On Friday, Apple confirmed user complaints about reception problems with the new iPhone 4, cautioning that signal degradation might occur if users gripped the bottom-left corner of the device in a certain way.
Apple's official advice was to avoid holding the unit in way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band. Or, the company suggested, go out and buy "one of many available cases."
The solution may turn out to involve more than users altering their iPhone grip.
According to a report by Daniel Eran Dilger of AppleInsider, an iOS 4.0.1 software fix addressing the issue could be available for download early next week.
The information was found in comments on Apple's tech support forums, but was subsequently taken down, he said. The software fix is supposedly designed to fix a calibration problem that occurs when radio frequencies are switched.
Complaints about weakening or disappearing signals when the iPhone 4 is gripped in a particular way--usually by touching two seams of the antenna band on the exterior of the phone simultaneously--began popping up late Wednesday night, and continued to appear Thursday.
While Internet commenters and bloggers spent most of the day trying to figure out if the problem was related to the phone's hardware or software, Apple released a statement late in the day to PC Magazine.
"Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your Phone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."
There are two antennas on the iPhone, which are built into the steel band on the exterior of the phone. The one running on the left side of the phone is for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the one on the right is for cellular reception. That means how a left-handed person holds the phone will affect it differently than how most right-handed people would hold it.
Steve Jobs said at WWDC the exterior antenna was supposed to help reception--he didn't mention there was a particular way you had to avoid touching it. However, if you don't feel like spending more for a case for the phone, it sounds like that's the cheapest solution.This article originally appeared on CNET.
Many looked wilted in the sun; some had been waiting on the sidewalk since 5:00 a.m. And more people kept joining the end of the line. At 11:30 a.m. an Apple store employee told Christopher Nolasco that the wait was about 10 hours.
One of the early risers, Gina Sottile, is a summer intern at a special events company in New York. She did not skip work to be at the Apple Store; in fact, she had volunteered to buy an iPhone 4 for her boss, despite the difficulty that might arise in explaining her summer activities to her college internship program.
Story and video by Sarah Mirza
First, a prototype of the device got lost - or stolen, depending on which narrative you believe - earlier this spring when an Apple engineer celebrated a bit too mightily at a local pub and left for home without the still super-secret gadget. When tech web site Gizmodo got its hands on the iPhone, publishing articles and pictures of the device, Jobs was forced to intercede personally in the matter which also resulted in an ongoing police investigation.
That was a harbinger for the added embarrassment Apple and its carrier partner AT&T suffered through last week when servers couldn't handle a surge in demand and the online preorder process had to be stopped. Meanwhile, AT&T said it won't have any units to sell at its stores until June 29 - some five days after the product went on sale at Apple outlets.) The icing on the cake came when Apple late yesterday said it won't be able to stock the white version of the iPhone 4 until the second half of the year.
Finally, the official launch earlier today. But true to the narrative, some of the people buying iPhone 4 units today are reporting problems, ranging from inadvertent reception glitches due to antenna issues, to Bluetooth headset connectivity inconsistencies to a mysterious "screen yellowing." (Some users have sent videos to Gizmodo demonstrating how the signal bars can drop when they hold a metal ring around their iPhone.
And if that wasn't enough, did I mention that it's a stifling hot day in New York City where the hardy cohort of early adopters waiting in line were literally sweating it out.
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Reading that I had to scratch my head. I remember the "kind of resentment" other companies, large and small, once felt toward Microsoft. Back when Bill Gates lorded it over the rest of the computer industry, he really lorded it. Nowadays, Gates ione of the world's most charitable philanthropists but then, he struck contempt and fear in the hearts of rivals and partners. Contempt because he oversaw a company that raked in billions despite turning out products that were usually of middling quality. And fear because he ran a company that had no compunctions about throwing its elbows around to get its way. That hard-edged way of doing business finally became the subject of a drawn-out antitrust battle with the United States Department of Justice.
But any discussion of the unease many of Steve Jobs' contemporaries apparently feel toward Apple has to be qualified. There's an obvious difference. Microsoft's run as Numero Uno coincided with the dominance of the client-server model of computing, where the company's DOS and then Windows operating systems were must-have components. Without the OS, all you owned was an inert piece of plastic and metal. So companies paid Bill Gates his royalties and did their grumbling far away from the microphones. That king was just too powerful to annoy.
In our increasingly Internet-centric Apple doesn't command that kind of dominance - yet. The company is expanding in different directions and commands an increasingly large ecosystem of developers. Andrew Gavil, an antitrust expert and professor of law at Howard University quoted in the Times piece asks whether Apple's become so powerful in any of the markets it competes in to affect competition. Then he answers his own question in the affirmative.
That's a mouthful. No doubt Apple can act willfully. The recent controversy stemming from its decision to exclude Google and AdMob from selling ads on the iPhone 4 being a case in point. Apple has its own advertising system for mobile phones and decided to bar its rival. That's also the kind of bully-boy tactic which is pure catnip for federal regulators. (The Federal Trade Commission is already investigating Apple's decision to block certain third-party programming tools from the iPad, including Adobe's Flash.) However, this remains a world away from the forced dependence on Windows which characterized the tech business in the 1980s and 1990s.
Where will all this lead? The Times piece is just the latest reminder that Apple isn't likely to win any popularity contests with its peers. (It's another story with Apple's rabidly loyal fan base.) Still, let's remember that boorish behavior is not against the law. And even when prosecutors think they have clinching evidence, it's still a tough sell.
I sat in Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's court house for months in the late 1990s, listening as the greatContinue »
Thursday is the official release date for the iPhone 4. And from the looks of things, this year could be the biggest of all iPhone launches.
AT&T says that demand for the iPhone 4 is 10 times what it was for the iPhone 3GS. And Apple says it took 600,000 preorders for the new phone through its sales channels. Continue »
The company Tuesday afternoon announced the units would be available "on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last." However, you'll be able to pick up the smartphone this Thursday, if you pre-ordered the unit on June 15.
Of course, the guessing game now begins. What's to explain the different dates? Has a rift opened up between the companies as a result of AT&T's well-chronicled problems last week when its sales systems crashed, forcing the shutdown of iPhone pre-orders. Steve Jobs, a marketing impresario, has so far remained silent but he's likely displeased with a rollout that's been anything but flawless.
- Here are a few guidelines for customers buying iPhone 4 from AT&T:
That tally eclipses most expectations going into the iPad launch.
Apple also said developers have created 11,000 iPad specific apps. The iPad cycle combined with the launch of the iPhone 4 are both expected to contribute to the best product cycle in Apple history.Continue »
Apple's still going to make a mint but the roll out of its new iPhone continues to be anything but smooth.The latest incident: reports of slow download times as the newest version of Apple's iOS for the iPhone and iPod Touch went live on Monday.
Apple's iOS 4, previously known as iPhone OS 4, ranks as a significant update to the company's mobile operating system with about 100 new features - the most important being the ability to multitask. The product was announced in April by CEO Steve Jobs.
The slow download times may be another harbinger of what appears likely to be a blockbuster product launch on Thursday, when the iPhone 4 is slated to go on sale. Despite a glitch-ridden pre-order debut last week, Apple and its carrier partner AT&T reported strong demand for the upgraded smartphone. (CNET's Josh Lowensohn points out that slow download times also accompanied the release of iOS 3, "Prompting download times in excess of an hour for the much smaller 230MB file."
There's a good chance you can recoup much of what you originally paid and put it toward the new iPhone 4. Individuals, resellers, and retailers are willing to pay for old iPhones, you just need to know where to look.
The gadget resale market, especially for the iPhone, is hotter than ever right now. Consumer electronics reseller Gazelle.com said last week that 10,000 iPhones were sold to the site in the week following the iPhone 4's introduction on June 7--and that was 10 times the number of old iPhones sold to the site following the iPhone 3GS announcement a year ago.
Your best options for making money off your iPhone include the obvious places like eBay and Craigslist, but if you don't feel like doing the work yourself, gadget resellers will do most of it for you: they'll buy your phone from you and handle the reselling themselves. And this year, iPhone retailer Radio Shack is offering an incentive to sell back your old phone.
Though most places will take any model iPhone with normal wear and tear, the later the model of iPhone you're selling, and the better the condition it is in will increase the resale value. And, of course, before you part with your phone, remember to wipe it of all your personal data.
Here are some of your best options:
Gazelle.com Gazelle will buy your old iPhone and pay you depending on the condition. It'll wipe the data for you as part of the service (though you should probably do it yourself just for peace of mind). You just answer a few questions about your phone's condition and which accessories you have, and it'll spit out a price and send you a box for shipping your phone. Last week a 32GB iPhone 3GS in good condition with normal wear and tear was worth $198.
NextWorth.com Like Gazelle, it'll buy your old iPhone provided it's in decent working shape. If it's close to new, with everything in working order, a 32GB iPhone 3GS will fetch as much as $300. For an iPhone 3G in good condition, NextWorth is offering more than $100.
Radio Shack The consumer electronics retailer is offering perhaps the most efficient way of reselling your old iPhone and getting a new iPhone 4. For the first time, Radio Shack has been included as one of the first retail outlets to get the iPhone on launch day. And it's sweetened the deal for potential customers by adding an extra incentive.
RadioShack will let you turn in your old iPhone for store credit toward the new one. The retailer says it will pay "up to $200" for an iPhone 3GS. Just bring it into the store and an employee will plug the device's specs and condition into their system and pay based on that recommendation. That value can be put toward a new iPhone 4 the same day or kept on a Radio Shack gift card for future use.
Best Buy will also pay you for an old iPhone in good condition as long as you bought the phone through Best Buy and you have your original receipt.
Craigslist It's easy and free to list an old iPhone on the online classified listing site, so it's a natural choice. Craigslist allows you to choose from among potential buyers, and there's more room to haggle on a price. A quick perusal of San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist shows people willing to pay $200 to $250 for a 32GB iPhone 3GS. Just remember to insist on cash from buyers, and always meet the person in a public place when you do the exchange.
eBay eBay is a good choice for people who want an established system through which to offload their old goods. With eBay you get less chance of being scammed, and the option of auctioning your unwanted phone to buyers, potentially sending the price up higher. PayPal payments also help ensure you'll get your money, and eBay's buyer protection program will help you smooth out any conflicts with buyers and help you get paid.Read the full article on CNET News.com.
The email read:
We were unable to complete the authorization process for your iPhone order. As a result, we had to cancel your iPhone order. To complete the purchase of your iPhone, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an AT&T company-owned retail store. We apologize for this inconvenience.
Sincerely, Apple Online Store Team
Last week, Apple and its carrier partner AT&T suffered through a glitch-ridden pre-order debut which had to be cut short in the face of overwhelming demand. Apple reported receiving more than 600,000 pre-orders while AT&T said that pre-orders for the iPhone 4 were 10 times greater than on the first day the iiPhone 3GS was available for pre-order a year ago.
Mac Rumors said that a manufacturing delay was preventing availability of the White iPhone 4 on launch day.
Delay or not, Apple continues to benefit from the intense early interest in its next-generation smartphone, as well as strong sales for its iPad tablet computer. Last week, the company's stock continued its tear, reaching an all-time high of $275, up around 30% for the year so far. The stock finished the week at $274.07
If you're talking about BP, it means public contempt, investor rebellion and the increasing likely prospect of prosecution.
If, however, you're talking about Apple (and by association, its carrier partner AT&T), another standard applies. For these folks, it's pass Go and collect, well, a lot more than $200.
By now, you're likely familiar with the comedy of errors which attended the pre-ordering fiasco for the iPhone 4. After AT&T's servers failed on Tuesday to handle the crush of traffic, Apple cut things short as these two tech stalwarts got overwhelmed by the demand. To an outsider, it sure looked like amateur hour. How could they have been so unprepared? It looked even worse after reports circulated of glitches like credit cards getting charged multiple times and security lapses where customers could view other customer accounts
The Apple Store added that notation next to a glossy photo of the black version of the iPhone 4. It also disclosed that the white iPhone "remains currently unavailable for pre-order or in-store pickup." Earlier today, Apple pushed back the ship date from June 24 to July 2. Later on, it changed that to July 14.
This was a rare embarrassment for an image-conscious company that rarely suffers through public missteps. All this is likely to get quickly forgotten once the sales registers ring up. This morning Apple reported that it had received more than 600,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4. And AT&T said that pre-orders for the device were 10 times greater than on the first day of pre-orders for the iiPhone 3GS a year ago. (Best Buy said this afternoon that it is no longer accepting pre-orders.)
Watching the day's events roll out, Sam Diaz of ZDNet offered one of the best takes. If this were any other company, he correctly noted, this concatenation of fiascoes would be considered "a complete train wreck."
Consumers would be up-in-arms, demanding refunds, storming out of stores and swearing to not come back until these companies can get their acts together. But this is Apple - and that means that the truly faithful will 1) keep trying, no matter the obstacles thrown at them and 2) forgive the shortcomings the moment they get a confirmation saying the order was successful. And the beauty of it is that this can pretty much happen without the PR team in Cupertino even having to think for a minute about "spin control."