iPhone 4 Antenna Issue - If we fuel it, they will come. Cha-ching.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AndyDel, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. AndyDel macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2009
    How many online journalists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    Perhaps somebody can come up with a suitably offensive and witty conclusion to that over applied and rather tired old line, for now i’ll simply let it sit and convey my pure distain for what is Engadget, Gizmodo, TechRadar and all the other morally bankrupt technology “news” outlets have become in the recent weeks.

    I’ve seen my son have a few paddies in his life, even guilty of throwing more than a handful myself. A well constructed and artful display of ignorance, worthy of an Oscar, Emmy and Golden Razzie all at the same time. However, no matter how hard my son has tried to push my buttons or how eloquently ive put my case across to my parents at the same age many moons ago. I can’t in good conscious claim heir to this kingdom any longer, ive been pipped to the post and well and truly trounced in the stadium of whine.

    What has caused this controversy, how could i of been dethroned so easily and forced to live life as a mere mortal once more. Well, it’s a product. A mobile phone called the iPhone 4. A problem has been discovered, one so severe that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it will cause the end of life of earth as we know it. Tin hat up people, alien invasion imminent.

    When you place your hand over the left part of the phone, attenuation can occur and cause the signal to drop on your phone. While not eliminating the ability to make calls entirely (in most cases), visually it makes for a pretty display of how mobile phone technology has its limitations. This problem extends to many other handsets, a plethora of videos lay in wait on youtube for you to digest. They emulate the problem seen on the iPhone 4, depicting a world in crisis as we all come to terms with a reality of life which has existed for years. It’s a situation born of that fact manufactures have to meet certain absorption rates (SAR) for the antenna when in close proximity to the brain, it appears that call clarity is a distance second to possible brain damage in this modern world. Suppose in one respect, whats the point in making a phone call if you end up slurring your words as a result of it. 1-0 Regulators.

    The easiest way to avoid such catastrophic consequences for your beloved customer is to put the antenna closest to the bottom of the phone as possible, a solution adopted by pretty much every manufacturer in the business.

    This is information easily obtainable by people with a keyboard and google at their disposal, i haven’t just leaked internal and secret practise which will land me in as much trouble as Gary McKinnon. Although feel free to extradite to me to Hawiai, providing my cell has a view of the beach and chow time consist of fillet steak and all the five alive i can drink.

    Now i didn’t expect other companies such as Nokia, RIM, HTC or Motorola to jump at the chance of setting the record straight. Apple has been a thorn in their side since the inception of the original iPhone, while on a consumer level it’s been fantastic. Leading to more choice, increased competition and an overall better effort by all manufactures to excel rather than stagnate. It’s done very little for their respective share price and marketshare when one company is gobbling up so many customers, they can be forgiven for tight lips and snide remarks. Journalists however, sites like Engadget, Gizmodo and TechRader to name a few, have much more of an obligation to provide us with an impartial and constructive breakdown of the events as they unfold.

    I can’t help but think that with half a day’s worth of research and 10 or so of the most current smartphones in the market place that they could have dispelled rumour quite effortlessly.

    Myself, i have managed to replicate the issue with an iPhone 3GS, Samsung Galaxy S, Blackberry Bold and Nexus One from colleagues who i was trying to illustrate my point to. It was patently obvious to not only myself but them, that this is an issue surrounding mobile antenna technology as a whole, not indicative of the iPhone 4 itself. It was also conceded that Apples shiney new toy perhaps got more traction on the issue due to advertising the new construction as a positive, less not that the location is clearly indicated by gap within the metal frame. This however does not excuse the blatantly disregard for good journalism and accurate reporting that seems to have been the staple diet of some technology sites. You cannot pick and chose at what moments to be virtuous and balanced, you must stand on both feet and present the readership with the integrity and honestly they expect.

    There has been a choice made, quite clearly, by these websites. It was to prioritize a potential profile building and traffic increasing news story, perpetuating the negative to squeeze every last drop of hysteria possible.. Not only have news stories been thick and fast with scathing and villainous editorial, but reviews have been downgraded (TechRadar) and petitions formed (Gizmodo – Free Case) to exacerbate the situation further.

