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iPhone 4 Signal Problem Verified

iPhone 4 Signal Problem Verified

Here's the issue - it's too easy for a sweaty finger to bridge the two antennae

The internet is ablaze with stories that the new iPhone 4 has (or has not) got a significant problem with its antenna. Ars Technica reports that the iPhone 4 drops signal reception when the left and bottom antennas are bridged by a finger.

However, all the evidence has been anecdotal to date with some people reporting significant problems and others not experiencing an issue at all. The clever chaps over at AnandTech have found a way to quantitatively test for the problem and have come up with a load of numbers and graphs to show that the problem is real. The testing also reveals what the two antenna are for, and how Apple could have prevented the problem in the first place.

The cause of the problem is the iPhone 4’s layout of its two antennae. They’re the stainless steel bands that wrap around the edge of the handset, with one for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS and the other for UMTS and GSM (telephony data standards). By placing a sweaty finger across the thin gap between the two antennae, you bridge them, thus introducing ‘attentuation and detuning’, which drops your signal strength.

AnandTech says that the problem could have been avoided had Apple used ‘an insulative coating atop the stainless steel. Perhaps even use[d] diamond vapor deposition (like they did with the glass screen atop the iPhone 3GS) to insulate the stainless steel from users.

The really clever bit about AnandTech’s testing is that it managed to find a way to circumvent the bars system that the iPhone (and every other phones) uses to represent signal strength and instead used actual signal strength figures in dB. It was a fairly convoluted process to enable this, as Apple has removed the usual method (the Field Test monitoring problem) from iOS 4. ‘Unfortunately, like iOS 4 running on the 3GS and 3G, Field Test is absent from the iPhone 4. It isn't a matter of the dialer code, it's that Field Test has been completely removed from the applications directory in the filesystem… For whatever reason, Apple really doesn't want anyone running that tool anymore.

AnandTech does say that the iPhone 4 works acceptably well at a signal strength of two bars, and that using a thin case ‘the signal strength drop from holding the device is on par if not better than other phones.’ It also concludes that ‘the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar)’.

It seems the furore that iPhone 4’s antenna is a case of much ado about nothing. Where have we seen that before? Post your favourites in the forums.

67 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
UncertainGod 2nd July 2010, 11:24 Quote
It'll be the twitch-worm that Mom launched through Fry & Bender's accounts.
koli 2nd July 2010, 11:34 Quote
Steve Jobs said this is non-issue and he knows everything. And if you have an issue you are muppet and you are holding wrong. But don't worry, apple has thought of everything and you can buy a bumper for an incredibly low price $29. Baaah!!!!
eddtox 2nd July 2010, 11:41 Quote
there are so many things I could say about this, starting with 'apple is sh*t' and ending with 'i told you so', but it will do nothing for those with purchase justification syndrome, so I won't waste my time.
crazyceo 2nd July 2010, 11:45 Quote
The really class thing for Apple to do is to acknowledge the problem and say sorry. However, that's not going to happen.

If they had come out and explained that every phone suffers from this problem then it would have been a none event but to call people stupid because they haven't learned to hold a phone properly is just typical from Jobs.

How can any apple fanboi defend this practice?
wuyanxu 2nd July 2010, 11:51 Quote
these iPhones are phones too?
eddtox 2nd July 2010, 11:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo

How can any apple fanboi defend this practice?

I don't really know, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. Just wait until BT's resident fanboi forumites join the thread. We will undoubtedly hear that we are stupid and this is not a problem.
Combinho 2nd July 2010, 11:54 Quote
Did anyone who commented actually read the article. For those too lazy to read, it says that the signal does drop but this does not affect performance, so is a non-issue. I dislike Apple as much as the next guy, but please don't spout drivel without reading. You just give us Apple haters a bad name.
devilxc 2nd July 2010, 12:12 Quote
@ Combinho

I'm glad you said that. It does seem that the art of reading an article is being lost.
koli 2nd July 2010, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combinho
For those too lazy to read, it says that the signal does drop but this does not affect performance, so is a non-issue.
What are you on about? Internet is full of videos of dropped phone calls with the new iphone. Or are you saying that people made the whole thing up in some huge conspiracy against apple? Just google it. I think Anand is the best reviewer on the internet but I don't care about numbers in his reviews if I experience dropped calls!
eddtox 2nd July 2010, 12:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combinho
Did anyone who commented actually read the article. For those too lazy to read, it says that the signal does drop but this does not affect performance, so is a non-issue. I dislike Apple as much as the next guy, but please don't spout drivel without reading. You just give us Apple haters a bad name.

Reading the article on anandtech, I got the impression that the effect in performance depends on how much signal you have to start off with.

I.e: if you start with 5 bars (-51dB) and lose 20dB, it won't make a huge difference because the iPhone 4 works better than the 3GS at lower signal strengths (in fact because of the range covered by 5 bars (-51 to -91dB), you won't even see a drop in bars).

However, between 4 bars (-91dB) and no signal at all (< -113dB) you have a range of 22dB. This means that if you are at the lower end of the 4bar range (say -95 or -98), losing 20dB will cause you to drop below the -113dB threshold and lose ALL signal.

That, to me amounts to a significant difference.

Yes, you could get a bumper case, but that is beside the point, IMO.
do_it_anyway 2nd July 2010, 12:36 Quote
Oh bejeezus, I am getting involved in this and I don't want to.

Firstly can I say I hate apple. And can I also say that with heavy heart and wearing a comedy false moustache to hide my identity, I went and bought one of these iphone thingys.
My justification? I fancied the HTC desire, but my car has an ipod dock and ipod control. My kitchen radio has an ipod dock. My house came with a fancy in every room sound system thing, which uses a damned ipod dock.

So I say this as a reluctant iphone user, with no love for the company and a dislike for Mr Jobs.

My phone is sat in front of me right now. My previous phone, in the same place, on the same network couldn't get a signal. This phone has 2-3 bars. If I hold in the "death grip", I go down to 1 bar, which is what I used to get with my old phone.
This aerial thing is a pain, but I haven't dropped a call yet, except in areas I couldn't get a signal before anyway. With some form of insulation this should be the best signal I have had from a phone.

I DO however think they should be offering some form of free bumper to those that are having problems. In the same way as Nintendo gave people who bought early Wii's the rubber cases to stop wiimotes ending up in tellys.
Stewb 2nd July 2010, 12:43 Quote
What I personally don't understand (well, apart from the fact that this problem exists in the first place....) is why the decided to put the gap between the two antenna on the side... why not on the bottom? Whenever I hold my phone I bridge that point on it, but if it were on the bottom it would be much less likely...
do_it_anyway 2nd July 2010, 12:50 Quote
@ Stewb
2 Reasons:
Firstly because the length of the aerial is really important, and extending it to under the iphone would have reduced the sensitivity of the aerial. ( I believe. I am not an aerial engineer)
Secondly (and most importantly) because we know that field testers had their phones disguised as 3GS's i.e. inside a case. So field testers had no problems and apple knoew nothing about the problem until the iphones were on the street.

