Apple Antenna Problem Has To Do With Inaccurate Signal Bar Display

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has just sent out a press release discussing the antenna issue that everyone is talking about. Gripping any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce service by one or more bars. It doesn’t matter if it is the iPhone 4, the Droid, Nokia phones, RIM phones, etc. However the iPhone 4 drops 4-5 bars when tightly holding it at the black strip in the lower left corner. “We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising,” said Apple in a statement. Below is the rest of the statement from Apple.

Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.

We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same— the iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. For the vast majority of users who have not been troubled by this issue, this software update will only make your bars more accurate. For those who have had concerns, we apologize for any anxiety we may have caused.

As a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

We hope you love the iPhone 4 as much as we do.

Thank you for your patience and support.


[Apple PR]

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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