AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple will fix iPhone 4 antenna problem with free cases

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 16 Jul 2010 15:38 User comments (27)

Apple will fix iPhone 4 antenna problem with free cases Speaking at Apple's Cupertiono, California headquarters this morning, CEO Steve Jobs announced the company will be providing free cases to iPhone 4 buyers. The cases are intended to address a growing controversy over the phone's design flaw, which can cause dropped calls when it is held in a particular way.
Although the problem has only affected a small percentage of users, the controversy surrounding Apple's response has been a PR disaster.

While still not admitting there is anything wrong with the phone's design, Jobs did admit that iPhone users on AT&T have experienced slightly more dropped calls with the new model compared to the previous one.


The increase isn't anywhere near what you might expect given the amount of coverage this issue has received. However, it does seem to contradict Apple's claims that, "the iPhone 4s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped."

Regardless, the most important thing for Apple is their decision to address the problem in a meaningful way.

Many people were calling for, or even predicting, a recall of the phone and no doubt some will complain loudly that providing cases isn't enough. But considering the high cost of a recall compared to simply giving away cases, that would probably be as irresponsible as doing nothing.

Providing free cases seems to strike a reasonable balance. It should be effective enough, available as soon as possible, but still have the smallest impact on Apple's bottom line.

So far specifics on getting cases in the hands of existing iPhone 4 owners or reimbursing them for cases they've already paid for are a little vague but there will be more information, as well as an application to receive a free case (or bumper), next week.

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27 user comments

116.7.2010 19:04

What a shower of arrogant b******ds, the iPhone is slightly broken but they don't have the balls to admit it. Also the cost of the bumpers is approx less than 1.00 but they sell it at 25.00. What I want to say is I like the iPhone but hate CRAPPLE and theires F*** the customer attitude.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Jul 2010 @ 19:25

216.7.2010 19:53
iPhone User
Unverified new user

Originally posted by Frogfart:
What a shower of arrogant b******ds, the iPhone is slightly broken but they don't have the balls to admit it. Also the cost of the bumpers is approx less than 1.00 but they sell it at 25.00. What I want to say is I like the iPhone but hate CRAPPLE and theires F*** the customer attitude.
In case you weren't listening, they are GIVING THE CASES AWAY FOR FREE to anyone who bought an iPhone 4 and REFUNDING THE MONEY to anyone who already bought the case. With the case, the phone works perfectly. In fact, if you don't put your hand over the antenna, the phone works perfectly. If you don't want an iPhone, don't buy one. If you don't like it, return it. You can return it within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. Get over it and move on.

316.7.2010 20:35

Originally posted by iPhone User:
Originally posted by Frogfart:
What a shower of arrogant b******ds, the iPhone is slightly broken but they don't have the balls to admit it. Also the cost of the bumpers is approx less than 1.00 but they sell it at 25.00. What I want to say is I like the iPhone but hate CRAPPLE and theires F*** the customer attitude.
In case you weren't listening, they are GIVING THE CASES AWAY FOR FREE to anyone who bought an iPhone 4 and REFUNDING THE MONEY to anyone who already bought the case. With the case, the phone works perfectly. In fact, if you don't put your hand over the antenna, the phone works perfectly. If you don't want an iPhone, don't buy one. If you don't like it, return it. You can return it within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. Get over it and move on.
Cell phone reception should not be limited to the way you hold a phone . And Frogfart is dead on , on his point that they the shittiest customer service . A lot of people signed up with ATT to get this phone . Yes they are refunding to unsatisfied customer but are not letting them out of the contact . These people especially have a right to be pissed about Apple releasing a phone they know was flawed .

416.7.2010 21:36
IPHONE_#1
Unverified new user

No problems with my Iphone 4. Simply the best. Apple rules.

516.7.2010 22:35

Lets hope this will correct the issue for the ones having the problem. That is why it sucks to be first to get a device. But on the other hand, it cool to play with the newest gadget first.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Jul 2010 @ 22:39

616.7.2010 22:42

The biggest selling feature of the iPhone4 is the new appearance...without that, all all the iPhone4 offers over a 3GS is the wifi-limited video calling that most people will never even try. Now apple comes along and starts giving out cases that remove the new appearance! I have to say, I think the phone looks better in one of these cases...but that is only because I thought it looked ugly with that stupid metal strip around the side...most people considered that metal strip to be a big, beautiful feature.