Which is why they should give out bumpers. But they won't cos that would be admitting a design flaw. And Apple are the Gods of design, and Gods don't do flaws
Krikkit 2nd July 2010, 13:14 Quote
The reason folk think that this signal problem isn't an issue is because, as stated in the linked article, the hardware copes with low signals much better than previous generations of the iP.

The aerial lengths have been carefully worked out by someone for a compromise of abilities between the GSM and WiFi antennae. In this case it wasn't quite right because it's in a position to allow bridging by hand.

The proper solution, as stated in the Anandtech article, would be to coat the antennae to lessen the effect.
jrs77 2nd July 2010, 13:43 Quote
The problem is only, if you hold the damn thing in your left hand and it rests in your palm there, which will bridge the two antennas.

If you're righthanded then you'll probably never face this issue, as it's allmost impossible to hold it in your right hand in a way, which would bridge the two antennas.

Other then that, you want to buy the bumper for the iPhone4 nevertheless, as otherwise your phone will get tons of scratches and stick like glue to any glass-surface you lay it flat onto.
Krikkit 2nd July 2010, 13:52 Quote
Unfortunately I'm left-handed, so it'd be an issue for me. The other thing is that it's likely to crop up is someone who's normally right-handed who uses the computer or something while on the phone.
docodine 2nd July 2010, 13:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
The problem is only, if you hold the damn thing in your left hand and it rests in your palm there, which will bridge the two antennas.

If you're righthanded then you'll probably never face this issue, as it's allmost impossible to hold it in your right hand in a way, which would bridge the two antennas.

So only 10% of their customers have a problem, it's alright then.

SteveU 2nd July 2010, 14:26 Quote
My iPhone 4 has the best signal strength & call quality of any phone I've had (and I've had my fair share)!

I work in the hills in Wales inside a steel building and I constantly have full signal!
Bakes 2nd July 2010, 14:42 Quote
This is a problem, it's just not as massive as everyone's saying. If you're on a low 5 bars, you will still lose all your connection with the iPhone - it's just that you aren't losing all signal.

If dBm is the same as dB (ie a logarithmic scale), then the signal strength still drops fourfold when you're holding the phone that way.
Krikkit 2nd July 2010, 14:43 Quote
dBm ;)
crazyceo 2nd July 2010, 15:23 Quote
Funny how the ones unable to defend start to quote things like "You haven't read the topic!"

I had already said this was a none event but the smug tone from Apple telling people how to hold a phone was just pathetic. It's obviously a design flaw but only a small one but hey, it only cost you a fortune!
Shepps 2nd July 2010, 15:52 Quote
I rather like apple gear, i dont really have an opinion on apple as a company. I went out and bought an iphone 4 to replace my aging iphone 3g on launch day. I've noticed my signal drop when i hold it but i can do the same on a friend's iphone 3GS. I've not experienced any dropped calls. I'm not saying this isn't an issue, but if this wasn't an apple phone i doubt allot of you would have an opinion on the matter.

Repeat this thread with a nokia, no one would care...
llamafur 2nd July 2010, 15:56 Quote
just put some hot glue on it and call it a day
iwog 2nd July 2010, 16:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepps
I rather like apple gear, i dont really have an opinion on apple as a company. I went out and bought an iphone 4 to replace my aging iphone 3g on launch day. I've noticed my signal drop when i hold it but i can do the same on a friend's iphone 3GS. I've not experienced any dropped calls. I'm not saying this isn't an issue, but if this wasn't an apple phone i doubt allot of you would have an opinion on the matter.

Repeat this thread with a nokia, no one would care...

I think its because so many people hold the iPhone as some kind of Jesus phone. Plus the premium and "design" are what you expect from Apple and people only tolerate the premium because the "design" is supposedly that much better. But if Apple are now failing at the "design" then all you're left with is premium, and no one wants to pay premium just for the sake of it, correction normal sensible people don't want to.

Apple is the new Microsoft, they're leading the way and getting flack for being successful and powerful. Unfortunately its not in tech but "design", and that is why they are drawing that extra bit of heat from the tech world.

I use "design" to describe how apple takes existing tech and packages in a way that makes it look stylish, and theoretically does some much QA and testing that it "just works".
capnPedro 2nd July 2010, 16:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamafur
just put some hot glue on it and call it a day

Clearcoat or a clear lacquer (like transparent nail varnish) wouldn't even look unsightly. They should just fix the damn hardware design fault (insulate the antenna) rather than pushing some bullshit software update and skirt the issue at hand.
Krikkit 2nd July 2010, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Funny how the ones unable to defend start to quote things like "You haven't read the topic!"

To be fair most folks didn't bother reading what it said, just took a chance to jump on the "**** apple, you guys deserve it for buying their stuff" bandwagon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
I had already said this was a none event but the smug tone from Apple telling people how to hold a phone was just pathetic. It's obviously a design flaw but only a small one but hey, it only cost you a fortune!

No doubt there imo.
whiskers 2nd July 2010, 16:26 Quote
"an insulative coating atop the stainless steel"

This was the first and the most painfully obvious thought that came to my mind when I heard about this problem. Granted, an expensive gadget like an iPhone from a company that touts high standards such as Apple should not come with such a problem, but... just put some coating on it (Apple or the user) and stop the whining. Jeez.
Tokukachi 2nd July 2010, 16:33 Quote
Well according to the beeb apple are offering refunds of affected users, no article link yet. I returned mine the next day to o2 sadly :(
Krikkit 2nd July 2010, 17:04 Quote
Indeed, the beeb article also says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeb
Apple said it was going to adopt AT&T's formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength.

The theory now is that, once the patch update has been applied, iPhone's bars will report signal strength "far more accurately" providing users a better indication of the reception in a given area.

Apple said the new software to fix this would be released in a few weeks, claiming that as the problem also existed in the original iPhone, it would also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.
Article.
Shepps 2nd July 2010, 17:05 Quote
Tokukachi 2nd July 2010, 17:35 Quote
Huh, this inst a software issue, mien went from 2-3 bar to none and i couldn't make a call, how the hell is that software??? BS again from Mr Jobs :(
Krikkit 2nd July 2010, 17:51 Quote
No-one said it was a software issue causing the problem, but the way the iPhone represents signal strength is a bit crap.
chrisb2e9 2nd July 2010, 18:03 Quote
Quote:
For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.
If the bars were never high in the first palce then why do they drop when you grab the phone?
So if you have two bars does that mean that you don't actually have a signal? *cough*marketing crap*/cough*
Too annoyed to even care right now. (note:annoyance is not related to apple/bit-tech or anything related to either one in any way shape or form)
Sloth 2nd July 2010, 18:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
The problem is only, if you hold the damn thing in your left hand and it rests in your palm there, which will bridge the two antennas.

If you're righthanded then you'll probably never face this issue, as it's allmost impossible to hold it in your right hand in a way, which would bridge the two antennas.
Not to target you specifically, but why does everyone keep saying this is a left handed person's problem? I'm right handed and hold phones in my left hand. Holding a phone is a pretty simple operation, I don't feel the need to delegate my dominant hand to the [apparently quite difficult] task of holding a little device for a couple minutes.

