back to article Steve Jobs death-grips iPhone 4 reality

A.E. Housman: But it's all true. Oscar Wilde: On the contrary, it's only fact. Truth is quite another thing and is the work of the imagination –Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love When you hold the iPhone 4, does the signal fade more than it would on other popular smartphones, such as Apple's own iPhone 3GS or Google's Nexus …

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  1. AlgernonFlowers4

    If it makes you happy

    just send me your iphone4

    Thanks in anticipation

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Jobs Horns

      So...

      ...in addition to not being able to get a good signal, the iPhone4 now has zero material value? Actually negative, because you seem to expect "postage paid", too.

      1. AlgernonFlowers4

        Ingrates

        You try and help your fellow human beings and this is the thanks I get!

        From what has been written, obviously posession of this devil phone with it's changing bars is driving people to the brink of insanity. So concerned about their mental wellbeing I very generously offer to take this demonic object off their hands to restore their sanity and they start to quibble about the postage!

        I am prepared to pay the mental cost of living with variable bars in different locations so you don't have to and you go on about the cost of a stamp! Ingrates!

  2. Velv
    FAIL

    To quote a parent.....

    "If all the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you jump too ?"

    Just because "all the other phones" have the same problem, doesn't mean you can too Steve. Get it right first time.

    Or is Apple now a "ach, that'll do" type of operation.

    1. L1feless

      I think this sums it up...

      Apple has always stood for innovation and design integrity. This recent epic fail with the IPhone has really made it difficult for Apple. I think people would rather of had Steve say "We have an excellent product which we overlooked the sleek design for features.....a free bumper will be given out for those who are having troubles with the reception...". There is nothing wrong with admission, in fact, people know that a company cannot be perfect. Apple is no exception to that rule. What they have done though is shown an ugly side which is not willing to admit errors but rather tries to either play them down or be passive aggressive towards its competitors. Both of those traits are not appealing to many.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      D. Rumsfeld said something about ......

      known knowns and unknown knowns, etc..., I believe. Sounds like our Mr. Jobs lives in his reality?

      1. Merchman
        WTF?

        Re: D. Rumsfeld said something about ......

        I believe this it the clip:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RpSv3HjpEw

        (my god he's a shifty looking sod)

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          FYI - rejected comment

          Just to let you know - having a pop at someone for being 'cancer-stricken' is not valid criticism here. There are plenty of genuine faults and foibles to choose from. Thanks.

  3. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    The Truth is out there.

    The Ministry of Truth makes sure of that.

    (mine's the one with the dog-eared copy of 1984)

  4. Jeremy Chappell

    So... Why does my phone behave like this?

    Why does my phone drop calls when I'm in some places (but not others) if I hold it near the bottom?

    OK, OK - but it's a Nokia. Who's the liar?

    1. Dave 142

      also...

      Why do Nokia have a statement in their manual telling people not to hold the phone a particular way? Why do Google have the same thing.

    2. frymaster

      because...

      ...you're holding it where the antenna is

      this will also cause problems with the iphone4*, EVEN WITH the bumper - all the bumper does is prevent the extra signal loss caused by direct skin contact with the antenna. _That_'s the design flaw in the iphone 4 (that doesn't exist, according to Mr Jobs)

      * and, yes, any other phone with its antenna there

      1. Jeremy Chappell

        That's the youTube video we all need

        We need to see this happen when ONLY touching that strip between the two antennas - so that the rest of the assembly ISN'T blocked. If it happens then, well that's something. Additionally is the attenuation actually worse with this design than "standard" designs (here if the iPhone 4 had near average attenuation for better than I see no flaw - if it's well below average, then I see a flaw).

        Nobody has shown either of these things, just a lot of jumping up and down on both sides. What happens of you just short the thing with something conductive? Does it need to be shorted at both ends? If you have wet hands (raining - I live in the UK, it happens) does it make it worse? There is a real confusion between "blocking" and "jointing" (causing an electrical connection between the antenna assembly and either itself, or the person holding the phone).

        If the problem isn't "blocking" but "jointing" then it all depends if this is significant over traditional antenna designs (it there is less "blocking" then does the attenuation due to "jointing" make the phone significantly worse than a phone with a more normal embedded antenna).

        The fact that "bumpers" cure the problem suggests the problem is quite different to the one other phones experience - not that necessarily makes it worse, or better - just "different".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Boffin

          Re: That's the youTube video we all need

          Try this one for a start:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhIieJPKcQs

    3. RichyS

      Interesting story

      From 11th Feb.

      http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/11/nexus-one-3g-problems-persist-after-update-is-it-a-design-pro/

      One wonders how Google got such an easy ride. Maybe because they didn't manage to sell 3 million Nexus Ones in 3 weeks or so. Or maybe everyone seems to think Apple have got too big for their boots, and wants to take them down a peg or two.

      Or maybe blogs and websites have seen what great click-bait talk of the iPhone antenna is; and perpetuate the story. Hey, I clicked (damn them, they're winning. Arrrggghhh!)

      Either way, if this really was such a big issue, you would have thought the return rates would be much higher. Some phones are as high as 30-35%.

      Oh, and to keep on topic; my last phone kept dropping calls when I touched the top -- that was, when it wasn't constantly resetting itself. And it was a Sony Ericsson.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ RichyS

        "Oh, and to keep on topic; my last phone kept dropping calls when I touched the top -- that was, when it wasn't constantly resetting itself. And it was a Sony Ericsson."

        Well, what else would you expect to happen when you press the power-off button? Dumbass.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Stop

    It really doesn't matter how many bars are on the display

    It's only been changed to be more pessimistic to shift the blame onto the network and to make us all talk about bars instead of dropped calls.

    I live in an area with very little coverage and My Nokia holds onto most calls with just one bar on the display (probably irradiating my head in the process, but anyway). On the other had I've had an Ericcson which started to drop them at 3 bars.

    The facts are you hold the iPhone 4 in a pretty common way which interferes with the antenna, make a call, and it drops it. But as said in the article, the truth is something different.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Aye, when I were a lad...

      ...in the good ol' days, bars *were* what it was all about, because bars = call quality.

      Generations of optimisation (and switching to Digital) and infrastructure upgrades now mean that bars don't mean as much as they used to. It's now almost at the stage where any bars at all mean a call can be made & held.

      Trust Apple to bring back a bit of nostalgia to the mobile phone market...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        "Aye, when I were a lad"...

        AC: "Aye, when I were a lad"...

        Actually, things have gone in almost completely the opposite way to what you've written.

        On 1G (Analog) and 2G (GSM) phones, bars told you the signal strength and for both you needed a minimum signal strength for a call to go ahead. Call quality was affected by signal-to-noise (co-channel interference, mostly) which was not what was being reported by the bars. Greater strength won't guarentee higher call quality.

