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Apple may have known of iPhone antenna flaw two years ago

updated 07:35 pm EDT, Sun August 8, 2010

iPhone 4 antenna issue may have shown early

Apple's iPhone 4 antenna issue might have been identified as far back as two years ago if a scoop is accurate. An internal bug report for the signal drop was allegedly filed in 2008, well in advance of when the phone shipped. The "informed" source of John Gruber's didn't say how the issue was treated or whether it was known it would be a long-term issue, but its existence implies advanced knowledge that an external antenna might have been an issue.

The early mention of the bug would have come significantly before the hiring of Mark Papermaster, who is rumored to have been fired for the issue. It would absolve him of having asked for the design but would potentially fault him for having done little to mitigate its effects between the very early stages and production two years later. Papermaster when he was hired to Apple was best known for his work on POWER processors at IBM.

Problems with the antenna haven't done any meaningful damage to Apple's iPhone 4 sales, which continue to be very brisk, but it's suspected the company may be engaged in a minor hardware redesign to improve antenna performance without having to change the looks. It could be ready by or before the launch of a CDMA iPhone rumored for January.

Apple hasn't had an opportunity to comment on the claims.

by MacNN Staff



  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dear Editor

    Here are some of the straws you have been grasping for on this otherwise slow news day.

    This horse has been beaten to death.

  1. facebook_Tom

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2010


    ...oh boy

    another unnamed "informed" source....probably the same one that spread other non-truths....reports that an antenna "flaw" was known two years ago....what is the agenda here?

    well yes, the laws of physics have NOT changed in the past two if it is a flaw to follow the laws of physics, I guess Apple is guilty - they probably knew the laws of physics and antenna performance two years ago. They actually probably knew this several decades ago....Woz and SJ probably knew this when they were jacking dial tones as kids.

    in reality...I haven't seen this "flaw" on my iphone4....the antenna works just fine....and I live in NC where ATT coverage beyond the interstates is weak at bumper

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    much ado

    you mean the flaw and problem that in areas with crappy ATT service, you get crappy performance on the iphone.

    yeah we got that memo and its no shock that maybe someone working on a freaking cell phone would have 'discovered' this 'flaw' ages ago

  1. SergioRS

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Above 3 comments

    Yes, Dear Leader! May I have some more Flavoraide? Thank you Dear Leader.

    It was a poor design decision in favor of aesthetics. You get over it! After so many years of Jon/Jonathan/Jony Ives designing things - this should come as no surprise. Negative commentary may rub you the wrong way since it goes contrary to your buying decisions - but it doesn't make it a non-issue.

    Titanium Powerbook hinges/screen assembly
    Dirt Terrarium Keyboard
    Mighty Mouse ball
    iBook hard drive placement
    lack of cooling vents/fans on anything = premature overheat failure
    etc etc etc ad nauseam

    It has negatively impacted stock price and detracted from the single minded vision - it is a bad thing - it needs to be addressed.

  1. imactheknife

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey Sergio

    Go play in traffic r*****

  1. redcapzero

    Joined: Dec 1969



    valid points; yawn.
    curious as to know if all or at least the majority of the 'design' flaws you mentioned were dealt with; I believe so.
    Stock price issues... you're kidding me (and all readers), right?

    HTC = no problems (my tongue is sticking out)
    Motorola = no problems (see HTC)
    Samsung = see above

    All three, along with other "top" hardware manufactures not only seem to copy the evil Apple but, (psst) they too have issues, HORRORS!!

    In other words, nothing's perfect. Hopefully lessons learned, LIVE WITH IT; the moon will continue to rise in the eve the sun on the marrow...

  1. ElectroTech

    Joined: Dec 1969



    When producing any product, decisions have to be made to keep cost down and to increase value. Apple has consistently made very good choices and the antenna issue it one of them. Most iPhone 4 users make reliable calls and don't stare at the 'bars'. The calls go through.

    There will always be whiners who knock a great company or product because they can visualize perfection but are unwilling to pay for it. My advice is to go back to Microsoft products and expect less.

  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey Sergio

    Here's another for your list. The defective/leaking liquid cooling system on the G5s.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MacBook Plastic Siht Junk

    Apple's decision to produce the MacBook plastic siht junk knowing that 50% of the pre-production units flunked out was a big blunder. Apple didn't decide to address it until the splinter started to cause profuse bleeding.

  1. FreeRange

    Joined: Dec 1969


    BS headline - shame on you

    Where do you get this use of the word "flaw"? There is in fact NO design flaw! You simply shouldn't touch an area that is all of 1/16th of an inch in size! 1/16th of an inch! How frk'n hard is that??? Just like other phones tell you not to hold them a certain way or you might degrade reception, but in their notes, the area is MUCH larger than 1/16th of an inch. In fact, the overwhelming majority of users of the new iPhone report BETTER reception. How retarded do you have to be to keep perpetuating this myth!!!!!!! Shameful.

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