Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Apple updates “formula 1” iPhone bars

Daniel Eran Dilger

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Apple updates formula 1 iPhone bars

21 comments

1 overnightparking { 07.02.10 at 12:21 pm }

I think Gruber hit the nail on the head when he said that the bars were probably set overly high to make it look like reception on the phone was good and the problem lay with AT&T. Apple’s feigned surprise comes off as being disingenuous.

I have accidently touched the famous antenna spot during a call and lost the call. And I’ve had the proximity sensor rub against my face and turn off a call.

I like my iPhone 4 and it does seem to have improved WiFi and 3g reception. All that being true, Apple have really done themselves and their loyal customers a disservice in the way they’ve handled this and a bit of contrition would have gone a long way towards helping but their PR statement was just perfect fodder for the cynics and Gizmodians. I hope this is just a one off. I hope they have the courage to look at how they handled this and learn what not to do next time.

2 ShabbaRanks { 07.02.10 at 1:16 pm }

“People think our slogan is ‘Think Different” but our real slogan is “No Refunds.”‘
-Steve Mobbs (from Mapple headquarters deep beneath the sea)

3 overnightparking { 07.02.10 at 1:23 pm }

“People think our slogan is ‘Think Different” but our real slogan is “No Refunds.”‘

With all the snarky things you could say about Apple, that one is too lame. You have 30 day ShabbaRanks to return your hated Apple product.

4 warlock7 { 07.02.10 at 1:34 pm }

@overnightparking: Perhaps you merely speak for yourself? You don’t appear to understand that, as you think Apple has done their loyal customers a disservice. How do you draw that conclusion? You appear to be wearing your tinfoil hat a bit too tightly today. You’ve suggested that Apple has conspired against you and AT&T to make AT&T look bad… To what end? What benefit does Apple gain by making AT&T look bad? Doesn’t AT&T do enough on their own to make themselves look bad? Why would Apple want to make it worse? This conspiracy you’ve concocted is just plain silly.

5 ShabbaRanks { 07.02.10 at 1:39 pm }

@ Overnightparking
I’ll take it you don’t watch the Simpsons.

6 ShabbaRanks { 07.02.10 at 1:45 pm }

@ Overnightparking

…or have a sense of humour.

7 overnightparking { 07.02.10 at 1:46 pm }

@warlock7: of course i speak for myself… isn’t that self-evident? The comment about AT&T was pointed out to me by Gruber, as I don’t live in the US and don’t use AT&T. You might want to read Gruber’s comment at Daring Fireball on this to see if his Tinfoil hat fits. It’s his conspiracy theory that you think is just plain silly.

Personally I love most Apple products and I’m a shareholder. They haven’t done a brilliant job with PR over the past few weeks but I don’t think they’ve done anything bad for their loyal customers, of which I’m one.

8 overnightparking { 07.02.10 at 1:48 pm }

@ShabbaRanks
Is it necessary to watch the Simpsons (I don’t live in the US) to communicate with you? Your sense of humour doesn’t strike me as funny. Sorry. Get over it.

9 ShabbaRanks { 07.02.10 at 2:02 pm }

I don’t live in the US either. It’s sad you didn’t get the reference. I recommend, to start, Monty Python and the Simpsons which should greatly expand your horizons.
PS: I don’t have a problem that you don’t watch the Simpsons. I merely pity you for it.

10 ShabbaRanks { 07.02.10 at 2:06 pm }

Oh, and check out ‘David Mitchell’s Soapbox’. It’s a podcast on iTunes which gives an excellent argument as to why references are good and serve to educate people.
Glad to help.

11 donarb { 07.02.10 at 4:25 pm }

Gruber said no such thing about deliberately changing the size of the bars to make reception look good. He was being sarcastic, by translating an Apple press release into language that all the tin foil crazies would understand.

12 JPTJr { 07.02.10 at 7:12 pm }

It’s quite clear that touching the iPhone “there” reduces signal strength by 20-24 db. That is more than most phones’ signal is reduced by human touch. Whether you call this a flaw or a trade off is up to you, but there is no denying that a software change that alters the display is not going to change this fundamental characteristic. I played with the iPhone 4 today at the Flagship store in mid-town Manhattan and could make bars disappear (5 to 3). If you live in an area with marginal 3G signal and hold your phone such that you’re touching that area (notice I said touch and not grip), you will run into problems.

