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Print 79 comment(s) - last by sweetspot.. on Jul 21 at 1:32 PM


Note the complete lack of insulation on the stainless steel antenna/frame. An engineer warned top executives at Apple a year ago, that the design was doomed to make the phone a lemon.  (Source: iFixIt)

IOS 4.0.1 is now available; it now "correctly" displays signal bars on supported iPhones
Also, U.S. Senator voices outrage about Apple's handling of the iPhone antenna problems

Life is tough as an engineer.  Last year Ruben Caballero, a senior engineer and antenna expert at Apple, reportedly warned the company's top management, including CEO Steven P. Jobs, that the current production plan was badly flawed.  Lacking any insulation, he recognized from experience that the antenna would likely be in for some serious issues.

Bloomberg received the information from a source close to Caballero.  Caballero, who still works at Apple has declined comment.  Apple also declined comment.

It appears that Apple blatantly disregarded the call for insulating its antenna over fear that it would impact the phone's size or weight.  The new antenna design, which wraps around the phone's frame was designed to minimize weight and size.

Apple also reportedly received a warning from a carrier partner sources say (likely AT&T) about problems they were having during early testing.  Again Apple appears to have blatantly disregarded yet another warning placed in front of it.

Despite selling a record 1.7 million iPhones at launch, Apple has since been overrun with angry customers complaining their new Apple phones are actually lemons.  Apple has remained unsympathetic, for the most part, which many say has damaged its brand image.  The company did announce that it will hold a special press conference on Friday to address the issues.  Some are predicting that Apple may launch a recall, which could cost the company $1B USD or more.

In related news U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D- NY) wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Jobs blasting his company's handling of the signal issues.  The topic is a particular sore spot in New York; New York City has, according to Apple employees suffered from 30 percent iPhone dropped call rates.

In the letter Sen. Schumer calls Apple's upcoming cosmetic patch to how many bars are drawn to be "insufficient".  He also suggests that Apple's demand that customers buy cases to fix the issue is inappropriate.  He writes, "The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device.  To address this concern, I ask that Apple provide iPhone 4 customers with a clearly written explanation of the cause of the reception problem and make a public commitment to remedy it free-of-charge."

In his letter he cites the Consumer Reports' decision to drop its endorsement of the iPhone.  Clearly a jilted Apple fan, Sen. Schumer concludes, "I look forward to Apple's swift action on this matter, and once again laud Apple for its innovative efforts and service to millions of Americans."

Updated 7/15/2010 @ 2:21 pm

Apple has just rolled out iOS 4.0.1 which is supposed to correct the way signals bars are displayed on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4.



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RE: Engineer
By adiposity on 7/15/2010 7:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are exaggerating the issue. Sure, it's a problem, but it's easy to fix or avoid. Most people are not having a problem with it. I definitely think a (free) solution should be offered, but the phone is completely useable. On Ars, for example, they were able to get a signal drop, but could not actually get the thing to drop a call. That is hardly "crippled."

I don't know why I'm defending the iPhone. I always thought they were a bad purchase decision. I guess I heard hyperbole and had to respond. You just end up sounding like an anti-fanboy when you dismiss a pretty nice piece of hardware as a "crap."


RE: Engineer
By LRonaldHubbs on 7/16/2010 10:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
I admit that I am very harsh in my opinion on this, and I admit that it is because I am biased. I am biased because I am an engineer, and in that capacity the things I hate most are 1) bad design and 2) management making political decisions that result in bad design.

At least Apple is providing cases now free of charge, but it took an awful lot of fuss and embarrassment to get to that point.


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