Apple's Answer to 'Antennagate'
The vendor held a surprise press conference Friday to address a widely reported antenna issue on the iPhone 4: The phone can lose signal and even drop calls when a user covers the antenna port on the left-hand side of the phone casing. (See Consumer Reports 'Can't Recommend' iPhone 4 and Apple's Antenna Issues: Them's the Breaks.)
Apple said Friday that, from next week, every iPhone 4 user can apply for a free case and people that have already bought one can get a refund. The offer will remain open until September 30. The company will also offer a full refund on the phone to users who want to return it.
Mainly, however, Apple CEO Steve Jobs reiterated what the company has already said: The antenna issue isn't widespread for its users, and other smartphones can also drop bars when held a certain way.
"It is a challenge for the whole industry," according to Jobs.
In fact, the vendor once again claimed smartphones from High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), Samsung Corp. , and others could be made to suffer signal fade if held wrong. This is what Apple originally stated when it announced the signal software update for the iPhone 4. (See Apple Explains iPhone 4 Troubles.)
This appears to contradict Consumer Reports's findings this week that the Palm Inc. Pre and iPhone 3GS didn't suffer the same signal loss issues as the iPhone 4 in its testing of the devices.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile