Spencer Webb at AntennaSys.com has "seen the light..." with his own iPhone 4

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by br0adband, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. br0adband macrumors 6502a

    br0adband

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    #1
    One of the first people to speak out about the so-called antenna issue, noted antenna design specialist Spencer Webb, had this to say last week - his first impressions on July 2nd, when he first had some time to "experience" an iPhone 4:

    http://www.antennasys.com/antennasys-blog/2010/7/2/first-impressions-iphone-4.html

    His article was widely quoted, shared, and he even appeared on TWiT for an interview. A lot of people took his opinions and twisted them around to conform to whatever they wanted it to appear as though he was saying. He only had a brief experience with the iPhone 4 so his opinions were a bit tainted, one could say, but the short period of time he had to work with one and do some very basic impromptu testing did give him reasons to wonder about the specific antenna design Apple chose.

    Perhaps he even found something to speculate over with respect to the reported antenna and reception issues that were just starting to turn from whispers to roars.

    Now, 5 days later, Spencer received his own iPhone 4 (he'd ordered it some time in the recent past, I can't say specifically when that was). He had a lot more hands on with it, was able to do more impromptu testing, and has now come to a new conclusion, or as he puts it exactly:

    You can read his expert opinion - and anybody that dares doubt his expert status can check his qualifications - of his own iPhone 4's antenna design and performance here:

    http://www.antennasys.com/antennasys-blog/2010/7/7/the-iphone-4-smartmodule.html

    SmartModule, indeed. ;)
     
  2. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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  3. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #3
    Since they did not have a case on it from the start, I'd say he has an axe to grind. No report of this type should be written or published until all possibilities have been explored. To do so prematurely is totally immature and only an exercise in self promotion and sensationalism.
     
  4. br0adband thread starter macrumors 6502a

    br0adband

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    #4
    Thanks for for the input, Tom. Now, just as soon as you can put up some info to back up your position, your experience, your skills, knowledge, etc, and we compare them with Spencer's (or my own, for that matter), then you'll have some ground to stand on.

    A hand-held cell phone that doesn't work as it's designed to work: as a cell phone you hold in your hand.

    What other possibilities could there be?

    If he had received his iPhone 4 and it wasn't causing him any problems at all, he would have reported as such, and drawn a conclusion based on the first experience last week and the experience now with his own actual product. He would have said "Ok, I've got my own iPhone 4 now and it's not exhibiting any of the antenna or reception issues that many people are reporting. Maybe there's just a bad batch of 'em out there" or something similar (pure speculation on my part of what he could have potentially said with his second article).

    But he didn't. And he's "seen the light," in the palm of his own hand actually, that's what matters.

    Move along...
     
  5. army91c macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I don't have any issue with loss of signal. I know some say they do and maybe at&t is just stronger in my area. I do lose signal in the same spots I always have but that is all. I can place my fingers anywhere I want, nothing. SO I am happy with the design and will continue to love my iPhone.
     
  6. jackblack73 macrumors newbie

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    #6
    It's an important article because Webb was initially quoted by PC World as saying the antenna issue was just hype. Now, after having more time to live with and test his own iPhone 4, he has acknowledged that it is a poor design.
     
  7. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

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    #7
    When the new iPhone was launched, apart from the immediate reaction of approval to an original design, anyone with a modicum of knowledge of electronics would have spotted the possible "problems" associated with placing a conductor (the hand), suitably earthed, in contact with the antenna. This would explain why users in good signal areas are not experiencing such issues.

    It remains a mystery why Apple didn't spot these problems too! Maybe the fact that field testing was carried out with a heavily disguised model, encased in plastic, may have contributed.

    I suppose, to a certain extent, we are all to blame! The constant pressure on manufacturers to produce even slimmer, compact designs has created some problems. Remember the early mobile 'phones with their "whip", "stubby" or "pull out" antennas? No problems with reception with those!

    I must admit that threads such as this, to me, are becoming somewhat boring, repetitive and frankly irritating. Apart from possible ego boosting on the part of the writer or his desire to broadcast his knowledge, or lack of it, as is often the case, why bother? Why do some people simply have to keep going over the same well trodden ground?

    Sorry! rant over :)
     
  8. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #8
    So this could explain the problems Steve Jobs were facing at WWDC when presenting the iPhone 4.
     
  9. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    #9
    Well, I think it only effected him when the wifi wouldnt work and they tried AT&T and it wouldn't load, at which point someone yelled to try verizon.
     
  10. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Or it could have simply been the thousands of other iphones in the audience and throughout Moscone overloading the nearest AT&T tower.

    I'm really starting to grow tired of these posts/articles, but that could simply be because I've never held my iPhones in the manner necessary for this to be a problem for me. I don't use a case (why would I buy a sleek phone only to put a case around it?), and I still get a better signal when I'm at my house. In short, I've been pretty happy with the new antenna system.
     
  11. spiritlevel macrumors 6502

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    #11
    You lost me already....it doesn't come with a case. A case is not part of the IP4 product, it is a separate product, and therefore any judgement made about the phone should be made as it comes out of the box - without a case.


    Funny - last week many people were quoting his original article, "from a real antenna expert", and using it as evidence that the reception issue was overblown, all phones suffered from it, and it really was a non-issue. Now he's "seen the light", he must have an axe to grind. Right...
     