But agreed with others. No one would care if this happened to Nokia because neither Nokia nor its fans so proudly (and obnoxiously?) brag about the high quality and thorough development of their products. Set yourself up too high and people are gonna laugh when you make even a little slip.
Skiddywinks 2nd July 2010, 19:06 Quote
The phone loses signal if you hold it the natural way. That has been proven. It is an issue, and it is not software. These are facts.

The only issue Apple can fix is the ridiculous scaling of the signal bars, but that isn't going to help anyone who doesn't have enough of a signal "buffer" to hold the phone comfortably.
leexgx 2nd July 2010, 19:09 Quote
the fix for the most part is buy the bumper case or an case like it (as i would any way as i would not want an exploding screen if dropped) to prevent you from bridging the two antenna's
jrs77 2nd July 2010, 19:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Not to target you specifically, but why does everyone keep saying this is a left handed person's problem? I'm right handed and hold phones in my left hand. Holding a phone is a pretty simple operation, I don't feel the need to delegate my dominant hand to the [apparently quite difficult] task of holding a little device for a couple minutes.

But agreed with others. No one would care if this happened to Nokia because neither Nokia nor its fans so proudly (and obnoxiously?) brag about the high quality and thorough development of their products. Set yourself up too high and people are gonna laugh when you make even a little slip.

If 90% of your engineers are right-handed and test the devices, then this misconception of the antenna won't show up during testing. That's why the righthanded-lefthanded thingy is a considerable fact.

Actually all industrial standards apply only for righthanded people. Show me a mouse or a keyboard that's engineered for lefthanded people for example.
Allmost all devides have placed their switches and buttons for righthanded people. Cameras are a good example to show this.
Faulk_Wulf 2nd July 2010, 19:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
[
I think its because so many people hold the iPhone as some kind of Jesus phone. Plus the premium and "design" are what you expect from Apple and people only tolerate the premium because the "design" is supposedly that much better. But if Apple are now failing at the "design" then all you're left with is premium, and no one wants to pay premium just for the sake of it, correction normal sensible people don't want to.

Apple is the new Microsoft, they're leading the way and getting flack for being successful and powerful. Unfortunately its not in tech but "design", and that is why they are drawing that extra bit of heat from the tech world.

I use "design" to describe how apple takes existing tech and packages in a way that makes it look stylish, and theoretically does some much QA and testing that it "just works".

I would like to say I think this is a very fair and well balanced opinion that covers both sides of Apple objectively, both giving credit and taking jabs as needed at the company. +rep

Side note: My right hand is my dominant hand, but I still hold my phone in it because I'm near deaf in my left ear. (I blew out an ear drum because of an infection when I was an infant.) The point of that incredibly dull story is this-- It's not just left-handed people that are affected, it's anyone who would happen to hold their phone in their left hand. Which, if you typically have people with dominant right hands, and they need to juggle say a frappacino, lunch, a brief case, their laptop, or any other of a billion items, they'll probably toss the phone to their left hand if they don't have blue tooth. This makes the problem a lot larger then it would first appear.

I can see how this kind of problem could come up, and indeed a few posts up someone explain exactly HOW it came to be. But, really, to have your *PR DEPARTMENT* come out and say "LOL NOOBS!" for how you hold your phone and then have the BALLS to charge you for a solution, well that's just low. That's a bit beyond just patronizing.

(BROAD SWEEPING GENERALIZATION COMING) The thing is, there are two types of Apple users it seems. And it has very little to do with sheeple, honestly. Apple really does sell stuff that JUST WORKS. My mother (67) had never seen an iPod and can barely use a PC. She can run my iPod just fine. Took me saying "use the circle to move, like a steering wheel" and that was it. Granted, I didn't teach her how to put music on it, but still. Same with the iPhones. They just work. You can have stability or you can mod-ability as far as commercial products go. Most companies try and strike a middle ground. (Android would be on the other end of this spectrum, Windows OS is somewhere in the middle.) Take a look at most people who have quasi-legit beefs with Apple. Most of them are techies, modders, or other geeks. People that like to tweak, customize, and modify their devices to get the most out of them. Apple curbstomps people like that. People like that are NOT WHO APPLE IS TARGETING. Get over it, find a different platform.

The second group are the hipster socialites. While they can have sheep/pack like mentalities, they care more about status symbols. They know their paying out the nose. AND THEY LIKE IT THAT WAY. They say "Look at my BMW, my Starbucks latte, and my Jesus Phone". (Compared to, oh let's say my Ford Taurus, McD's Mocha Frappe, and Blackberry Pearl.) They snub everyone and everything that isn't exactly like them. And they're used to receiving the SAME TREATMENT. So when Jobs comes out and basically says "I'm making these products not only to become filthy rich but to **** with all the socialite hipsters." no one blinks. They tend to laugh and AGREE with Jobs even when THEY ARE THE TARGET of his (somewhat seething) commentary. There's a comic SOMEWHERE about a new-gen iPhone that uses a plutonium battery but the radiation is fatal to the user. Jobs then markets it as "You'll only need one battery in your lifetime!" (and a billion others where he markets ****, bricks, and other mundane things.)

Sociology is indeed a fascinating and interesting thing. What people (myself included) need to learn is that, not every product that you don't like sucks. Some products just aren't meant for you. AND THAT'S OKAY. I describe the iPhone as "cute, quaint, and neat". But I just consider it a hipster toy. I mostly state my opinion of Apple by not buying the majority of their products, or any of their accessories. For me, the iPhone just isn't what I want. For MILLIONS of others, it's *exactly* what they want.

Um, so this became a wall of text. Crap. Um, well the only other thing to say is: I realize that this post, on a single message board, in the depths of the internet will change nothing. Penny-Arcades "****wit" comic still stands as being generally true, and people will always believe what they want to believe-- even (and almost always) in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

BUT--

At least I don't feel like I'm going to have a damn aneurysm now.
Sloth 2nd July 2010, 20:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
If 90% of your engineers are right-handed and test the devices, then this misconception of the antenna won't show up during testing. That's why the righthanded-lefthanded thingy is a considerable fact.

Actually all industrial standards apply only for righthanded people. Show me a mouse or a keyboard that's engineered for lefthanded people for example.
Allmost all devides have placed their switches and buttons for righthanded people. Cameras are a good example to show this.
I think you missed what I'm saying, you don't have to be left handed to hold your phone in your left hand. If 90% of your engineers are right handed that's a pretty safe assumption to make, but saying that 100% of right handed people will always use their right hand to hold their phone isn't exactly correct. Surely even with right handed engineers eventually someone will hold it in their left and have it occur. Think about when you're trying to write down something you're being told. You move your phone to your left hand so you can write with your dominant one. Faulk_wulf has explained it quite well already.
Skiddywinks 2nd July 2010, 20:30 Quote
If it was truly only a phone, the argument over which hand you use would make sense. But as has been pointed out, sometimes you need to see the screen, and in those cases a right handed person is likely to hold it in their left hand so they can use their right hand for the interface.
do_it_anyway 2nd July 2010, 21:42 Quote
Sooo, the software update to "correct" the problem is basically a re-write of the way the signal strength is displayed.
In other words a line of code saying - IF [hand is over aerial] THEN [Display full bars, regardless of signal strength].

