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More iPhone Antenna Problems, and No One Else To Blame

Just when Apple (AAPL) hoped to settle in with selling the iPhone through Verizon (VZ) and announce the iPad 2, Consumer Reports found that the Verizon iPhone 4 has the same antenna problem that the AT&T (T) model did.

No rest for the weary. Or for the blameful. When things went wrong with the AT&T iPhone antenna, Apple tried blaming anyone and everyone other than itself. And now, with months and months of time to get the new model ready, a fundamental problem remains. So who does Apple point the finger at this time?

As Consumer Reports noted, the iPhone 4 was the only phone that could have a performance drop from a simple finger touch:

The only phones in which the finger contact caused any meaningful decline in performance was the iPhone 4, the sides of which comprise a metal band broken by several thin gaps. As with our tests of the AT&T iPhone 4, putting a finger across one particular gap--the one on the lower left side--caused performance to decline. Bridging this gap is easy to do inadvertently, especially when the phone is in your palm, which might readily and continuously cover the gap during a call.
In other words, this isn't a case of the "death grip" that people kept talking about and that CEO Steve Jobs claimed was a problem with every other phone. Of course, he didn't mention the Finger Touch Pressure Point of Reception Death.

And before that set long explanation, which turned out to be as convoluted as anything you might have heard from a teenager about why they were late in getting home and why the car had a dent, Apple tried blaming software and, effectively, AT&T.

As a coating on the antenna supposedly would have been enough to keep the problem from happening, you have to wonder why Apple didn't think about making that small a design change? Or even providing a bumper or case, which was the fix last time. After all, with 70 percent margins on iPhones, there's a little room to give away a buck or two worth of covering.

Watching Apple try to talk its way out of any culpability this time should be pretty amusing.


Image: Flickr user !anaughty!, CC 2.0.
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