Look at Apple's track record and you can understand why many people do not want to accept its version of anything as the gospel truth.
Initially, Apple blamed customers for not holding the phones properly. Then it declared the problem was that of perception: the signal bars were not being measured properly, according to the company.
Today, Apple without really admitting much said we are "not perfect." It then proceeded to claim all smartphones, including phones from all its rivals, have signal integrity problems.
Our job as journalists is to explore all available facts and try to get answers to questions from all available sources, including Apple in this case.
Apple hardly ever responds to media inquiries. If we wait until Apple responds, iPhone 8 would be in the shop and the company would most likely still say "no comments."
We never reported anything but the facts.
Some users were complaining about dropped calls when the phone was held in certain ways. Teardown experts saw a novel antenna design.
Had there not been a flood of reports, Apple never would have had a press conference. As it was I could not even get into it because I was not on a pre-approved list of reporters.
The long and short of it is all across our industry there is a shortage of frank information. We do the best we can in this difficult environment. As Steve Jobs said, "We are not perfect."
Any design involving a low power RF signal that allows the antenna to be directly touched by the body will reduce the performance of that antenna. Elementary, Mr. Watson. Now the solution is to provide a rubber bumper around it, or get a refund. Those iPhone 4's in a case are less susceptible but in my opinion the antenna is still too close to the hand.
It reminds of a cell phone design where the audio amplifier was placed right next to the antenna and the maker was complaining that the 217Hz GSM power modulation frequency could be heard. And it must be the fault of the audio amplifier! Did someone fail to mention 217Hz is in the audio band? And pumping RF down the input of a sensitive audio amplifier won't cause a problem? Stop doing stuff that is known to cause problems.
So now that we've heard Apple's point of view:
1) That Steve Jobs didn't get told by an engineer that there was a problem and the engineer in question denies that he ever said such a thing to Steve Jobs (the Bloomberg story was fabricated!)
2) That ALL smartphones have a similar spot where the bars drop dramatically although Apple is the only company which marks that spot with a black line
3) That fewer people have complained about the iPhone 4 than any other iPhone yet released
4) That AT&T only record one more dropped call per hundred calls with the iPhone (which may be down to the limited availability of cases available at this point for the new phone design)
5) That the complaints level to AppleCare is significantly lower than the iPhone 3Gs
Don't you find it a bit embarrassing to have an article which is based on inaccurate information attacking a company for something that didn't happen? Will E.E. Times now apologise for getting this wrong?
I turn to E.E. Times for information because I expect it to take a more responsible view than the gadget and tech blogs. Don't you think you could have waited until after the press conference to hear Apple's side of the story before publishing something based on a report that sites "a person familiar with the situation". I'm disappointed in your editorial judgement on this and perhaps you should explain yourselves?
"Working on a product until it is perfect" reminds me of the story of the artisan who made beaten copper doors for the Czar of Russia. He would pound away on thick sheets of copper with a hammer, creating beautiful swirling patterns. Someone asked him "how do you know when you're finished?" He answered: "It's never finished. I keep pounding until they take it away from me."
A good engineer will keep working on a new product until it is perfect. A great engineer knows when it is good enough to release to the market. It takes even more fortitude to tell your bosses that the product is not good enough to release and needs more work. New products are the life blood of companies and it is very painfull to delay a release, but to release a bad product hurts even more.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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