717.7.2010 0:35

Originally posted by iPhone User:
Originally posted by Frogfart:
What a shower of arrogant b******ds, the iPhone is slightly broken but they don't have the balls to admit it. Also the cost of the bumpers is approx less than 1.00 but they sell it at 25.00. What I want to say is I like the iPhone but hate CRAPPLE and theires F*** the customer attitude.
In case you weren't listening, they are GIVING THE CASES AWAY FOR FREE to anyone who bought an iPhone 4 and REFUNDING THE MONEY to anyone who already bought the case. With the case, the phone works perfectly. In fact, if you don't put your hand over the antenna, the phone works perfectly. If you don't want an iPhone, don't buy one. If you don't like it, return it. You can return it within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. Get over it and move on.
Simply put... edited by ddp
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Jul 2010 @ 0:58

817.7.2010 1:06

Couple of problems...
1) He says it's industry wide?
Well, I've tried over and over with my EVO 4G and my phone doesn't do it. I've NEVER had a dropped call. Not one.
2) A 50 cent "bumper" costs $30 ???
3) Jobs says that if you are still unhappy and you've had your phone for less than 30 days then you can return it... Strangely, MY provider offered this to me UP FRONT, BEFORE I bought my phone, and they do that for ALL PHONES offered.

917.7.2010 2:08

"Strangely, MY provider offered this to me UP FRONT, BEFORE I bought my phone, and they do that for ALL PHONES offered."

Yeah...that is actually rather rare...just Sprint AFAIK.

1017.7.2010 5:24

In the uk we have something called the sales of goods act, which has a revision section for digital communications. As far as i can make out the revision section pertains to the service level of the provided digital network.

Although the apple problem pertains to the signal its clearly due to a design flaw of the device and not due to network performance.

Therefore i suspect that anyone in the uk wanting a refund should be able to ask for one under the law and the sales of goods act, as the unit was "not fit for the purpose it was sold".

Honestly $30 for a bumper, ha thats a good 3000% percent profit margin there.. there where ive been going wrong i only charge 10 - 20 % max

I just really really really hope this makes the large majority of apple fan boys wake up and see the company for what it is... don't get me wrong im not advocating other companies over them, more i just wish people could see through the apple fog.

1117.7.2010 6:02

From what I have read recently, the UK's networks are downright terrible...3G is capable of breaking 2mbps with ease, but the telecom companies all say that they won't be providing 2mbps connections by the 2012 deadline that the government gave them...either 3G service simply does not exist in most areas (if this is the case, build some towers; it isn't a big country!), or the telecom execs are just trying to force the government to give them billions of dollars to do an upgrade that consists of typing a command on a few remote terminals. If these companies are subject to the law you mentioned, then they must be going broke with all the people breaking contracts due to bad service.

Of course, no speed is fast enough if you don't hold your iPhone correctly, and it can't get a signal.

I do have to say, the bumper makes it look a lot nicer; almost like a droid without the keyboard...but if people wanted phones that looked like the droid, they would spend 1/2 the price on a droid that works better than the phone they got!

Oh, and is the 3GS really that bad about dropping calls? I know that it had some troubles in this area due to AT&T's network...but if it was within 1 out of 100 calls dropped of a phone that drops every single call, it must be a terrible phone too.

1217.7.2010 7:03

a Phone is a Phone it makes & takes Calls. if they cant even get the basics right then they don't stand a chance in hell of continuance in this market sector....Oh...Wait... dame forgot about the Izombies.

i must be the only human alive that still uses a PDA for actual data.

1317.7.2010 9:09

I didn't realize the kind of affect Consumer Reports has on stuff like this. If it wasn't for that report I don't think apple would have done this.

People are still gonna bitch anyway and I understand why. The Phone should have never been released like this in the first place. But if Apple had released the iPhone with the case attached and made it non removable they still would have sold just as many and would have avoided this whole issue.

