How could Apple not have discovered the antenna problem in testing? Here is how....

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by zub3qin, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Many people are wondering how Apple could not have discovered such a big problem (don't touch the metal band or you lose signal) in their testing process.

    It's pretty obvious if you think about it.

    The phone was never tested in the wild as we use it now.

    Remember the Gizmodo story? Remember the clever 3G disguise that the iPhone 4 was wearing?

    From Gizmodo:
    "[The iPhone 4 test unit] was enclosed in a custom-molded plastic case so it could be used in public without attracting attention." (See photo below)

    So as you can see, outside of Apple HQ, the phone was likely never tested without a disguise case covering the all-important metal band. So no contact with the antenna was likely made by the field tester's hands, and thus no loss of signal.

    Sometimes secrecy has its disadvantages.....
    Here is the iPhone 4 disguise that was used:

  2. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    This actually makes sense. But it is still no excuse for Apple.
  3. matt15f macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    What does this idea add? I'll be picking up a case tomorrow, they knew the issue was there, yea it's not perfect but if you really dont like it don't buy it.
  4. Ferris23 macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2007
    Theory is interesting, but the problem is more likely to happen in their home than outside where signal is usually good. I can't imagine they didn't take the phone out of the case at home and use it. It would be a HUGE oversight if this is true.

    Oh, and this theory is kind of old but... (old being like 3 days ago) lol
  5. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Yes. Yes it is pretty obvious. I thought about it, and so did many others. But thanks for the pedantic post and ancient photo. You know, this is Macrumors, not some church garden club filled with grannies. Macrumors can be a pretty sharp crowd. Might wanna think about that before typing up your next big revelatory lesson.
  6. Amnesia87 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2010
    Since there's no way they ever you know, just touched the seam it in the lab and measured how it affected the signal strength.

    Confused software makes substantially more sense than this theory.
  7. zub3qin thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Well, here is my next revelatory lesson.
    It seems you are fond of these types of negative responses to various posters on Macrumors- not sure why you are so bitter. People post on Macrumors to share info.

    On another post today to someone posting about the antenna issue you cleverly opined "Great find there scoop. Hope you're not a reporter by trade. Or a baker."

    And today to another member posting a poll asking members to report whether or not they are having reception issues you had a great one-liner:
    "A poll! What a novel idea."

    Another gem- to another Macrumors member who was posting about iPhone 4 you issued yet another nugget of wisdom: "Another in a long string of winning posts by the OP"

    My advice- Life is too short- have some fun and don't be so angry!

    And enjoy your fellow members here on Macrumors- we are all really nice people- really!
  8. vega07 macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2006
    Haha. Nice.
  9. FamiliaPhoto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Nicely done...well said.
  10. iphoneZ macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2008
    there's no way they could have missed this. obv they knew about it and the design team decided to put out defective product because it looked pretty
  11. ubercool macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Great job, well said. Clearly a sourpuss by day. :rolleyes:
  12. XciteMe macrumors 6502

    May 21, 2009
    Santa Monica, CA
    I don't think the TC is trying to justify or excuse Apple, he's simply showing how this snafu could have been made possible, for those who may be wondering how.

    That's all.
  13. Mark.W macrumors member

    May 11, 2010
    Interesting theory. The only problem with it is that anyone with a basic understanding of how radio transmission works would know that physically touching the antenna is bad for reception. This is the kind of "issue" that you don't even need to test for because it's so blatantly obvious.

    My guess is that this is really more of an intentional design compromise than an omission on Apple's part. They wanted to make the iPhone slimmer and with larger battery capacity, which means that there was no space left for an internal antenna.
  14. Amnesia87 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2010

    physically touching the antenna affects reception, it isn't inherently bad, and the effect has a great deal of variance depending on the specific application.

    You've never grabbed a radio or tv antenna and noticed a clearer signal?

    Either way COMPLETELY unrelated to the ACTUAL issue, which is interference BETWEEN the two antenna, note that the issue ONLY occurs when you are touching the place on the phone where the gap between the antennas is close enough that the signal can overcome the resistance of human skin and cause an issue. Which is also why this issue can be duplicated by contacting the two antenna with a metal object.

    And while people are talking about the length of the antenna causing a loss in signal quality, the level of loss from that small an increase in antenna size shouldn't be that noticeable.

    What's more likely is that it's an issue with the phones software processing the signal to noise ratio and adapting the signal to compensate for interference.
  15. Mark.W macrumors member

    May 11, 2010

    Simply touching the antenna causes two problems: detuning (a.k.a. loading the antenna), which lowers the resonant frequency, and attenuation (energy loss caused by the fact that human tissue is a lossy conductor). Both of these phenomena result in signal loss. That's why older phones with external antennas had them located at the top of the phone, where it does not come in contact with the hand. Of course, with the iPhone, that's not really a solution because you would be touching the top of the phone when browsing the internet in landscape mode.

    Interference between the two antennas may also be an issue, but it doesn't change the fact that simply touching the antenna is bad for reception. The bottom lien is that Apple made a design compromise.

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