We all can recall the big brouhaha the external antenna on the iPhone 4 has caused, and as of now, there is still no real fix to the problem. Apple has issued a firmware update to downplay the matter but drop calls are still a problem for people who use their iPhone 4s sans a case.
Now, it seems that Apple is looking to bury the antennagate issue for good with a proper hardware fix — specifically, a redesign of the external antenna.
The new antenna, presumably destined for the next generation iPhone which is set to be released sometime in the middle of this year, features four black bands separating the antennas as opposed to the three band design on the current iPhone 4. The additional band should see the “death grip” problem disappear altogether.
If the picture is genuine and this new antenna design is real, it gives us a major clue as to how the next generation iPhone would look like.
By the looks of it, we predict that the next iPhone will look very much like the current iPhone 4, externally at least — akin to how much the iPhone 3GS looked a lot like the iPhone 3G. Internally, the next iPhone could be different.
It is also possible that this new antenna design is for the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 for the US market, but considering that the redesigned antenna has a micro-SIM slot on it and that CDMA phones don’t use SIM cards, this possibility is unlikely.
The new antenna could also be for the still elusive white iPhone 4 that Apple says will ship in early 2011. It could be. But launching the white iPhone 4 less than six months away from when the next iPhone is expected to hit the market? Not sure if there’s any point in that.
Remember the whole antenna gate issue several months back? Apple had held an emergency press conference that announced Free bumpers to all iPhone 4 users who purchased their device until 30th September.
With 30th September coming, Apple has announced that its iPhone 4 Free case program is coming to an end. They added on their website that:
We now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought. A small percentage of iPhone 4 users need a case, and we want to continue providing them a Bumper case for free. For everyone else, we are discontinuing the free case program on all iPhone 4s sold after September 30, 2010. We are also returning to our normal returns policy for all iPhone 4s sold after September 30. Users experiencing antenna issues should call AppleCare to request a free Bumper case.
Small issue they said, after all that effort attack its rivals on Antenna Attenuation. We guess Apple probably realised despite the whole Antennagate issue, its iPhone 4 sales still remained strong with or without a case included.
In Malaysia, our local carriers Maxis and DiGi have yet to release their iPhone 4 officially. We’re not sure if they are just waiting out for the free bumper program to expire considering Maxis had already start selling the iPhone 3GS 8GB which was announced together with the iPhone 4. If they launch the iPhone 4 this month, Malaysians will have to rush to redeem their free bumpers like free flight hunters on AirAsia.
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What can we say, iPhone users might get the ladies but they sure can’t get a call. This video says it all. Hilarious!
Apple has updated its Antenna Attenuation site, removing their “how to drop signal bars on rival smartphones” content. Previously the site was focused on telling the world that other phones such as Blackberries, Nokia, Androids and Windows Mobile are just as bad as the iPhone 4 when it comes to antenna reception. Now what’s left is Apple showcasing its Antenna design and research.
So what prompted Apple to remove them? Some say Apple finally learned to hold its rival phones properly but we believed they’ve realised that they are getting more negative response than what was intended. Apple had received a lot of flak for dragging rivals to their own problems instead of addressing them. We’ve seen how Nokia, RIM, Samsung, HTC and Motorola responded towards the campaign, telling off Apple that with many years in the industry, they know better where to place their antennas.
Slashgear managed to get in touch with Apple and claims that their update is merely their drive to “constantly refresh” their content. They denied any legal action against them and no hidden message behind the move. The video contents are still available on Apple’s Youtube channel.
After having Motorola Droid X included on Apple’s Antenna Attenuation site, Motorola fights back again with another ad. This time it disses iPhone 4’s need to wear a bumper and proudly mentions its vast experience in making phones.
This is the 2nd one after its first version that obviously made fun of phones that doesn’t allow you to hold the phone any way you liked.
If you can’t see the text above, the copy below the phone is written as follows:
At Motorola, we believe a customer shouldn’t have to dress up their phone for it to work properly. That’s why the DROID X comes with a dual antenna design. The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like to make crystal clear calls without a bulky phone jacket. For us it’s just one of those things that comes as a given when you’ve been making mobile phones for over 30 years.
While Apple is busy fire fighting the Antennagate issue, Samsung did more than just mocking the iPhone 4. It took a step further by offering FREE Samsung Galaxy S to disgrunted iPhone 4 users in the UK via its twitter account @samsungukmobile. The devices are reported to be unlocked and contract free.
Quite a smart move of them as these unhappy iPhone 4 users are converted to Android after much whining and complaining on Twitter. According to its twitter account, they have shipped several units already and at time of this post, it looks like there are only a few units left.
While this isn’t happening in Malaysia, the closest option to get a free Samsung Galaxy S was through Maxis 10 programme where reviewers may possibily keep it for free. Perhaps Maxis & Samsung in Malaysia should learn something from this.
This Case Program is applicable for those who purchased an iPhone 4 until 30th September 2010. All claims must be made within 30 days of purchase and if you bought yours before today, you must apply by 22nd August 2010.
If you’ve bought one previously, there’s instructions and details on how you can get your refunds at the site as well.
Got an iPhone 4? Head on there now.
Why not turn the call-dropping prone antenna flaw into a product feature.
iPhone 4: now with optional secondary “end call” button. LOLs.
Do note that this is not real and no such sticker exists for you to purchase.
Here’s something new. When Apple launched its Antenna Attenuation campaign which showed other phones having similar issues, Nokia was one of the first to respond. Initially, Apple only used Blackberry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, Samsung Omnia II and its existing iPhone 3GS.
Since Nokia made noise, the guys at Apple probably thought why not we do the same on a Nokia device. Today they have added a Nokia N97 mini suffering drop of bars when it is hold in a particular manner. We wonder how long can this antennagate go on.
Joining in the rebuttal of the iPhone 4’s Antenna Attenuation Saga is Samsung. Samsung Electronic has responded that its smartphone antennas were designed to ensure no difficulty in getting signals and they hasn’t been any reception issues reported so far.
They also mentioned that their antenna for the Omnia 2 is located at the bottom while iPhone 4’s antenna is located on the lower left side. Samsung’s design keeps a distance between a hand and the antenna which should minimise any possibility of antenna issues.
They also iterated that Samsung has conducted field tests before rollout of smartphones and reception problem have not happened to them so far and there isn’t any room for such problems to happen in future.
Interestingly, Samsung wasn’t as tough as the rest with its response. Some are pointing out that it could be Samsung’s relationship with Apple as Apple uses their hardware components.