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Will Apple finally offer a fix to the iPhone 4's defective antenna? A Mexican carrier executive claims that just such a fix is landing Sept. 30.  (Source: Kimberly White/Reuters)
A Mexican carrier may have just let Apple's big iPhone secret slip

The iPhone 4's epic launch of 1.7 million units sold globally in 3 days was largely overshadowed by the numerous problems afflicting the phone.  Foremost is the phone's antenna problems, which make its most basic functionality – making phone calls – troublesome for some users.  Apple's solution thus far has been to tell current generation purchasers to live with the issues and to give them a free case, which insulates the phone in order to prevent signal disruption.

A top executive for Mexican carrier Telcel recently announced that his company will launch the iPhone on Friday August 27.  However, he also may have let slip a far bigger secret.  According to his press release [translated], Apple will deliver a major off-cycle hardware revision that will fix the antenna issues and improve reception.  The press releases pins September 30, 2010 as the ship date for the new hardware.

That date conveniently coincides with the expiration date of Apple's free case offer -- also September 30.

Of course the Telcel announcement is unsubstantiated, and while they 
are an official Apple carrier, there's been no confirmation of the upcoming fix from Apple yet.  It's possible that the fix could be announced at the special Apple event that's being held in San Francisco later today.

Most observers figure a fix is indeed in store; the only question is "when”?  After all, most manufacturers look to fix defective or failing products.  Apple in the past has largely relied on software fixes to do the trick, but an iPhone 4 firmware update offered no actual improvements to signal reception, but merely adjusted the way bars were displayed.  That leaves a hardware revision as the only real hope for a true fix.

There's still a great deal of mystery surrounding the potential hardware revision.  But one thing's for sure; all eyes will be on Apple later today and near the end of September, watching for potential action.

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By pjwr2004 on 9/1/2010 11:30:51 AM , Rating: 5
The new antenna design will be Magical. I will allow you to make calls.

RE: Apple
By pjwr2004 on 9/1/2010 11:32:25 AM , Rating: 2
correction: "It" will allow you to make calls

RE: Apple
By joedon3 on 9/1/2010 11:40:38 AM , Rating: 5
Lol, I think you had it right the first time....

RE: Apple
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Apple
By SlipDizzy on 9/1/2010 11:52:41 AM , Rating: 2
I believe you guys are mistaken. This is iPhone 4 with new hardware. The first iPhone 4 hindered people from hosting a call. This new iPhone 4 will actually call people for you.... at random.....anytime....always.

RE: Apple
By Mitch101 on 9/1/2010 12:02:39 PM , Rating: 5
Dont worry AT&T will fix that pesky phone call feature.

RE: Apple
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/1/2010 1:54:58 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Apple
By masamasa on 9/3/2010 3:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
You mean Jobs will allow you to make calls now. Bow to the almighty!

RE: Apple
By Botia on 9/7/2010 12:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
This changes everything!

RE: Apple
By Spamdel on 9/1/2010 11:55:13 AM , Rating: 5

RE: Apple
By ElderTech on 9/1/2010 1:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
Real life exerience report: Calls from my kids via their iPhone 4s in Pittsburgh to my land line or ATT mobile in the Chicago area are stronger and clearer than those from T-Mobile as previous carrier in Pittsburgh using conventional Samsung hardware. Call dropping is about the same, but occurs as an abrupt cutoff with iPhone 4 on ATT vs degredation of signal and eventual loss with prior T-Mobile. Better conversations, but no indication of impending call loss with iPhone 4. Either way, signal is/was re-established with immediate call-back and no drop after that.

RE: Apple
By TomZ on 9/3/2010 12:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad your kids don't use Verizon, in which case you probably wouldn't have any experience with call dropping.

Seriously, though, I don't know why folks put up with AT&T's lousy network. On most other networks dropped calls were solved 10 years ago.

RE: Apple
By sviola on 9/1/2010 2:42:46 PM , Rating: 3
Everytime someone associates Steve Jobs with the word magical it reminds me of the Sam and Max: Season 1 character Hugh Bliss .

Actually, thinking again, the guys in Telltale games may really have designed the character based on Steve Jobs.

RE: Apple
By Tony Swash on 9/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Apple
By Helbore on 9/1/2010 3:23:08 PM , Rating: 3
Perhaps people see Apple unable to keep up with demand for a defective product and it makes them sad due to the general moronity of the majority.

RE: Apple
By Tony Swash on 9/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Apple
By JasonMick on 9/1/2010 4:57:48 PM , Rating: 5
I am sure its tremendously reassuring to think that the behaviour of millions of people is, because it is different to your behaviour, evidence that they are more stupid than yourself but its just self deception. It won't help understand what is happening.

Tony, all this time I tried to figure out where I knew you from, and now come to think of it, I think I saw you starring in this YouTube video...

