny to see how fast Apple are deleting any thread that talks about this report.

    Don't they know the cat is out of the bag?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Clip clop clip clop

      What was that?

      Doesn't matter... Flex- could you close the door on that stable please?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this a UK site...

    ...a country where beer comes in pints with a head on it. In which case it is gaffer tape.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Gaffer tape isn't quite the same thing as duct tape...

      Gaffer is commonly used in TV and stage production to secure cables or provide marks for actors as it can be removed without leaving a sticky residue. iPhone owners would perhaps be better off using Gaffer as they probably have enough "sticky residue" issues to contend with...

  34. Grumpy Fellow
    Thumb Up

    Not the most respected testing lab

    Not by Engineers, anyway. I believe that would be MythBusters. At this point they are the only folks I would trust on this.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Not a design flaw.

    This so-called design flaw is clearly a well-intentioned and much misaligned aesthetic feature brought to us by none other than the Genius that is Steve Jobs.

  36. Arctic fox
    Jobs Horns


    I would also like to point out that the issue of image is not just about Apple's image, it is also about image from their customer's point of view as well. At the moment a large number of mob owners who are less than impressed with Apple's products are laughing like drains at Apple's iPhone 4 customers (you're holding it the wrong way etc...) and that (understandably enough) is VERY uncool from the point of view of the said (very loyal) customers. At the moment their anger is largely directed against those who are exercising their wit and wisdom at the Applefans' expense. However, the more that comes out about how there in fact IS a genuine problem AND that Apple have been bullshitting their own loyal followers over the issue, the more likely that an increasing amount of that anger will be directed against the company rather than those of us who find this situation rather amusing. Apple sell big time on the basis not only of the quality of their hardware (which is often considerable) but also a lifestyle/image gig that goes with it. They are now risking damaging that aspect of things for their customers very badly indeed. If they do not apologise double quick and rectify the situation in a serious and meaningfull way the long-term damage to the company may be considerable.

  37. Doug Glass

    The Ultimate Fan's Solution

    Cut off the offending finger and just damn be done with it.

  38. Thomas 4

    No no no.....

    You're testing it the wrong way. The way CU checks antenna strength makes it seem worse than it actually is. We're going to put out a software fix that should correct the problem and show as a full 4 bars when in a testing chamber.

  39. Doug Glass

    What The Duct?

    Since ostensibly its original use was to tape and seal duct work joints, it is in fact duct tape. If you're speaking of the branded product, that's Duct Tape.

  40. Consultant


    Hello everybody this is Clarke new to the forum , hope u all welcome me :)

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Hello

      Hi Clarke. What's going on?

    2. Scott 19

      you may

      Want to keep your head down if the M$ and Apple fanbois start and welcome to the comments section where sane conversations are left with your coat at the door.

      How do you feel about Paris? This is the only test question before full fledged membership.

  41. richard 69


    are you phreakywebsters and amanfrommars's lovechild?

    this story is really funny, loads of new apple users moaning about apple's arrogance - hey, THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS!

    go back 300 years to when they didn't bother putting cd burners in macs or look at today when they don't bother with blu-ray....and £649 for a mac arrogance.....they'll never change.

    i'm now on my 5th mac, but pretty much had enough of them.

  42. EddieD

    Duct/Duck use gaffer tape...

    It doesn't leave sticky gunk behind when you remove it, and it can be more easily torn into thin strips for precise, neat application. It's also 3-5x more expensive than duct/duck tape, so it should apple to the iPhone crowd.

  43. tony

    a title,

    Maybe next time the prototype phones won't go wrapped up in fancy cases so much?

    Was very keen to get a 4g, but will wait until this is resolved. Also wondering whether they're working on a fix going by the continued delay of the white phones?

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      It doesn't matter how many times you say it....'s *still* not 4G. Bloody hell.


  44. bruceld


    My best friends daughter's name is Ariel. I don't think he or she would appreciate her being touched!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "I don't think he or she would appreciate her being touched!"

      Well, what did she say when you tried?