        On newer 3G (UMTS) phones bars represent pilot signal-to-noise but even so more bars is still not a guarantee of better quality. This is because fast power control is used to keep the received data channel signal-to-noise at a level suitable for the connection. So again, more bars is no guarentee of quality.

        However, on 3.5G (HSPA) phones, the number of bars *can* be a quality indicator. This is because HSPA (in the downlink at least) foregoes power control and instead adjusts the coding scheme (which governs the data rate) in response to the signal-to-noise. Poor signal-to-noise means lower throughput so the number of bars now does relate to quality.

        Same will apply for 4G (LTE) devices; received signal-to-noise will relate to achievable throughput, hence number of bars will give an indication of connection quality.

        So in the good old days, bars didn't tell you much about your call quality but now they do :)

  6. Alastair MacDiarmid
    Jobs Halo

    Mine's Fine.

    Thing is, I live in a really marginal O2 coverage area, and my 4 is absolutely fine however I grip the thing, before or after the software update.

    Better than the 3G I had before.

    Maybe this is a storm in a media tea cup?

    1. a53
      Thumb Up

      Mine's fine 2

      Had no problems with the death grip, did have problems with being told the sim wasn't installed or that the data server couldn't be accessed, but after changing from a specific carrier (in my case 02) to an "auto" choosing in settings, everything is perfect.

    2. blackworx
      Joke

      "marginal O2 coverage area"

      Is there any other kind?

    3. Stuart Halliday
      Megaphone

      Why it doesn't affect us

      To: Alastair MacDiarmid

      In American the mobile masts are far fewer and much further apart so the average American on a mobile gets a low signal.

      So what do the phone companies in the USA do about this?

      They fake the signal bars to show a higher level of signal. Common practise.

      So when we in the UK grip the iPhone4 we still get that 24db of attenuation but due to the closer proximity of masts here we get a higher level to start with. Therefore we don't notice it any where as bad as in America. (Unless we are in a low level area like indoors)..

      It's just plain ordinary physics.

      If you allow a human to grip the bare metal of any aerial with a sweaty hand then you make the aerial much more inefficient. Apple allowed the bare metal of the aerial to be touched so it was bound to cause problems.

      So put it in a case and be done with the problem.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    In a hole and still digging

    So the guy says this happens on lots of different smart phones - and is even illustrated on Youtube. OK .... so .... doesn't that just mean that this is a well-documented and widely known about problem that they had the opportunity to design out of their product?

    Personally it just reinforces my view that there's a large degree of "form over function" in this range of phones, which does nothing to make me want to buy something that is primarily ornamental.

    1. Jeremy Chappell
      Grenade

      Umm...

      Design out physics - that's what you're asking for. The **maybe** it really would be a "Jesus Phone".

      1. Basic
        FAIL

        Physics

        Agreed, the Laws of physics are unbreakable (as we understand them) but that doesn't mean you don't engineer it to mitigate their effects.

        That's like saying a car shaped like a brick can't go very fast due to the air resistance and that's the laws of physics so we can't improve it - Obviously that's false as in fact the solution is to redesign the car to be more aerodynamic - You're not breaking the laws of physics, merely changing how they apply

  8. Isendel Steel
    Go

    Where everything knows your name

    "Of course, most people would rather live in a reality where everything works and there are no problems."

    So we'll all be off to Tesco Mobile then ?

  9. CADmonkey
    Jobs Horns

    If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!

    Look at the monkey, look at the monkey!

    (Where's the 'head explodes' icon when you need one?)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      That does not make sense!

      EOM

      1. lpopman
        Coffee/keyboard

        titular response

        Damn it!... He's using the Chewbacca defense!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Sorry to be a pedant but

      Chewbacca lives on Kashyyyk.

      Mine's the black one with the matching respirator helmet

  10. Frank Bough

    Horse

    Shit

  11. Oliver Smith
    Dead Vulture

    iPhone 4 is to the Register as Lady Di is to the Mirror

    New material much?

  12. 20legend
    FAIL

    Jobs....

    ....what a bullshit spewing ass-clown !!!

    1. Jim Preis
      Heart

      educate me please

      What is an "ass clown"? And no, I do not have a mirror handy.

  13. Carsten Holmskov

    Translation of the Danish Blog

    Below a translation of the danish Blog without the Google Translate mumbo-jumbo.

    Has the iPhone 4 been born with Antenna-Problems?

    "Its enver been done before. And its really cool engineering." This is how Steve Jobs presented the new metal-frame on the new iPhone, when the phone was unveiled for the wondering world.

    The frame works like the phones antenna.

    But in reality, the principle behind the iPhone4 Antenna-system is far from new.

    And it might possibly be so problematic that it will reduce the phones effeciency.

    En of the leading experts, when it comes to mobile-antenna's, is Professor Gert Frølund Pedersen from Aalborg University's Institute for Electronic Systems.

    He is leading an international research-team, that just the other day got a million-crown support from the "Højteknologifonden" (High-Tech Fund) for the development of a more effecient mobile-antenna, and har for many years studied the anetanna-technology on the cell-phone front.

    Asked about Apples presentation of the iPhone4, he answered, that the construction of the antenna as part of the phones frame is old news that has been seen many times before.

    Pretty much all mobile-antenna in the market uses the phones metal-parts as antenna.

    But on the iPhone 4, it also looks like that this antenna constructions can give special problems, because part of the antenna will unavoiderbly make contact with the users hand.

    "The printcard itself works as part of the antenna and the metalframe directs the signal to it. But that means that the user cannot avoid interferring with the antenna-system with his touch" says Gert Frølund Pedersen til ComON.

    But can the designers not compensate for touch in the software, so that they negate the problem of even provide a benefit ?

    "The human tissue will under any circumstances have a inhibiting effect on the antenna. The touch means, that a larger part of the antenna's energy will be turned into heat and is therefore lost. Thereby, the antenna will be less effecient at sending and receiving the radiosignal" says Gert Frølund Pedersen.

    Scientists in Aalborg university has previously demonstrated, that the hand reduces the cell-phones antenna-effeciency in a large degree. The antenna-effect can be reduced with more than 90%, if you hold the cell-phone tightly where the antenna is placed.

    But on top of that comes the electrical disturbances, which the physical contact between the tissue of the skin and the metal of the antenna will produce.

    When Steve Jobs t he other day demonstrated an online-function on t he new phone, he could not at first manage to connect the wonder-machine to some of the present WiFi-Net. But was th e reason for the mess in the otherwise so controlled presentation caused by a badly designed antenna ?

    "There are most likely other factors that can cause that you cannot get on in a place like this. But maybe the antenna has been a contributing factor. The machines that have the weakest signal, is of course thrown off first" says Gert Frølund Pedersen.

