Apple has just held a press conference about the iPhone 4 antenna issues that have plagued it since its release nearly a month ago. In it they attempt to put this whole story in perspective after countless posts of the troubles that users are having with the device have been published to the net.
So what’s happened at the conference? Well, first of all, those in attendance were treated to a wonderful rendition of the iPhone Antenna Song (believe me, I wish I was joking), before Steve Jobs came out to present some hard facts.
Facts and Figures
He compared three phones: the Blackberry Bold 9700; the HTC Droid Eris and the Samsung Omnia II, and showed that they all, essentially have the same problem as the iPhone 4. When you hold them in a certain way, you get a big decrease in signal strength, down to 1 or 0 bars.
In addition to this, more data was revealed. Since the release of the iPhone 4, only 0.55% of customers have called AppleCare enquiring about the antenna issue on their device. Also, AT&T return rates for the iPhone 4 are actually substantially less than they were for the iPhone 3GS upon its release, at 33%.
Need any more evidence from Apple? Well Steve Jobs offered one more piece of data. He admitted that the iPhone 4 drops more calls than the iPhone 3GS according to AT&T, however, that level is less than 1 dropped called more per 100 phone calls made, which isn’t bad for a phone with such problems.
Ok, so we know how many calls are being dropped in comparison to the iPhone 3GS, we know that return rates are substantially lower than they were for the 3GS, but that still doesn’t get us any closer to a solution. What does Apple propose? Free iPhone 4 bumper cases for everyone!
Many websites have concluded that by using a bumper, or third party case, with the iPhone 4, the signal drop will become less of an issue, so Apple has decided to give everyone who buys an iPhone 4 up to September 30th (including all those who’ve bought one prior to the conference) a free case.
Steve Jobs said “we think this has been so blown out of proportion… it’s fun to have a story, but it’s not fun on the other side. So here’s what we’re going to do to make our users happy. The first part is the software update, that fixes the way the bars report and other bugs, that’s out now. Second, people said the bumper fixes everything… ‘why don’t you give everybody a case’? Okay — we’ll give you a free case.”
Giving everyone a free case is certainly a great way to ensure your customers don’t get annoyed at the issues they’re having with the iPhone 4. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will receive free bumpers, however, as Apple can’t manufacturer enough to meet the demand for them from customers requesting a free case.
During the Q&A, Steve was also asked about the Bloomberg report that said Apple already knew about the antenna problems in the new iPhone way before they’d released the product. Naturally, Steve’s response was that the report was “total bullshit”.
Are you satisfied with Apple’s solution to the antenna problem? Hopefully, people can stop talking about the “grip of death” problem, and start getting back to the rumour mill. We should be just in time for Apple’s September iPod event!
Via – Engadget