iPhone 4 Bumper Giveaway Costing $175 million!


To sort out the antenna problem with the iPhone 4, Apple is giving away free bumpers to all iPhone 4 owners. But as they don't just appear out of thin air, Apple is going to set aside $175 million of iPhone 4 revenue in the September quarter, according to Apple's CFO Peter Oppenheimer during the Q3 earnings conference call. But as in the same conference call they reveiled that they earned over $15 billion, shelling out $175 million for iPhone cases, won't be too much of a catastrophe for Apple.

The $175 million might seem a huge amount for normal people like us, but compered the $1.5 billion Apple would have to pay for a full recall of the iPhone 4 as some industry analysts are predicting, giving away free cases is a much better option for Apple.

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Source Macworld

HTC Fights Back to Apple's Claims


At Apple's press conference on Friday, Steve Jobs showed 3 phones that had the same antenna problems as the iPhone 4. This made Nokia and RIM retaliate to what Steve Jobs said about their phones. (Read here) But the third phone showed was the Droid Eris, and this had the most drastic drop of signal. It went straight from 4 bars all the way down to 0 bars.

HTC have not acted like Nokia and RIM to Apple's claims, but they have given a percentage of the people calling technical suport about the Droid Eris's antenna problem. Apple claimed that 0.55% of customers called AppleCare about the antenna issue but HTC is claiming that the Droid Eris technical support line received only 0.016% of people calling about the antenna issue. About thirty-four times lower than Apple's claim.

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Source Pocket-Lint

RIM and Nokia Not Happy with Apple


At yesterday's press conference, Steve Jobs defended it's iPhone 4 antenna issue by saying that all smartphones had this problem and by showing several devices from Nokia, HTC and RIM having the same problem. Now as you can expect, you wouldn't be very happy if Steve Jobs bashes your device on stage, so RIM and Nokia have retaliated to what Steve said yesterday and they are not happy.


Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.


Antenna design is a complex subject and has been a core competence at Nokia for decades, across hundreds of phone models. Nokia was the pioneer in internal antennas; the Nokia 8810, launched in 1998, was the first commercial phone with this feature. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying human behavior, including how people hold their phones for calls, music playing, web browsing and so on. As you would expect from a company focused on connecting people, we prioritize antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.

In general, antenna performance of a mobile device/phone may be affected with a tight grip, depending on how the device is held. That’s why Nokia designs our phones to ensure acceptable performance in all real life cases, for example when the phone is held in either hand. Nokia has invested thousands of man hours in studying how people hold their phones and allows for this in designs, for example by having antennas both at the top and bottom of the phone and by careful selection of materials and their use in the mechanical design.

Overall, Steve did his best to be kind, but the fact remains, he did bash the other companies and they're not pleased with the outcome. Phil Nickinson from Android Central got it right when he said "any new phones from any company now is going to be under increased, and in some cases ridiculous antenna scrutiny."

Source TIPB

Apple Offers Free Cases!


Today, at Apple's press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna problem, Steve Jobs explained everything that was wrong with the iPhone 4.

Steve began the keynote by saying that their phones aren't perfect. But then continued saying that the iPhone 4 was the biggest phone launch ever and that the iPhone 4 has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any any smartphone.


Then Steve went on to show some pictures of other smartphones dropping bars and saying that the problem occurs in all phones.


Then there stats about the complaints. Apparently, 0.55% of customers have complained about the antenna problem and that in the same time period, the iPhone 4 had has a 1/3 less returns than what the 3GS had in the same amount of time. Also, the iPhone 4 drops less than one additional call per 100 than the 3GS and that "the problem of affects a small percentage of our users."


So what is apple going to do about it? Well firstly they are going to offer free bumpers to all iPhone 4 customers and a refund if you already bought a bumper. They also said, as they can't make enough bumpers, they will also offer free third-party cases. This will run until the September 30th. Next, they are going to give a full refund to all unsatisfactory customers and a contract refund as well. All you need to do is return an undamaged iPhone 4 within 30 days of purchase.


In other Apple news, the white iPhone 4 will be available at the end of July, along with Canada and 16 other countries getting the iPhone 4 (See them here). Also that the proximity sensor problem will be fixed by a software update.

Source Engadget

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iPhone Signal Problems Caused By Math Error


So you must know if you are reading this, that the iPhone 4 has been plagued with problems since it launched. But one problem beats them all; the signal problems when you touch the bottom left hand corner (Read about it Here). But now Apple has released a statement saying that the reason behind the signal problems was the formula they use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is wrong.

Here is the press release:

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. But 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.

At the same time, we continue to read articles and receive hundreds of emails from users saying that iPhone 4 reception is better than the iPhone 3GS. They are delighted. This matches our own experience and testing. What can explain all of this?

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.

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.

We already know that the signal problems are real and need to be fixed, but that is the question, why does it need to be fixed? Well it seems Apple failed in Math class. So, do you think this is just a software issue, or is it a major design flaw? 

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Source Technobuffalo

Droid Kicks Apple Where it Hurts!

You can't deny it, the Droid has got one awesome marketing team. The previous viral Droid campaign, Droid Does, contributed to the success of the Droid and it looks like they’re looking to continue the awesome ads with this one. Seen as a full page ad in the New York Times, they’ve still got some magic up their sleeves. See the ad below:

Now the bit that hurts Apple is in the bottom paragraph where it says "The Droid is the ultimate smartphone with its gigantic screen and HD connectivity. But most importantly it comes with a double antenna design.  The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls.”  Now that has got to hurt! 

Well played Motorola, well played...

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Source Engadget

iPhone Bumpers Selling for $100 on eBay!

Now this is just ridiculous! These only sell for $30 in Apple stores, but because of the signal issues with the new iPhone 4, they are selling like hot cakes and supply is very short. So one optimistic person is selling a white bumper on eBay for $100!

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Source 9to5mac