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Antenna problems tangibly affecting iPhone 4 sales?

updated 10:50 am EDT, Wed September 8, 2010

Impact of AT&T exclusivity may be more powerful

Even if the iPhone may be doing well as a rule, flaws in the iPhone 4's antenna design may be having a noticeable effect on sales, suggests Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The firm recently interviewed 258 people in Minneapolis on the topic, of whom 69 percent were aware of a quality issue. Of that group, 20 percent -- or 35 people -- said the problem swayed their decision on buying an iPhone 4.

While Apple's gaffe may be "removing upside potential" for the iPhone, the real ceiling on sales is the lack of a Verizon option, says Munster. The analyst claims that for every person who was aware of the antenna problem, about three complained about the absence of Verizon. The carrier could potentially gain the iPhone 4 in the next few months.

The potential damage of signal problems is of concern to investors, Munster notes. "In order to quantify a worst-case scenario, we estimate that 40% of all iPhone sales are domestic (was 38% in the June quarter). We are modeling for Apple to sell 11m iPhones in the Sept. quarter, implying about 4.4m domestic sales. If Apple lost 20% of those sales, or 880k units, it would reduce our EPS estimate in the quarter by $0.11, from $3.72 to $3.61."

by MacNN Staff





  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As 258 People in Minneapolis Go

    ... so goes the world?

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How possibly?

    There continues to be waiting period for the iPhone. Most stores sell out the same day they get them, and online, you have to wait for it to arrive (and it ships directly from China to your US home, mind you).

    Apple has been ramping up the production ever since the launch, and they are scrambling to bring more assembly lines online. So, if Apple sells every single iPhone it makes within a few hours of it leaving the assembly line, how much more they could possibly sell if there weren't for this alleged "antenna problem"?

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Antenna Problems limited to ATT

    I've used my iPhone in both Canada and New York, performance was much better on the Canadian carrier Rogers Wireless quicker response on 3G no signal problems and overall better battery life because the Rogers network is much more responsive.

    AT&T is extremely spotty to the point where it makes the signal strength and the data connection indicators on the iPhone useless. Regardless of what the iPhone says it's connected to Edge, GPRS, 3G and how the strong the signal strength is. AT&T gives the Apple iPhone a bad name because of their unreliable network.

  1. Foxypaco

    Joined: Dec 1969



    AT&T is why I don't own an iPhone.

  1. stenniz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How recently

    It must be a slow news day, if this is all you have to write about! An how recent was this POLL?

  1. frankns

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I already have problems with dropped calls

    FWIW ...

    I drop enough calls courtesy of ATT now, and I didn't want to yet another way to cause problems with my phone. So ... I said to myself: Why spend more money to get a phone that might be worse off in an area that's already a pain in the neck?

  1. Schatz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    4 Has better reception than 3g

    A trip to the basement of my house killed the signal on my 3g entirely, ip4 has one to two bars and makes good calls from that same basement no matter how I hold it. Good enough for me.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: re:

    Apple is why I don't own an iPhone

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    But I thought there was no antenna problem. That's what Steve Jobs said.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: 4 Has better reception than 3g

    A trip to the basement of my house killed the signal on my 3g entirely, ip4 has one to two bars and makes good calls from that same basement no matter how I hold it. Good enough for me.

    You sure that isn't just the 'software glitch' Apple claimed that said it had a stronger signal than it really did?

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