There, done it for you Apple.
ParaHelix.org 3rd July 2010, 01:41 Quote
When I use my phone I have it too close to my head to see the signal strength D=
Bakes 3rd July 2010, 02:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
dBm ;)

Not quite the same, but you can still see that from (say) 90dBm to 110dBm, a typical drop in signal from gripping the iPhone the right/wrong way, the power decreases 1250 fold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by llamafur
just put some hot glue on it and call it a day

nail varnish ;) clear, insulating and non-conductive.
leexgx 4th July 2010, 06:31 Quote
the issue is more if the phone already has low signal in the first place (why I am typing this on my new HTC desire in opera when I am in front of my pc is funny)
edit
its an none issue if the phone has good signal it dropping down to 100-110db is and is ok for phone use (data bit flaky) as both my G1 and new fun toy HTC desire (both on t-mobile UK) shows this

just buy the bumper case or get an cover for the phone that you would buy any way as your going to smash it if you do not get one

i wish mobile makers would fix this issue with mobile phones hanging onto an dead horse signal, wish they would make phones Switch when signal drops below 103-100db or 5-6 asu (or for most phones 2 bars) and Switch to 2g as with 3g i tend to find out at my friends house and other locations both of his mobiles and my 2 phones get an incoming call but hangs up when you answer it but if the phones are on 2g only they work perfectly fine, if the phones had auto switched to 2g on weak signal in the first place it would of worked fine and would not require user intervention to turn off 3g

the google phones os seems to make it an low level priority to drop back to 2g when in an phone call (witch also prevents you from using the Internet once it does that until the calls ends as only basic 3g or higher can support Internet at the same time as voice)

the iphone dropping calls as well is also related the the above as well when HSDPA is currently connected as you most likely have low signal to start off with, why i norm tell every one who has an iphone or any phone really, tell the phone to use 2g only unless you want to use the internet then switch it back on so you get 3g if its around
kempez 4th July 2010, 22:20 Quote
First on the use issue that people go on and on about. I've not got a iPhone 4G yet, mainly due to demand though. I like the better voice pickup on phone calls, the nice new screen and the new camera. I'm also kind of tied into iTunes and the whole iPhone user environment now (had one since gen 1). This means switching to an android device would be a bit of a pain in the arse for me and I have an iPhone to avoid just that: being a pita. I'm in the geek category unboutedly, self build watercooled, painted, modded and expensive (at the time), PC with an AV room and all sorts of gadgets! My phone though, is an area I want functionality without fuss and the iPhone delivers just that. Other phone's do also, but reasons are above to back up the simple and easy to use 'Apple-ness' of the phone. I'm in too deep now!! ;)


On topic: I agree with leexgx. This 'problem' will be a non-issue for me. YES I am right handed and YES I hold my phone in my left hand frequently. But it's a non-issue as I will put my ridiculously over-priced (but easy to use and slick), device into a case with a screen protector; because if I got a scratch on my £500 phone I'd be so peed off. For the sake of a £12-15 case (Incipio Feather), I'd rather keep it looking nice and not scratched. Just to say too: I also did that with every other phone I had before I got an iPhone.

I wish the phone would switch quicker to 2G from a weak 3G signal, hopefully the software fix will do just that? Not sure, but whatever I do find that signal strength varies wildly in the area I spend a lot of time (Winchester, Hants). This is partly due to O²'s cr@ppy network and partly due to the phone displaying a strength that's a bit over-optimistic. Software switch and a network switch for me to Vodafone might solve both issues? Doubt it, but you never know!
fingerbob69 6th July 2010, 14:29 Quote
How can you possibly say the issue is "much ado about nothing" when the entire previous article verifies AND quatifies that problem is a big problem??? Not only that but also the issue could (and should) have been uncovered and delt with prior to the phone's release! Has Bit-tech got it's collective head up Steve Jobs Ass or something?

Or am I being just blind or suffering a sense irony failure?

And in case you missed it ...I am an Apple hype free zone!
Krikkit 6th July 2010, 14:46 Quote
What kempez said is that it's a non-issue for him, not for everyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kempez
On topic: I agree with leexgx. This 'problem' will be a non-issue for me.
kempez 6th July 2010, 17:08 Quote
Yep thanks Krikkit, it's not an issue for me. I can see why it's an issue for others, although why you'd want to have such an expensive device without a cover is beyond me ;)
iwog 6th July 2010, 17:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kempez
Yep thanks Krikkit, it's not an issue for me. I can see why it's an issue for others, although why you'd want to have such an expensive device without a cover is beyond me ;)

Then surely by that logic your car should have a cover on it, as should your PC. Sorry for being ridiculous but the kind of logic that mobile phones should be treated as though they were precious is an idea that should have died out a while ago.
Nexxo 6th July 2010, 20:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
The really class thing for Apple to do is to acknowledge the problem and say sorry. However, that's not going to happen.

If they had come out and explained that every phone suffers from this problem then it would have been a none event but to call people stupid because they haven't learned to hold a phone properly is just typical from Jobs.

How can any apple fanboi defend this practice?

Be fair: Jobs has never called people 'stupid' for not knowing how to hold a phone properly (in fact, the latest e-mail exchange between him and a disgruntled customer has been outed as faked).

On the other hand, I agree that: "Just avoid holding it that way" or "...avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases" is hardly a satisfactory response to customer complaints on this issue. For a guy who can be e-mailed by customers, Jobs does not seem to grok the art of customer relations very well (then again, he is a geek).

In any case, now Apple has said 'sorry' (at last) and is issuing a software fix. That they would find a fix I had no doubt of, but the way it handled the affair was dumb and arrogant.

Then again, are any of the other big companies any better? Sony has execrable customer support. Microsoft is as much "my way or the highway" as Apple, and Google seems to have a poor sense of personal boundaries (when it comes to snooping WiFi data).

Here's my problem, crazyceo. What is the alternative? I have alluded before to how I really like Android (ignoring for a moment that it is, in many ways, a blatant rip of iOS4, it is at least open source). Recently, there are even decent hardware platforms for it. But the HTC series still have the battery life of a mayfly. I mean, it is really, really bad. I have spoken to HTC owners and they all say the same thing. Battery life sux.

Windows Mobile? Until its 7th iteration comes along it doesn't need poor battery life to suck. Meanwhile, while Apple storms ahead with the iPhone 4 and HTC/Google are (slowly) catching up with Android devices, we're still waiting for Microsoft to stop dicking about with the Kin and put some decent Windows Mobile 7 devices on the market. Focus, Microsoft, focus.

