Apple iPhone antenna defenders speak out

Not all pundits are quick to throw Apple under the bus because of reported iPhone 4 antenna problems.

As a chorus of pitchfork wielding iPhone 4 customers are demanding Apple admit to antenna problems, a less vocal minority are defending Apple. A cadre of noted analysts and influential bloggers are taking Apple's side in the antenna debacle. They defend the company's line that signal bars are inaccurately reading the iPhone 4's reception capabilities.

Consumer Reports took the polish off Apple's iPhone 4 with its thumbs down on the device after testing it. According to an electromagnetic engineer and mobile phone market analyst, those tests may be suspect.

Writing in his "Viewpoints" blog, analyst Bob Egan argues that the CR tests of the latest iPhone model were "not so scientific." He maintained: "Consumer Reports RF" engineers should know better than to think they can run an engineering grade test for an issue like this in a shielded room. And certainly not one with people in it."

According to CR, a finger placed on the iPhone's antenna reduces its sensitivity by 20db. That number is "fantasy," Egan declares, because CR testers failed to connect to a functional point inside the iPhone. "Even the way they seem to have tested the change--by varying the base station simulator levels--seems to assume the iPhone receiver and/or transmitter operate in a linear fashion (the same way) across all signal strengths--bad assumption," he added.

"Bottom line," he writes. "From what I can see in the reports, Consumer Reports replicated the same uncontrolled, unscientific experiments that many of the blogging sites have done."

At this point, however, voices like Egan's aren't likely to be heard over the din that's created an impression in the public's mind that there's something wrong with the iPhone 4.

"Personally, I think the death grip is a non-issue," writes Cult of Mac editor and publisher Leander Kahney. "Given all the complexities of cell-phone networks, the possibility of holding the phone the wrong way is ridiculously insignificant. A rainstorm has more effect on reception, or the number of people simultaneously using the local tower, or the walls of your office building."

"I believe Apple when it says the iPhone 4's antenna is the best it's ever shipped," he continues. "But real or not, the issue is now firmly equated with the iPhone 4--the same way the Power Mac Cube was associated with hairline cracks. In the media, no one talked about the Cube without mentioning the cracks-- and it doomed the machine."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesAppleiPhonePhonesconsumer electronicsapple iphoneiphone 4

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John P. Mello

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?