iPhone 4: Antenagate, leakage and “delirium tremens”

Taking pre-orders for iPhone 4 started on June 15, 2010, and in the first 24 hours they had ordered 600 thousand pieces. The sale started June 24, and for the first three days were sold 1.7 million iPhone. The record is not over. But… iPhone 4 smashes sales records, one by one. And not only sales. The number and quality of leaks the iPhone 4 was the most “fluid” Apple product for all the reign of Steve jobs. In addition to the incident in Redwood city there were two cases of publication of photos of a prototype iPhone 4 (real!) before his announcement.

iPhone 4 sold a record-long version with 8 Gigabytes of memory, released along with the iPhone 4s, was off the market only in 2013, when released the iPhone 5c/5s. And the number of unpleasant adventures it was able to surpass the iPhone XS.

It hated and desperately loved. Apple received thousands of letters of thanks. And as much, if not more, evil and unkind. And those and others – deservedly so. Steve, were gone for a short break (which insisted the doctors), was forced to interrupt him…

This is the twelfth part of a series about iPhone and the like, the previous parts are here:

First part: MacWorld Expo 2007;
The second part: Touch interface comes to iPod;
Third part: the iPhone for enterprise iPhone SDK and App Store;
The fourth part: the Leopard moved to the iPhone.
Fifth part: Next step: iPhone 3G, iPhone OS 2.0, and much more…;
Sixth part: iPhone OS 2.1, not a beta version…;
Seventh part: iPhone OS 3.0 and the reality distortion field of;
Eighth part: the iPhone 3GS is 2 grams lighter, 2 times faster…;
Ninth part: iPod touch third generation and other iPods…;
Tenth: iPhone OS 4…;
Eleventh part: iPhone 4: the phone with a criminal record….

Delirium tremens

No relation to delirium tremens, this fever had not. The day before the start of sales, June 23, 2010, the press service of Apple issued a statement About “white iPhone”, and the media (including leading TV channels) brought it to the public.

The essence: the production of the white iPhone 4 turned out to be harder than expected Apple, its output is delayed for the second half of July. iPhone black color will not be affected.

“Whew!” – responded to the reviewers and experts – “these Amateurs are not able to paint the plastic white!”. I don’t know where they found plastic, the iPhone 4 was from the alumino-silicate heavy-duty glass in the wrap of stainless steel, but is it really so hard to produce glass of the desired color?

With the change of colors was not a problem. The problem was something else. According to one version, the light intensity noise translucent white walls of the buildings were too large and created interference for the camera.

According to another version, the reason was a mismatch of colours the Home button and the housing. The first version seems more plausible, but all versions and left version.

July 16, 2010, at a press conference devoted to the main problem of the iPhone 4 (I’m talking about antenagate), Steve promised that Apple will release a white model on 30 July.

On 23 July, a month after the previous statement about the white iPhone, went another: “it was even worse, the issue is postponed at the end of the year.”

White iPhone 4 was released 28 APR 2011.


The sharp deterioration in the quality of signal reception in areas with a relatively weak level revealed on the first day of sales of the iPhone 4. Affected, by experiment, found a link between how they hold the device during the call and reception quality.

The issue called “death grip”. And later – and antennata.

Get Apple information has been extremely controversial. Most of the users are not faced with reception problems. On the contrary, in their opinion the iPhone 4 is much superior to the iPhone 3gs in quality and resiliency.

But those who have something hurts, always more active and more visible than those who are well. So far so good, seems that it should be. Positive feedback is rare.

First, Apple did not believe in the existence of the problem. iPhone 4 tested with standard company care. Everything related to cell communication, reception and transmission of the signal was tested with a special addiction to the iPhone 4 antenna was different than before and unique. The tests were run on special hardware inside the campus and in the field, in areas with different levels of reception.

The company has even suffered losses during these tests. Impairments of communication have been identified. Signal reception was fantastically stable and much better than previous models.

To repeat the problem without success. In Cupertino, the coverage of the cellular network AT&T was one of the best in the country. Silicon valley is the richest County in the United States, the infrastructure is probably the best in the world. But I found something.

A week after launch, on 2 July 2010, the press service of Apple has made another statement. It was devoted to problems with signal strength. The period from 23 Jun to 23 Jul 2010 unique in the history of Apple: never, not before and not after, Apple did not make so many claims in such a short time. An epistolary novel…

The statement was couched in the most optimistic tones: this is not a problem with the deterioration of the reception is incorrect display algorithm signal in the interface. All will be fixed and published in the next upgrade of iOS, within a week or two.

iOS 4.0.1 was released 15 Jul 2010. The algorithm for calculation of the signal level and the interface indicator has been redesigned – but the problem never really went away. Victims of the “death grip” provided compelling evidence. Video. The relationship between the overlap of the finger of the gap between the cellular antenna and Bluetooth antenna on the side of the device, and a reception quality has been clearly demonstrated.

For example, load data when off WiFi it has been proven that this is not a problem of the indicator and algorithm of calculating the indicators and the actual degradation (up to rupture).

By the time of the release of iOS 4.0.1 in the Apple already and are able to reproduce the problem, and knew that the indicator suffered innocently. And even found a solution.

But 4.0.1 was not at all useless in the real world in iOS 4 revealed a problem that was overlooked by testers and developers. It is inevitable and natural. For example, glitches in the software sensor, proximity (in some cases, the phone is not turned off touch screen when phone is brought to ear, and continued to respond to touch, sometimes it led to interruption of conversation). This has been fixed.

The solution to the problem and press conference

It was a strange press conference. Someone suggested to use the video as a training manual for politicians and diplomats. But in my opinion, she was one of the worst performances of Steve jobs. It lasted almost 34 minutes, but the same, and even more impressive, you could tell in 10 minutes. This is my opinion, and for 9 years it hasn’t changed.

Judge for yourself (duration 00:33:53):

The audience (victims and all those who strongly disliked Apple) demanded a recall of all three million iPhone 4. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but it’s not about the money: the device is swept from the shelves, most users did not notice any problems – including in areas with not too high a signal level.

Probably does not isolated from user antenna was not the best solution. During field testing the phone disguised as an iPhone 3gs, it was used for, in fact, the shell – enclosed antenna. And most importantly missed.

The bumpers sold by Apple, has solved the problem. Covers from third-party manufacturers, which still wasn’t enough (model just came out) solved it even better.

Instead of a review million devices sold to Steve suggested:

— make the “bumpers” for free to everyone who buys iPhone 4;
— to reimburse the cost of the “bumpers” for iPhone 4 anyone who has already bought;
— distribute free covers made by companies other for three months, starting with “this day”, July 16, 2010;
intact iPhone, under the existing rules, within 30 days after purchase, the customer has the right to return with full refund.

Moreover, the factories in China and Brazil, working in three shifts, failed to produce enough iPhone 4.

That the world is far from perfect, as well as smartphones, people and Apple, Steve said, and even as many times it came to the most gifted (alternative), I agree but not say anything. And about having exactly the same problems in other smartphones too. Probably they were, but does it matter? iPhone must be the best.

Did Steve these arguments to persuade someone I don’t know. Pressure (i.e., attack media) podelilsa, people bought iPhone 4 and refused to free bumpers and cases, Chinese artisans made of decent quality and in huge quantities, and were eagerly bought up any of their circulations.

And in January 2011…

To be continued

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