And here's my point. Apple undoubtedly shows the arrogance that is typical of big successful companies, but it can afford to do so because it is successful, or rather, because the competition sucks epically at putting up decent alternatives.
chrisb2e9 6th July 2010, 20:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Be fair: Jobs has never called people 'stupid' for not knowing how to hold a phone properly (in fact, the latest e-mail exchange between him and a disgruntled customer has been outed as faked).
Source please?
Quote:


On the other hand, I agree that: "Just avoid holding it that way" or "...avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases" is hardly a satisfactory response to customer complaints on this issue. For a guy who can be e-mailed by customers, Jobs does not seem to grok the art of customer relations very well (then again, he is a geek).
He's a ceo(or whatever) too. You would think he would have the common sence to have someone answer his emails for him. Or at least proof read.
Quote:


Then again, are any of the other big companies any better? Sony has execrable customer support. Microsoft is as much "my way or the highway" as Apple, and Google seems to have a poor sense of personal boundaries (when it comes to snooping WiFi data).
I won't buy sony because of the poor support in the past. It really can sink a company. I know that my boycotting them won't hurt them, but it doesn't help them either.
Quote:


Here's my problem, crazyceo. What is the alternative? I have alluded before to how I really like Android (ignoring for a moment that it is, in many ways, a blatant rip of iOS4, it is at least open source). Recently, there are even decent hardware platforms for it. But the HTC series still have the battery life of a mayfly. I mean, it is really, really bad. I have spoken to HTC owners and they all say the same thing. Battery life sux.
My touch pro would last for 2 days if i stretched it. my touch pro 2 does the same. Fine battery life as far as I am concerned. sure my first cell lasted a week, but I have no problem with plugging the phone in when i goto bed. I know that some of the other phones have HORRIBLE battery life. But don't throw all htc devices into one boat.
Quote:


Windows Mobile? Until its 7th iteration comes along it doesn't need poor battery life to suck. Meanwhile, while Apple storms ahead with the iPhone 4 and HTC/Google are (slowly) catching up with Android devices, we're still waiting for Microsoft to stop dicking about with the Kin and put some decent Windows Mobile 7 devices on the market. Focus, Microsoft, focus.
wasn't the kin cancelled? Or was that something else?
Quote:

And here's my point. Apple undoubtedly shows the arrogance that is typical of big successful companies, but it can afford to do so because it is successful, or rather, because the competition sucks epically at putting up decent alternatives.
mmm, a company can only be arrogant for so long. The path you took to get to the top is the same path you should follow to get higher. Other companies will follow in their footsteps if they have to and if they see apple take a wrong turn, it stands to reason that they won't make the same mistake.
Nexxo 6th July 2010, 20:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
Source please?
Sauce.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
He's a ceo(or whatever) too. You would think he would have the common sence to have someone answer his emails for him. Or at least proof read.
That would violate his 'I'm in touch with the consumer' image. :p But he could learn some PR skills.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
My touch pro would last for 2 days if i stretched it. my touch pro 2 does the same. Fine battery life as far as I am concerned. sure my first cell lasted a week, but I have no problem with plugging the phone in when i goto bed. I know that some of the other phones have HORRIBLE battery life. But don't throw all htc devices into one boat.
Those run on Windows Mobile though... I just can't work with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
Wasn't the kin cancelled? Or was that something else?
No, it's going strong. Squarely aimed at the teenage social networking market for now. It is a kind of springboard to Microsoft's cloud-based alternative to MobileMe or something. The Studio looks snazzy and the whole automatic syncing over the air is indeed pretty good. Then again, so did Wallop. Like I said: no focus. Kin is just a watered-down version of Windows Mobile 7. What MS should have done is to launch Mobile 7 now, with integrated automatic cloud storage/syncing (a cross between Kin Studio and Office Live) and blow the competition out of the water. But MS dicks around with too many ideas at once and as a result takes twice as long to get where Apple already is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
mmm, a company can only be arrogant for so long. The path you took to get to the top is the same path you should follow to get higher. Other companies will follow in their footsteps if they have to and if they see apple take a wrong turn, it stands to reason that they won't make the same mistake.
Naah. If that was true the US wouldn't have repeated the USSR's Afghanistan. Arrogance does indeed lead to downfall (as Andrew Grove admonishes) but other companies will not learn from the example of others. The reason? Why, arrogance, of course. They won't make the same mistakes that the others did, because they are smarter/better/stronger...
chrisb2e9 6th July 2010, 21:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Sauce.
hmm, going to have to take that one with a grain of salt. mgiht be true, might not be. no one will ever know.
Quote:




Those run on Windows Mobile though... I just can't work with that.
I think we had this argument already. To each his own.
Quote:



No, it's going strong. Squarely aimed at the teenage social networking market for now. It is a kind of springboard to Microsoft's cloud-based alternative to MobileMe or something. The Studio looks snazzy and the whole automatic syncing over the air is indeed pretty good. Then again, so did Wallop. Like I said: no focus. Kin is just a watered-down version of Windows Mobile 7. What MS should have done is to launch Mobile 7 now, with integrated automatic cloud storage/syncing (a cross between Kin Studio and Office Live) and blow the competition out of the water. But MS dicks around with too many ideas at once and as a result takes twice as long to get where Apple already is.
I couldn't get into the kin website at work. Didn't like my computer for some reason. But did find the story I was thinking of. Not quite gone but not going anywhere else.
http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Kills+KIN+After+Just+Two+Months+on+the+Market/article18900.htm
I'd just be happy if I could walk into a store in Canada and buy a zune. Curse on my for dropping my 80gb one so many times...
Quote:




Naah. If that was true the US wouldn't have repeated the USSR's Afghanistan. Arrogance does indeed lead to downfall (as Andrew Grove admonishes) but other companies will not learn from the example of others. The reason? Why, arrogance, of course. They won't make the same mistakes that the others did, because they are smarter/better/stronger...

Only time will tell I guess.
Madness_3d 6th July 2010, 21:16 Quote
In my experience, if you put a sweaty finger on the bridge, when the signal is low, you loose connection to the mobile network. For me a more frustrating problem is the faulty proximity sensor on the front that means that when in a call the screen switches on and of randomly, so your ear ends the call or mutes the call or puts it on speaker. Really frustrating, but may be a calibration issue so hopefully dreaded apples will fix that in software. I've ordered a £4 case from Amazon that's the same as a Bumper but also has a back, will report back when it arrives, should fix the issue with aerials. In the past apple support has been really good, they replaced my iPhone 3G 3 times. But the response so far from apple has been terrible. They need to take a better attitude on these issues its just embarrassing for them now.

