A show of antennas

Many people have asked us about the iPhone antenna issue. To be clear, we are not engineers so a scientific perspective we could not provide. However, we have some useful information on the bigger issue in the industry that we thought would be useful for our clients to read about. Here are a few things we found that you might also like to know.

[1] Apple published a fantastic photo essay on a broad range of phones currently on the market with similar, or the same, issues. You can read that here. They very clearly outline the various phones, circle where the antennas are, show a person gripping the phone, and show signal attenuation. (the loss of reception). Great read if you are a visual type for sure.

[2] Not everyone agrees with Steve on this point and one article actually quotes RIM, Motorola, and Nokia execs. Interestingly enough here though, they don’t call to attention specific examples of where Apple was wrong, just that they don’t agree. Read into that what you will but I for one find it amusing that the CEO of RIM will say it is “unacceptable” to have Apple draw them into this but does not say, “Hey! That video Steve showed of our product experiencing the same thing is just wrong. That won’t happen.”. Or, heaven forbid, “Hey! We made our own video disputing that”. I won’t be holding my breath.

[3] Apple likely knew about this and did it anyway. According to other sources Apple got this memo and didn’t act. Oops. Many manufacturers say that antennas on the outside = smaller phones but don’t work. Essentially antenna on outside = tell consumer how to hold phone. Consumers clearly don’t like that. Smallest smartphone may need an asterisk next to it to note that it may not always work.

As is typical in these situations it is hard to find out what actually is happening. It seems that this problem can happen in other phones yes. Based on our experience however while it can happen on the new iPhone, it does not appear to be an issue for the most part. To further this, we don’t know many people that plunk down that kind of money on a phone and don’t put it in a case; the solution to the problem 100%. While the phone looks far sexier “naked”, it is simply not practical. I for one drop my phone daily, several times. I put it in my pocket with keys, USB drives, and loose change. I don’t take chances with wrecking my phone; period.

It would seem that, while I completely agree that if Apple did know, they should have moved in a different direction, it is all a bit of a waste to spend any more time thinking about it. I guess this should make the iPhone 5 a) get here a lot faster and b) make it have to be even better to overcome this debacle. Both consequences are perfectly ok in my book.