Posts Tagged ‘4.0.1’

Apple Press Conference (7/16/2010) – The Aftermath (Antennagate)

July 17, 2010 8 comments

Ok, now that I’ve thoroughly tracked the press conference in my last post, it seems the hype is just starting. There are lots of questions, and lots of opinions about the way Apple handled the situation. I think that Apple did a tremendous job getting all their facts together so quickly, and for delivering this press conference with such class and sincerity. No one accused anyone of making up stories, no one was blamed, it was put very simply and delivered with such a calm demeanor.

I was worried that Apple’s response was going to taint my perception of the company forever, and am happy to report that I was blown away by their response (in a good way!). It’s just a shame that Apple had to go to these lengths to defend the most popular Smartphone on the market. Now anyone that sells a different Smartphone without giving out a free case will just be yet another step behind Apple.

In no particular order, here are some of the things I’ve observed while participating in various forums (ie – the FoxNews chat during the live press conference, or reading various other articles on the subject).

1) Question: How do I get my case/refund from Apple?
Answer: The details are still being ironed out, but Apple has updated the description of the Bumper in the Apple Store, indicating that they are currently not for sale, but will soon contain information on how to get your free bumper/refund. Keep checking back with the Apple Store for updates.

2) Question: Does the bumper actually fix the issue?
Answer: Yes it does. Paired with the 4.0.1 software update, the phone functions exactly how it should. The software update is clearly working as it should. I get terrible service in my home, but the iPhone always reported 4/5 bars before the update (iPhone 3G and 4). Now with the update, it correctly reports poor signal strength (1 or 2 bars).

iPhone 4 Bumper (black)

3) Question: What is contained in the iOS 4.0.1 software update?
Answer: The most important fix in this update is the new algorithm that calculates signal strength. There is a secondary update that fixes a pretty serious bug for Exchange Server users. This only affects corporate users who were unable to retrieve email from their Exchange servers due to a timeout issue. Apple had previously release a hotfix that came in the form of a simple profile install.

4) Statement: The iPhone cannot be charged while the bumper is in place.
Response: Yes, I’ve noticed the same thing, although some users have indicated that the charger that comes with the iPhone 4 works fine with their bumper. I have the OEM bumper and charger, and I have to take the bumper off to charge/dock the device. I asked an Apple employee at my local Apple store, and was told that there are no chargers or docks that are compatible with the bumper.

5) Question: Why do people care so much about this iPhone issue? Get a life…
Answer: Stop reading. Compared to most breaking news stories (ie – BP oil spill), the outcome of this one doesn’t really matter. It is fun to track, and fun to analyze without the need to take any religious/political/economical stand. Anyone from technology experts, to a person who just bought their first SmartPhone can follow this story just the same. That is what I love about technology news.

And in case you missed the press conference, it is posted here on Apple’s website. Note, for some reason the link goes to a different video, but if you copy the URL you’ll get there.


Apple Press Conference (7/16/2010)

July 15, 2010 5 comments

A very strategic press conference from Apple today.  The updates below sum it up, but basically they put superman Steve Jobs in front of the audience to state how much Apple cares about their customers.  It was sincere and heart felt.  They then demonstrated the antenna issue with other phones, and gave some impressive stats about iPhone sales/performance/return rates.  Then they announced that there will be a free bumper/case for anyone who wants one, or a refund for anyone who has purchased a bumper from Apple.

Here is the video of the press conference from

** FINAL UPDATE ** ~10:36 AM

“We love our users”.

** UPDATE ** ~10:29 AM

Software update is available

Free bumper for every iPhone 4 buyer.  If you already have one, they will refund the purchase in full.

** UPDATE ** ~10:27 AM

iPhone 4 drops more calls than the iPhone 3GS, but only < 1% per hundred.

** UPDATE ** ~ 10:25 AM

Sales over 3M units over the past 3 weeks.

** UPDATE ** ~10:23 AM

1.7% iPhone 4 users have actually returned the phone, versus 6% that returned 3GS.  No apology so far…

** UPDATE ** ~ 10:21 AM

Apple states that .055% of iPhone owners have actually called Apple to report this reception issue.

** UPDATE ** ~ 10:20 AM

Apple currently giving a demonstration on how the test phones in silicon chambers.  The purpose of this demo is to prove that Apple tests in a more technical fashion than Consumer Reports had tested.

** UPDATE ** ~ 10:10AM

Live from the press conference, Apple is currently demonstrating the antenna issue with a blackberry.  Not off to a good start…

** UPDATE **

Lots of stir lately about Apple's press conference tomorrow (7/16/2010).  What are they going to talk about?  Anything but the "death grip" would cause outrage/riot, so let's just assume that to be the case.

Personally, I've found that touching the iPhone 4 in any way shape or form cripples the connection.  I've added a "bumper" (which by the way cannot be charged/docked without taking the bumper off first), and it seems to have corrected the problem.  In my opinion, any OEM case should be able to be docked or at least charged via USB, however seems no one at Apple has thought of that yet.  Aren't there any nerds at Apple as fed up as I am with all this?

What is Apple going to do about the antenna issue?  Are they really going to re-engineer the phone and recall millions of iPhones….will they hand out free bumpers, and then have to address the charging issue next week when people are complaining about that?  Will they push users towards an "iPhone 4S" which contains some hardware refresh with a better antenna placement?  Any other likely scenarios?  Maybe they will surprise us all and "officially" tell us that we are STILL holding the phone incorrectly.

If you read Apple's last press release on the issue, you'll see them blaming the algorithm used to determine signal strength.  They claim it has always been faulty, and actually reports better service than it should.  It is believable if you are not a tech enthusiast (or just a long time iPhone user), but to me this makes no sense.  Bottom line is, the bumper fixes the problem entirely.  Are they trying to tell me that putting a bumper on the phone fixes a broken piece of code?  It seems Apple was chasing any kind of minor glitch they could find that was not too severe to release, and use that as the culprit while they figure out what they are really going to do.

I love the iPhone, and have always defended them against the naysayers regarding minor/natural tech issues.  I just think they could have handled this much better than the timeline illustrated below, but I do commend them for owning the issue (assuming that they are going to actually address this for real tomorrow).

The people complain about antenna issues —> Steve Jobs comments that we are ALL holding it wrong —> Apple press release states faulty code in signal strength logic is to blame —> Press Conference on 7/16/10 —> (I'll update this later with the result).