updated 10:15 am EDT, Mon August 25, 2008
iPhone 3G connectivity
In spite of complaints, the iPhone 3G fares reasonably well in terms of reception, says a Swedish firm specializing in wireless test chambers. Bluetest recently used an advanced chamber to test the iPhone 3G's antenna and compare the results with two other popular 3G phones. Each of the three devices -- the iPhone 3G, Nokia N73 and Sony Ericsson P1 -- were placed individually placed into a chamber and then monitored. The tests were performed at three different frequencies, and two different values were measured: the total radiated power (TRP), and the total isotropic sensitivity (TIS).
In a TRP test, equipment reads how well a device is capable of transmitting signals; here the N73 performed slightly better than its competitors, but results did not vary substantially. A TIS test measures how well a device can receive signals; in this analysis the P1 was the best performer, but again only by a slight margin, with the N73 taking second and the iPhone third. The differences in all of the tests were minimal, only as large as 2dB, when 4-6dB is required for issues to be raised.
Overall Bluetest found that the iPhone performed competitively with rivals, possibly disproving serious charges of poor connectivity. An alleged e-mail from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, however, states that only two percent of iPhone 3G's are suffering from a bug that decreases connectivity. As a result, the tested iPhone could represent part of the unaffected majority.