As far as the signal bars are concerned, according to Anandtech, the bottom four bars are (on a dB level) very close together.
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/gadgets/apple/iphone4/bars.jpg
Whereas the top bar covers a large range of signal strengths. All their "fix" is going to do is realign them so their evenly spaced so it doesn't drop down as far (they'll probably make the lower bar lower than its current -113dB)

Overall I'm so frustrated I chose this phone. I wish I had of gone for the Samsung Galaxy S or the Motorola Droid X (if that's available/will be in the UK?) I enjoyed the first 12 months of my iPhone 3G, and it was based on that positive experience that I chose the 4. But it's just been a catastrophe
Nexxo 6th July 2010, 21:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
hmm, going to have to take that one with a grain of salt. mgiht be true, might not be. no one will ever know.
I'm inclined to think it is faked. But that is beside the point. Point is: Jobs could have been a bit more, well, responsive to customer complaints.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
I couldn't get into the kin website at work. Didn't like my computer for some reason. But did find the story I was thinking of. Not quite gone but not going anywhere else.
http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Kills+KIN+After+Just+Two+Months+on+the+Market/article18900.htm
I'd just be happy if I could walk into a store in Canada and buy a zune. Curse on my for dropping my 80gb one so many times...
Oh, OK... that didn't last. :p Perhaps MS will get its **** together with Windows Mobile 7 --which it stubbornly refuses to licence for Tablet devices. Dumb, dumb, dumb... The Zune is another example. It is a very accomplished MP3 device that very easily competes with the iPod. But you can buy an iPod just about anywhere while you can't get a Zune even in Canada. I mean, WTF? Microsoft just seems to not have the vision, forward planning and plain business sense that Apple currently has.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
Only time will tell I guess.
History tells us already.
chrisb2e9 6th July 2010, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo


Oh, OK... that didn't last. :p Perhaps MS will get its **** together with Windows Mobile 7 --which it stubbornly refuses to licence for Tablet devices. Dumb, dumb, dumb... The Zune is another example. It is a very accomplished MP3 device that very easily competes with the iPod. But you can buy an iPod just about anywhere while you can't get a Zune even in Canada. I mean, WTF? Microsoft just seems to not have the vision, forward planning and plain business sense that Apple currently has.
They won't licence it to a tablet? why the heck not? It looks like it would work nicely on one.
they really need to pull out something amazing at this point.
Quote:

History tells us already.
Yes, you can't know where you are going without knowing where you have been. Its sad that some people don't pay attention to this though.
wuyanxu 6th July 2010, 21:29 Quote
i personally actually prefer the current signal bar system.

if it's above -91dB, then why should we care what signal is it at exactly? if it's below -91dB, then we do care about how much of the signals are left, therefore a scaled signal bar makes more sense.


regarding proximity sensor issues, i've found a suitable place to put into my ear that will make sure the phone screen stays off. i expect it's another matter of "you are holding it wrong"
Krikkit 6th July 2010, 21:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madness_3d
As far as the signal bars are concerned, according to Anandtech, the bottom four bars are (on a dB level) very close together.
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/gadgets/apple/iphone4/bars.jpg
Whereas the top bar covers a large range of signal strengths. All their "fix" is going to do is realign them so their evenly spaced so it doesn't drop down as far (they'll probably make the lower bar lower than its current -113dB)

I thought -113dBm was the minimum level that you could reduce it to?
Madness_3d 6th July 2010, 21:40 Quote
Yeah but apple don't exactly play by the rules do they :)

and I agree with wuyanxu
Sloth 6th July 2010, 21:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kempez
Yep thanks Krikkit, it's not an issue for me. I can see why it's an issue for others, although why you'd want to have such an expensive device without a cover is beyond me ;)
Why such expensive devices are designed to be so poorly fortified out of the box is what's beyond me! $200+ for many of these devices and you don't even get the slightest bit of a case with them, not even a little rubber sleeve.
Bakes 6th July 2010, 21:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
What MS should have done is to launch Mobile 7 now, with integrated automatic cloud storage/syncing (a cross between Kin Studio and Office Live) and blow the competition out of the water. But MS dicks around with too many ideas at once and as a result takes twice as long to get where Apple already is.

[sarcasm]I assume that they should solve poverty while they're at it?[/sarcasm]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Be fair: Jobs has never called people 'stupid' for not knowing how to hold a phone properly (in fact, the latest e-mail exchange between him and a disgruntled customer has been outed as faked).

On the other hand, I agree that: "Just avoid holding it that way" or "...avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases" is hardly a satisfactory response to customer complaints on this issue. For a guy who can be e-mailed by customers, Jobs does not seem to grok the art of customer relations very well (then again, he is a geek).
Quote:
In any case, now Apple has said 'sorry' (at last) and is issuing a software fix. That they would find a fix I had no doubt of, but the way it handled the affair was dumb and arrogant.

That's not a fix though, as per say. It merely changes the way that the signal level is recorded in the software. ArsTechnica proved that the signal can drop massively (1000fold in some cases) simply from holding it. It's a testament to how well the iPhone connects that this 1000fold signal loss barely affects most phone conversations, but Gizmodo also have shown that the connection speed drops even with good reception.
Quote:
Then again, are any of the other big companies any better? Sony has execrable customer support. Microsoft is as much "my way or the highway" as Apple, and Google seems to have a poor sense of personal boundaries (when it comes to snooping WiFi data).

The snooping WiFi is a bit of a non-issue to be honest, all of the data was broadcast in the air. It's like using an iTrip and demanding that others don't listen to your publicly broadcast tunes. Furthermore, Google doesn't support Android phones (unless they're the ADP1, ADP2 or Nexus One), the carriers and manufacturers do.
Quote:
Here's my problem, crazyceo. What is the alternative? I have alluded before to how I really like Android (ignoring for a moment that it is, in many ways, a blatant rip of iOS4, it is at least open source). Recently, there are even decent hardware platforms for it. But the HTC series still have the battery life of a mayfly. I mean, it is really, really bad. I have spoken to HTC owners and they all say the same thing. Battery life sux.

Please, don't say that Android was a rip-off of iOS4. Firstly, iOS4 came out earlier this month. Saying that anything is a ripoff of it is just a non-starter. From here, I'm going to assume that you are just talking about the iPhone OS.

Now, if you want to talk about how Android ripped off iOS, remember that Android had many features before the iPhone. Landscape keyboards, MMS, Search, Copy/Paste, Multitasking, and more were all available on Android phones before on the iPhone. Furthermore, it's really stupid to even use that as an argument. No-one passes up an iPhone because Android had multitasking first. They don't pass up Android because the iPhone had an app store first. People buy phones based on which one works best, and focusing on who innovated before who just avoids the real issues.

Android phones can have crap battery life. That's usually a user error, though it can be attributed to the platform. As you fill up your Android phone, you add more applications. Feed readers, twitter clients, Facebook clients, GPS using apps such as Latitude, and more, which all access the internet. Many have settings to check periodically, but in my experience users want to have their phones checking as frequently as possible. Obviously, this means that their phones are accessing the data networks and using the CPU regularly, which means that even when your phone is in your pocket, it will have some of it's most important battery-draining services running. I used to have a service called Slidescreen running, and with that draining my power, in total standby mode, my phone would maybe last 12 hours. Not good.

Turn the data service off, turn slidescreen off, and it has much better battery life.

This is partially Android's fault due to it's multitasking model, but in many cases it's also user error. You don't need your feeds updated every minute if you're only going to read them every five hours, etc.
Quote:

Windows Mobile? Until its 7th iteration comes along it doesn't need poor battery life to suck. Meanwhile, while Apple storms ahead with the iPhone 4 and HTC/Google are (slowly) catching up with Android devices, we're still waiting for Microsoft to stop dicking about with the Kin and put some decent Windows Mobile 7 devices on the market. Focus, Microsoft, focus.