  12. br0adband thread starter macrumors 6502a

    br0adband

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    #12
    So, that begs the question:

    The iPhone 3GS in Steve Jobs' other hand never failed - and there were 3 of them in the demo, just as there were 3 different iPhone 4's in the same demo. 3 iPhone 3GS models all worked flawlessly in the same signal overload situation in the same conference hall and all 3 iPhone 4 models failed miserably.

    Not 1 iPhone 4, not even 2, but 3 of them in rotation - just like the 3 iPhone 3GS models - and the iPhone 4 failed each and every time.

    Seems like there's a problem to me, and to Apple as well hence they edited out all that footage from the official WWDC keynote introducing the iPhone 4. Why would they do such a thing?

    Are the engineers that set up the demo equipment in Moscone Center complete idiots? Certainly not.

    Was there a lot of wireless activity going on? Of course.

    Did the iPhone 3GS work right, each and every time, even in spite of such wireless activity and interference? Flawlessly, even in spite of it being "obsolete" now.

    But the iPhone 4? The video footage as evidence speaks louder than any Apple press release ever could hope to...

    And you don't hold your iPhone 4 like most everyone else does? Ok, that's new... interesting.

    If you're happy with your phone's excellent service and functionality, fantastic, I hope it never fails for you. As for these threads, well, nobody is forcing you to post in them.

    Move along...
     
  13. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #13
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I continue to wait for someone to explain how, if it's a design flaw rather than a manufacturing defect, some users have been able to eliminate the problem by taping/trimming the sim and others have seen the problem disappear with replacement phones. Keep in mind these are the same individuals inthe same locations.
     
  14. hariustrk macrumors member

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    #14
    But if Jobs immediately dismisses the issue, with out investigating it, it's 100% accurate and honest.
     
  15. spiritlevel macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I agree the SIM thing is weird...perhaps it's a second problem that can cause signal loss, I don't know. I believe that quite a few people that initially thought the SIM taping fixed their reception issue saw the issue return after a while.

    I have been looking for examples of people saying they had the reception issue in a given location, then got a replacement which no longer has the reception issue in the same place - but I haven't seen any yet - I must have missed those you refer to. Please can you point out some examples of people saying this? thanks
     
  16. elohel macrumors member

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    #16


    cuz the tape thing doesn't work I keep seeing people bringing up the case or tape thing

    It doesn't always work
     
  17. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #17
    It would be hypocritical to take this article any less seriously than his first. If you want to dismiss his findings - dismiss ALL of them.
     
  18. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    #18
    Your post is a bit misleading. He's "seen the light" as in "yes, there is a real problem with the antenna". Your post makes it sound like he's come to the conclusion that there really isn't a problem. Maybe it's just my interpretation though and that's why we should all have read the article you linked :)

    He really nails the problem here:

    This has always been my main problem. I couldn't care less about the 1 bar of service during a call. As long as it doesn't drop that's fine. But when holding the phone for email or texting or web browsing causes the phone to drop signal and slow to a crawl, that's a HUGE problem. 90% of what I do on my iPhone requires the data connection (I really don't make that many calls; only use about 100 minutes/month) but I heavily use safari/mail/messages.

    After using the new iPhone 4 side by side with my 3GS in the Apple Store i would never spend money on the new iPhone. I could barely load web sites on the iPhone 4 over 3G while my 3GS had absolutely no problem.
     
  19. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #19
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    It's in many threads on this forum. One concrete example is the engadget podcast where they stood on a street corner with two iPhone 4s, one of which exhibited the death grip issue and the other of which didn't. Same location, same holder, same time.
     
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #20
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    But if it works even sometimes, how can you say it's a design flaw? A defect might or might not be fixable with a home remedy like reseating the SIM card - it could depend on how bad the defect was in a given phone and how well the person applied the fix. But how could a design flaw ever be fixed by taping/trimming/reseating the sim, even in one instance? If the argument is that an external antenna that can be bridged like that is an inherently flawed design, the sim fix shouldn't ever work.
     
  21. Eso macrumors 68000

    Eso

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    #21
    So... one was in his right hand then? Oh, ok.
     
  22. rotobadger macrumors 65816

    rotobadger

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    #22
    Lol! Good point...
     
  23. Shaddow825 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I must have small hands. On day 1 of using the phone I noticed intermittent problems holding it during "data interaction" but once I figured it out where the problem was originating from, it wasn't under where I naturally hold the phone most of the time and only had to move my hand up a fraction of an inch to miss bridging the gap during the times I actually did bridge it. It has been no adjustment to me at all really and now I periodically look to see if I am bridging it and usually am never even close in a natural position. I'll make this tiny sacrifice (which became more tiny by using a bumper) in order to get the FAR better reception otherwise than any previous iphone (all) I have had.

    I think the exposed edge of the glass is going to end up being a far bigger issue in reality overall for the phone (hence my reason for a bumper)
     
  24. Tom G. macrumors 68000

    Tom G.

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    #24
    To the OP,

    I did not write about Mr. Spencer's qualifications as an engineer, only about his putting out information when he does not have all the facts. His report is un finished even by his own standards and therefore should not have been written nor posted on his blog. He himself said that he now needs to get bumpers or a case see what the results will be. Until that is done the info is worthless unless you are just on an ego trip.

    He also has not posted anything new, just a rehash of old items again giving the idea of an ego trip.

    For your info I have the issue with my phone but have it in a case so it is a non-issue to me. Like many others on tis forum we are just getting tired of the constant bashing of this phone on this easily cured issue. This can be seen by several posts even in this thread.

    No I won't just move along
     

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