Apple was undoubtedly losing sleep over the fact that Consumer Reports refused to “recommend” its iPhone 4 due to the attenuation issues affectionately referred to as Antennagate — Consumer Reports continuously praised the iPhone 4 despite saying it couldn’t recommend the phone — but now the Cupertino-based company can finally sleep easy. Consumer Reports on Tuesday proclaimed that the redesigned antenna system on Apple’s iPhone 4S is no longer affected by the dreaded death grip. “In special reception tests of the iPhone 4S that duplicated those we did on the iPhone 4, the newer phone did not display the same reception flaw, which involves a loss of signal strength when you touch a spot on the phone’s lower left side while you’re in an area with a weak signal,” the independent consumer shopping guide stated on its blog. While the new antenna allowed the iPhone 4S to score higher than its predecessor in Consumer Reports’ ratings, the improvements still weren’t enough to top Samsung’s Galaxy S II, the LG Thrill or the Motorola DROID BIONIC. More →
LightSquared announced on Thursday that, in cooperating with PCTEL, it has developed a new antenna that will help “resolve concerns over high precision GPS receivers.” LightSquared’s 4G LTE network, which will be deployed in the 1600MHz frequency spectrum with Sprint, has been found to interfere with the frequencies used by GPS and personal navigation systems. The new antenna helps alleviate those concerns, despite speculation that a fix could require billions of dollars and take upwards of a decade. “PCTEL has developed GPS antenna solutions that have solved a variety of interference issues that others said were unsolvable,” LightSquared executive vice president Martin Harriman said. “Their wideband antenna provides an efficient and elegant solution for thousands of high precision device users.” The new solution will soon undergo testing with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as well as with the Federal Communications Commission. Read on for the full press release. More →
Rumors that Apple plans to release an updated iPhone 4 model — referred to on tech blogs as the “iPhone 4S” — alongside the iPhone 5 this fall gained momentum on Thursday evening as images of purported iPhone 4S parts were published by MacRumors.com. The site says it received parts belonging to the iPhone 4S case from supplier iPatchiPods.com, an online iPhone and iPod repair shop. If these components are believed to be authentic, it appears as though the iPhone 4S will feature a redesigned antenna that may help alleviate attenuation resulting from the notorious “death grip.” In addition, MacPost published an image of what is purported to be the rear back from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5. The redesigned white case back is said to be from a prototype device and it bears the model number “N94,” which we reported belongs to a forthcoming iPhone. MacPost also published several images of various supposed iPhone 5 parts we’ve already seen in the past. The image of the iPhone 5 rear cover and another image of the iPhone 4S antenna assembly follow below. More →
Several alleged internal components from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 have surfaced on websites belonging to two different online parts suppliers. As reported by MacPost, purported OEM camera lens replacement modules, OEM headphone jacks and other parts now appear on websites belonging to Chinese parts suppliers TVC-Mall and Truesupplier, further suggesting that a launch of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone is not far off. Genuine iPhone parts have historically appeared on websites belonging to Chinese parts suppliers ahead of launch, and while not much can be gleaned from examining the parts, their emergence follows a pattern that has historically lead to a new device launch. More images of alleged iPhone 5 parts follow below. More →
Three images of what is claimed to be Apple’s iPhone 5 have surfaced, supposedly sourced from a Vietnamese forum. While the authenticity of the images is anything but confirmed, they do appear to show a device that is in line with several rumors surrounding Apple’s next-generation iPhone. Most notably, we can see that the display on the device pictured is larger than the display on the iPhone 4, as highlighted by several arrows placed on the images. While the exact dimensions of the screen on the pictured device are unknown, we can clearly see that the spacing between the display and the outer edges of the phone are narrower than the spacing found on the iPhone 4. We can also see that the display has been stretched vertically, narrowing the space between the screen and the ear speaker as well as the space above and below the home button. Finally, the images show a redesigned external antenna that no longer has seams on the bottom right corner or on the top of the device next to the audio jack. This could mean that Apple found a way to reduce attenuation by moving one or two antennas back inside the case, thus eliminating the contact point that caused the highly publicized “death grip” issues on the iPhone 4. Hit the break for all three images.