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Is brand allegiance more important than consumers getting a good product?

    When you put aside all brand allegiance or your favourites, it has been proven in a lab test using equipment that the average Joe doesn't have available. It has also been proven that there is a way to alleviate the problem in a good amount of cases. Hearsay and conjecture of mine is fine, mine is not is all well and good but there are figures from proper test equipment to show that there is an issue and it needs some kind of fix.

    But even this misses the most fundamental point.

    Whatever you brand allegiance, preference or whatever, consumers should not be accepting products that clearly have shown enough people (i.e. not just a small minority) have a product that doesn't function as it should, and secondly should not be accepting a product whose primary function is shown to be less than acceptable when tested using equipment that can be used to judge other equipment in its class.

    If consumers (in this case the very ardent brand loyalists, who happen to be Apple) just sit there through their brand faith that this isn't a problem, you're holding it wrong, the iPhone still 'r00lz' and other things to say Apple hasn't got something to answer to here, you're doing yourself a disservice in the long run. You are saying it's OK for Apple to release parts of their products that are below par, and to let them get away with it because supporting your brand has become more important than having a quality product.

    If Microsoft or Google released a phone like this with this problem, the iPhone fans would be all over it decrying it. If Windows users hadn't kicked up the stink about Vista, Windows 7 wouldn't be what it is today -- a much better OS than Vista, and indeed XP really.

    So just consider, accepting that Apple has released a product with a pretty critical flaw with its ability to be a phone isn't a sleight against you, or your character, or indeed the reasons you use an iPhone or why you consider it to be the best device for you; instead it should be about consumers demanding and getting a product that does what is advertised to do. If you have paid good money to any company for a product that has shown a good amount of its fellow users are having problems, it's better in the long run for that problem to be properly and truthfully dealt with, unless brand allegiance and defending that brand is more important than receiving a quality product.

    Because if you let them fob you off, they'll do it again, and again, and again. And it's the consumer that really loses.

    If anybody reads this as anti-Apple it's not, what I have written would apply to any product that does not do what it is advertised to do, in this case, a phone, not being universally reliable as a phone to all of its users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Your post

      Has far too much common sense in it for these forums (fora? fori? - what's the plural of "forum"?), especially when posted in relation to a story that is in any way remotely related to Apple.

      Good effort though

      1. Arctic fox

        Latin grammar

        If one were to use the latinate plural form it would indeed be "fora" and is the "correct" form. However I believe that "forums" is common usage.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          @ Arctic

          Thank you for clarifying that, I'll sleep much easier now

    2. Scott 19


      Sorry but i guess your new to this interweb thang as this is a far to well written and thought out comment, please try again along the lines of LoLZ you bought an iPony or LoLz you brought Vista.

      On a side note you are right about brand loyalty as even with major issues people are still trying to defend the in-defensible. Sorry i ain't giving you large sum's of money for a broke item even if a 30$ cover? will help.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thanks Reg for posting some many articles on Apple

    I am really having a great time with all the voting and downvoting!

  47. Adrian Esdaile

    My old Nokia 8210

    Wonderful little phone it was, back in the day!

    Only problem was, if you covered the top end of that very small phone, you would rapidly notice three things:

    1. the phone, your hand, and your head, if you happened to be talking got very hot.

    2. the signal strength went to hell

    3. your battery went from full to empty in about 15 mins.

    Clearly, your hand was blocking or shorting the antenna, the phone ramped up power to get a signal, ate your battery, got very hot. I'm smart enough to know that it wasn't RF heating of your head.


  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please excuse my ignorance...

    but why is Consumer Reports abbreviated to CU?


    Rf effects from the antenna

    I wonder what effects there are long term from the unmodified phone on the hand having the transmitter RF signal from the antenna directly in contact with the body ? The effects must be higher than just the radiated signal ?


    1. TkH11


      Why would the effects be higher because someone is touching the aerial?

      Because you're closer to it? Because the act of touching it means a higher level of radiation is emitted?

