Apple Engineer Warned Jobs of iPhone 4 Antenna Problems

| News

Apple’s top brass, including CEO Steve Jobs, were apparently made aware of potential signal loss issues with the iPhone 4’s external antenna design during the product development phase. Senior engineer and antenna expert, Ruben Caballero, warned his bosses that the design could lead to signal degradation and dropped calls, according to Bloomberg.

An unnamed source gave the information to Bloomberg, along with a report that one of Apple’s iPhone carrier partners raised concerns about the design, too.

The iPhone 4 uses an external antenna design that’s intended to offer overall improved cell signal reception. Some users, however, have been experiencing signal drops when they hold their phone so the lower left corner of the device is covered.

Apple claimed the issue is a software problem where signal strength is being reported as artificially high. Consumer Reports, however, claimed their tests showed the issue is hardware-related.

Putting the iPhone 4 in a case seems to fix the problem by keeping user’s skin from touching the antenna bezel. Consumer Reports confirmed that on Thursday with a new report saying Apple’s own Bumper case cancels out the signal loss issue.

Apple will be holding a special press conference Friday morning to discuss the iPhone 4, although the company isn’t elaborating on exactly what it plans to say.

Apple and Mr. Caballero have not commented on Bloomberg’s report.

Comments

Tiger

Coming soon to an unemployment line near you….justified or not. Somebody’s head is going to roll and it ain’t gonna be SJ.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Tiger… Steve’s head will roll in the coming year. He’s like the blustery bully on the playground. Initially, most of the kids stay out of his way, but eventually, they’ll realize their strength in numbers and start taunting him. Refreshing to see one of the kids in Apple’s own shop taking a stand against stupidity.

Ion_Quest

Good old Apple.  Honesty always the best policy?

geoduck

If, and I emphasize if this report is factual, Apple is going to have serious trouble down the road. It’s one thing to release a product and have a defect discovered. It’s quite another if the engineers told them it would be a problem and they released it anyway. That said I automatically distrust any report from an anonymous source that purports to bring to light inflammatory information at the worst possible moment.

jfbiii

If this were a real issue, SJ might have a problem. But the overall reception of the phone is better than in the past, not worse. And it’s fun to watch people fantasize about finally bringing Jobs down like he’s a trophy deer.

brett_x

I’m sure there are many issues that people raise concerns about that go unfixed, get released and we never hear about them. It’s only when one of them actually affects people that these skeletons come out saying “I told you so”.

More alarming in that Bloomberg story is that Sen. Charles Schumer has enough time on his hands to write a open letter to SJ himself regarding the antenna issue. Really? Is that what our nations leaders are spending their time doing? If he were my senator, I’d write him my own letter.

Bob-o

Really? Is that what our nations leaders are spending their time doing?

No, that’s just typical Chuck Schumer behavior. He is always getting involved in things like this, and he has to have a press conference every time he does. I’ve heard it said that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Chuck Schumer and a camera.

BurmaYank

I?ve heard it said that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Chuck Schumer and a camera.

I heard that was between the Vice President’s mouth and his foot.

Tony

So much ado about nothing. Nobody on the planet produces consumer hardware remotely of the quality Apple does, shipping stuff with problems worse than this almost constantly. Apple, setting the bar high for themselves and everyone else is an easy target, but how about a little reality check people? If you’re not using a case - which negates the “problem” in the first place - reception issues won’t even rank with the other problems you risk carrying a bare iPhone.

This engineer is full of himself if he thinks he can do more than kick pebbles in Steve’s direction. No doubt this clown has a golden parachute courtesy of the cranks and their lawsuits.

cb50dc

One way or another, Apple really slipped on this one. Oh. My. What a horror.

One can logically conclude only that this debacle exposes everything they’ve done over three decades as a sham; all their innovations and brilliance as clearly attributable to elves who commute to Cupertino after midnight; all the engineering genius of so many other products, especially in just the last decade, is the product of mass hypnosis.

Or at least that’s what some seem to want to make this look like.

Geez. C’mon, SJ, please just admit Apple botched this one, make it right, and get back to work on whatever it is that’ll get 2010’s winter holiday shoppers huddled up in heavy clothing for chilly hours outside Apple’s stores.

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