During the whole ‘antennagate’ debacle back in 2010, Apple attempted to appease iPhone 4 adopters by offering them one of its bumpers, or another case from a third-party manufacturer for free. Those who didn’t think a free $30 bumper was good enough can now claim $15 compensation.
All items tagged with "antenna"
Apple has settled a class action lawsuit over the ‘antennagate’ debacle that surfaced shortly after the launch of the iPhone 4 in 2010. Around 25 million customers in the U.S. will be entitled to $15 in cash or a free bumper case.
Having been forgotten at Apple’s ‘Let’s talk iPhone’ event back in October, the completely redesigned iPhone 5 is now on track for a Fall 2012 launch, according to a “close source” who is familiar with Apple’s plans. And like the iPad, the sixth-generation device will reportedly sport an aluminum rear casing, with a rubberized bezel much like Apple’s iPhone 4 bumper cases.
That awesome MacBook Pro prototype with built-in 3G that we reported on yesterday was removed from eBay at the request of Apple last night, after bidding reached a whopping $70,000. However, its seller has been posting further details of the device on the MacRumors forums, revealing its magnetic MagSafe-like antenna setup.
Over the weekend, Apple announced that they were ending their free iPhone 4 case program come September 30th, blithely quipping that “we now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought.”
Apparently, Consumer Reports remains unconvinced, though, because they are continuing to not recommend the iPhone 4 to customers, according to a recent update on their blog.
Our tests found the Bumper successfully mitigates the iPhone 4’s reception issue, which was a weak point in the phone’s otherwise-stellar performance in our tests. And we agree with Apple that not all iPhone 4 owners will experience reception difficulties with the device.
But putting the onus on any owners of a product to obtain a remedy to a design flaw is not acceptable to us. We therefore continue not to recommend the iPhone 4, and to call on Apple to provide a permanent fix for the phone’s reception issues.
It is arguably Consumer Reports’ scathing denunciation of the iPhone 4’s antenna problems that caused “Antennagate” to become as much of a public relations disaster for Apple as it was. Will Consumer Reports’ withheld blessing continue to plague Apple and re-open the issue once the bumper case program ends, or is the fire effectively put out? While I agree the iPhone 4’s external antenna makes it more susceptible to attenuation than other phones — no matter how much finger pointing and bar-fiddling Apple does — I think the fire’s largely been put out: even dropping one call more out of a hundred than the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone you can buy. At this point, Consumer Reports just looks petulant.
All good things must come to an end, and now that Apple has largely put the fires out on the public relations nightmare of Antennagate, they’ll be ending their free iPhone 4 case program come September 30th… unless you complain loud enough.
We now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought. A small percentage of iPhone 4 users need a case, and we want to continue providing them a Bumper case for free. For everyone else, we are discontinuing the free case program on all iPhone 4s sold after September 30, 2010. We are also returning to our normal returns policy for all iPhone 4s sold after September 30. Users experiencing antenna issues should call AppleCare to request a free Bumper case.
Of course, given how backed up Apple is sending out free cases, even if you order one now, you’re not likely to have a bumper around your iPhone before next year. Perhaps that’s the bigger takeaway from Apple’s decision to end the program: if you’re really having problems with your iPhone 4’s reception, you couldn’t afford to wait for Apple to finally get around to sending you one anyway.
I agree with this report on Techcrunch — it is interesting that Apple has removed the videos demonstrating the antenna problems on smartphones made by rival companies. Those videos were originally posted on a special antenna page at Apple.com. Now suddenly — poof they’re gone.
Apple has started to delete threads full of comments about the Consumer Reports article bashing the iPhone 4 antenna from its support forums.
Apple’s Discussion Forum censors went into overdrive today in what appears to be an attempt by Apple to squash all references to the Consumer Reports statement that it “can’t recommend” the iPhone 4 until the antenna issues are fixed, issues that their labs and I’ve independently confirmed on my own iPhone 4.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has had sour grapes about topics posted to their support forums. They have been known to regularly delete discussions about hardware or software flaws that Apple wasn’t ready to talk about. I’ve heard and read about Apple’s dreadful censoring habit for years when there were issues about iMacs, Powerbooks, and Mac OS X Leopard. It wasn’t until today that I saw a real example of Apple’s censorship happening to something that interested me.
I checked the forum postings that were in earlier reports and I wasn’t able to access them and received this error: “Error: you do not have permission to view the requested forum or category.” I searched the forums and found two live threads (at press time) here and here. Ironically, the first thread has disappeared only to be replaced by the error message and so far the second thread is still live, but I’m sure that won’t last very long.
Unfortunately for Apple, but luckily for us is that the Internet has a lot of wide open spaces that can be used to discuss the antenna issue that Apple does not want to admit to — so go ahead voice your comments good or bad here on Cult of Mac.
TUAW published a report today that included new video evidence supporting the belief that the iPhone 4 death grip is very real. I know you are probably rolling your eyes about this, since there have been many other videos covering this topic, but this time things are different. This video includes the demonstration of the iPhone 4 along with a customized field services app that clearly shows the iPhone 4 antenna problem isn’t the result of some software glitch as Apple claims.