Imagine if Steve Jobbs would walk away from Apple. Never gonna happen but I wonder what the next iPhone would be like if Steve Jobbs walked away or got hit by a truck. I'll bet flash would be a non issue, it would be available to other carriers and there would be no need to jailbreak ever again because 3rd party software would be welcome.

1417.7.2010 9:25

Originally posted by DXR88:
a Phone is a Phone it makes & takes Calls. if they cant even get the basics right then they don't stand a chance in hell of continuance in this market sector....Oh...Wait... dame forgot about the Izombies.

i must be the only human alive that still uses a PDA for actual data.
actually ive never even used the internet on a mobile phone.thats what my computers for.I still use a nokia 6070.

about the iphone i agree with frogfart.apple made a faulty product and refuse to admit it and are trying to cover it up.
Quote:
the iPhone is slightly broken but they don't have the balls to admit it


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1517.7.2010 10:03

djeazyg - lol love your comments here, however much how like MS didn't get any better when Gates left, Jobs leaving would have little or worse impact on Apple.

Now I've already stated in the previous articles most of what needs to be said that seems to be repeated in this one and others. Iphone fans need to get a grip over the fact that just because you do not have an antenna issue now, doesn't mean you won't. Take it for a ride through a subway or go on a trip where the signal starts getting weaker but should be strong enough to handle most calls. You'll see why people are frustrated, tho I do agree with Jobs on one point, more towers are needed, nobody wants them in their backyards.

Last I disapprove on how Jobs handled the conference in general. It was still complete denial that anything was wrong with the phones itself; and when the article was questioned about the engineer that confessed to issues prior to the launch, Jobs stated that it was all speculated rumor and challenged the news team to prove it; when asked if they could review the engineers Jobs blatantly stated no. If he had nothing to hide, why not let the engineers be interviewed, as long as they keep to the topic on hand and not reveal any "secret" inside information. That proves that Jobs still has something to hide and that leaves reporters straggled to find evidence because the only evidence they could get is now cut off; *unless someone wants to risk their career and admit their findings with their name* otherwise it's hearsay.

Great cover-up and I thankful that most of the media did not believe in Jobs marketing speech. This was not a fix, this was ignore it and the problems will go away. And although people can claim this is typical of Apple, keep in mind this is getting more and more typical in any corporation of any field. *Sniff* Is that oil I smell from BP's rigs..?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Jul 2010 @ 10:05

1617.7.2010 11:17

LOL to these users with "iPhone" in their names. Either you're frigging Apple sheep or you're Apple moles trying to bring their success back up. Either way you're damn stupid.

1717.7.2010 13:20

I think MS has gotten better without Gates. Windows 7 is a lot better than anything they have done recently with Gates in control. Just an Opinion.

Cover up? Your damm right it's a cover up. But this is nothing special or limited to Apple. EVERY single company on the planet does it. Big or small. They all screw up, cover up, sweep it under the rug, lie about it, ignore it, brush it aside or, and this is what Apple just did, put a band-aid on it. It would be pretty foolish to think Jobbs is going to have a meeting and say "WOW did we try to screw you guys over! Good thing you caught us because are just completely out of control!" I know you didn't say that but this is how people are treating it. Is Steve Jobbs and the rest of Apple assholes for not admitting it? Your damm right they are.

I do agree however with Jobbs stance to not let the engineers speak. How many ways can news reports and just the press in general twist a story to make a company look bad. I'm sure the engineer in question has no experience speaking in an interview of that type. Just an example, the engineer says "One day before the antenna test I ate some bad Chili and I was in and out of the bathroom all day." The press twists his words like this. "Apple is forcing there engineers to work when they are sick and they can't concentrate on their work. This is why the antenna is messed up" Yes I know that was a little far fetched but not to far off either. I'm not saying that Apple didn't know about the antenna issue before they released it, they probably did, but nobody knows for sure except Apple. I don't trust the Press. Everybody has an agenda.