UPDATE: The images pictured in this post have been identified as fakes. More →
With the iPad 2 rumors now put to bed by the device’s official unveiling, where will Apple fanatics turn for their iRumor jollies? The iPhone 5 of course! The Taiwanese newspaper Economic Daily News, citing anonymous Chinese sources, states that Apple, Inc. may be considering ditching the very controversial design of the iPhone 4 for its next generation smartphone. The presumed iPhone 5 would sport a milled aluminum backing with the antenna integrated into the rear Apple logo — similar to the original, Wi-Fi only iPad. The juicy rumor even comes with the above mockup, courtesy of macotakara.jp. It’s safe to assume that after the antenna fiasco that accompanied the release of the iPhone 4, Apple will do some serious retooling when it comes to the iPhone 5. Will the redesign incorporate an all aluminum back complete with a radio radiating piece of fruit? We should find out in June. More →
The iPhone 4’s antenna situation truly is the story that just will not die. Now that the antenna gripes of the GSM iPhone has been exhausted, why not move on to the heir apparent… the CDMA iPhone. iLounge has published a seven minute YouTube video showcasing a karma sutra of death grips that can affect the signal quality of your Verizon iPiece. It’s not much of a secret that all cellular phones can be gripped, in one way or another, that will cause their signal to attenuate. And, to be frank, it isn’t all that surprising that the Verizon iPhone 4 — with the same external antenna design as its GSM cousin — can be pawed with the same, infamous death grip to cause its signal to fluctuate. Regardless, it’s worth noting, so we thought we would bring it to your attention. Have a look at the video, it’s waiting for you after the break. More →
The hubbub hardly registered a blip on most people’s radar screens, but HTC recently found itself fielding some “death grip” claims related to its HD7 smartphone. The term death grip, in this context, was made famous earlier this year when customers found that a certain grip on Apple’s iPhone 4 would cause the handset to lose signal and drop calls. Apple uncharacteristically addressed the issue with a press conference, claiming most phones suffer similar issues when gripped near the antenna. Now, HTC’s HD7 is the latest smartphone to allegedly be affected by certain grips. In response to these claims, HTC made the following statement:
Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC. To ensure the best possible signal strength, antennas are placed in the area least likely to be covered by a person’s face or hands while the phone is in use. However, it is inevitable that a phone’s signal strength will weaken a little when covered in its entirety by a user’s palm or fingers. We test all of our phones extensively and are confident that under normal circumstances reception strength and performance will be more than sufficient for the operation of the phone when network coverage is also adequate.
One of our solid Apple sources has just let us know some pretty interesting (and exciting) information surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhone devices. For starters, we have been told that iPhone model 3,2 — what everyone is assuming to be the Verizon (or at least CDMA-compatible) phone — just hit the “AP” testing stage. This is the very last stage before retail release; final hardware, almost final software. Here is the odd thing, though… the iPhone 3,2 unit, we have been exclusively told, contains a SIM card slot. This is interesting for a multitude of reasons, and presents several different scenarios:
- The iPhone 3,2 could be the mythical CDMA + GSM/HSPA device that would support Verizon, AT&T, and the other current worldwide iPhone 4 carriers frequencies. The mid-cycle refresh would bring an updated antenna design for the current iPhone 4 and bring CDMA-compatibility; essentially, Verizon Wireless subscribers would have the same device as AT&T subscribers.
- The iPhone 3,2 could be a CDMA-capable iPhone that houses a SIM card for global roaming capabilities; though that certainly seems more complicated than just having one single glove that would fit both hands.
- One last possibility that the iPhone model 3,2 would simply be a slightly different design that doesn’t suffer from the same antenna attenuation as the current model; though that would be a little disappointing.
As far as the next generation iPhone 5, our source has also indicated to us that device has hit the “EVT” stage in the development cycle. The “EVT” stage is the engineering verification test phase, before the “DVT” phase.
On the fence about the Motorola DROID 2? Wondering if people are happy with the device? Well, we have been told that the Motorola DROID 2, according to one of our connects, has the lowest smartphone return rate on Verizon Wireless. Not only are people apparently thrilled with the device, but that pesky fluctuation issue with the antenna doesn’t seem to be a problem either, as we have also been informed that the DROID 2 has one of the lowest dropped call rates on the carrier. Who knew.
Mexican technology site canal-mx is reporting that Apple will be reengineering its iPhone 4 antenna design and that the redesigned handsets will be available after September 30th. The news comes courtesy of Marco Quatorze, Tecel’s Director of Value Added Services. Telcel recently began offering the iPhone 4 to its customers and Mr. Quatorze was on the record when he explained that his company would have the same version of the iPhone 4 that is sold in the U.S.; complete with antenna attenuation issues. He noted that Telcel’s customers would be eligible for a free case until September 30. Quatorze then stated that after the 30th a new revision of the iPhone 4, with some sort of internal antenna fix, would be made available by Apple. The news, if true, certainly will rekindle the antenna-gate talks, lawsuits, and comment flame wars that — to be totally honest — we haven’t really missed all that much. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update the article if we receive a response.
Apple took aim at the Motorola DROID X in the latest video to hit Apple’s smartphone antenna performance webpage. In the video, Apple demonstrates that the DROID X, like the iPhone 4, will drop 3 bars when held death-grip style by someone with presumably gigantic hands. Though these videos are designed to show that the iPhone is not alone in exhibiting signal attenuation, they are causing a maelstrom of controversy amongst smartphone manufacturers and owners alike, with each entity defending its platform with vehemence. With the laser sight pointed squarely at DROID X, this latest video strikes at the heart of the Android platform and is bound to generate similarly heated responses from the Android community. Android fans can prepare for the battle by watching Apple’s controversial video embedded after the jump. More →
We’re not kidding, there is actually an app for that. Apple’s iPhone 4 Case Program page is now live. Those who already purchased an iPhone 4 and Apple bumper can hit up the new site to check the status of their rebate, users waiting for their free case can “Download the iPhone 4 Case Program app from the App Store” and select a case at no charge. Have a look for yourself. More →