I will still buy this phone because I’m convinced no other phone comes remotely close for user experience, quality of build and available software. And I don’t hold my phone that way anyway. The screen is ridiculous, too. My 3G has been superb – time to upgrade.

13 beanie { 07.03.10 at 11:46 am }

“software update in a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula”

It takes a few weeks to update a formula? Sounds like damage control for AT&T and might expose how terrible their coverage really is since the “old formula” shows two extra bars. Verizon probably going to increase there “map for that” ads.

The holding iPhone 4 a certain way problem probably slipped through during testing phase because the prototypes were disguised in a 3G case. The iPhone 4 testers probably never tested the devices without the disguise.

14 Gondring { 07.03.10 at 12:53 pm }

@donarb — overnightparking is right. Look at fix #1 (stop showing 5 bars even when signal is degraded so further degradation doesn’t appear greatly anomalous), not fix #2 (to which you refer).

Having a fuel gauge that reads full and then suddenly drops makes it look like something went wrong, when it’s really just a gauge that hangs at FULL until it drops to a certain point.

15 donarb { 07.03.10 at 3:20 pm }

“problem probably slipped through during testing phase because the prototypes were disguised in a 3G case”

What? Are you seriously that stupid? So you think that in the thousands of hours of testing the new phone, not once did they remove the protective case? Not at the Apple campus, not at home, not in a public restroom, not in a moving vehicle? Again, are you seriously that stupid? Are you like a Phd cell phone engineer? You should go to work for Apple, since they never thought to take off the protective cases, leaving them on 24/7.

Again, are you seriously that fucking stupid!?

16 turleymuller { 07.03.10 at 6:52 pm }

I bet that Apple has been applying a non-conductive coating to the most recent builds. You think about how white models wouldn’t be available until late July, how orders got pushed back to mid-July they day after pre-orders opened, and the software fix will becoming a couple weeks. All a little seems strange.

Treating with some type of clear sealant /coat could be quickly implemented. Apple then might allow the early builds to be exchanged. But it’s not an engineering flaw HTC has applied for a similar design.

17 javierbds { 07.04.10 at 12:45 am }
18 davebarnes { 07.04.10 at 7:59 am }

@Daniel,
The illustration made me laugh.

19 donarb { 07.05.10 at 8:54 am }

More conspiracy theories from the land of stupid. You have posters on Engadget and other forums saying that Apple advertised for antenna engineers the same day (or day before or day after) reports of antenna problems started popping up. Those same posters say that’s why Apple is selling bumpers, because they knew there was a problem with the antenna. But Apple showed the bumpers off at the same event that Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at, fully 2 1/2 weeks before the phone was available. If Apple knew the antenna was bad back then (because the bumpers were announced with the phone) why did they wait until the phone was out to advertise for engineers? Oh, the stupids have a theory about that as well. They were all summarily fired when the first antenna video hit the nets. There’s no end to the stupidity out there.

20 donarb { 07.05.10 at 10:01 am }

Here’s another one from the crazies. They claim that Apple is forcing them, at the point of a gun, to purchase a 50 cent piece of rubber for $30. How can Apple get away with this robbery, they ask?

Simple, you can choose not to buy anything, or buy Apple’s at $30 or buy any of the other cases out there from someone who is not Apple for a cheaper price. Say Apple sold their bumpers for $4.99 (still an outrageous markup say the haters). Can you imagine the outrage that would ensue, that Apple has screwed the 3rd party case market by undercutting every one of them? This is brilliant marketing by Apple. You can buy Apple’s expensive item or buy one cheaper from someone else.

21 airmanchairman { 07.05.10 at 3:54 pm }

Yawn.

Storm in a teacup, magnified as usual by self-important cheapskates for whom shelling out $200 is a massive deal.

Ingrates, paysanos, semi-literates. Pshaw, shame on y’all.

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