Apple Antenna Engineer and Carrier Partner Expressed Early Concern Over iPhone 4 Design

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by Mosi, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Mosi macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    The Nations Capital
    According to Bloomberg:

    "Last year, Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert, informed Apple’s management the device’s design may cause reception problems, said the person, who is not authorized to speak on Apple’s behalf and asked not to be identified."

    Such a bad PR week and now the media smells blood and won't give up.

    If true, this is terrible and I really hope Apple does the responsible thing on Friday.


    Flame on!
  2. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Form over factor eh?

    If true, then surely every iPhone 4 should have been supplied with a Bumper in the box.
  3. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    I believe the word you're looking for is "function." ;)
  4. SDRacerR1 macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2009
    No...the product should have never been released. Telling people who have an issue they need to use a bumper to solve the problem is not a fix. I don't understand why everyone thinks a "bumper" is an acceptable fix. You can't dictate how to use the iPhone, specially to all the users who don't like bumpers, cases, etc.
  5. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    Apple Antenna Engineer and Carrier Partner Expressed Early Concern Over iPhone 4 Design



    Bloomberg reports that Apple senior engineer and antenna expert Ruben Caballero expressed his concerns to CEO Steve Jobs early in the iPhone 4's design process over the device's antenna design.
    The report also cites claims from a second source that one of Apple's carrier partners also raised concerns about the design ahead of the device's launch late last month, although presumably those concerns came much closer to the product's launch than Caballero's.

    Apple declined to comment on the report, and Caballero did not respond to multiple attempts to contact him for the story.

    Apple is set to hold a press conference at 10:00 AM Pacific Time tomorrow on the topic of the iPhone 4, and the company is widely expected to talk about the device's signal issues at the event.

    Article Link: Apple Antenna Engineer and Carrier Partner Expressed Early Concern Over iPhone 4 Design
  6. ditzel macrumors newbie


    Jun 20, 2010
    Red state flyover country
  7. 617arg macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2008
    ouch. If this is true it could be Apple's biggest blunder yet. Always listen to the engineers......especially when you're still early in the design phase............
  8. fleshman03 macrumors 68000


    May 27, 2008
    Sioux City, IA
    So I guess it was all in Ruben Caballero's head too, right?

    This whole thing is stating to get WAY out of control.
  9. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2010
    No idea what they are going to say Friday, but at this point anything less than a recall (which I doubt they'll do) and mine is going back to the store. I really want to like it and if it was just an iPod touch it would be an amazing device.

    But this thing has to be reliable as a phone and, right now, it isn't.
  10. Ricard macrumors newbie


    May 11, 2006
    I posted this a couple of days ago in one of the forums!

    Did Apple knew?
    What seems weird is Apple pushing the "bumpers" during the presentation of the iPhone 4 and after the release of the phone it is precisely the issue of the antenna what the bumper fixes... Did Apple knew about the reception issue from the beginning, but it was too late to stop shipments and refurb the units or change the design of the antenna. A recall at this point will cost Apple billions of dollars...
  11. Irrational macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    Wow a press conference.... its like a movie. :eek:

    BTW... There will be NO RECALL... so don't start posting about how there will be one!!!!!!!!!!

    Its a freakening signal issue that is 100% avoidable and fixable by the user. Recall is just stupid for such a non-critical issue.

    Response to posts:

    You can fix it by using a case or not holding it in the left corner. I am not saying the phone is not designed poorly... but seriously... its not like it doesn't work. It does.

    Why will there by no recall? Its completely unnecessary. I do believe Apple should do something... but a Recall is only if the phone could harm you.

    My prediction will be they announce a slightly different antenna design and offer people with the other design to trade in if they want. Worst case... they will give out free bumpers.
  12. JD914 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Dutchess County NY
    Top Apple Engineers Warned Jobs About iPhone 4 Antenna Problems

    From Gizmodo:


    According to Bloomberg, one of Apple's senior engineers raised concerns over the potential for the iPhone 4 to drop calls because of the device's design.

    Ruben Caballero, an antenna expert at Apple who worked on the device, spoke with management last year about his belief that the iPhone 4's design could cause reception troubles, according to Bloomberg sources. A "carrier partner" also expressed worries over potential antenna issues. Apple has declined to comment, but will hold an iPhone 4-related press conference tomorrow.

    This is the first indication that people at Apple internally knew about the phone's potential problems before its June release. Until this point, the only official word from the company was a software fix that thus far seems to have been ineffective. [Bloomberg]

    Send an email to Brian Barrett, the author of this post, at
  13. mtrctyjoe macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2005
    Motor City (Detroit, not Tokyo)
    Press Release!

    Sweetness .... maybe my $100 Gift Card is already in the mail? :D

    I love my iPhone 4 when it is in the case ... when out of the case and held in my hand it is a POS. So a $100 gift card to buy a new case will make me feel much better :)
  14. JD914 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Dutchess County NY
  15. klrobinson999 macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2008
    If they knew about it, and did nothing, that's duplicity.
    They sold a faulty product! Arghhhh!!!
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
  17. Arisian macrumors 68000


    Sep 14, 2007
    Ugh, I feel bad for Ruben Caballero - sure hope he doesn't get crap for this when it's obviously not his fault.

    Wonder if he knew his name was being thrown around in the media. I can only imagine this being the start of Ruben's worse day ever.

    Nonetheless, glad someone caught it... sucks that no one listened.
  18. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  19. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    No surprise.

    This happens when executives (especially those with no engineering background and who have volatile tempers and are known to fire people on a whim) make critical design decisions.

    Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.

    The bigger question to me is, why aren't the cell carriers catching this stuff better? For example, Verizon is infamous for holding back devices until their test group is satisfied.

    This is at least twice that AT&T's staff have allowed a major mistake that should've been caught. Remember the first 3G version, which had a WCDMA power control problem that would bring down cells?

    Edit: In this case, supposedly a carrier DID notice, but still sold the phone.
  20. davyreins macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ann Arbor
    Wow, this adds another level to everything...really curious what will happen at the press conference.
  21. emulator macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2005
    In a world where occupiers are destroyed
    Probably yes, since they'd also sought for a ******** of antenna engineers right before launch day.

    And the $29 tag on the bumpers is just in line with his arrogance.

    With the iPhone, probably Apple dictate, not the carriers.
  22. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    My friggen mom knew that the antenna on the outside wouldn't work, and she knows nothing about technology.
  23. Belly-laughs macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2003
    you wish
    that'll teach 'em! next time, if solution proposed ruins aesthetics don't use it. antennae just ain't sexy.
  24. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

    Feb 22, 2009
    Phunnie how money can buy people off!:rolleyes:

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