Photo: Associated Press
After a week of silence, Apple has finally weighed in on the iPhone 4 antenna controversy, and the resulting press release/open letter to iPhone owners is absolutely bonkers.There is a lot wrong with it, but the central problem with it is that it doesn’t even attempt to explain the apparent antenna problem. Jay Yarow says the explanation is “suspicious”, but that might be far too generous.
There isn’t an explanation at all. Apple says:
- You can grip most phones in such a way as to take away around a bar or so of signal strength. [mostly true]
- Some users are reporting that with the iPhone 4, they lose much more than that when holding it with a grip that touches the death spot. [true]
- All models of the iPhone have had a bug which caused them to overreport signal strength “in many instances”. [we have no grounds for doubting this]
The upshot, for people reporting this problem? Brace yourself:
Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.
Whoever crafted this train wreck of a sentence is probably going to lose his or her job. Leave aside the fact that this isn’t English. Granted that signal strength is often being over reported, why does that particular grip cause the reported signal strength to go down?
- There really is an antenna problem, and the signal strength really is going down. That that strength is also being misreported is neither here nor there.
- There is no antenna problem, but touching the death spot does something else to the signal which interacts with the signal computation algorithm in such a way as to make the iPhone 4 suddenly report signal strength accurately.
- Touching that spot on the iPhone 4 causes the machine to take a long hard look at itself and be more honest about what’s really going on.
We aren’t judging before all the facts are in. But Apple isn’t helping us out either.
Another, better explanation, please.