SAN FRANCISCO—Seven months after Apple Inc. got an embarrassing black eye over the iPhone "anntenagate" scandal, Apple is back with a redesigned antenna for the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 now available on the Verizon network in the U.S.
But according to analysts at UBM TechInsights, the redesigned antenna on the new iPhone 4 is not dramatically different than the antenna that caused Apple headaches when the original iPhone 4 initially rolled out on the AT&T network.
The antenna may not necessarily have been redesigned to address the "death grip" problem that causes the iPhone to drop calls, but to provide the best reception possible on the CDMA band, according to UBM TechInsights. The "death grip" location of the new antenna remains in the same spot, at the point of the U-shaped main cellular antenna, according to UBM TechInsights.
Verizon is set to begin selling the iPhone 4 on its website Wednesday (Feb. 9), starting at $199 for a 16GB version. The device is set to hit stores Thursday. Thus far, no reports have suggested that the Verizon version is plagued by the same issue as the iPhone 4 that began shipping for AT&T's network in July.
Apple may have inherently corrected the problems associated with the "death grip" by redesigning the iPhone for CDMA applications by utilizing a Diversity Rx antenna, UBM TechInsights said. The concept of Diversity Receiving allows mobile networks like Verizon to provide the best possible data transmission rates in all operating conditions, even if that includes gripping the phone as hard as you can, the firm said.
Diversity is essentially chosen to increase reliability and it's one of the benefits of CDMA, UBM TechInsights said. Diversity Rx can also typically reduce the amount of circuitry needed because of the commonality of the signal paths that the various reception antennae use, according to the firm.
A teardown analysis of the CDMA iPhone 4 found that the device uses a multimode Qualcomm processor, opening the door to a future global iPhone.
UBM TechInsights is a division of United Business Media, the parent company of EE Times.
OK, well, clearly you can't please all of the people all of the time. I understand where you guys are coming from and respect your points. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. The headline was only meant to suggest that the antenna has what had been a problem spot on the CDMA version in the same location. We can't tell the full story in the headline. Those of you that found the article useful and interesting even if you didn't agree with the headline, that's usually good enough for me. Thanks again everyone. We value the feedback.
I suppose you could strangle any cell phone if you were so inclined.
But given the capability of these phones, if the phone itself chatted with you during a signal loss you probably wouldn't notice the difference.
(wacky - wacky post)
I think the general consensus is that the article itself is fine, but the headline is inappropriate. The article does not offer anything to support the implied claim of the title that the phone suffers from the death grip defect of the previous GSM design.
I was one of the gents that was involved in the teardown of the iPhone 4. I think the wording of the article may have caused some confusion to you so here is my take:
The "death grip" antenna is still in the same location. If that was the only antenna change, the issue with dropped calls would most likely reoccur.
HOWEVER, the addition of the Diversity Rx antenna by it's very definition improves the quality of the reception. Whether or not Apple intended for this is what we don't know. My understanding (and I could be wrong here because by no means am I an antenna expert), because this is a CDMA phone, designers typically choose diverity receiving as a default.
My opinion is that Apple knew the reception was going to be improved regardless because this was a CDMA phone, so a drastic redesign of the antennae was unnecessary.
Though I am hearing rumors that in areas of questionable coverage, where the benefits of diversity Rx aren't possible, the death grip is causing dropped calls. I cannot confirm that though.
After the issue Apple had with the GSM version, I would be very surpised if they didn't do in depth testing before releasing the CDMA version. So the test data exists within Apple. It would be interesting to see independent test results, but I would expect the result to be acceptable.
The teardown images of the iPhone are a tremendous advance over previous articles in the media about the "death grip" problem that causes the iPhone to drop calls. However, as other readers have mentioned, the article seems self contradictory regarding the antenna redesign and design issues. PLEASE take the last step and show all of us how and why this antenna design suffers from problems when the phone is held a particular way.
The re-design seems to be a good one. The nice thing is that Apple doesn't need to change the outlook of the phone and people basically won't aware of any change at all. Anyway, still would to like to wait for the field test result.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.