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Jobs on iPhone 4 antenna: "we are working on it"

updated 10:35 am EDT, Thu July 1, 2010

Jobs makes clearer that iPhone 4 is being fixed

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has cleared up some ambiguity hinted at earlier as part of a dialog with a potential ex-fan. Following heated complaints from a BGR reader, Jobs called much of the recent analysis a "few days of rumors" but also acknowledged that there's an issue. "We are working on it," the executive said.

The iPhone 4's frame-as-antenna design has proven to be an increasing problem of public image for Apple, as customers have been concerned that they might be forced to get a case to maintain reception. In-depth looks have primarily characterized the grip-related, sharp drops in signal as dependent on hardware, but both Jobs and a reportedly silenced support post have implied that Apple might have a solution in a firmware update. If true, it would help the iPhone switch to a better signal faster and avoid a connection drop.

Publicly, the company's official policy is to deny problems, but it's under pressure to deliver a fix as it now faces lawsuits accusing it of misleading customers. Both Motorola and Nokia have exploited the bug to their advantages by noting that their phones are designed to be used in any position.

by MacNN Staff



  1. edinburghmac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How many times do I have to read garbage about supposed reception problems - I'm not able to replicate this on my iPhone 4, am I lucky? or is this issue way overblown. If anyone (interested to know what % can replicate the effect) has a problem like this it seems a simple solution to buy a case. Personally, I bought a case before I'd heard of this as I would hate to damage the phone and I like to keep my products 'as new' for as long as I can.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Non-issue

    Yes, it is so a non-issue. That's why it is getting so much press.

    And what is the point of buying an iPhone if you have to immediately turn around and surround it in a protective casing to make sure it 'stays new'? Who cares if it looks 'new' or not if you can't see it?

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The issue...edinburghmac

    As with any issue involving Apple the people, like you, who do not have problems are to be ignored, vilified, and castigated for being stupidly unaware. You DO have the issue no matter what your personal experience is. You're just too stupid to know you do. That is, in the closed minds of those who believe everything they see or read on the internet anyway. You see people who don't have any problems throw a monkey wrench into the finely constructed, emotionally charged scenarios so often present in Apple matters. And if they can't ignore the people without problems then they simply modify their conspiracy theory to explain them away.

    Here's how they usually start their posts...

    "Like EVERYONE else I have the dreaded, confirmed, ignored by Apple (insert favorite earth shattering issue du jour)." This is usually followed by an impassioned diatribe against Apple and Steve Jobs. The next step is to start an online petition to force Apple to provide a prescribed remedy. Anybody who shows up and states "Well, I don't have the issue" is immediately labeled a fanboy or a paid shill. The intensity of the debate keeps escalating until, at some point, Godwin's Law comes into play and Hitler/n*** comparisons start to fly.

    That's just how it is in the Apple universe. The real kicker is that these types continue to buy Apple products anyway even after declaring Apple to be the root of all evil in the world. Notice how it is with this current Keystone Cops movie. None of the mortally offended victims of Apple's sculduggery is willijng to return their iPhone for a refund and buy something else. Nope. They just sit there wallowing in their anger and despair. How screwball is that.

  1. pysan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Issues here

    I'm sure it is not completely widespread, but I'm already on my 2nd iPhone4 (first repeatedly forgot it had a SIM, like 14x in 24hrs). Now this new one experiences the so called "death-grip" but more problematic is the proximity issue. I was noticing that days before I saw anyone else mention it online. Basically I have put numerous people on hold, mute, opened apps I didn't think I was in, start facetime w/ non-facetime people and so on while talking on the phone, and I know I never had any issues like that w/ my 3GS. But I'm willing to wait it out until some fixes come. And I do plan on buying a bumper anyways just to protect the phone, so the "death-grip" issue is the lesser issue for me, otherwise reception does indeed seem to be better than my 3GS.

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Please: fix iOS4 for iPhone 3G

    iOS4 on iPhone3G: Hangs even on Safari and iPod, Crashes Apps with logo "iOS4 Tested", everything is much more slower... So Steve if you read this, just do something!!! :-) I love my iPhone 3G (even with two years old) and I want it back... And thanks for the Folders, they are great!!!

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    >> Publicly, the company's official policy is to deny problems


    Gee thanks Apple. I never would have known.

    Now that's not a very nice company policy, is it?

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: The issue...edinburghmac

    As with any issue involving Apple the people, like you, who do not have problems are to be ignored, vilified, and castigated for being stupidly unaware.

    Actually, that is not how it works. In fact, it is the opposite of how it works. The only belittling of the 'no problem' group I see are to those who insist there isn't a problem because they don't have it, not just because they say they don't have it.

    Those with problems, however, are the ones belittled or mocked for 'overblowing' a situation (as you see so often here), are told that the problem isn't real because, well, it doesn't happen to a lot of people. And any article mentioning it gets slammed for overblowing it, as well.

    Well, up until Apple announces a 'fix' or the like. Then, all of a sudden, they forget they said the problem was small, and then go on to tell people to stop complaining because now there is a fix.

    BTW, Jobs supposedly sending out an email telling someone "You're holding it wrong or buy a case" is what infuriated people more than the problem itself.

    And if they can't ignore the people without problems then they simply modify their conspiracy theory to explain them away.

    Again, it is the other way around. Any negative news or 'attack' against anything Apple is seen as personal attack against the company. The person or persons must have a grudge against apple, or are just jealous, or are being funded by some other company (usually MS gets the call here) to say such things. For only those with the utter bias against Apple could ever say anything negative about them.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the emails called out as fakes

    This afternoon Apple released a statement to Fortune Mag that the emails in the BGR article are all fake.

    Also these huge problems are hitting perhaps 1% of users. And in a number of cases they admitted to having generally c*** reception (so maybe it's not the phone at all) or that the bars went down but calls were fine. So it's not so clear cut to say that Apple F'd it on the design.

    As for the proximity issue, many folks have admitted that they set up their new iphone 4 with a back up of an older phone. Which means perhaps something wack was in the backup. Clear it, set it up as new and sync everything see what happens then.

    And yes Testudo, despite the fact that similar issues hit a number of companies, only Apple gets this much 'the sky is falling' press. Crazy ain't it

  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Reception Problem Fixed

    I'm getting my iPhone 4 reception problem fixed this morning. I got the OK from ATT yesterday to return all 3 of my iPhone 4s. They will reset my renewed contract back to the way it was (no renewal, 1 year left). They are waiving the 10% restocking fee. I'm going back to my 3 3GS phones, which, for the past year, have always allowed me to make & receive calls at my house no matter how I held it.

    Since Apple has publicly stated that essentially there is no issue with the iP4 reception, then I have to conclude that they are not trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. I'll have to fix it for them (for me anyway). And when the day comes that they DO fix it then I'll revisit my ATT store and try again.

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