    Where is the outrage for other handsets (if not most) that exhibit the same behaviour, where was a fair comparison among those handsets. Almost every week i see this phone vs that one, that camera vs this one.. I’m waiting for one to cover this issue, enlighten us all with a knowledgable and concise approach for which you've built your reputations on.. From my perspective, it seems to have been skated around. After all, you aren’t going to make any money by confidently squashing and alleviating the situation before it had time to take off it the way it has.

    It would seem while Fox News has “The War On Terror”, Engadget, Gizmodo and others have “Antennagate”. Bravo fellas, you’ve successfully traded your journalistic integrity to sit along side people of that calibre.
  2. vlug macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2009
    Fancy yourself as a journalist? all I read throughout this post was "fan boy, fan boy, fan boy".
  3. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    As many others have already put, it is not the same behavior.

    Antennae signal detuning is NOT attenuation, even though the problems they cause are similar.

    There is nowhere you can place a single finger on any of the phones in Jobs' video that will cause the same problems that a single finger will on the iPhone4.

    Its not surprising that you (and many others) are confused about the difference. This was a calculated and conscientious spin by apple.

    Having said that, Apple lost this particular battle. They are doing the only thing they can short of a 3 million unit recall (which would cause as many problems as it would fix).

    Time to move on.
  4. EddyP macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2010
  5. tallyho macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2004

    There clearly is.
  6. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    too long. I skimmed

    In short - nothing new here. The press you speak of doesn't owe you anything. And they can be as biased as they want to be. Not that I agree with that - but they aren't OBLIGATED to be unbiased. And rarely are news orgs.

    And yet - CR - who IS unbiased is being bashed by some in here. So it's a lose-lose situation. People either complain about biased news orgs or they say that a publication like CR is obsolete.

    Anything - yes ANYTHING to discredit everyone rather than accept the fact that Apple might have brought this on themselves.

    I'm not going to get into why - or even post in this thread again. It's all old news and has been posted and reposted dozens of times.

    All I will say is that other phone manufacturers have the signal attenuation issue covered in their manual that they can point to. They also don't get out in public via email or press statements saying that NO issue exists and that people should hold their phones differently.

    Apple's worst enemy in this affair was Apple. Not the media. If you dangle a steak in front of a lion, don't be surprised when it comes after you.
  7. vlug macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2009
    What are you, his English teacher?

    He has just rambled on for 12 or so paragraphs and somewhere in there is a subliminal message that it was all hype apple have done no wrong every other phone does this the press aka Gizmodo just want to bring apple down on a slow news day.

    Excuse me for not taking note of the thousands of unhappy customers because of dropped calls/dropped data and having to hide their beautiful new iPhone 4 in a ******* case.
  8. EddyP macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2010

    "I didn't read the post, but there's nothing new here"

    And that's the point. The media would not have created such a ***** storm over other products that would have necessitated a press conference. I think that's the valid point of his post.
  9. dmorris01 macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Here's the bottom line, for those who are impaired. You just don't built a phone with a metal antenna that can be de-tuned just by holding the phone.

    It's a design flaw that anyone with common sense and half a cell can understand. Get over yourself.
  10. bova80 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Why is it necessary to quote the original post? To take up more space?
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Agreed, in both parts. The original post is too long and I too only skimmed.

    I think Consumer Reports is what caused apple to hold the press conference. They were content with letting silence rule the day as in other circumstances. With CR slamming them, they had no choice to address the situation.

    I'm not sure the press conference really did much resolve the issue either. Only time will tell.
  12. mad-dog-one macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2009
    The question should read 'how many journalists does it take to screw-up a lightbulb.'
  13. AndyDel thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Just to answer a couple of comments directed at myself.

    1) Yes attenuation is the issue and yes it is a limitation of all devices which relying on RF. I have bolded the section which really relates to the issue here.


    Your hand is essentially a “Material” in that context.

    As exhibited with the Samsung Galaxy S, it can be achieve with your finger.

    Although that’s not really the issue in my opinion, it’s that if you use the iPhone in a manner which means your hand covers the left side of the phone you can cause attenutation (Affecting left handed people most, by simply holding it how they normally would). This is something which can be replicated with most mobile phones, as this is the limitation of the technology available.

    2) Fanboyism

    I very much like Android in the same way i like iOS, similar situation exists as why i own both an iMac and a Windows 7 based PC.

