Antennagate revisited....changes in store for next iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ReallyBigFeet, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I was looking through some Android forum posts (we've got both Androids and iPhones in the family, living together in sin if you will) and ran across this thread describing how the "death grip" issue actually helps IMPROVE signal reception in HTC EVO phones:

    I'm not a radio engineer so I can't comment on the facts this guy presents, but I will say that he presents them in a very convincing manner.

    With all the wild speculation going on regarding new features in the "next" iPhone, I wonder if Apple will make any significant changes to the design of the thing. On the one hand, this would be damaging to the thousands of aftermarket case/accessory makers who have already tooled up for the iPhone 4. And historically, the 3G/3GS form didn't really change for the 2+ years of their existence.

    But if the facts in that link are true, then Apple's choice of steel band and glass case would tend to indicate a really bad idea for a cell phone, industrial design criteria notwithstanding.

    How would you feel if Apple 'dropped back' to a more 3G/3GS oriented front, plastic back and dropped the glass back/steel frame entirely?

    Personally, since I case mine and always likely will, it wouldn't matter. Particularly if it improved the durability and/or reception capabilities of the phone.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think its a slam dunk, that apple will alter the design of the phone, to mitigate the death grip problem. I don't think we'll see a brand new design, so the look and feel will be the same, but how they implement the antenna may change a bit.

    I'm no engineer so I have no idea what they could do about it, but I think its a forgone conclusion that it will occur.
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    The i4 antenna is actually better than the previous iPhones in many ways. It was more prone to 'how you hold it' problems so, yeah, they'll try to address that, I'm sure. But they're not going to throw away the other improvements they've made.

    I think the i5 antenna will be very similar to the i4's. It may be slightly changed, but they'll be refinements, not a whole new design.

    In other words, the i4 was 3 steps forward and (depending on where you live) either 1 step back or perhaps 3 or 4 steps back. Apple will be working on fixing those "steps back" but they won't erase those "3 steps forward" in the process.

    I predict only minor changes.
  4. Eso macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    All I know is that if they don't make any changes to the antenna, I won't be buying the next iPhone and my current iPhone will be the last one I ever own.
  5. asleep macrumors 68040


    Sep 26, 2007
  6. apmorency, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011

    apmorency macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010
    They're married to the current design for at least the next generation iphone.
    It's been in design and preproduction since before the iphone was released.

    Think of the design and production costs of all the millions of units they sell. They're not going to stop everything at the beginning of the products life cycle. They may make a change in material for the outer band but I doubt even that happens.

    I'll add that changing the antenna design for the next iphone would = or be taken as a big 'we screwed up on the I4' and open them up to being sued.
  7. viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    Well I do have an RF background and the guys analysis to me is BS. But if I'm wrong, his suggestion is that it will improve the performance by 0.287 to 1.78 dB...which is next to even 1 bar on most phones.

    So, big deal.

    I think apple will change the iP5 (but will they change the IP4 Verizon???). My feeling is that it will be changed internally with how the antenna is connected, and not on the outside. Unless they place a thick coating over the one hot spot.
  8. TheyCallMeSaint macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2010
    I could see Apple keep the current design, but do something to mitigate the reception problem. Maybe a non-conductive coating on the steel band? Or a built-in bumper sorta thing?
  9. UCLAKoolman macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    I'd bet this is what they'll do too.
  10. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    Yep, clear epoxy coating around the exposed edge of the antenna. Surprised they didn't do this from the start.

    It would eventually wear off 1-2 years down the road, but by then they would be looking at a new design anyway.

    Boggles my mind that they didn't know of this weakness to begin with. Hell, they have the two antennas separated to begin with and that right there shows you they knew it was a problem area.

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