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Jobs denies iPhone 4 reception problems

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010
News Categories: iPhone

In an email exchange with an iPhone 4 customer seen and verified by iLounge, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has denied that the iPhone 4 has any actual reception problems. The iLounge reader in question, who has requested to remain anonymous, wrote Jobs after experiencing reception issues when holding the device in his left hand, saying, “Steve, I love the phone. But no one, [not] even your Apple Store has answers for my phone with the left side reception and the proximity sensor acting up.” Jobs issued a one-line response, saying, “The iPhone 4’s reception is better than the iPhone 3GS.” Our reader replied, “Yes it has better reception, is there going to be a fix for the [l]eft side antennae and [t]he Proximity Sensor problem or do you recommend taking it back for replacement?” Jobs once again replied in one sentence, again stating that “There is actually no problem with the real reception.” Jobs then issued a third, final response, saying, “Actually, the iPhone 4 is great. Sorry you’re having troubles.” Apple previously issued a statement regarding the reception issues, telling users to avoid gripping the iPhone 4 in the lower left corner if they experience severe attenuation.

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Comments

1

WHAT the heck does Jobs MEAN?

Posted by Sam on June 29, 2010 at 11:00 AM (PDT)

2

Jobs couldn’t be more clearer: “iPhone 4 is supergreatawesomefantasticmagicalunicornsdancinginameadow. Sorry you can’t handle it.”

Posted by camembert on June 29, 2010 at 11:09 AM (PDT)

3

Jobs’ credibility going in the toilet in 3… 2… 1…

Posted by MR on June 29, 2010 at 11:24 AM (PDT)

4

Denial is customer service death. Doesn’t seem to be remotely affecting sales, of course. But Jobs isn’t doing his company or product any favours with these responses. There are still many other countries that don’t have the iPhone 4 yet. Some will be watching how things develop with these documented issues and how Apple deal with them.

Posted by BeefJerky on June 29, 2010 at 11:26 AM (PDT)

5

Jobs is quite happy to engage in a long email debate about porn but seems to lack the ability to discuss what might be a real issue for iPhone 4 owners.

Apple is teetering on the edge of a mighty big cesspit in my eyes and it’s figurehead might just be about to push it over…..

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on June 29, 2010 at 12:06 PM (PDT)

6

“... and it’s figurehead might just be about to push it over…..”

He did this once before, and they fired him. It was only the fact that no one had the courage to wait and see if their new direction actually worked in the long term that caused them to panic and bring him back, something I have never believed was anything other than a mistake.

Jobs’ return was a key part of why I stopped being a Mac user (he killed the clone program and after you’ve experienced 100% of the Mac platform at 60% the cost, they sure weren’t convincing me to stay around). He should be kept around in R&D but nowhere near the actual leadership. He’s clever, he’s inventive, but he’s not really a good CEO in my eyes.

There’s probably a lot of Apple insiders who might not be looking forward to the inevitable stock dip when he goes, but are still yearning for the day Apple isn’t headed by Jobs.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on June 29, 2010 at 12:36 PM (PDT)

7

Steve’s denial of technical issues that have been replicated by numerous sources shows he has finally embraced “1984”.

Posted by Charles Farley on June 29, 2010 at 12:40 PM (PDT)

8

Maybe we should give apple a few weeks to fix the problem via a software or firmware update before we fire jobs and liquidate the company…  The phone has been out all of 5 days…

Lets take the worst case scenario.  It is unfixable via a software update… they give everyone a free bumper and the problem is fixed.  New hardware design always has some problems that are usually fixed after a month or so.  Apple is very good at getting any problems worked out pretty quickly.

I am left handed and have the iphone 4.  I have had a lot fewer problems with calls then the older 3gs iphone.

Finally if you don’t like the iphone then don’t buy one.  Why does everyone seem so bent on bashing stuff on the internet these days.

Posted by Jeff on June 29, 2010 at 12:49 PM (PDT)

9

“Finally if you don’t like the iphone then don’t buy one.”

Well, I haven’t and won’t, but your attitude is the attitude of those who believe we should all just bend over and kiss the corporate overlords’ behinds, well, no thank you.