The Kin was a very promising device and thanks to Verizon it has been killed. You forget that the vast majority of people don't have a smartphone nor want one, so a Kin, in the $50 (Payg) market would have been extremely popular, and was genuinely a good product. Unfortunately, since Verizon priced it with the Droids and iPhones, it clearly had no chance and has now been cancelled.

Furthermore, in a company of 93,000 employees, it's entirely possible for Microsoft to be working on WinMo7 as well as Kin, remembering that too many cooks spoil the broth.
Quote:
And here's my point. Apple undoubtedly shows the arrogance that is typical of big successful companies, but it can afford to do so because it is successful, or rather, because the competition sucks epically at putting up decent alternatives.

sucks epically are very strong words. Whilst the iPhone might have had no real competitor a long time ago, Android phones are now very competitive, and whilst the iPhone might have the competitive edge, the comparatively good value of Android phones makes them much more attractive to many people, hence the good sales.
Nexxo 6th July 2010, 21:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
They won't licence it to a tablet? why the heck not? It looks like it would work nicely on one.
they really need to pull out something amazing at this point.
My thought exactly: Windows Mobile would rock on a Tablet. It would kick the iPad's ass. But Microsoft won't have it --it is hell-bent on promoting Windows Embedded Compact 7 instead. Which is not yet a fully working OS. And on YouTube videos of the demo, that's right, the demo, not the fully working OS, look distincly underwhelming compared to iPad's iOS.

Frankly, to beat the iPad Microsoft would need to launch something like the Courier. Oh, wait...
Nexxo 6th July 2010, 21:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Please, don't say that Android was a rip-off of iOS4. Firstly, iOS4 came out earlier this month. Saying that anything is a ripoff of it is just a non-starter. From here, I'm going to assume that you are just talking about the iPhone OS.
Yeah, my bad. Android was a rip from iPhone OS. Now called iOS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Now, if you want to talk about how Android ripped off iOS, remember that Android had many features before the iPhone. Landscape keyboards, MMS, Search, Copy/Paste, Multitasking, and more were all available on Android phones before on the iPhone. Furthermore, it's really stupid to even use that as an argument. No-one passes up an iPhone because Android had multitasking first. They don't pass up Android because the iPhone had an app store first. People buy phones based on which one works best, and focusing on who innovated before who just avoids the real issues.
My argument was that since Apple brought out the Newton, there has been very little innovation in mobile devices. The only true innovation has recently been Windows Mobile 7.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Android phones can have crap battery life. That's usually a user error, though it can be attributed to the platform. As you fill up your Android phone, you add more applications. Feed readers, twitter clients, Facebook clients, GPS using apps such as Latitude, and more, which all access the internet. Many have settings to check periodically, but in my experience users want to have their phones checking as frequently as possible. Obviously, this means that their phones are accessing the data networks and using the CPU regularly, which means that even when your phone is in your pocket, it will have some of it's most important battery-draining services running. I used to have a service called Slidescreen running, and with that draining my power, in total standby mode, my phone would maybe last 12 hours. Not good.

Turn the data service off, turn slidescreen off, and it has much better battery life.

This is partially Android's fault due to it's multitasking model, but in many cases it's also user error. You don't need your feeds updated every minute if you're only going to read them every five hours, etc.
Many sites such as Endgadget and Gizmodo know this and still balk at the short battery life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
The Kin was a very promising device and thanks to Verizon it has been killed. You forget that the vast majority of people don't have a smartphone nor want one, so a Kin, in the $50 (Payg) market would have been extremely popular, and was genuinely a good product. Unfortunately, since Verizon priced it with the Droids and iPhones, it clearly had no chance and has now been cancelled.

Furthermore, in a company of 93,000 employees, it's entirely possible for Microsoft to be working on WinMo7 as well as Kin, remembering that too many cooks spoil the broth.
Microsoft should have worked out the network plans before it released their gadget (Apple did). And it tries to do too many things at once. Microsoft may be a big company, but it is confusing the consumers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
sucks epically are very strong words. Whilst the iPhone might have had no real competitor a long time ago, Android phones are now very competitive, and whilst the iPhone might have the competitive edge, the comparatively good value of Android phones makes them much more attractive to many people, hence the good sales.
Still a bit to go on that battery life though --you know, the one Apple has been working on improving. And where is the Google Tablet?
NuTech 6th July 2010, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
They won't licence it to a tablet? why the heck not? It looks like it would work nicely on one.
Look up any of the numerous blog reports for this years Computex - both Google and Microsoft were super cagey about their respective Tablet plans.

Recent news has clarified that Google was simply biding its time until Android 3.0 which is rumoured to be a lot more suitable for Tablets - with a redesigned/refined UI (good on Google for scoring Matias Duarte - the genius behind WebOS UI). This explains why they were not officially supporting manufacturers who are putting Andoid 2.x on tablets - even they know that Android just isn't quite ready to be scaled up to a 7"+ screen.

Microsoft is a completely different matter. During Computex there were multiple conflicting statements from their own employees - including Steve Ballmer(!) himself. Some promoted a Windows CE powered solution, others whispered of a dedicated Windows OS for Tablets, while Ballmer ranted that Windows 7 is the perfect tablet OS. But they all agreed on one thing, forget about seeing Phone7 on tablets (Windows 8 might help things, but that's a long way off).

As usual with everything Microsoft recently, this just doesn't make any sense. There have been reports that Microsoft is struggling to attract top drawer devs to Phone 7 - with lots of them fearing that it will be another short lived mobile OS (who can blame them? Good apps take a lot of time). Announcing that the userbase of Phone7 will be significantly increased by a range of tablet devices (from respected manufacturers) would go a long way towards encouraging the developer community. But I think that would make too much sense for Microsoft...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
The Kin was a very promising device and thanks to Verizon it has been killed. You forget that the vast majority of people don't have a smartphone nor want one, so a Kin, in the $50 (Payg) market would have been extremely popular, and was genuinely a good product. Unfortunately, since Verizon priced it with the Droids and iPhones, it clearly had no chance and has now been cancelled.
A little back story about the Kin and why it was doomed from day 1.

Microsoft was supposed to deliver a cut-down smartphone to Verizon about 18/24months ago based on Danger's platform (which Microsoft acquired). The idea was for it to be a 'smartphone' in name only, designed to use a small amount of data (this was when most good smartphones were still expensive). Due to this, Verizon arranged for a very cheap data plan so they could sell the phones to kids, family packages, people with a lower income, etc. They could market it as a smartphone, but it wouldn't stress their network as much as a 'normal' smartphone would.

Very late into development Microsoft wasn't happy with the handsets not being based on Windows CE and ordered them to resign the OS from the ground up, causing a huge delay. Understandably, Verizon was pissed and took away the cheap data plan offer from Microsoft.