      Let's take a closer look at this. The closer you get to the antenna should theoretically result in a stronger field being absorbed in to the body. Actually, this isn't always true, it depends on a number of factors, whether you're in the near field or far field, what frequency the radiation is, what size the object is which is receiving the radiation.

      The act of touching an antenna. Does this lead to an amplified signal being produced? If you think yes, then how so? Only if your body acts as an extension to the aerial and makes it more efficient, increases the gain.

      Your body is actually an earth, so you're not just a piece of wire acting as an extension to the aerial.

      In short, if you grab hold of a transmitting aerial you're likely to reduce the RFsignal transmitted!

  50. Gordon is not a Moron

    Forget this so called testing lab

    Apple should know they are really in it up to thier necks, as Jezza Clarkson referenced the iPhone in this weeks Stig intro. And if that isn't bad news then I'm James May.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'm sure Jobs is quaking in his boots

    Like anyone gives a toss about these people.

    It'll still sell like hotcakes and everybody who doesn't hold their phone like a retard is fine.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: Jobs quaking in his boots

      You are a glutten for downvoting, making a statement like that here. All these Fandroids and the rest of the anti-Apple-ites are doing everything in their power to take Apple's success away, but it's having no effect and that is the problem, it's creating such a frustration in them, you can just sense it.

      There's a great big pack of those sheep running around, "not enough anti-Apple vitriol in that post, downvote it!" and the rest just follow.

      Glad I have no plans to get a back one, waiting for white here. Will these problems affect my purchase decision, no - mountain made from a mole hill, and if there is a problem, the bumper I've spotted will ensure no problem.

  52. Electric Panda
    Jobs Halo

    Apple job openings

    I'm sure you're all aware that, after this news broke, Apple mysteriously issued job postings for antenna engineers. This might not even be related to the iPhone, but I did find the timing interesting and maybe Apple are taking this a lot more seriously than people give them credit for.

    Methinks Apple will do an about face, next year's iPhone will be seriously tweaked or redesigned (again) to alleviate or solve the problem and everybody'll lap it up. Business as usual, nothing to see here, Apple posts eleventy-gazillion dollars profit for that quarter.

    As for me? I don't have an iPhone 4, primarily because I've been put off by these reports somewhat. I've managed to reproduce the signal issue myself on a display model and my friends who own them say they can do it too, so it's hardly an isolated incident.

    1. Arctic fox
      Paris Hilton

      I don't have one either and that's because.......

      .........I react very badly to the marketing of any company that thinks it can manipulate the way I feel about myself. By all means tell me what a fantastic product you've got but the moment you try and pull my strings psychologically you can shove your product where the sun don't shine. That applies for me with any company, not just The Church of Jobbs.

      Paris because she can pull......

  53. Jon Double Nice

    Put a ceramic coating on the arial?

    In my experience people seem to like the word 'ceramic', it has a kind of space age carbon fiber style zing to it.

    1. RegisterThis

      What about glass ...

      ... I thought this was Apple's touchy-feely material of choice?

  54. Montybank

    Former apple fan

    Used to love apple; in fact the first computer I owned was an apple IIe. They lost me with the ibook dual usb. The motherboards would overheat and separate, but for months apple disavowed all knowledge of this. A combination of poor design/build quality, coupled with the "didn't want to know" attitude of apple's support was enough to tip me into the linux camp.

    can't say I'm 100% on board with linux, but generally if it's broken, it's my own damn fault and I can fix it.

    This appears to be the same sort of dodge duck dip dive and dodge that apple is becoming famous for. Too bad actually, as some of their products are really quite brilliant (ipod anyone?)

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Strange - what do you run your linux on? I mean, why in the world are you comparing hardware with software?

      1. fred #257

        Are you missing the point...

        ...deliberately? Montybank probably runs his Linux on a PC. The usual choices for a home computer are [Apple hardware + software] or [Windows on PC] or [Linux on PC]. It's a perfectly valid comparison he's making.

        WTF yourself.

  55. andy gibson

    Isolation Chamber?