Quote:
Iphone fans need to get a grip over the fact that just because you do not have an antenna issue now, doesn't mean you won't. Take it for a ride through a subway or go on a trip where the signal starts getting weaker but should be strong enough to handle most calls. You'll see why people are frustrated, tho I do agree with Jobs on one point, more towers are needed, nobody wants them in their backyards.
More towers are needed. This in not an iPhone problem.
I have a friend that works for Comcast in Philly and he takes the subway every day. He had a Samsung phone. I don't know what phone he had, I just know it was a Samsung. He couldn't call anyone on the subway with that phone. When he switched to the iPhone 3G he was able to call whoever he wanted. With his iPhone 4 nothing has changed. Maybe it's different where your at but it still seems to me that more towers are needed and that is an AT&T problem.

1817.7.2010 13:52

Some nice arguments djeazyg, and I can agree that Windows 7 is for sure a better OS, but that also isn't because Gates left. Windows is still developed the same way as it always been, in teams where they rarely interact with each other. Say one team will design the taskbar and functions, another will design the deskop and its functions, another the registry, another the drivers, and etc... It's split up by over a hundred departments if I recall correctly, and so it makes it hard for the dev teams to know what the others are doing. *Kind of like looking right and left at the same time and then hoping you all come up with the same visual*. Basically whats changed from 7 compared to the previous OS's is that they were talking to one another more, and this time told to make it right because of the bad criticism over Vista.

Going back to Apple, instead of letting engineers talk, all of it could be avoided by simply releasing the hard records that do exists relating only to the antenna issue; you really don't need an interview but at least you can say beyond reasonable doubt; see nothing was wrong at this time; but Apple won't do that you know why, well you know why, cause they damn well knew about it and they don't want lawsuits, cause that would be enough grounds to incriminate.

Going back to the topic of towers, I am aware that is an AT&T issue, I am also aware it's not only AT&Ts issue, but all cell phone carriers. Usually the one with the most reach has the most gain so why carriers don't capitalize on this more, I dunno; that's why I said I agreed with Jobs and his ongoing effort to work with AT&T and consumers to get more towers up; but its expensive and its hard to find a location consumers won't complain about. Catch 22, and I think consumers got to give a little to take a little. *that still doesn't excuse the antenna issues that arise, even from people in NYC where cell networks "should" be good, but I also understand that apparently they need worked on.

Still at the very least Apple is giving away free cases for a set amount of time, so they didn't completely screw consumers over, and that in itself is a good thing.

1917.7.2010 14:23

Originally posted by KillerBug:
"Strangely, MY provider offered this to me UP FRONT, BEFORE I bought my phone, and they do that for ALL PHONES offered."

Yeah...that is actually rather rare...just Sprint AFAIK.
Actually Verizon (in my area at least) gives a 2 week guarantee where you can bring it back and walk away (planless) if you don't like it. Verizon is so good (in my area) I have never considered taking them up on it though.

But I wouldn't even consider buying an iPhone from them...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Jul 2010 @ 14:25

2017.7.2010 14:30

Just out of curiosity...If you go buy an iPhone today...do they hand it to you in a case or do you have to complain to get the free case?

2117.7.2010 14:57

Eh. This is why I didn't purchase the phone. It'a great in some aspects but lacking in others. This issue just made it definite that I won't buy it. Especially since, with 2011 coming up, ATT is supposedly going to have actual 4g, not that slightly better 3g Sprint has that they have selling off as 4g. And hopefully the next iphone will have hardware to support 4g.

2217.7.2010 21:30

It is an iPhone problem. If u want to death grip your iPhone and not lose signal... the only way to pull that off is too be right under the cell tower itself. I'm pretty sure the iPhone wouldnt lose bars aka signal strength that way. But since most people do not live under a cell phone tower. The iPhone clearly has a problem.

2317.7.2010 22:36

Haha, to all you iPhone users, that's what happens when you're so obsessed with a company that you stand in line for hours for a not so great phone. Oh how I love karma. Wouldn't be surprised if these idiots still buy the next iPhone in 2011.

