Also known as “Antennagate” or the “Death Grip”, the iPhone 4 has been plagued by the antenna reception issue. 22 days from its release, Apple has put together a fairly informative 34 minute press conference which they’ve released on their website. The biggest news included in the press conference…

What Apple is doing:

  • Released iOS 4.0.1 (reception algorithm fixed, other small bugs)
  • Free bumper case for every iPhone4 purchased, if you already purchased one, you can get a full refund!
  • Starting in about a week, you can choose from a variety of cases on Apple’s website (not just a bumper case) and shipped to you for free
  • If you’re still not happy, you can get a full refund, no questions asked, no restocking fees.

Apple mentioned in their press conference that they have some of the most advanced antenna testing facilities. According to the video, Apple has 17 anechoic chambers, over $100 million invested in a period of 5 years, and has on staff 18 PhD scientists and engineers working on their antenna designs. Apple went ahead and tested several other smartphones and showed how reception is lost on those as well. Apple also claims that only 0.55% of iPhone 4 customers have called in to AppleCare about reception/antenna problems.

Interestingly in the press conference, Steve Jobs presented AT&T data which showed that the iPhone4 drops more per 100 calls than the iPhone 3GS. Job’s theory is that there were less cases available for the iPhone4 at launch which reflects in the increase of dropped calls. He mentions that they will continue to research the issue.

The proximity sensor problem was mentioned. Jobs stated that they know of the problem but it’s only affecting a small percentage of their users. I wonder what it means when I was able to determine different proximity sensor distance activations per phone at the Apple store demo table. Jobs did say that a fix will hopefully be available in the next update.

View the Full Conference Video Here

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