    Seriously, WTF? I would expect a consumer review site to review the product like the consumer was going to use it.

    So, are the reviews from this source only good if you like in an isolation chamber or going to work in space?

    1. ACcc


      They weren't reviewing it, they were testing it to prove/disprove the antenna rumours under controlled conditions - scientific experimentation requires proof, not opinion.

      Scientific experimentation takes place in labs to cut out outside interference that may distort the result and cause people to go 'Oh it's not a real issue, I can't replicate it'

      The point of testing is to make it replicable.

  56. JeffyPooh

    Antenna High-Z tips and replacing batteries

    The two monopole antennas are fed from the top of the phone and the infamous junction on the side represents the ** high-impedance ends ** of those monopoles. Seriously, the people that created and approved this design have obviously got little appreciation of how antennas actually work (voltage distribution, and thus Z distribution). The open circuit ends of monopoles are extremely high impedance (voltage/zero current), and are thus are extremely sensitive to being touched. The fix could be as simple as reversing the ends (feeding the other junction), but then it would fail when held sideways. Or they could extend the conductors inside the phone, but that would require reintegration.

    With respect to replacing batteries in Apple products, the simplest solution is to check the local on-line ads for a nearby high tech fix-it man that will pop your phone or pad apart, install a brand new battery (knock-off or OEM, your choice), and snap it back togther. It takes mere minutes and is reasonably low cost. It's not that big a deal. And probably lower cost than locally purchasing a genuine replacement user-replaceable battery for any brand of smart phone. Much ado about nothing. Having the oil changed in your car is a bigger deal.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    on the plus side

    no one's going to be receiving any phone calls from Apple fans.

  58. Patrick 17


    Friends who tried to return theirs recently because of the signal issue were offered free bumpers (at an O2 store).

  59. TkH11

    Software Bug

    So it's just a software bug with the code that plots the bargraph signal level huh?

    Think they've just lost a lot of consumer trust.

    1. Ruud Noorhoff 1


      How do you know they are wrong. Why do do trust bloggers, looking for page hits, whose expertise does not extend beyond counting up to 5, more than those that actually measured signal strength?

  60. Ruud Noorhoff 1
    Jobs Halo

    Anandtech says Jobs told the truth

    From anandtech:

    The Antenna is Improved

    From my day of testing, I've determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar).


    I can honestly say that I've never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4,


    The difference is that reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 in actual use.


    It's amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS


    reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There's no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS.

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      It's brilliant, right up the the point where it fails dismally

      Yes, the new antenna/receiver design is noticeably better in areas of low signal strength, but that doesn't mean the problems of signal loss due to gap bridging aren't real or can simply be resolved with a software patch. Pushing the reception capabilities of the antenna for a handheld device in this way is a bit like relying on an overclocked CPU to achieve the necessary levels of performance - OK if you know what you're doing, but not really the sort of thing you want to be selling to the general public under the pretence of it being a normal product with no restrictions on how it should be used.

      In general Apple have done a damn good job with the iP4 - my wife replaced her 3G with one recently, and in pretty much every area it's a distinct improvement. But that's no reason to let them off the hook for making what is surely a gigantic design blunder with their choice of antenna location.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Are you missing something?

      Very good.

      Except what you have done is snipped out the bits where Anandtech also acknowledged that compared to any other phone the iPhone 4 is most affected by the problem of signal attenuation in its class and probably compared to any other mobile phone.

      It's a bit like me saying to you "Stalin was a great man." But forgetting to tell you the whole story: "Stalin was a great murdering bastard of a man!"

      "The drop in signal from cupping the device with a case on is purely a function of us being "ugly bags of mostly water." A material which happens to be pretty good at attenuating RF - thus increasing path loss between the handset and cellular base station. There's nothing Apple nor anyone else can do to get around physics, plain and simple. It's something which demonstrably affects every phone's cellular reception."

