Apple's Answer to 'Antennagate'

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) says that it will offer free cases -- or a refund -- for every iPhone 4 owner to deal with signal fade and drop issues, but continues to maintain that only a few customers are experiencing the problem and that its antenna problems have been "overblown."

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

Honestly 12/5/2012 | 4:29:42 PM
re: Apple's Answer to 'Antennagate'

Oh come on Steve, antenna issues blown out of proportion.?.  You have Ph.D's already looking for work arounds in the antenna lab, but thats right, there are no real problems.  I am a big Mac fan, but bad PR and spin is to obvious, and Steve is plain arrogant.  If you love your users, fix the fricken antenna and stop lying.


I own a Palm Pre and when I was out today using the Sprint 3G network.  I wrapped two hands around my Pre and guess what,? all the bars were full on my phone.


Keep your bumpers and At&t.  WebOS is great and I have full coverage around LA, LOTS of BARS.

JosueVizcay 12/5/2012 | 4:29:41 PM
re: Apple's Answer to 'Antennagate'

I have had no problems with my iphone in San Diego, use my left hand most of the time....

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