    He points to, that a more effecient antenna-construction in a smartphone, would be a system with two different antenna, that could take over for one another, depending on where you were holding your hand.

    Exactly such an antenna-model, that works optimal and energy-friendly in the futures advanced smartphones, the north-jutland team has set as their goal to develop.

    ....

    Please excuse any spelling-errors I might have missed.

  14. Ian K
    WTF?

    It wasn't the real Steve Jobs who said this. It was the Fake Steve Jobs.

    Guys, even on a comment piece it's kind of nice if people don't just make up quotes. Or give purportedly genuine quotes that make someone sound bad, then a bit later say "by the way, they didn't actually say that".

    Jobs has said enough dumb and contradictory things on the antenna business for him to be mock-worthy in his own right, without muddying the waters by mocking him for things the author knows he hasn't said.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      @ Ian K

      Wow. You're not the sharpest tool in the box, are you?

      1. Ian K
        Grenade

        @Stike Vomit

        Better a blunt tool than a...than a...GIT! :p

        Yes, I did understand why the article's author wrote what he wrote; I just thought it was poor anyway.

      2. Havin_it
        Dead Vulture

        @Tool (of the sharp variety)

        No, he's got a point. The "Comment" tag doesn't absolve the author of all responsibility when it comes to coherent writing and acceptable style (in my opinion; debate welcome). You, I and he have probably all read the Real Jobs(TM)'s statement by now, so we know where his words end and Fake Steve's begin.

        For anyone new to the matter, it's not so easy - especially as the real statement was so adrift from reality in many places. I challenge you to point out any in-place reference to the change of source where it occurs in the piece. Did Real Steve say *any* of the above?

        It's basic good form in journalistic writing to introduce a quoted source before the actual quote. That permits the reader to, for example, not waste time reading further when the name "Mandelson" pops up. I don't doubt the author appreciated this, but structured the piece as he did for effect. Some may feel that's fair game in a Comment piece, but even the "payoff" at the end failed to make it clear where Real Steve stopped and Fake Steve began - and that's just weak.

  15. cellfanatic
    Flame

    iPhone 4 Antenna

    The Data he provided showed that the problem is not impacting the majority of consumers in real world usage scenarios. If this problem was really being experienced in real world scenarios the return rates of the phone would be off the chart. Sure you can replicate the problem by gripping the phone extremely hard, but no one who spends $600 on a smartphone *no contract* is going to do that. Covering the antenna area or holding the area do not impact reception, it is only when you purposely grip the phone that you witness the impact.

    As far as the signal loss on the iPhone 4 compared to other phones can we at least agree that covering the antenna area with an extremely tight grip impacts all phones? I've tried the Motorola Droid, Samsung Moment, HTC EVO 4G, Samsung Seek, LG Rumor Touch, Droid X, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4 - the final result was that all phones lost significant bars while covering/gripping the antenna area.

    I think the media needs to provide some data based on their own testing of different phones on the market before they suggest this problem is catastrophic. I would at least like a news source test 1,000 units spread across the country before they start to jump on a Consumer Report. When's the last time anyone read Consumer Reports, honestly?

    1. mister2
      FAIL

      @cellfanatic - shill much?

      I know, I know, arguing on the internet and all that.

      However.

      Stop with the FUD.

      Two points:

      1) 1 extra dropped call per 100 over the 3G is a massive amount worse - I can't quite believe that they touted this as a 'good thing'. Dropped calls are on the order of a couple per 100, so 1 extra is significantly worse.

      2) No one disputes that if you shroud an antenna with your hand, it will get worse. The iPhone 4 does it with one finger touching the right spot.

      -- A telecoms test engineer (WCDMA / LTE)

      1. Jeremy Chappell

        Err...

        We don't know how many of those "100" calls another phone would have been able to initiate. That's the real issue we're all dancing around, there is no way to know. But if another phone could only have started a lower number then the iPhone 4 is in the clear. If another phone could have initiated more (and held onto more) then clearly the iPhone 4 has a less efficient design.

        Trouble is - we don't have that information, and to fair to Apple; neither do they.

        1. Simon 85

          General call completion rate

          From what I have seen most networks expect the call completion rate for the whole network to be in the mid 99's, say around 99.5%. That includes network related failures as well. So 1 call dropped in 100 is a very big deal, let alone 1 more than a iPhone 3GS.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One touch versus hand grip

      The issue is that in the US under AT&T by just touch the iPhone 4 in one partcular area can cause signal reduction or dropped calls while you need to grip the whole phone for other Smartphones to replicate this effect. This is called 'magic', ie distract the audience and they wont notice what you're really doing. Steve Jobs is such a magician!

    3. Steven Knox
      Boffin

      As My Grandpa Used to Say*

      "The Data he provided showed that the problem is not impacting the majority of consumers in real world usage scenarios. If this problem was really being experienced in real world scenarios the return rates of the phone would be off the chart. "

      This assumes that a significant majority of the users think and act similarly to you. As my grandpa used to say*, "If everyone was the same, we'd all be after your grandmother."

      It also assumes that the users have properly identified the source of the problem. But in my experience with Apple users, they are generally happy to identify something, ANYTHING, other than their Apple product as the source of any problems they have. I doubt this applies to all Apple users, but it's enough to cast doubt on your argument's assumptions regarding Apple users. Furthermore, the symptoms of this particular issue can easily be wrongly attributed to other variables (location, network usage levels, network quality, etc.)

      In short, there is no reason for there to be a significant correlation between error rate and return rate.

      *No, he didn't. I got this quote from somewhere and can't remember where at this point. If I could, I'd attribute it. But it's too good to not use at all.

  16. tom 36
    Boffin

    Your piece in one link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn-YesqzvNk

    God bless the Taiwanese

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Additional calls dropped

    I'm not sure I understood the statistic "less than 1 additional call dropped per 100". I guess that's meant to sound like it's a tiny extra amount. But if the iPhone 3 is dropping 0.1 calls per 100 and the iPhone 4 is dropping 1 call per 100 that's 10 times as many dropped calls, but still less that 1 additional call per 100. Without knowing the actual figures "1 additional call per 100" is a bit vague.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Iphone4 vs the world

    The one "truth" I've seen come out of Antennagate is this - the iphone 4 is supposedly an evolutionary product, which mean *everything* should be better than the 3g/3gs. Battery life, call quality & reliability, screen, processor etc.

    But even Jobs' own "data" shows dropped calls are no better than the 3GS. In fact they're worse. That's not evolution, especially for a phone. That's a fail, regardless of how Jobs sugar-coats the other "facts".

    I can't say the alternatives have any appeal though (Droid - too many fandroid evangelists, WinMob - well, where to start.....), even if antennagate is "true". Or is that "fact"?

    Looks like I might get a Galaxy S anyway come upgrade time. But I'll resent it, because I wanted the iphone4 to be better than the 3GS, and it's not. The Galaxy is the plain jane at the end of the disco, after the prom queen you were actually after has bad breath.

    Coat...because it's raining outside.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Good argument

      "I can't say the alternatives have any appeal though, Droid - too many fandroid evangelists."

      Yep thats a good reason. everyone says its great therefore I must do the opposite. I cant wait for your building to catch fire, will you follow the crowd when the alarm goes off?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        @ AC 11:45 - What a crap analogy

        ...so reading into your reply, I shall reply in analogies too to follow your logic:

        ...if everyone jumped off a cliff, I *should* follow too?

        ...and taking your analogy further....

        More people are injured in the crush/panic to escape the fire(see also Plane/freezing water/gas etc), than by the fire itself. What that says about your rationale/analogy, I'll leave for others to judge.

        So no, I won't follow "the crowd" in this instance thanks. I'll "pick my own exit" thanks.

        PS - not "everyone" says Droid is great. It's as insulting as saying "Everyone says the iphone is great". It's only the delusion of a fanboi.

  19. Select * From Handle
    Happy

    "signal bars disappear when hands grip various handsets, including the BlackBerry Bold 9700"

    Pure LIES? i have a 9700, you can grip it and wrap it in tin foil and it still has full bars! i was having a mess with my brother iphone4 yesterday, it makes me laugh how much the iphone4 should be on failblog as an advert.

    1. TheOtherJola
      Stop

      I have the 9700 too

      and if I'm in a low signal area and I tuck the phone between my chin and shoulder area the call quality deteriorates -- I remove it, and it recovers.

      However. The point is is that you can use ONE FINGER on the iPhone 4 in the right spot to attenuate the antennas sufficiently to block all communication. You can't do that with any other phone on the market.

      Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to another forum where someone else is wrong, too.

  20. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Just interested...

    Can the other companies RIM, Nokia, etc sue Apple for libel for his saying that there phones do the same thing?

    If they take the independent tests that Consumer Report states that they dont suffer to the same degree, id say it seems pretty open and shut that Steve Jobs lied about the quality of another manufacturers product to sell more of his own. And if im not mistaken, that's an illegal act...

    Antennagate - the soap opera that just keeps giving us more reason to hate his Jobsiness...

    1. Dave 142

      no they can't

      seeing as they instruct users in their own manuals not to hold the phones in particular ways

    2. Jeremy Chappell

      Forget Nokia

      My Nokia does EXACTLY what was shown. I'm not convinced the cause is the same - but the effect looks VERY similar. If we're going to use "bars" as a metric and not think about the amount of grip that's needed to replicate the effect - well then we have "no actual data". It all becomes name calling and youTube videos.

    3. Doug Glass
      Go

      Lied?

      In the corporate world of marketing it's called well, marketing. If you think for a moment corporate executives can be jailed for calling their product superior or better than others or has "x" outstanding feature and never mention it's drawbacks then you'd better start building more and bigger jails.

      The corporate lies are the reason consumer advocates exist and why companies like Comsumer Reports are so hated in the corporate world. They simply tell the truth and compare products. How many ADVERTISING/MARKETING execs have you seen jailed for what you call lies? Very damn few, if any..

      The Sacred J knows all this and is the consumate corporate player.

  21. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Jobs Halo

    It's like saying something against Israel, really

    It's truly amazing that a problem which doesn't exist or has only something to do with the number of bars shown (which are also disappearing on other maker's phones if you grip them really tight which of course you wouldn't do with the expensive iPhone kit in the first place) and about which truly no-one complains because otherwise returns would be off the chart is even being discussed in the apparently biased and Apple-hating press.

    No, really. Does Apple send professional blog fixers out en masse?

  22. sparx104
    FAIL

    normal

    Yes, they're right that other phones have signal problems when held in certain ways. However, these "certain ways" are not usually the *normal* way to hold the phone so people don't come across them much.

    That's where Apple screwed up - the problem occurs when the phone is held relatively normally.

    And: since the answer is "add a case" they should have just put the damn antenna inside the phone (like every other manufacturer does). Pretty simple really. If everyone's doing something there's probably a good reason for it...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      "...*normal* way to hold the phone..." TM bullshit...

      Spectacular way to start FUD! Who are you working for? Nokia? RIM? Google? The so called 'Death grip' isn't the "...*normal* way to hold the phone..." at all. Besides, when was the ISO committee for the standardisation of holding mobile phones convened?

    2. Jeremy Chappell

      "Normal"?

      If I hold my Nokia phone near the base - it does what's shown. I have "discovered" this long ago and now hold it with my hand nearer my ear (hence holding the middle/top of the phone). There is nothing "weird" about the grip needed to make the Nokia drop additional calls. The "problem" doesn't happen everywhere - strong signal and you can't reproduce the it.

  23. jvida

    Steve Upper Lift?

    What kind of approach is this? Steve Jobs must be kidding right!

    You can't sell something broken, like the iPhone 4, and then point at other people who also send broken stuff!! doesn't this sound like a childish excuse or an Stiff upper lift approach?

    The iPhone 4 has a problem, I don't care on how many other providers out there sell phones with the same problem, Steve you have to fix this and fix it for free! Don't make this a en user problem! It's apple problem and so is it's responsibility to come up with a fix.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You can't sell something broken?"

      You can if you are in denial and the idiots following you would buy your polished turds.

      You never see Skeletor and Jobs in the same room. Just a thought.

      en a twat

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Steve Upper Lift

      Please tell me English isn't your first language.

    3. Chad Larson
      FAIL

      There's a reason they all have it.

      "...I don't care on how many other providers out there sell phones with the same problem..."

      You missed, or are deliberately ignoring the point. All the providers have the same problem because IT'S PHYSICS. Steve can't fix it, and neither can anyone else.

      1. Ammaross Danan
        FAIL

        Actually

        You must live in the SJobs reality, for last time I checked, my RIM device has a plastic-coated antenna (even has a gap in the same place as the iPhone4). I can handle the device any which way I choose without any signal problems. All this could have been avoided if Steve would have just put a plastic coating on his "HAS TO BE METAL" external Antenna. Well, now it IS covered by plastic, in the form of an ugly, bulky bumper.

  24. Billz
    FAIL

    I'm returning my iPhone 4

    Things I love about the iPhone4 (compared to my old 3GS): Good video. Good camera. Fantastic screen. However, I don't like the fact that I have to use a bumper to avoid signal degradation.

    I watched the press conference on Friday. I really wanted Apple to 'fess up to making a design mistake - I wanted to hear how they would improve things in the future (e.g. putting lacquer on the antenna - would help a little) etc. What I heard instead was this is a common smartphone problem - its not - you don't need to death grip iPhone - just try browsing the web holding it in your left hand...