    I feel each platform provides different positives and negatives, which is why i use both and in different ways. I never really understood why somebody would be so adament to adopt one "thing", it just limits your enjoyment of technology as a whole.

    I’m simply disgusted at the level to which online technology journalism is willing to drop in order to cash in on this situation, which i feel is a more than valid point. If this was purely a problem isolated to Apples product, i’d quite agree with the reaction of sites such as Engadget, Gizmodo and TechRader. This unfortunately is not the case, to the point where it’s been proven otherwise by many people on youtube and other community members determined to do their own research. It’s just a shame we couldn’t rely on news outlets to be as principled and vigilant.
  14. mmyers0520 macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    +1...To Apple: DER
  15. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    If you're going to quote me - quote me correctly. I said I skimmed. That doesn't mean I didn't read it.
  16. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    • The video in question shows a user moving his hand away. The phone was gripped with two fingers. Attenuation is not detuning

    • Unless I missed something, there wasn't a Galaxy S in Jobs' video.

    But if you still aren't satisfied, I would be glad to see a comparison of the reception of the Captivate (AT&T's version of the Galaxy S) vs the iPhone 4.

    I hardly think there is any mystery as to which phone has worse reception/RF issues.
  17. tallyho macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2004
    Um, it shows someone touching the side of the Galaxy S with his finger. When he moves his hand away, the signal returns.

    Of course, a generic Android phone won't get the press attention the the iPhone gets, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a signal problem too.
  18. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Just because every other phone does it doesn't make it a non-issue.

    If both my neighbor and I break our legs - it doesn't mean mine isn't broken just because his is.

    People are just pissed because Apple got singled out. And they got singled out because of the company culture they have created for themselves. You can't have all the "amazing goodness" without accepting that time to time, you're going to get slammed.

    But again - doesn't matter if it's UNFAIR. That doesn't make it invalid.
  19. Figbash Acrobat macrumors 6502a

    Figbash Acrobat

    Apr 15, 2009
    Haha. I'm with you, Sophia. Let me know when the 'notes are out.
  20. asleep macrumors 68040


    Sep 26, 2007
    If you design it correctly, you won't have to face these issues.

    Cha-ching, fanboi.
  21. AndyDel thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2009
    I think you’re missing the point somewhat.

    Journalists are obligated in my view to provide a fair, balanced and impartial view of an issue in which they’re reporting on.

    There is a certain level of journalistic responsibility, as they are a trusted resource for people to gather their news.

    Yes – the reality is that in this world the notion of integrity within the news industry is something which has vanished in recent years, it doesn’t mean its right and certainly doesn’t mean I can’t be any less enraged about it. There was a time where families would huddle around the TV to see a news report on an important issue, where they trusted the content that was being beamed towards them.

    Your general news has been tarnished, people like Fox News and others are more “Media Outlets” peddling stories of importance in relation to how much revenue they can generated rather than their relevance.

    One area of journalism I always held in high regard was online technology reporting, especially for not pandering and falling victim to what is becoming a worrying trend. It was a realm ruled by the people who had to know a thing or two to deliver an informative and balanced view, respected highly because if they didn’t they’d be pulled up and lose the audience very quickly.

    Yes you will get the fanboyism, people set against Apple who wish to make a point and example of them for being overly confident throughout the years.. But you should expect more from journalists, we all should. Otherwise technology “news” will just become a string of exploited events, used purely to impress shareholders rather than enrich our lives with well executed and impartial journalism.
  22. EddyP macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2010
    In the great pissing match that is the antenna issue... that may be the best post about the entire thing.
  23. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    Here are the cliff notes............

    Apple created a phone that has a design flaw which affects everyday performance and use.

    Apple refuses to make good on fixing the design flaw and uses deflection to say they are not to blame.

  24. Robby C macrumors regular

    Robby C

    Jul 11, 2008
    I read the entire thing, but I must admit the post sort of rambles on. It was a decent read, but just how you are mentioning that Engadget, Gizmodo, and all these other Tech-News websites are biased and have impartial ideologies you are contradicting yourself because you have proposed that you are all for Apple in a transparent manner.

    If you wanted for people to agree with you, then you would have had to have some against Apple as well, rather than having every point you have displayed scrutinize the journalists.

    Once again, just my opinion.

    And may I ask, which post did you read? Cause those are the Cliff Notes to a different story, pale.

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