RE: Apple
By Motoman on 9/1/2010 11:28:26 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Apple
By Helbore on 9/2/2010 10:51:48 AM , Rating: 4
Said by the guy who seems to spend all his time knocking the behaviour of anyone who criticises Apple.

RE: Apple
By theapparition on 9/1/2010 5:26:53 PM , Rating: 5
The antenna problems seem to have nothing to reduce demand for the iPhone 4.

I am sure its tremendously reassuring to think that the behaviour of millions of people is, because it is different to your behaviour, evidence that they are more stupid than yourself but its just self deception. It won't help understand what is happening.

So basically you admit that the item has a hardware defect, and also claim that it hasn't severely hurt it's demand(quite correct on both issues as I might add).

And you wonder why techies make fun of Apple zealots like yourself. Known defect and yet people are too stupid to not buy it. And in typical Apple fashion, the early adopters are one again screwed over by purchasing inferior or overpriced hardware, only to be fixed/price lowered soon after.

I'm not going to debate anything with you since I'd have better luck converting a Muslim to Judaism. Without the capability to admit at least once that Apple has made some major design flaws, you're no better than the legions of PC fanboys. You might be able to write in complete sentences without throwing in some l337 hacker speak, but the mentality of a 14yo girl is still there.

RE: Apple
By Tony Swash on 9/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Apple
By themaster08 on 9/2/2010 2:20:47 AM , Rating: 2
Apple's products as being the result of the stupidity of millions of people
So intelligent people purchase smartphones with known hardware design flaws?

Tony, we all know you like Apple and someone at least needs to stand in their corner, but that doesn't mean you have to agree on every single thing they do, and not acknowledge their mistakes. You're completely blinded.

Apple screwed up with their antenna design. You've never once acknowledged that fact. Instead you tiptoe around the subject, informing us that the iPhone 4 is still selling like hotcakes. Does it upset you to see real and factual criticism of Apple?

Why are you so loyal to this one company? Intelligent people are loyal to their own needs, not to a particular brand.

I agree that there is a lot of hot air surrounding Apple, but this is a tech website. Apple's business plan and closed ecosystem are against most of what the tech community stands for. To not expect incoherent backlash for supporting Apple is just plain stupid, but no more stupid than blindly supporting a company whether they're wrong or right.

RE: Apple
By Tony Swash on 9/2/10, Rating: -1
RE: Apple
By Quadrillity on 9/3/2010 8:45:16 AM , Rating: 2
I can't comprehend how someone could have that much to say about Apple... you have WAY too much f'in spare time man. Find a hobby

RE: Apple
By Tony Swash on 9/3/2010 1:15:44 PM , Rating: 1
I can't comprehend how someone could have that much to say about Apple... you have WAY too much f'in spare time man. Find a hobby

Retired a year ago and have lots of spare time - a joy after decades of work I can tell you.

Seriously - add up the number of words written here about Apple products written by people who don't even own them and don't intend to and tell me I am the wordy one :)

RE: Apple
By Hieyeck on 9/3/2010 9:08:33 AM , Rating: 1

But I caught something about closed systems.

Apple's BEST OS - OSX, is based on *drumroll* FreeBSD. That's right, they're charging you for an open, free to license operating system. That's mashed together with another free kernel that was killed off in the 1980s (Mach). So according to Apple: Free OS + Free Kernel = Charging you an arm for the package and a leg for the updates. At least Microsoft builds their own systems.

RE: Apple
By Tony Swash on 9/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Apple
By xti on 9/3/2010 10:02:31 AM , Rating: 2
just say misery loves company. that is always why techies hate whoever has something that is either on top, way too mainstream for their likes, etc etc.

RE: Apple
By Sazar on 9/3/2010 11:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
I pre-ordered mine so your argument does not apply to me.

Not all people who use Apple products (and the iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 are my only Apple purchases ever) do so because they are blinded by the glow of Apple's logo :)

In hindsight, I would have just kept waiting for the Dell Streak and slapped Froyo on there. THAT is an amazing phone/tablet and the OS has left Apple's iOS behind. The only thing Apple's operating system still has is that it remains the slickest/smoothest on the market.

RE: Apple
By Belard on 9/1/2010 7:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, you got it the first time ;)

A new feature of the iPhone, it will auto call you if you're not talking about your iPhone or other Apple products at least once a day.

If more than one month goes by, Steve Jobs will personally hunt you down and take it away from you. If he's in a good mood - you'll get to live.

Smoking Gun
By Mitch101 on 9/1/2010 12:01:24 PM , Rating: 3
Wouldnt an antenna redesign this early be a smoking gun that the existing device had a design flaw? I could see attorneys pouncing on this however I have IT admins here that wont admit fault of their shiny iPhone even when it drops a call right in front me. Its amazing the level of tolerance Apple users endure instead of just saying you know this version is broke.

The second would be if the proximity issue is resolved in the new hardware too.

RE: Smoking Gun
By micksh on 9/1/2010 12:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Apple will come up with explanation that will make its fans happy.

