Apple held a press conference yesterday where Steve Jobs acknowledged the problems some people have had with the signal of the new iPhone 4. He pointed out, however, that their AppleCare data show that this is only affecting a tiny, 0.55% of iPhone 4 owners. The return rate of the iPhone 4 has only been 1/3 of the 3GS return rate in the same time period after release. So, overall, the problem is relatively small, UNLESS you’re one of these people.
Apple has responded by giving a small group of journalists a tour of their top-secret wireless lab. You can read about it here at the Macworld site. Apple then proceeded to crete a few web pages that take you on a tour of their more than a $100 million dollar engineering test site. Click here to visit Apple’s Design and Test lab.
Apple has also posted a Smartphone antenna performance web page. This is a very interesting web page that has several short videos demonstrating that the way in which one holds smartphones from different manufacturers adversely affects the phone’s signal strength. Apple demonstrates this effect with the iPhone 4, the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the HTC Droid Eris, the Samsung Omnia II, and the iPhone 3GS.
So what does all this mean? I think Apple is trying to do the right thing. I am impressed by the efforts and money they put into their engineering testing of the iPhone. They do take it seriously. They didn’t handle this current problem too well from a PR point of view and I think that has hurt their image somewhat. It certainly made all the ‘Apple-Haters’ out there happy as they have been painfully trying to defend Microsoft for so many years and just have not been able to give Apple the credit it deserves for its outstanding designs, products and operating systems.