Apple admits iPhone 4 signal problems are software issue, fix coming | iLounge News

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Apple admits iPhone 4 signal problems are software issue, fix coming

Apple has issued a press release this morning responding to the numerous complaints that have been circulating regarding reception issues with the new iPhone 4. In a Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4, Apple reiterates previous comments that holding any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by one or more bars, and acknowledges that this is as true of the iPhone 4 as it was of previous iPhone models and other manufacturers’ phones. The letter goes on to note, however, that “some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band.” Apple admits that this is a “far bigger drop than normal” and concedes that it has led some to believe it to be the result of a faulty antenna design.

Apple reports that on further investigation it was “stunned to find that the formula [used] to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong.” In essence, the company explains that the iPhone 4 sometimes displays four bars even in weak coverage areas where it should only be displaying as few as two bars. Apple notes that users who are seeing a loss of several bars when gripping their iPhone in a certain way are likely in areas with weak signal strength, but don’t realize it due to the calculation error. The letter notes that a user’s “big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.”

In the letter, Apple indicates that it will be releasing a free software update “within a few weeks” that will use AT&T’s more recent formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The result of the update will not change the actual signal strength but will report it more accurately. Apple notes that this error has been present since the original iPhone and will also be corrected in the software update for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS models.

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Comments

1

When all else fail, change the rules.

Posted by Charles Farley on July 2, 2010 at 7:11 AM (PDT)

2

When my call goes dead are we going to blame that on a software bug that miraculously activates the “ringer / silent ” switch…...Apple, take responsibility for your actions.

Posted by Michael on July 2, 2010 at 9:41 AM (PDT)

3

Admits they are a software issue?  What a complete joke. 

iPhone 4.1 update: 
Fixes:
* Phone no longer drops call when no signal is detected
* Signal strength meter retains high levels until phone is turned off
* “No Service” message has been replaced with “Looking good, Billy Ray!”

Posted by SantiagoDraco on July 2, 2010 at 10:05 AM (PDT)

4

Pride goeth before a fall…

I’m keeping my 3GS until it falls to pieces. Then I’ll be looking at Android and Symbian devices. At least then I have a choice of phone hardware manufacturers, who build better PHONES with better SUPPORT.

Posted by Farnsworth on July 2, 2010 at 11:12 AM (PDT)

5

Maybe u americans are doomed with bad coverage.

Posted by gerdez on July 2, 2010 at 12:44 PM (PDT)

6

Wait!  Can it really be?  (Cr)apple made a mistake?

No Way!

Posted by The Digital Alchemist on July 2, 2010 at 1:58 PM (PDT)

7

iPhone 4 has reception issues?

Posted by VULTR3 on July 2, 2010 at 3:12 PM (PDT)

8

“We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.”
Thank goodness this is being fixed and I thought I was getting no signal at all when I hold my iPhone 4 and don’t see any bars.  I guess Jobs wasn’t kidding when he said the resolution was more than the human eye could see.  I guess the bars have been there all along they were just too small to see so why do my calls still drop?

“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.”
Yes we’re hiring radio engineers because there’s not a problem.  As a matter of fact when we test in lab right next to micro cell tower with rubber gloves on there is no signal loss whatsoever then we go out to the Beer Garden and celebrate!

Posted by Uncommonsense on July 3, 2010 at 12:44 AM (PDT)

9

Come on people! Are they serious!? At the heart of all these devices is a modem module doing all the communications. The Apple CPU interrogates this for a Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) value. Are you telling me that Apple software designers can’t scale one number into a simple bargraph!?

This is pretty basic stuff. If I was American, I’d call this “Modem Comms 101”. If they can’t get this right, what other stuff-ups have they made?

Will the “software fix” simply be a faking of the bargraph to now indicate higher than reality?

(Background: Our company makes an industrial telemetry device incorporating a 3G modem module for Internet comms)

Posted by Mario G. on July 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM (PDT)

10

I am interested to know how the FCC approved a device where the user is physically in contact with the antenna.

Posted by Charles Farley on July 5, 2010 at 4:55 PM (PDT)

11

since downloading the newest software to my iphone 3g my phone has been super slow acting, the newest software download sucks… Im ready to go back to verizon..

Posted by larry l on July 5, 2010 at 5:51 PM (PDT)

12

I tried out both of the working iPhone-4 demo units at my local AT&T store. I executed the “death grip” several times and didn’t see the signal meter waver in the slightest. Either (1) these units are “ringers” that always display full signal strength, (2) these units have this software fix applied, or (3) the “death grip” issue is a myth.

Posted by Farnsworth on July 6, 2010 at 8:02 AM (PDT)

13

I was contemplating switching to AT&T and getting an Iphone. After downloading the 4.0 os to my ipod touch I now have problems getting a wifi signal, where as it wasn’t a problem before… Battery now drains quickly as well… These problems are all over the web but apple hasn’t addressed them.

Posted by Stephen on July 7, 2010 at 10:24 AM (PDT)

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