      "Add in an external antenna you're essentially forced to touch and bridge to another adjacent antenna while holding, and the signal attenuation is even worse. The fact of the matter is that either the most sensitive region of the antenna should have an insulative coating, or everyone should use a case. For a company that uses style heavily as a selling point, the latter isn't an option. And the former would require an unprecedented admission of fault on Apple's part."

      From the same Anandtech article.

      Now the iPhone 4's antenna and reception may well be better, except if you live in an area of variable signal quality where the antenna issue may rear its ugly head and reproduce no signal failures.

      If this was on a HTC or Microsoft, Google Nexus a fair amount of the real Apple apologists would be crucifying them loudly and at every opportunity, and rightly so. The thing is this time it's Apple that's made a boob and it needs to do something to sort it out.

      The fact of the matter whoever manufactures the phone, Apple, HTC, Motorola, Microsoft -- whoever -- accepting a fault like this as a non-issue because defending your favourite brand is of greater importance is ludicrous; people are experiencing this issue and there are a lot of them.

      What is more important, defending Apple regardless of what they do, or siding with the consumers who have a reasonable complaint.

      My advice would be this to those having an iPhone 4 with this issue, return it. Apple and it's most zealous defenders are at this rate not going to sort the problem out until they launch a new iPhone or quietly fix the issue. Don't put up with it, vote with your hard earned pennies. Windows users did the same with Microsoft over Vista after all.

  61. Chrisni

    Is it just me...

    I live in the UK, and have an iPhone 4 on the network O2.

    I've never had this problem, even when i try to recreate the issue, i can't get it to drop signal by anymore than one bar (which is probably unrelated).

    The only way i can get my phone to drop signal in an area with signal, is to stand inside a shipping container and lock myself in.

    However that issue affects any mobile phone, not just the iPhone 4...

    In a nutshell: Sucks to be with AT&T!

    1. Electric Panda

      Yes, just you

      The display model I tried was on Vodafone and my friend on O2 has the signal issue also.

      We're in a major UK city with excellent mobile coverage on all the networks, and I have never seen any major issues on any handset other than the iPhone 4.

      Not trying to sound like I'm trolling, but this is my own personal experience anyway.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      works for me

      Is never a appropriate response to an exhaustive test.

      I suspect it was this sort of thinking that got the ipone released in the first place

      (not having a dig - I'm assuming that you aren't a QA engineer ..... unless you work at apple that is !)

  62. ratfox
    Gates Halo

    They still say it is the best

    The iPhone 4 is still the highest rated cell phone, according to Consumer Reports. Even if they do not recommend buying it.

    A theory is that Consumer Report has found that Apple bashing attracts a lot of readers...

  63. TkH11

    @BeefStirFry black and white

    Black and white are black and white because of what they do to visible light.... the RF from an iphone funnily enough isn't light, it's a different range of wavelengths, so whilst a black or white plastic case is black or white to you and me, it most definitely isn't to RF radiation..and so the colour of the case isn't going to have a performance improvement or degredation.

    But it might be you were just having a joke..

  64. TkH11


    From what I remember of RF transmission line theory from my days at university, they end will only be high imedance, or a steady impedance value if you set-up a standing wave in the transmission line, and to set-up a standing wave would require a steady perioidic signal such as a sinewave to be applied.

    Under this condition, you'd have either a maxima, minima or zero at the end of the antenna which would give rise to your constant infinite impedance.

  65. Jeffrey Nonken

    Duct tape and ariels

    Actually, according to some sources, duct tape was not invented for taping ducts. In fact, it's not very good for taping ducts. I know -- I've tried. Totally and completely useless for taping air conditioning ducting, for example; it falls off in about 10 minutes.

    There's some disagreement about its origin but some claim that it was called "duck tape" because of its resemblance to cotton duck, which is a type of fabric.

    No waterfowl need apply. But the point is that there's no unquestionable source proving that "duck tape" is incorrect.

    As for "ariels", try "aerials" instead. If you're going to split hairs about spelling, first make sure you have your ducts all in a row. Er, I mean ducks.

