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iPhone Antenna Woes

Proposed iPhone 5 Design.

That is just plain funny.

Seriously, Apple could use a bit of media training in how to handle a crisis.  The sequence of responses from Apple around their defective antenna design are less than ideal:

First, Steve Jobs sends one of his famous terse email saying “don’t hold it like that”.  You do have to give kudos to a CEO who chooses to respond to any customer emails, but that isn’t the best way to address a verified problem.

Then, Apple says the “formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong“, not that there is any actual signal attenuation.  Apple gets points for apparent candor in their willingness to ‘fess up.  But, their assertion that it is just an issue with how many bars are shown is inconsistent with the published reports showing that the bandwidth delivered to the phone is affected dramatically by how is it held (see Speed Test image below).

Now, even the staid Consumer Reports is slamming the iPhone 4 over the antenna attenuation issues.  And Apple’s response is to start deleting threads on their tech-support forums referencing the Consumer Reports’ negative review.

Perhaps, this is a time for Apple to recognize their changed role in the world.  As the most valuable tech company in the world, they are held to a higher standard than others.  That may not be fair, but it is reality.

Declining connection bandwidth for iPhone 4 depending on how it is held. Left to right: not being held; held in leather case; held bare-handed.