Apple admits iPhone 4 fault
Apple has issued a statement conceding that the iPhone 4 reception is not being displayed correctly, but is standing by its antenna's performance. A software fix is promised in a few weeks
Apple has officially admitted that a problem exists with the iPhone 4's reception but claimed the issue is with the number of bars displayed on the handset rather than with reception itself.
A software fix will be offered in a couple of weeks. "We were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them," Apple said in its statement.
The company claims it was "stunned" to find that "the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength".
Apple does not address, however, why holding the iPhone 4 in a specific way might cause signal to drop when previously it was displaying normal levels of reception.
The company says "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." The implication appears to be that holding the iPhone somehow makes signal display more accurate.
Apple says that the software update will adopt American network AT&T’s "recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength".
The company claims "the real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately".
The update will be free and will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G, which Apple says also contain the flaw.
The statement conclude by saying "We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same - the iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped.
"For the vast majority of users who have not been troubled by this issue, this software update will only make your bars more accurate. For those who have had concerns, we apologise for any anxiety we may have caused."
Users can return undamaged iPhones for up to 30 days after purchase if they wish.