Amid its worse PR disaster in recent memory, Apple will be holding a press conference tomorrow, July 16th, at 10AM Pacific Time to presumably address the reception issues of the iPhone 4. This comes several days after Consumer Report wouldn’t recommend the phone, despite ranking it as the best smartphone on the market. It’ll be certainly be interesting to see what course of action Apple has decided to take before things get even more out of hand. Some have even speculated that a full-blown recall is a possibility, though this may not be likely as ATD have reported that such a recall will cost Apple about $1.5 billion, which is 5 weeks worth of Apple’s free cash flow. Or perhaps they’ll simply offer free Bumper Cases to all iPhone 4 owners, which would be a much less drastic step to take (one can always hope).
We’ll soon find out won’t we, just how Apple plans to salvage this mess.
Despite being the most successful product launch ever for Apple, the iPhone 4 is still getting bashed left and right – this time by late night host David Letterman and his top 10 list of “Signs You’ve Purchased a bad iPhone”. The top 10 isn’t actually that funny, but he does have this to offer:
“There’s something hinky about the new iPhone. There’re not hooked up right, there’s a problem with the signal sensor, there’s a problem with the antenna. They don’t like to be held… like my first wife”.
Ouch. And while the bashing continues, there are those who say that the iPhone 4′s reception isn’t as bad as it appears. Regardless, Letterman’s top 10 can be found after the gap…
Is it possible that the widely reported reception issues of the iPhone 4 have been completely overblown? Sure, but there’s no denying the fact that a problem does exist, whether it is in fact due to a software or hardware flaw. And with every major news outlet jumping on the story, potential buyers (like those in Canada are who are eagerly awaiting for its launch by the end of July) could have taken a “wait and see” approach before taking the plunge. So to take a better look at the real-world effects of using the phone, Engadget have reached out to some of the tech experts (as well their own stuff) and asked for their experiences while using the iPhone 4. Here’re what David Pogue and John Gruber have to say:
David Pogue, New York Times (New York City): “I’ve held the phone in the forbidden position maybe 25 times, in different locations, and I’ve only ever seen the bars drop twice. I think it’s heavily dependent on where you are and how the signal strength is. (And once, I saw the bars go UP…) Overall, though, I agree with the consensus that reception is generally better than on the older iPhones — even with the Death Grip issue.”
John Gruber, Daring Fireball (Philadelphia): “At home in Philly, I’ve had nothing but good reception, no matter how I hold the phone. Data performance is better than on a 3GS right next to it, even while holding the 4 with my skin bridging the infamous gap.
Surprisingly, the majority haven’t had a single dropped call, and aside from the drop in signal bars while holding the iPhone 4 “the wrong way”, reception hasn’t been as big a deal as its been made out to be. Could it be then that Apple weren’t lying when they said the incorrect display of the signal bars is the sole reason behind all this hoopla?
After selling more than 1.7 million iPhone 4s in its first 3 days, Apple’s latest mobile wonder has certainly not been getting much love after the widely publicized reports of dropped calls and reception issues when the antenna is covered by the hand. Apple countered by saying that it’s not a hardware (design) issue and that a software fix will be coming in a few weeks. Now Consumer Reports is giving the dreaded “Not Recommended” to the iPhone 4 after testing 3 different handsets in a controlled environment and finding signal-loss whenever a hand or finger touches the bottom left side of the device.
Apple has released 4 new commercials promoting the iPhone 4. Rather than focusing on apps, they’re making a strong push for Facetime as the phone’s main selling point. Dubbed Big News, Haircut, Meet her and Smile, the ads are short but sweet (all 31 seconds in length) and will probably convince countless more people that they need the iPhone 4, along with it’s handy video calling feature. All 4 ads after the break…
So you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea of buying some DIY parts online to make your own white iPhone 4…but you do have about 20 grand under your mattress eh? Stuart Hughes, a jeweler known for turning some of the latest and hottest gadgets into serious blings, is selling 50 iPhone 4s decked out with “6.5 carats of VVS quality, F-color diamonds”, along with a “free” carry case made from ostrich foot. Oh, it’s also unlocked, so you can say goodbye to AT&T. And if the combination of diamonds and gadgets whets your appetite, perhaps you should take a good look at Stuart’s other work of art, a £129,995 solid gold plated and diamond encrusted iPad.
Can’t wait for Apple to release the coveted white iPhone 4 and ballsy enough to crack yours open? This may be an option for you. Engadget recently purchased some iPhone 4 parts from an online seller in China (either the seller has close ties with someone in Foxconn or the parts are of the “fell off the truck” variety – though I’m guessing the former) and assembled the components themselves.
We’ll be honest with you: dissecting a brand new toy isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience in the world. Even with a brilliant teardown guide, there’ll always be somewhere that requires super delicate fiddling. For instance, we struggled with removing the battery and the front cover due to some nasty double-sided tape, so we had to poke around extra carefully to avoid any damage. At one point, we spent about 20 minutes wondering why the logic board wouldn’t go back in, only to realize that a well-disguised screw was in the way. Other than that, we’d say this was a pretty straightforward mod (so long as you keep track of all your screws, of course).
If ifixit’s teardown guide doesn’t scare you off and ponying up some cash for white replacement parts isn’t an issue, you could soon be one proud owner of a white iPhone 4. As for the parts, it appears that the site WhiteiPhone4Now is selling the entire kit for $229. And for an extra $54, BrokeMyiPhone will even put it all together for you. My advice? Save your money and just wait for the official model to release. Then again, I’m not a huge fan of the all white iPhone anyway, so what do I know?
By now, you’ve probably heard of and possibly even experienced reception issues on your iPhone 4 (heck, even Hitler’s been having trouble with his). Judging from the conversation above between Jobs and Gates, we now know why it was never caught before launch.
Last week, Hitler’s iPhone 4 badmouthing was the rage. This week, it is just cute. Motorola, you know, the Google Nexus-shafted maker of the Droid, has a new phone coming out. It looms LARGE (and I do mean large). Its 4,3 inch screen is big enough to encourage b-boyism everywhere; its Adobe Flash compatibility should be enough to wet the panties of porn-fans everywhere – but that’s not all. Sure, it’s got a noise-friendly 8MP camera and it is black. The real killer, however, is its two antennas; these bunny ears alone will make dead-palming their handset nigh on impossible.
Thanks El Reg
According to Businessweek, market research firm iSuppli estimates that the 16GB iPhone 4 components costs approximately $187.51. The latest iteration of the iPhone retails for $199 on a 2 year term and is rumored to go for $599 without a contract. Not surprisingly, the most expensive part is the highly touted retina display, which comes in at about $28.50. The snappy A4 processor (manufactured by Samsung and also found in the iPad) adds $10.75 to the total. As well, the gyroscope chip costs $2.60 per unit, compared to the $0.65 price tag of the accelerometer found in all iPhones.
Of course, this estimated figure doesn’t factor in all the costs associated with manufacturing the phone (labor, R&R, packaging to only name a few), but it’s interesting nonetheless to see just how much it cost Apple for some of the iPhone 4 components. And in case you’re wondering, the $188 is essentially in line with the cost in parts for previous iPhones.