    I also wanted to hear about whether this is a problem for ALL iPhone 4's or it is only affecting certain units - I believe its the former.

    So.. even though I really love that screen, and can avoid signal problems using the bumper I have I've just phoned AppleCare in UK and arranged for them to pick up my iPhone and refund my £599.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Rather odd

      So you returned the phone simply because you have to put inside a nice cuddly, rubber cover?

      Seems an odd reason to send something back that you profess to love so much.

      On a related note, I have a crappy 2 year old LG which barely holds a charge longer than 18 hours, I find this whole fiasco rather amusing. Once again the need own the latest and greatest, the insatiable need to be on the cutting edge. Most of my tech kit is at least 2 years or older, as you get older you simply can't be arsed to keep up with the Joneses anymore!

      Wait for it to break on it's own then replace it...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Thinking about doing the same

      Love the screen, the speed ... everything, except reception.

      Laying on the desk my 4.0.1 iPhone 4 had five bars, if I pick it up it drops to one bar. It drops calls, none of my previous phones or iPhones have done that (except in tunnels and the like); sometime the call quality is so bad that people are hanging up and dialing my landline numbers instead. Quite often the Judas Phone does not ring, I simply get voice-mail alert a few minutes later.

      I might try a free 'bumper' condom for it, but I hate cases and those kind of thing on phones ... if you need a case, the phone is either ugly or badly designed. So, I am considering sending it back. Right now.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    mwaahaa

    my htc touch pro 2 doesnt do this

    yeah yeah im trolling in know !!!!

    BUT IM LOVING THIS LOL !!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      troll on

      Troll on, there's enough dumbas... I mean fanbois to keep us entertained for ages.

  26. Richard 96

    I must have a faulty BB bold 9700..

    .. since taking jobs at his word, since the press release I have tried heaven and hell to get my bold 9700 to loose a signal bar. I have held it everywhere possible and even on three network it has yet to suffer from signal problem.

    I must be twice as unlucky as my works Curve 8900 appears to be faulty as well as that does not loose any signal bars either.

    As my 9700 may be faulty i decided to try my old Nokia e71 (steel back) and guess what.. that must be faulty as well cause even that didnt suffer signal loss when held in many different ways.

    Seeing as I am having very bad luck I do not think I will try with the lottery this week.

  27. Rogerborg

    Why doesn't Steve just come out and say it

    You traitors caught bitching about your iPhone 4 or, Jobs help you, asking for a free cover or even... sweet Lady Sosumi... attempting to return it? You'll be shitlisted for iPhone 5. Your names and faces will be memorised by all Apple Geniuses. You'll be IP blocked from the Apple site. You'll be BANNED FROM STARBUCKS.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    But all phones behave like this...

    While it is true that shielding a phone reduces reception, IT IS NOT the case that ALL phones have a death spot on the side, that will short out the antennas. Whilst I can drop a single bar on my non-iPhone there is no way I can drop 80% of the signal with a single poke.

    Half baked, half truths, for half-wits.

    1. DZ-Jay

      @AC

      >> "Whilst I can drop a single bar on my non-iPhone there is no way I can drop 80% of the signal with a single poke."

      Neither can you in the iPhone 4, or did you not pay attention to the problem calculating the "bars" meter? The drop is for -24dBm, which is significant, but hardly "80% of the signal".

      -dZ.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        -24dB is more than 80% loss

        'Neither can you in the iPhone 4, or did you not pay attention to the problem calculating the "bars" meter? The drop is for -24dBm, which is significant, but hardly "80% of the signal".'

        -dZ.

        -24dBm is losing 94% of the signal so the original post was being conservative.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Grenade

        dB

        "The drop is for -24dBm, which is significant, but hardly "80% of the signal"."

        Did you pay attention? Since dB is a logarithmic measure, -24dB means a loss of 99.6% of the signal strength! In order to lose 80% of the signal strength, you just need -7dB.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        Dont be an idiot...

        4 out of 5 bars is a simple 80% for me (even after the bars patch 3 bars to one is still 66% loss of the available) , but if you insist go on then convert -24dBm into mW power and then tell me the percentage change.

        Fact is you CAN'T FIX any other phone with sticky Tape!

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Oh DZ-Jay

        So I'm presuming thats short for Dizzy J. what with your avid belief (no facts required) its clear where you stand its just a shame that you are too easy to shoot down in flames...

        Nice try on the 'its only 1%' argument though http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2010/07/16/jobs_denies_iphone_4_problems/#c_818749 I still say that 1% + 1% is a 100% increase.

    2. Paul 129

      dB's and antennas

      -3dB is 1/2 power. For every 3dB down the power level halves again. About 23 dB is the gain you can expect for a good Yagi (TV antenna with 6 or more elements).

      Antennas are funny things, I once built a UHF VHF TV antenna, it should have given me 23dB gain for VHF a little more for UHF, if each was on thier own, but I combined them onto the one beam.

      Dead between the UHF and VHF frequencies I had designed this antenna for, and not considering the two togher, was a radio station.

      Every channel that I turned to played this radio station. Even when tuned into a vacant channel it played.

      I learned later that FM recivers lock onto the strongest signal, and TV's used FM for audio.

      23dB is a HUGE power difference....

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    There's 2 issues

    Yawn. The reg jumps in again with a delightfully fact-free post full of bias.

    Could we have some proper analysis here please?

    I think there's 2 issues here. Attenuation (the signal doesn't travel so well through your hand) and detuning (by electrically linking 2 antennas you effectively make the antenna longer and make it less efficient at transmitting and receiving signals on the desired frequency).

    Jobs has done himself a disservice by burying the detuning with the attenuation.

    The demonstrations of the other phones showed them being attenuated, which is unsurprising. However none of them had a direct electrical contact with the antenna, so none of them were detuned. That's what adding the bumper does- prevents the detuning. Nothing can really prevent the attenuation.

    1. Jeremy Chappell

      EXACTLY!

      And the real question is does the "detuning" make the phone worse than a traditional design where the antenna will be more covered by the users hand? I don't know the answer. I suspect it will "depend" so I guess we're looking for the "average" experience, if on average this design performs better or worse.

  30. Subliteratus

    Apple store

    Interestingly, I was in the Apple Store in Regent Street on Saturday and one of the Apple minions told me that they weren't expecting stock for over the counter sales for another 2 months. If I had a suspicious mind I'd suspect that the 22 days was spent revising the antenna design and getting the production lines re-tooled. I was about to buy the phone (hey, free bumpers - woo!) but I think I'll hang on til the new stock arrives. Then let someone else buy it and maybe upgrade a month after that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Halo

      go on...

      Buy the phone claim the bumper then send it back and await the new version.. I wouldn't take the risk though.. They may not fix it afterall there isn't a problem!

  31. ratfox
    Jobs Halo

    Steve Jobs is dead??