By the way, DT readers should have known about this antenna fix from July:

RE: Smoking Gun
By TechIsGr8 on 9/1/2010 12:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
The dropped calls are more likely the product of the network with the "fewest dropped calls", rather than the piece of hardware accessing the network. I realize there are Apple fan-boys out there, but the fascination here with railing against that is borderline psychotic in its own right. And, by the way, I'm one of those generalized "Apple users", and I don't carry the blind faith that your generalization suggests.

RE: Smoking Gun
By Spuke on 9/1/2010 12:56:30 PM , Rating: 5
The dropped calls are more likely the product of the network with the "fewest dropped calls", rather than the piece of hardware accessing the network.

And, by the way, I'm one of those generalized "Apple users", and I don't carry the blind faith that your generalization suggests.

"The prostitution rests."

RE: Smoking Gun
By Motoman on 9/1/2010 2:36:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, no it doesn't. It seems like the Macolyte prostitution never rests.

Just a question
By Fleeb on 9/1/2010 12:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
If it was claimed there is actually no problem, why fix something that does not need fixing? No problem = no need to fix.

RE: Just a question
By Smilin on 9/1/2010 4:46:07 PM , Rating: 4
Aye, how can you fix something that "just works"

Now wait for the Macolytes...
By Motoman on 9/1/2010 11:32:18 AM , Rating: 5
..."OMG the new release is so FREAKING AWESOME! Dude, you can HOLD IT ANY WAY YOU WANT and still make phone calls! It's like, crazy! Apple is soooo innovative and feature-rich...just watch, pretty soon *everybody* will be saying you can hold their phones any way you want to and still make phone calls. Posers."

By gregpet on 9/1/2010 1:44:57 PM , Rating: 3
Does this mean I can start holding it wrong again?

By StealthX32 on 9/1/2010 11:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure someone somewhere would've figured this out eventually, but Steve Jobs is gonna have a pretty full inbox in a few hours...

So what's the fix?
By darkpuppet on 9/1/2010 11:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
Since there wouldn't have been too much time to engineer a new layout, will this fix be some sort of clear coat or anodizing?

Both easy to do with the current design..

I heard this last month
By taylormg on 9/1/2010 2:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
My friend works at an apple repair centre and they were told last month, that a revised version of the iPhone 4 will be released in September which will fix the fault with the antenna, though they were told it would be released on the 19th of September in the UK.

They were told at the beginning of August so the date may have changed.

My friend said he believed the alteration was to expand the gap between the antennas but that is not the official word that is just his belief

By bernardl on 9/2/2010 7:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
Funny how people still decide to polarize themselves for or against a brand.

Talk of a free world where most of us limit our own freedom by pickging camps in a debate that doesn't really concern us much. That reminds me of a sheepy Mac commercial. :-)

I do not own an iPhone 4 but know many people who do. As a Mac user I am growing increasingly irrirated by the directions chosen by Apple and will probably switch back to Win 8 next year or so.

This being said I know many people owning iPhone 4 and none of them has had any antena issue till now.


"Fixed" Antenna
By Warren21 on 9/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By Homerboy on 9/1/2010 11:39:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking you may be the only one for whom it is "misleading"

RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By JasonMick on 9/1/2010 11:42:31 AM , Rating: 4 should be your friend, especially for ESL readers (given the complexities and idiosyncrasies of the tongue):

As a verb...
1. to repair; mend.
2. to put in order or in good condition; adjust or arrrange: She fixed her hair in a bun.
3. to make fast, firm, or stable

RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By Kurz on 9/1/2010 1:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
Nouns and Verbs... They be sly critters they are.

Whats even more confusing are words with Dual Meanings.

Invalid for example.
Can be your password is invalid.

Or your are an Invalid (Like a cripple)

And they are pronounced different ;)

RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By eskimospy on 9/1/2010 5:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
The absolute worst is the word 'get'. It drives non native speakers bonkers. It can mean:

1.) To acquire something.
2.) To arrive somewhere.
3.) To understand something.
4.) To take revenge on someone, to 'get' them.
5.) To irritate.
6.) To convince someone to do something.
etc, etc.

The dictionary definition page of that word is a disaster area.

RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By HoosierEngineer5 on 9/1/2010 3:18:48 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, Jason. A fixed antenna is immobile. Normally, it is not cost effective to repair an antenna, they are replaced. In this case, I believe redesigned is the word you are looking for.

RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By Kurz on 9/1/2010 3:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry... But Jason's language was just fine.
The orginal design needed Fixing... So "With Fixed Antenna"
Is also acceptable.

RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By Drag0nFire on 9/1/2010 11:54:53 AM , Rating: 5
It could also mean that the antenna was rendered sterile, but I didn't waste much time thinking about it until you brought it up...


RE: "Fixed" Antenna
By dark matter on 9/1/10, Rating: 0
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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