Apple Admits Problem with Apple iPhone 4.0 Reception, Sort Of
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In a letter posted on the Apple website on Friday, just as everyone was leaving for the long weekend (we’re sure the timing is just coincidence), Apple admits that there is a bonafide Apple iPhone 4 reception problem. Well, sort of. What they really say is that the problem isn’t with the reception, or even with a faulty antenna – it’s with saying you have more bars of reception than you really do. Hrrm… way to shift the blame over to AT and T!

The letter starts out by touting how great the iPhone 4 is:


Dear iPhone 4 Users,

The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apple’s history. It has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever, and users have told us that they love it.

It then goes on to say:

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So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them.

Then the excuses start:

To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones.

 

Apple then goes on to admit 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. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.”

They then go on to announce that:

“We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising.

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.”

Here’s the part where they really blame AT&T…even while seeming to give AT&T a stroke for suggesting the proper formula:

“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.

…adding that “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.”

That’s nice.

None of this really fixes the problem, does it?

Apple closes by saying that “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.”

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