    "Steve Jobs death grips iPhone 4 reality"

    I tried to make sense of this title, but I could only come up with "his death grips the reality of the iPhone 4". Subject, verb, complement?

  32. Lucas S. Bickel
    Jobs Horns

    Which one of us is living in the real reality?

    I can't believe I'm the first one to say "reality distortion field" in here!

  33. LPF
    Thumb Up

    Well its quite simple

    If you dont like it they are offering a full refund, cant say fairer than that!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Grenade

      Does that include App Store purchases?

      Thought not.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      You make it sound like they are doing you a favour

      In the UK at least, you already have the right to a full refund if the product is not fit for purpose.

  34. LinkOfHyrule
    Joke

    ANYBODY

    ANYBODY WHO DISAGREES WITH STEVE IS A HATER AND A CYBER BULLY AND A WINDOW$ USER!!!!!!

    EOF (End of fanboi-ism)

    hahaha!

  35. Guido Esperanto

    I'm a lefty

    with a Bold 9000.

    I've held the 9700, the jesus phone and nokia phones in the same way (unlike Apple, who seem to grip differently dependant on phone - just look at the pictures).

    I grip each phone always by the lower half, never have any grip in the top half. If you cradle each phone as Steve is suggesting we do, you cant use them. The thumb provides most action. Try it, try death gripping a phone then move your thumb the full useable area...you just cant (unless you are some freak :D)

    My finding purely unscientifc though they are show, that yes, when I grip the phones ala Steve n Cronies, I get signal attentuation and all drop bars.

    When I grip normally, only the jesus phone loses signal. That my friend IS the bottom line.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Or look at it another way

    There are 3 problems that the iPhone 4 had / has

    - Incorrectly stating the number of signal bars

    - Normal drop in signal when held

    - Extra drop caused by death Grip

    Anandtech confirmed all 3 of these - http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review

    Now, Apple have fixed the signal bars issue, and they can't do anything about the normal drop in signal. That's a 66% success rate in my eyes.

    [Note: This post was done only partly tongue-in-cheek]

  37. woodshedUK
    Happy

    Alternative to Bumpers

    For those not wanting their free case, apple are also offering these free alternatives, which also address the battery life issues. ;) (leaked pictures)

    http://is.gd/du3tv

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    reality is ...

    ...whatever refuses to go away when I stop beliving in it - philip k dick

  39. Rupert Stubbs

    And your point is...?

    Yeah, Steve Jobs is putting the best spin on it he can. What a surprise. But does his case contain merit?

    My own experience is that I can make my iPhone 3GS drop bars by holding it - I never realised that before. So is the 3GS suddenly a worse phone? Nope - if anything, the opposite. Because I now know about this behaviour, I can avoid holding it that way when the signal is weak.

    It also looks as if this sort of behaviour happens to a lot of phones. This is supported not only by Apple's videos, but also by phone user manuals and anecdotes from other websites (including a forum thread about the Nexus 1 in February, which seems to have been ignored at the time). You'll find many of these on self-acknowleged Apple shill Gruber's Daring Fireball site.

    So if, as it seems, most phones suffer attenuation when the antenna - hidden or not - is encased in a sack of blood and flesh, then Apple has a point.

    However, the crux is whether the signal loss is (a) worse on the iPhone 4 than on other data-using phones and (b) whether the the "flaw" spot on the iPhone 4, where the line is, causes significant additional signal loss.

    If (a) is inconclusive or marginal, the SJ's reality seems valid. If, as I guess most of us suspect, (b) is true, then SJ has tried to hide a specific weakness behind a general truth. Hence the bumper offer, which contradicts his general point that even internal-antenna'd phones suffer attenuation.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Figure of fun

    I think most industry people think "jesus there's a guy who has really lost the plot" these days when another missive from St Jobs of Cupertino is received.

    I remember thinking much the same about Larry Ellison with his optimistic pronouncements on Oracle last decade - problem? What problem, we're growing revenue. They were but the market was changing and Oracle wasn't. Buying Sun was a sure sign of total insanity ;)

    People will buy Apple for looks. Simple as. The people who don't are in a very very small minority Therefore for Apple form IS more important than function and so this ("antennagate") is the result.

    Jobs can bullshit all he likes, his recent behaviour has become more and more erratic/delusional and everyone who's watched him over the years knows it.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Antennagate

    please stop putting 'gate' after any incident/dodgy event. It's retarded.

    Ta, I'll get my coat

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Antennagate

      It's a perfectly acceptable shorthand. Shush.

  42. Lewis Mettler 1
    Stop

    simple fraud

    Fraud is the use of lies or deceit to get your money.

    YOU decide. If Steve Jobs is lying about the product in order to get your money, you can sue him.

    That is what fraud is all about.

    PR departments and CEO's for that matter have to be carefull not to make false statements in order to get money. Clearly Apple is stupid. They will be sued. They are being sued. And they should be.

    Lying about a competitors product can also be a serious problem. Why not claim that Cherrios will give you cancer? Simple. If you can not prove that it is true, you will end up in court.

    Suggesting you have to hold a product in a particular way in order for it to work correctly is fine. Suggesting you need to buy a cover or use duct tape is fine. But, lying about what the product does is fraud. And lying about what other products do is also going to get you sued.

    Consumers are stupid. And consumers can easily be defrauded. Microsoft does it all of the time. Remember when Microsoft lied saying they bundled IE with the OS because it was part of the OS? The US appellate court decided that commingling the code was illegal. And Microsoft knew that. Microsoft also knew that most consumers were easy to defraud. Apple thinks the same way. Tell them it is the bar program. Tell them all phones do it. Lie about it anyway you can in order to get their money.

    If you paid money to Apple and have been lied to, sue them. Sue them for fraud. Sue them for lying about the product in order to get your money.

    It is as simple as that.

    1. Kevin Reader
      IT Angle

      Quite!

      The point is that the lie, even if caught is still much cheaper than retooling and/or refunding any significant proportion of 3 million units. Even if you only ship them to and from the 3rd world to have children paint lacquer (or tape) around the case.... By the time you add shipping, handling, packaging, people preferring their own unit back, etc its even more expensive.

      No IT angle? Well thats because this (and apple) are all about marketting.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    A couple of things

    A few things people seem to be missing.

    1.) The death grip - aka holding it normally - is quite difficult to get around when you're surfing the net or sending a text. You hold the phone with your left hand, whilst touching the screen - typing, pinching, dragging etc - with your right hand. The base of my thumb naturally touches the bottom left of the phone...

    2.) From what I understand, the death grip - aka the "you're holding it wrong grip" - also affects data connectivity, so your net surfing is slowed down considerably. That's quite a big deal for a "smart phone", which is used a lot for surfing the net, sending emails and using apps that require 3G data.

