During an Apple keynote, it's almost impossible to catch all of the info flooding out of Moscone. One thing we did catch, and then had to search
for, was something about "Bumpers."
A quick look at the pages on the Apple Web site didn't seem to show anything until I scrolled to the bottom of the Tech Specs page. Lo and behold,
there was a very short description of Bumpers. Available in six colors (white, black, blue, green, orange, or pink), Bumpers slip over the stainless
steel edge of your iPhone 4. They come with metal buttons for volume and power and are made of a combo of rubber and molded plastic.
This may explain why we've received several tips over the last few days from people saying that iPhone cases are being removed from the Apple
Stores. Bumpers are Apple's first foray into the iPhone case business (a market that has been run by third parties so far), and it will be
fascinating to see not only how they sell, but what the reaction will be from long-time case manufacturers.
What is strange here is the lack of publicity regarding this, almost as if Apple didn't want to make a fuss about it.
Apple then released a statement advising its customers (me among them!!) on how to address the problem detailed in the video above:
Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the
placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the
lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available
Okay, the second part of the conspiracy "puzzle" can be found in this article:
There you have it. 600,000 pre-orders have turned into 1.7 million iPhone 4 sales through this Saturday. The Sunday transactions haven't even
been tallied up yet, but Steve and company already have another reason to look smug. That total eclipses the 3GS' already phenomenal 1 million units
sold over a weekend, and stands pretty much head and shoulders above any other launch the mobile world has yet seen.
For the next component of my conspiracy I'll refer to the updated press release regarding the antenna issue. apparently (and I'm not convinced about
this one) the problem is with the software used for measuring the signal, not the antennae themselves.
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.
But it seems that this will do nothing to alleviate the hardware (antenna) issues.
It’s been like pulling teeth, and it took journalists mailing AppleCare rather than Apple’s notoriously tight-lipped and
selectively-responding public relations department, but we have our answer. That iPhone 4 software update will do nothing to fix the reception
problems–it is a hardware issue.
Gizmodo e-mailed AppleCare support three times this week and got the same answer every time, which means that Apple has changed their tone ever so
slightly. AppleCare representatives confirmed an antenna interference issue when the phone is held near that infamous lower left-hand corner. The
software update would only make iPhone 4′s signal meter more accurate, and not fix the problem.
So it seems, all us iPhone 4 buyers will either have to return our phones, or buy the "bumper", which costs £30 in the UK, and mysteriously, is
Apple's first foray into the iPhone cover market......what's that? They've NEVER sold iPhone covers/bumpers before?? It just so happens that the
first time they do, is after they release a phone that looks like it will require one!!
Right, to summarise:
7th June - Apple announces iPhone 4 release, very quietly prepares to sell the "Bumper" for the first time.
24th June - Apple release iPhone 4, immediately complaints about loss of signal are reported.
26th June - Apple reports the sale of 1.7 MILLION iPhone 4's.
26th June - Apple advises to "hold the phone differently, or buy one of their bumpers.
Bare in mind, the bumpers cost $29, now just taking that price (it's more in other countries), that's potentially 49,300,000 dollars
Now I know, not everyone will buy one, nor will they all buy one from Apple, however, I find the coincidence remarkable.
Are we to believe, that one of the largest tech companies in the world could make such a basic error, and it just so happens they quietly released
the "fix" for the problem before release, with little fan fare?
Also this is also quite important:
We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula.
Now, the iPhone 4 comes with a 30 Day Money Back guarantee, if you were one of the first to get it, what are the bets that the software update
comes too late, and that those who DO wait for it, find out that it doesn't work (after the 30 days has expired). THEN ALL 1.7 MILLION OF US WILL
HAVE TO SPEND $30 TO GET THE BUMPER
That's just using the sales figures from the first weekend. Imagine how many millions more have been sold since then, we are talking hundreds
of millions of dollars here.
I've heard crazier theories on ATS my friends!
By the way, the phone itself is awesome, and even with the flaw, I'd recommend it to anyone!!
I'm sorry but if you're dumb enough to buy a first generation product from any company, including Apple, then you deserve what you get.
These phones and all other devices that are "new" and "improved" or are listed as 1st Generation (which the Iphone 4 is becuase of it's new
casing, and all new internal design) are test market phones.
Meaning Apple sells 1.7 million, about half or more of those come back with defects. Apple data mines the defects and uses the data to build a second
gen device (think Iphone 4GS) which works wonders above the other.
One of my favorite theories on the iPhone 4... Assuming they've got an antennae or two on the Apple campus for testing purposes, they probably
wouldn't have noticed the signal drop during internal testing...
and when they took the phone off-site (like the one that was bought by Gizmodo), they had it disguised in a different case, so they wouldn't have
experienced the issue there either!
Apple hiring iPhone antenna engineers for some reason
Three Apple job postings for iPhone / iPad antenna engineers to "Define and implement antenna system architecture to optimize the radiation
performance for wireless portable devices." All three were posted on June 23rd, the same day that we started seeing widespread reporting of the
left-handed reception issues. Coincidence?
IPhone is all about image. That's the main reason people by the phone because it makes others go " Oooh you have an...iPhone" ... the salesfigurrs
are not true as it was discovered that 70% of iPhone 4 purchases were in fact upgrades...
I got the first iphone and i was pretty happy with it, but im into the tech thing and i knew what i was getting into with apple. I knew that there
would be a new and another new one and another new one on and on and on (just like their computers).
I use my phone to talk, check email and the occasional text. I have no need for 3g or 4g or whatever else they come out with next year. I think it is
a fool's race to try and keep up with things like this.
Apple has lost the computer market because no matter how many neat little gadgets they come out with they still only have an 8-10% market on it. You
would think people would have used the phone before they started selling it.
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