Apple: “oops!” iPhone Reception Issues & Antenna Problems
Today Apple issued a statement that puts to rest the nagging question of iPhone reception problems we have noticed over the years. For me, I always wondered why my calls would drop and I still had a bar or two showing AT&T reception. Alas…we weren’t really getting as good of a signal as shown on our iPhone.
Summary of What you need to know: There will be a software update for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G to correct the reception bars so they more accurately report signal strength. The iphone 4 antenna issues are similar to those of other phone models and other brands. And if you don’t like your new iPhone 4, you have 30 days to return it. — Tip: Use an iphone case to reduce the risk of holding your phone in a way it causes you to drop calls. Or, only grip edges with two fingers and use a third to push the phone against your ear.
Here’s the Apple Press Release:
“Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.
To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.
We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.”
You may have heard that the new iPhone 4 has a problem with its antenna. The way you hold the phone may cause dropped calls.
Here’s Apple’s official statement about the iPhone 4 Antenna problem:
“…So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them. Here is what we have learned.
To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones. But some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.”
Apple also reminds you that you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
I’ll let you know when the update is available to fix this problem.