    3.) Whilst not a massive problem in the UK, you have to remember that in the US, what with it being f**king massive country, coverage is nowhere near as complete as it is in the UK. In the UK, it was rare that I'd find myself somewhere where I didn't have at least 4 bars. In the US, where I now live, I'm lucky to get 2 bars, and I whilst I don't live in NYC, I don't live in the middle of nowhere either.

  44. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    unique to iPhone

    You missed, or are deliberately ignoring the point,...

    is it that much of a prob, i only know 2 people who 'had to have' an iPhone4 and while the bars on their phones go down, it doesn't effect the call. So,.. the whole thing appears to be blown out of proportion. i've yet to meet anybody with the same problem on any other phone

    yawn, wake me when there's some real news

    (mines the one with the problem free HTC in the pocket)

  45. DEAD4EVER

    iphone 4 death grip

    just chuck this damn phone in the bin best place for it. steve jobs is trying to blame others and not his his own friggin phone.

  46. Michael 82
    FAIL

    Apple at bat.

    Swing and a miss, strike 3 your out!

    Well I certainly will not be going Apple anytime soon.

  47. Sureo

    "form over function"

    Mobile phones are two-way radios and need to transmit and receive radio signals to work. In the past the antenna stuck out from the case to be as much in the clear as possible. It was highly unlikely someone would hold this kind of phone by the antenna. With today's new cool designs the antenna has disappeared. It shouldn't surprise anyone that they do not work very well.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Seems people still don't get it...

    Not sure what is worse, the additional crap spewed by SJ or the consistent lack of understanding by many people over this issue - many posting here...

    Lets make this simple... Everyone should understand and expect that all radio receiving devices lose this abilitiy to a certain degree when their antenna are covered/blocked. This is accepted, this is physics. Stick it in a lead box, it's not going to get anything.

    The issue here is that Apple and SJ came out proclaiming what a work of genius their new antenna was and how nobody had done such a desing before. The reason nobody does such a design is because it doesn't make much sense to expose the antenna in an environment where it is likely to get touched.

    The IP4 loses signal like every other device to varying degrees when its antenna is shielded. What it also does but other devices don't (because their antenna are shielded) is lose signal drastically when its antenna is shorted because of the design and location of those antenna.

    So, far from being the genius design it turns out and is admitted that basically they are prone to similar issues every other phone is prone to with the addition of direct contact induced loss that other phones don't suffer from.

    The solution? Add shielding around the antenna in the form of the bumpers to make their 'genius' design effectively no different than any other phone antenna, i.e. insulated beneath plastic.

  49. Beachrider

    Consumer Reports has lawyers, too...

    In the past CU (which operates Consumer Reports) has made a point of suing people that inappropriately leverage their copyrighted reports without proper agreements. Perhaps Mr. Jobs' lawyers have gotten a 'jingle' from north-of-NYC.

    The 'squeezing' stuff here is a little silly. You just need to make contact at a level that lets your skin form part of the circuit. That will vary from one person to another.

  50. JeffyPooh
    Coat

    "a more advanced antenna than has ever shipped on a smartphone"

    WTF -> "...more advanced..." ?

    It's two bits of bent metal, that not-coincidentally happen to be bent into a shape that outlines the outer edge of the iPhone 4. It's precisely and exactly as "advanced" as two bits of bent coat hanger would be... Except that the coat hanger has the good sense to be insulated with a non-conductive coating.

  51. Ammaross Danan
    FAIL

    Bumper

    I hope all the "size of the iPhone4" metrics all include the extra bulk the REQUIRED bumpers add.

    And I guess it goes without saying that the "sleek" metal casing "Oooh Shiney!" factor can be negated due to a designer piece of plastic being required...

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    thieves and liars

    Thieves and liars can NEVER be trusted. Mr Jobs is, IMHO, both, you should all know this very well by now.

    -

    He will say anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to cover his butt.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I am totaly confused now

    I need a Google blanket

  54. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Jobs isn't helping

    "One wonders how Google got such an easy ride. Maybe because they didn't manage to sell 3 million Nexus Ones in 3 weeks or so. Or maybe everyone seems to think Apple have got too big for their boots, and wants to take them down a peg or two."

    Or, maybe, Google didn't go around saying "Oh, it's bullshit, actually there's no problem at all. Oh and that problem I just said doesn't exist? Well, every phone has it, even though it doesn't exist.. But we'll give you a free case anyway, even though you don't need it."

    This would have died down if Jobs didn't keep being such a horses ass about it.

    And again, I'm just surprised they didn't come up with a nice clearcoat to put over the antenna -- it'd make it if anything even shinier, not require a case, and prevent the problematic electrical contact.

  55. Jesse Dorland
    Linux

    Arrogant Jerk

    Two years ago I made the mistake of buying a brand new laptop without doing a research. This notebook Sony Vaio come with Vista, and within five minutes of the opening the box I install Linux, and dual boot with downgrade XP SP3. At the time Microsoft bribe every notebook maker, and hardware manufacture to make devices solely for Vista. This notebook -- hardware wise okay, but Sony refuse to make most of the driver for xp -- external vga, fn function, and more.

    I learned my lesson, never buy a laptop from a store -- buy a business notebook which allows you to downgrade, and matte -- anti glare screen. The key is customization -- yes you pay more, but you get the best deal.

    I use my laptop mostly outside -- near windows. So glossy screen is not good for me.

    Now what does this have to do with iPhone? Read the reviews from other customers, and do some research before throwing away your hard earned money. In fact save some money, and buy it on cash -- no data contract, or any other for that matter.

    I love my iPhone, but that's doesn't mean that I'll swallow anything coming out of Jobs' mouth, or Steve Ballmer for that matter.

  56. Gareth Davies

    SAR vs. Design

    I guess my view as an antenna designer doesn't count for much in the media world, but here goes:

    Can you have a design like the iPhone 4 with a good antenna?

    Yes

    Can you have a design like the iPhone 4 with a low SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) value?

    Again, Yes.

    Can you have both?

    No.

    Antennas are placed at the bottom of modern phones in order to keep the SAR Value down. This is simply due to the fact that a SAR test is from a particular point in a simulated human head. The easiest way to lower a SAR value is to move the antenna as far from the point of measurement as possible, which means the bottom of the handset.

    If the antenna was at the top of the phone, the reception issue wouldn't happen, but the SAR value would be unacceptably high.

    The Nokia E71 was the WORST phone for this phenomenon, of course Nokia are not going to accept this either.

    http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2008/08/04/nokia-e71-2-reception-issues-mmm/

    Not just Apple after all........

  57. OrsonX
    Happy

    El Reg

    Brilliant Article!!