2418.7.2010 22:31

Apple should have admired that there's a problem with the design of the phone. Giving away cases for free without admiring that there's a problem is only half the cure. I'm not an Apple fan anyways, their stuff is overpriced and their customer service can suck. My biggest complaints are of iOS 4.0 where you can't disable multitasking and everything you close ends up running in the background, you can't set a solid image as a background and the Wifi bar seems to have gone downhill in accuracy. Their laptops on the other hand are reliable but why spend $2000 on a laptop that has $1000 worth of parts inside? The ability to run Mac AND Windows isn't worth the extra $1000 nor is the "reliablilty" which is the exact same as any other laptop out there. A Mac is a PC with a customized BIOS set to run Mac. That's why a PC can't run it. The HD, RAM, PSU, GPU and all are the exact same damn thing. Now what do you do when the battery in your Macbook dies? Head over to the apple store and give them $200 to replace it? I personally like to replace the battery for $30 myself in seconds with a generic battery. Their laptops are light but that's because there's nothing inside. It's a piece of crap in performance.

Everyone that hates Apple, I'm with you. Everyone that loves it, get the facts right. The only thing that is good from them are the iPods before iPod Touch. iPod touch was good before iOS 4.0

2620.7.2010 0:21

Originally posted by core2kid:
Apple should have admired that there's a problem with the design of the phone. Giving away cases for free without admiring that there's a problem is only half the cure. I'm not an Apple fan anyways, their stuff is overpriced and their customer service can suck. My biggest complaints are of iOS 4.0 where you can't disable multitasking and everything you close ends up running in the background, you can't set a solid image as a background and the Wifi bar seems to have gone downhill in accuracy. Their laptops on the other hand are reliable but why spend $2000 on a laptop that has $1000 worth of parts inside? The ability to run Mac AND Windows isn't worth the extra $1000 nor is the "reliablilty" which is the exact same as any other laptop out there. A Mac is a PC with a customized BIOS set to run Mac. That's why a PC can't run it. The HD, RAM, PSU, GPU and all are the exact same damn thing. Now what do you do when the battery in your Macbook dies? Head over to the apple store and give them $200 to replace it? I personally like to replace the battery for $30 myself in seconds with a generic battery. Their laptops are light but that's because there's nothing inside. It's a piece of crap in performance.

Everyone that hates Apple, I'm with you. Everyone that loves it, get the facts right. The only thing that is good from them are the iPods before iPod Touch. iPod touch was good before iOS 4.0
TESTIFY!

2720.7.2010 3:18

Originally posted by core2kid:
Apple should have admired that there's a problem with the design of the phone. Giving away cases for free without admiring that there's a problem is only half the cure. I'm not an Apple fan anyways, their stuff is overpriced and their customer service can suck. My biggest complaints are of iOS 4.0 where you can't disable multitasking and everything you close ends up running in the background, you can't set a solid image as a background and the Wifi bar seems to have gone downhill in accuracy. Their laptops on the other hand are reliable but why spend $2000 on a laptop that has $1000 worth of parts inside? The ability to run Mac AND Windows isn't worth the extra $1000 nor is the "reliablilty" which is the exact same as any other laptop out there. A Mac is a PC with a customized BIOS set to run Mac. That's why a PC can't run it. The HD, RAM, PSU, GPU and all are the exact same damn thing. Now what do you do when the battery in your Macbook dies? Head over to the apple store and give them $200 to replace it? I personally like to replace the battery for $30 myself in seconds with a generic battery. Their laptops are light but that's because there's nothing inside. It's a piece of crap in performance.

Everyone that hates Apple, I'm with you. Everyone that loves it, get the facts right. The only thing that is good from them are the iPods before iPod Touch. iPod touch was good before iOS 4.0
Actually, MACos runs fine on PCs with just a small modification. Apple's bios does not have anything to enable MACos other than a tag that the install disk looks for. As for the laptop reliability, it is not the same as everyone else; apple's physical quality is some of the lowest in the industry...when they actually do tests, they find problems...and then they don't fix them!

As for their other devices...

The iPod classic has a good amount of space...allowing for lots of high quality music storage. The only problem there is that the audio quality is terrible; even iTunes can't play at full quality, and iTunes are very low quality tracks. The other iPods have the same audio quality problems, but they lack the space. I'm not saying the Zune has better audio quality...but the creative unit I tried did sound better, and the crummy onboard audio in any economy PC will be far, far better than the audio quality of an iPod. Pretty sad that all it does is to play music...and it can't even do that well. (I speak of both iPod and Zune)

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