People should expect more than a $600 device that loses reception if you don’t put it in a case when you hold it, and people, particularly the stock owners if we’re going to be practical, ought to expect more than a CEO who can’t be bothered to be honest and constructive when faced with a technical problem for what is one of their biggest cash cows.

Steve’s problem is that he believe his own RDF, well, the problem is that it never has been real, and it’s never going to be real. He may be a heck of a salesman, but he can’t make potentially huge issues go away by being a smartass.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on June 29, 2010 at 1:13 PM (PDT)

10

“Apple is very good at getting any problems worked out pretty quickly.”

That’s the Kool Aid talkin’ ...

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on June 29, 2010 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

11

#11: I happen to own a few Apple products and am generally very happy with them, though they’re not without their problems and the CEO is not without his faults. If you can’t stomach a little criticism, maybe stay off the internet.

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on June 29, 2010 at 6:31 PM (PDT)

12

What Jobs, and Apple, need to realize, is that this is exactly the kind of thing the class action lawyers sit and salivate over.  A product with a very obvious problem that the manufacturer denies (even when their support personnel admit to the problem to customers).  Clearly they are heading down the road of liability and their fear of admitting to a costly mistake is clouding their judgment and showing their lack of integrity for everyone to see.

Posted by santiagodraco on June 29, 2010 at 10:56 PM (PDT)

13

“Why does everyone seem so bent on bashing stuff on the internet these days.”

Hear Hear!

Isn’t it possible that “There is actually no problem with the real reception.” & “Actually, the iPhone 4 is great. Sorry you’re having troubles.” mean that it’s simply a software issue (the reception is fine but the phone is simply getting confused).

There’s probably a software fix on the way but, as Jobs doesn’t yet know when it’ll be ready, he can’t mention it because he’ll suddenly start getting 1000’s of e-mails asking when.

Let’s not forget how mad everyone got about the flickering 27” iMac - Apple sorted that out, didn’t they.

Posted by AMF on June 30, 2010 at 1:10 AM (PDT)

14

”  It is unfixable via a software update… they give
everyone a free bumper and the problem is fixed. “


The problem would still exist, it would simply be mitigated until the design was changed.  None the less, paying the Apple premium comes with a certain level of expectation.

Posted by Charles Farley on June 30, 2010 at 2:49 AM (PDT)

15

“The problem would still exist, it would simply be mitigated until the design was changed.”

If a software update can allow the signal to remain more consistent, then I’d say that does fix the issue. While you may be technically correct, tons of hardware is improved by software in products today. For instance, the primary reason we’ve been able to get larger capacity hard drives is due to the fact that the on-the-fly error correction - via software - is able to stay ahead of the massive problems associated with packing in more data on the same size platters. I’ve heard if you could actually see how many data errors were being corrected with every disk action you do, you would be surprised and quite scared.

So if they happen to issue an update and it DOES fix your reception issues, I assume you’re going to say “Well, they fixed it, but it was still a flaw” - however, if they had perfected the same software situation before release, you’d thought everything was fine.

Even so, I still have to say if they don’t have a super-duper software fix coming very soon, then Steve-O may soon regret he ever started answering customer emails…

Posted by Scott dDye on June 30, 2010 at 8:41 AM (PDT)

16

Mine works great. There’s a reception issue?

Posted by VULTR3 on June 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM (PDT)

17

ScottdDye said:

“So if they happen to issue an update and it DOES fix your reception issues, I assume you’re going to say “Well, they fixed it, but it was still a flaw”

==

If they can fix it in software then this particular issue is a non starter.

Given that there is a strong correlation between how the phone is held and the antenna’s ability to receive (I don’t know about transmitting), I would say that the owner is either acting as an earth ground or has the ability to dramatically change the characteristics of the waveform the antenna was intended to have.

A Smith Chart would prove interesting to say the least.

My hope is it is a simple software patch to the DSP or decoder/encoder for the RF signal, but my fear is that it isn’t.

Any RF engineers here?

Posted by Charles Farley on July 1, 2010 at 5:15 AM (PDT)

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