They had wanted a cheap smartphone nearly 2 years ago and Microsoft failed to deliver. The Kin cannot survive when coupled with a expensive data plan - especially when the iPhone 3GS (or any Android) can be had for around $50 more
Bakes 6th July 2010, 22:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Yeah, my bad. Android was a rip from iPhone OS. Now called iOS.

Everything is a rip off of everything else. The best software designers implement the best bits of other software in their own to help users instead of thinking of their own way around it.
Quote:
My argument was that since Apple brought out the Newton, there has been very little innovation in mobile devices. The only true innovation has recently been Windows Mobile 7.

Shall I do the same and say that Microsoft has not innovated at all since Windows 95?
If you want to make it that raw, no one ever really innovates because most things are evolutionary. But, that's a load of bollocks because we *should* know that minor changes can still be very innovative.
Quote:
Many sites such as Endgadget and Gizmodo know this and still balk at the short battery life.

Depends on the phone. The Evo 4G is rubbish because of the WiMax networ. other phones might be better. Certainly, my Huawei 8220 lasts a few days, and that's very much a budget phone (£120-ish PAYG).
Quote:
Microsoft should have worked out the network plans before it released their gadget (Apple did). And it tries to do too many things at once. Microsoft may be a big company, but it is confusing the consumers.

Meh, after reading this: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/07/a-post-mortem-of-kins-tragic-demise.ars I now disagree with both myself and you :D

Quote:
And where is the Google Tablet?

Can you find me a news article that says there'll be a Google tablet? All I remember is a series of renders showing what Chrome OS *might* look like, were it put on a tablet.
Nexxo 7th July 2010, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Everything is a rip off of everything else. The best software designers implement the best bits of other software in their own to help users instead of thinking of their own way around it.
I agree that this is not a bad way of going about it (and that is why I proposed to disregard the fact that Android was a rip of iPhone OS. But it goes to show again why Apple is the market leader. It tends to get there first; the rest plays catch-up. As a result Apple is seen to get there first, with the rest playing catch-up. Even on those few occasions when it isn't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Shall I do the same and say that Microsoft has not innovated at all since Windows 95? If you want to make it that raw, no one ever really innovates because most things are evolutionary. But, that's a load of bollocks because we *should* know that minor changes can still be very innovative.
Yes please. Windows 7 would still look and behave like Windows 2000 if it wasn't for OSX. Seriously. When XP was being developed early alpha shots show it to look a bit like Windows Millennium. Then Apple releases the OSX Aqua GUI, and Microsoft quickly commissions The Icon Factory (who normally develop Apple software) to redesign the Windows XP icons. It quickly started to overhaul its user-friendliness. Even with Vista and 7 it is still playing catch-up to OSX, while it should have overtaken it by now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Meh, after reading this: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/07/a-post-mortem-of-kins-tragic-demise.ars I now disagree with both myself and you :D
Actually, that article makes a few points I made: that Microsoft is not following a coherent strategy, that its constant chopping and changing is diluting its resources and confusing the customers.

There is a reason why Steve Jobs mercilessly terminated a load of projects when he returned to a struggling Apple. His reasoning was to focus on doing a few key projects and establish a reputation for doing them really well. Then you diversify --slowly. There is also a reason for Apple's infamous secrecy. By the time it makes a product public, you know it is a working product that has Apple's long-term commitment, not a mock-up prototype that may be canned before it hits the shelves 6 months later. Microsoft needs to go the same way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes
Can you find me a news article that says there'll be a Google tablet? All I remember is a series of renders showing what Chrome OS *might* look like, were it put on a tablet.
Exactly. Now ask yourself: why isn't there a Google Tablet? Google has two suitable OS's (Android and Chrome). It has a data/media delivery infrastructure that exceeds Apple's iTunes. It owns Google Search, Google Maps, Google News, Google Mail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Reader, Picasa and YouTube FFS. It has everything it needs to kick the iPad into oblivion. So why isn't it doing so?
Bakes 7th July 2010, 13:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I agree that this is not a bad way of going about it (and that is why I proposed to disregard the fact that Android was a rip of iPhone OS. But it goes to show again why Apple is the market leader. It tends to get there first; the rest plays catch-up. As a result Apple is seen to get there first, with the rest playing catch-up. Even on those few occasions when it isn't.

I agree, Apple has a great brand identity. Still, it's very stupid to say that one is a rip-off of another, again if you go down this route you can say that the Ford Model T was a ripoff of the Benzmotorwagen or that the VW Golf is a ripoff of the Honda Civic. Yes, there are plenty of ripoffs, such as the C-002

http://www.geekologie.com/2008/02/06/fake-iphone.jpg

but the more useful models made by HTC, Motorola and Huawei are not. They are reactionary, sure, but that doesn't automatically make them ripoffs.
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Yes please. Windows 7 would still look and behave like Windows 2000 if it wasn't for OSX. Seriously. When XP was being developed early alpha shots show it to look a bit like Windows Millennium. Then Apple releases the OSX Aqua GUI, and Microsoft quickly commissions The Icon Factory (who normally develop Apple software) to redesign the Windows XP icons. It quickly started to overhaul its user-friendliness. Even with Vista and 7 it is still playing catch-up to OSX, while it should have overtaken it by now.

Uh huh. So, Apple haven't really innovated since either the original Macintosh or since NextStep, which Apple bought.

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taouu/html/graphics/nextstep.png

http://moonbasestudios.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/apple-macintosh-desktop-1.png

Note the taskbar that was written by Apple and the dock that was not?

My point here is that it's an appallingly bad idea to decide whether someone innovated on a macro scale because all of these things are evolutionary. Is it right to criticize Microsoft because they haven't changed the Windows Bar much in 15 years? No! it's widely known to work pretty efficiently - in my opinion it works a lot better than the Mac's dock, especially when you have lots of Windows open (note that this is my personal opinion) and innovation for innovation's sake would be counter-productive and silly. Of course Microsoft has been innovating, all over the operating system, in programming languages etc. It's just that you don't see a lot of this innovation with the UI, in either Mac OSX or Windows, because they're building on ideas that actually work pretty well. Neither are perfect, but they both make working pretty easy. It's the same with Google. Until a few months ago, the interface hadn't really been updated since at least 2003. It's a formula that works.
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Actually, that article makes a few points I made: that Microsoft is not following a coherent strategy, that its constant chopping and changing is diluting its resources and confusing the customers.

I don't think it's really confusing customers. Remember, much of what was detailed in the article was very internal stuff, not interesting to most consumers. All that was bad from the consumer point of view was the price and the time it came out.
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Exactly. Now ask yourself: why isn't there a Google Tablet? Google has two suitable OS's (Android and Chrome). It has a data/media delivery infrastructure that exceeds Apple's iTunes. It owns Google Search, Google Maps, Google News, Google Mail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Reader, Picasa and YouTube FFS. It has everything it needs to kick the iPad into oblivion. So why isn't it doing so?

Maybe because Chrome OS isn't finished yet? I wouldn't know about you, but releasing a substandard product would probably be worse than not releasing one at all.
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