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    my old lg vx3400

    I don't have a smart phone. The antenna actually sticks out of th ebody of the phone by a good 4 cm. It's been dropped, tossed, flat out thrown. It's held together with duct or duck (whatever floats your goat...) tape. It just continues to die. I mean this damn thing is cockroach tough. The thing that sucks about it is that due to a gentlemens agreement with my boss that stipulates that I cannot get a new phone unless the old phone dies of natural causes. Translation: I can't fry it or blow it up. Now after reading Mr. Jobs "unbiased " explaination of all "smart phones", I don't know if I want to.

    While I don't fit the typical demographic of an iPhone user, all I want is a phone that sends and receives calls. I don't need a camera, tons of apps or cutting edge looks. I just want a phucking phone that doesn't drop calls when I'm in my office, in an elevator or under my truck, changing the oil.

    As far has Mr. Jobs distorted relative reality theory... I have to give the man credit; anybody who can stand in front of God and everybody, talk out of both sides of his face and not say a damn thing, is pretty damn funny.

    In my rather anti-fanboi/anti-fandroid opinion, looks like Apple just "Vista'd" itself. It's a shame that service packs can't include hardware updates...

  59. gimbal
    Black Helicopters

    Always the marketer's approach

    It would appear to be a rule of thumb for bendy-ethics marketing, such that Herr Jobs is apparently aware of: Never let facts stand in the way of branded "truth".

    Cheers.

  60. Dingmatt
    Jobs Horns

    Comment lol's

    As i'm reading through the comments all I can think is.

    Your an idiot,

    Your an idiot,

    Your an idiot,

    Your an idiot,

    Your a fanboi,

    Your an Apple rep.

    The design of the IPhone 4's aerial is a fail of the most epic degree, as any electronics engineers will tell you.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Comment lol's

      Welcome Dingmatt. You mean 'you're'. Best not to make that kind of error when calling other people idiots.

      Thanks to everyone who is about to point that out with varying degrees of scathing contempt/hilarity.

      1. ncosgrave
        FAIL

        Spelling flame

        You are on the losing side of an argument when you have to resort to spelling flames.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    1 in 100?

    Am I the only one that interpreted His Jobness's number as the percentage increase of failed calls and not the difference in failed call percentages? That is, the 3GS drops 100 calls in a squillion, the 4 101? I'd thought it was pretty negligible in all until I started reading the comments...

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Go

      No, you won't have been the only person.

      And this is, of course, exactly what Jobs wanted, and *why* he phrased it the way he did. Lies, damned lies, and statistics....

      Accept nothing, question everything, and don't let the bastards lie to you.

      GJC

  62. Zap
    Pint

    Wait and see

    OK Apple made a mistake and of all things a design mistake. So what should influence you in your purchase of a new Smartphone? Well with my xray specs that allow me to see the future I can see that the iPhone 5 will not have this problem. It will either have insulation on the inside or follow a different design. So the answer is simple, if you are a die hard Apple fan, make your current iPhone last another year or if you don't have one go get an old one off eBay. If you are not a dies hard Apple fan go get a HTC phone.

  63. keelhaul

    HTC Eris does not have this problem?

    Go the the HTC site, download the manual in PDF format for the Eris. In the English version of the manual, read page 13 very carefully where it explains where not to hold the Eris because - "Contact with the antenna area may impair call quality and cause your device to operate at a higher power level than needed"

    So only the iPhone 4 has these issues?

  64. JaitcH
    Jobs Horns

    The answer to Jobs Lemon Phone

    It is very simple to cure Jobs problem as many have done before him < http://www.itechnews.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/motorola-mc5574-rugged-smartphone-reviewed.jpg >.

    No death grip, minimal loss of signal. Function before form.

  65. Doug Glass
    Go

    And ...

    ... Richard M. Nixon in his own words said, "I am not a crook" then resigned his presidency. Why anybody tolerates this arrogant jerk is beyond me. But some sheep do need to be lead, and in the end, the "Judas Goat" will suffice.

  66. TkH11

    It's never been done before

    So Job's says it's never been done before and it's really cool engineering.

    Yes, there's a reason why it's never been done before...because any RF expert will tell you..it doesn't work, it's not a good thing to do.

    Jobs was more interested in producing a cool gadget and quite deliberately overlooked the engineering side of it, went against the advice of his own RF antenna expert and now's he paying the price of it. It's caught him out.

    He's another Tony Blair, in denial over Iraq.

    Jobs has a choice. Admit there's an issue or keep on trying to cover up the truth.

    He's chosen the latter and it's probably going to cost his reputation dear.

    Probably counting on his loyal customer base that they won't dessert him, and he's probably right.

  67. TkH11

    bars on display

    Listen up folks: bars on display, how many you've got, how many bars drop when you hold the phone in a certain way: tis completely irrelevant. Why? Because you have no idea how they're mapping the actual signal strength expressed in dBm to the bars, secondly, the bar graph doesn't show any scale. So you definitely can't compare one phone or brand of phone to another. Infact, you can't tell anything other than "my phone drops one bar when I hold it like this.". You don't know what the signal strength is, you don't know at what level of signal the phone will drop the call.

    Basically, you don't know anything, so it's completely useless talking about the things.

    I have 5 apples, you have 5 apples, but your apples aren't the same as mine, I don't know what my apples are, you don't know what your apples are, but I have more of them,but if I hold them in a certain I have less of them, way but I don't know how much less in absolute signal terms...

    FFS!

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    It's not reality, it's actuality

    Jobs explanation of the unexplainable can be easily explained in many ways. But let's just cut to the chase and give ourselves relief from all the facts, thereby avoiding all necessary efforts to look for the actual causes and just get to the actual reason Jobs is pushing his explanation of the unexplainable problem: More Money For Jobs if people believe and genuflect at the Apple Temple.

    "Truthiness", as The Colbert Report explains is where it is really at. If Jobs expresses his true truthiness, while all competitors merely state the actual facts, backed up by research there can be no question that Jobs hears Jehovah, and that is the source of the truthiness from which he speaks. Jobs speaks, not Jehovah, he doesn't really want to get involved.

  69. Martin Milan
    Thumb Down

    Apple - Rotten to the core?

    Personally, I used to have a lot of time for Apple - sure, their computers were very expensive, but that was fine, because they were also VERY good. As a company they seemed to take some pride in the product.

    Having moved into consumer electronics however, they seem to have lost some of their shine... I know colleagues who have nightmare stories of Apple's customer support - we have the treatment of developers on the AppStore, and then all this iPhone4 stuff.

    Jobs and friends have turned their products, which used to be the very essence of cool, "look at me I'm a techie who knows my stuff" brilliance into the sort of thing that no god fearing techie would go near now.

    Not entirely sure if that was a good idea Steve...

  70. phlidd

    The Media Zombie Effect.

    I mean, come on.. look at the shit Microsoft's been getting away with all these years..

    Braaaaiiins!

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