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Upcoming iPhone update to address signal display but not reception

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 02 Jul 2010 12:50 User comments (13)

Upcoming iPhone update to address signal display but not reception After a more than a week of dismissing iPhone 4 user complaints about reception problems and dropped calls as a non-issue, Apple has announced they're working on an update to the phone's OS.
The announcement follows an interesting report on AnandTech showing the actual difference in Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) for each additional bar of signal displayed on the phone varies wildly. SNR is essentially an indicator of the phone's signal quality.

In the article, published earlier this week, Brian Klug & Anand Lal Shimpi showed that the signal quality increas from 4 bars to 5 is greater than the difference going from 1 bar all the way up to 4.

An update to solve the problem sounds like just what iPhone users were demanding. Except that the fix is only cosmetic.

While it should make the number of bars displayed more meaningful, that doesn't address the actual reception. Also in the AnandTech article is a comparison of signal loss (attenuation) between the iPhone 4 and other handsets when held in various ways.

Steve Jobs has noted in some tersely worded emails to dissatisfied customers that all phones suffer from attenuation when you hold them in your hand. But AnandTech's data shows the external antennas on the iPhone 4 drastically increase the effect.

In fact, the iPhone 3GS showed less signal loss than the iPhone 4 in every position, both with and without a case.

The HTC (Google) Nexus One was also tested, and showed significantly less attenuation than the iPhone 4 with the case removed. With each phone in a case the attenuation was nearly identical.

The good news is you should have a better idea of the signal quality your iPhone 4 is receiving when Apple releases the update in a few weeks. But if you're having reception problems, Apple's message hasn't changed.

The update announcement proudly proclaims, "We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same— the iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped." In other words they're denying any reception problem exists.

It ends with a reminder that you can return your iPhone to an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store within 30 days of purchase.

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13 user comments

12.7.2010 13:19

It would be awesome if apple suddenly received 1.7 million returned iphones.

22.7.2010 15:34

i would love to see that lol

32.7.2010 16:00

At the end of the day its classed as "faulty goods" return for a full refund and do it now.

42.7.2010 17:32

bigger fools all those apple ass kissers who bought one but then again, they obviously have more money than sense and those that don't, buy it for the trendy look at me factor as they are sad and desperate and friendless.

52.7.2010 19:17


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Jul 2010 @ 19:24

62.7.2010 21:06

Originally posted by snardos:
It would be awesome if apple suddenly received 1.7 million returned iphones.
Yeah, that would be great...but Apple users don't care about problems. I remember they used to make a PC that had a non-shielded speaker right next to the hard drive...every time it played a sound (even the startup sound) the system would crash hard. Even back then, apple users didn't care! Apple never issued a recall; but they did issue a system update that allowed the system to keep running for a few seconds while the hard drive figured out what it was again; you still couldn't listen to music or sound (the two main selling points of the system), but at least you could get to the desktop. At least the iphone4 works if you hold it just right!

73.7.2010 5:47

Was there a rumour that iPhone 4 was going to be recalled?

83.7.2010 7:13

I was driving my car and it ran out of fuel leaving me stranded on the motorway. So I pulled out the fuel guage and was able to drive across the planet to Steve Jobs house and tell him how to fix the iPhone 4. During my trip around the earth I also noted that no iPhone 4s are available for sale as they might have to be recalled. Steve also told me that people don't hold their iPhones properly. What they should do is glue it to a large stick and hold it six feet above your head and you will have a thirteen billion bar signal.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Jul 2010 @ 7:13

93.7.2010 7:18

Breaking news!....New left handed iPhone 4 App being released.

109.7.2010 7:33
Zealous Development
Unverified new user

OMG a left handed iphone, someone else that people will complain about. LOL @ Apple

Google lol'd too

119.7.2010 12:04

Very bad quality control and engineering is apparent. Why would any responsible engineering group release something like this with a major bug. I have a friend and I have experienced the dropped signal in the middle of a call. This is apparent any section of Columbus Ohio where AT&T transmitters are located everywhere. Other less expensive smart phones used under the same circumstances work great. "Apple should make things right...." lol

129.7.2010 12:43

Because of crap like this Apple should do what microsoft did and give us an iphone to test for a year like microsoft did with Windows 7 RC.....then again maybe Apple is doing that in their own way, they just want the iphone 4 testers to pay them (Apple) for testing their iphone for the company lol

139.7.2010 19:46

The head of "Quality Control" for Apple, Mr. Core, was sitting at his desk looking at the best phone ever made in the world. The head of Marketing, Mr. Rush, was standing in the doorway of the quality control office. Rush placed a call on the 4G to Mr. Core. On seeing Core answering the phone he asked how the reception was. With a huge smile on his face he answered it's great and lets tell Steve to start shipping these masterpieces quickly before we lose another one at that bar.

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