  66. ZimboKraut

    Fanbois = Lemmings

    Just shows, that there are a lot of numpties out there, who will just follow the Jobsian Steve blindly, without any thinking or use of common sense....

    Best thing to do is let them buy their crap, be lied to, and best of all dictated what you are permitted to run on your OWN phone, whether you like it or not.

    I am for Nokia....

    I am fully aware, they make a lot of mistakes, (and have this habit of starting something and not following it through ( the N900 is a perfect example), but in general, they have some good stuff and are not too dictatorial....

    @Nokia: I would really like to know, which d$%^&head pulled the plug on the N900....? with just a few decent apps designers and developers, you could have made this phone into the ultimate iPhone-killer.....

    But I suppose, there were a few people up the bosses 455es....

  67. Martin Huizing

    Grow a brain ALL YOU battery-commentards:

    Any device (well manufactured) with less moving parts is less likely to break. Easy battery replacement mechanics will fail after many a battery swapping.

    A well designed battery should last longer than a cheapo, probably fake Chinese import crap which will most likely burst into flames, explode or leave burn marks on scrotum or other sensitive parts of the body. Jobs would, of course, be first to blame for people's incompetence.


    The time it takes to actually replace a battery is better spend by PLUGGING THE FREAKING DEVICE INTO A USB PORT OR POWER OUTLET AND CHARGE IT.

    If any of you BATTERIDIOTS write ONE MORE COMMENT on iPhone's inability to replace the battery, I will PERSONALLY come to your place of work and LAUGH AT YOU in front of all your colleagues.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Rumour has it

      You cant replace the battery in the iphone! insanity etc


      J Smith


    2. Lottie


      You'll still need a battery that can give you a decent amount of uptime once you've removed the plug from the USB. That's where replacing it comes in. As for the mechanics of the contacts, it's fair to say that the battery would only need replacing once every 2-3 years so the idea that the contacts would fail quickly is a bit confusing. I hope you don't seriously think that people want replaceable disposable batteries in their phones.

      From a personal perspective, I'd like to be able to replace the battery in my phone because you never know if you'll get a duff battery.

  68. Martin Lyne

    The disservice is already done

    You read favourable review -> you purchase.

    You read review alteration -> you are stuck on at least a year contract.

    Due Diligence fail.

  69. Hud Dunlap

    Consumers report is what???

    Come on El Reg! Lets just stick to facts. If you want to say that Consumers Reports changed it's mind ok, but saying "One of — if not the — most respected product-testing labs" is an opinion. It almost sounds like and ad for CR. I have read CR in the past and I have bought products they bashed and still been very happy. So which of their iPhone tests is wrong? The first one or the second one.

    I really don't give hoot what they say.

    As far as the iPhone is concerned, like other posters have commented, I alway buy a case anyway.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    It's DUCK tape

    It's DUCK tape as it was tape made using Duck fabric

    It's no good for Ducts.

    Duck fabric is woven with 2 yarns together in the warp and a single yarn in the weft

    Anyhow, wouldn't clear nail varnish have the same effect and look a whole lot better?

  71. Maestro

    As his Appleyness might say...

    Recall & fix the antenna. Not that big of a deal.

  72. Stuart Duel

    yes but... can rely on the "fanbois" to needle Apple until they:

    a) admit fault,

    b) issue a fix, and

    c) release a revised product with the fault removed.

    Not necessary in a timely manner, but eventually. In the meantime, they will suggest work arounds, sometimes at your minimal expense and/or inconvenience and in this case, a protective case which you can buy for around $10.

    A protective case is something I have always bought anyway for every mobile phone regardless of the manufacturer because I don't want to scratch the case or screen and want it to survive a fall. I like the Apple idea of having just one model which means companies making cases have only one product design to deal with and as a consequence a better quality accessory.

    Because the likes of Moto, Nokia, SE, etc make so many different form factors which are changed so frequently, there is little financial incentive to invest too much into good design.

    Now it's time for the latest installment of the Mel Gibson docu-comedy-drama "Life without Oksana" .

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