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« The Son of Death Grip - Antennagate the Sequel: the iPhone 4b, and the 3 month loaner iPhone 4a | Main | iPhone Second Quarter 2010 in Bloodbath: Market Share is Declining where All Big Rivals picking up »

July 19, 2010



I'm holding out too Tomi, I won't buy an iPhone 4 until they have a physical fix for the antenna. Having a case around it so I can make a call ain't gonna cut it, not at that price rage anyway. How did they get a license to sell this thing? Doesn't the government test those phones for proper functionality??? I think all governments should cancel its licenses to Apple until they fix the antenna design, don't you think?

Peter Cranstone

Waner Von Braun said it correctly... "you can recover from a production flaw, but never from a design flaw". Apple has a design flaw and they knew it before it shipped (when has Apple shipped a case for a phone). My advice is to wait for the next phone.

Chris MacDonald

I love the 2 iPhone 4's we bought for the family, no perceived problems. If I were the experiencing these problems you bet I would be the first one to complain. Design flaw suggests to me there is an inherent problem that impacts everyone, or am I not understanding the subtlety of the complaint? To the .55%, if the complaint translates to a real issue, Apple should provide relief or a return. And I appreciate that some people will only purchase a product that has no perceived flaws whatsoever, that's their choice. But the story that is buried here are the vast majority of happy customers, like me. Not a fanboy, just someone who is happy with his purchases.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Dardano, Peter and Chris

Thanks for the comments

Dardano - yeah, I think there are now many who think like you (wait until there is a fix) which means the Apr-June quarter is gone (won't affect that) but July-Sept quarter will be severely hit by all those who now delay their iPhone 4 purchase. It will show in the current quarter numbers. Then for the Christmas Quarter, the iPhone 4 is no longer that hot or new, many who now want the iPhone 4 (who are not loyal iPhone customers) can be swayed by 60 Android devices, a dozen Nokia premium phones, half a dozen Blackberries, the first few MS Phone 7 devices, perhaps a new Palm etc...

Peter - totally true and yes, clearly Apple knew but decided to ship with the flaw. It came to hurt them - but seriously, it was pretty close - if Consumer Reports hadn't called them on it, Apple might have gotten away with it..

Chris - it has been verified, so there is a legitimate design flaw that Apple itself admits (they were aware of the severe drop of signal if you held the phone in the Death Grip). But that alone won't cause your call to end. You also have to be in a relatively weak network signal area, else the signal strength will decline but the connection will not be broken. So if you tend to be in good network areas, you will never experience the problem. But for example Jonathan JMac MacDonald who was an early blogger about the Death Grip (And is a big Apple fan) has his iPhone 4 in Britain and has been unable to replicate the Death Grip problem.. You may be lucky. Clearly one in 16 calls made in the USA on AT&T are dropped by the iPhone 4. That is a huge number. And the problem is 20% worse than previous iPhones, far worse - as Apple's network connectivity problem is getting worse over time, not getting better. Like Steve Jobs said, they preferred to do the style and good looks, over the excellence of antenna design (Nokia made a statement that their design philosophy is the opposite, when there is a technical conflict, Nokia will prefer connectivity to esthetics - them being the 'Connecting People' company haha)

Now consider this possibility - you find yourself in a new surroundings out of no fault or choice of your own. Lets say your wife joins a community group that meets at a church, or your daughter takes up ballet or your boss sends you to a project for 6 months at your other office or something like that.

And when you get there in September - you experience continuous Death Grip problems. Because in that region the network is weak and now always when you switch hands on a phone call, you accidentially cut off the other person. Or you try to answer the call when it rings in your pocket, but disconnect the call - where the other person mistakenly thinks you've deliberately disconnected the call - etc. You'd be furious. And that is what the evidence is telling us. It affects all iPhone 4's but you have to be in bad network areas to experience it. And that scenario could happen to you (or your daughter or wife or parent or whoever happens to have one of hte family iPhone 4's).

You'd be livid. You'd hate it that Apple didn't tell you. And you'd be ultra-annoyed to see that the older Blackberries and Motorolas and LGs etc all have no Death Grip problem..

That is what is going on. Like I write, the prudent iPhone 4 owner will go replace the current phone anyway with the upgraded/fixed iPhone 4b when that is released (replaced for free, ie return the iPhone 4 before Sept 30)..

Thank you all for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Excellent analysis. Thank you for bringing some sanity into this debacle.


This is the best present Apple could have given to the competition! Apple dropped the ball and that's all RIM, Nokia, Android have been waiting for.



Good to see you are back to your senses now. I was quite puzzled to read your thoughts on Jobs' Friday conference - you condoned the sham, overlooked the defamation of competitors, the spin and smoke and mirrors etc. Guess you were too excited about the weekend - thank God for Monday mornings :o)

Jason Bowers

Tomi, you make some assumptions in your math regarding the 3GS dropped calls that may or may not be true. There is also the statistical trick of taking a change of 5 out of 100 to a 6 out of 100 situation (what a normal person would experience as a 1% change) and removing the 100 to make in a 20% increase. This is true, but I think if someone makes 100 calls and 5 are dropped then makes another 100 calls and 6 are dropped, it doesn't feel like a 20% increase, it feels like a 1% increase. I also wonder if the number of complaints against this signal loss Apple experiences aren't higher than HTC's because there is a significant amount of publicity about the Apple situation? Finally, could we all stop using automobiles as metaphors for cell phones? I mean seriously, what does Toyota's fatal acceleration situation have to do with dropped calls? What information can we glean from comparing the rate of complaints between these two completely different situations? Maybe we should compare it to the rate of complaints about safety on deepwater oil drilling operations...

Ian Mackay

Tomi, when you write "The problem is huge, it is 100 times worse than Toyota's problems" I think you mean to say "the volume of complaints is 100 times larger". I don't think anyone in their right mind would claim that a dropped call on your cellphone is "worse" than the brakes on your car failing!

You seem to think that there will be a revised model later this year. Indeed, in your previous article, you wrote "Apple has now admitted the problem, apologized for it, and promised a technical solution to the hardware, expecting it sometime in the Autumn, around the end of September." In fact, Apple have not at this point committed to a technical solution - they have merely stated that free cases will be available until the end of September, and that they will review the situation then.

I really appreciate that you take the time to offer your views here, but I think it's very important that you base your criticisms on confirmed information!


Hi Tomi, I just saw a news report on Bloomberg where an analyst stated similar number break downs for htc vs iphone 4. 1 complaint per several hundred for iphone vs 1 complaint for several thousand for htc.

Elia Freedman

I thought I posted this yesterday. I came back to see if you responded. I believe you are comparing Apples to oranges, no pun intended. Apple is the center of their device. Customers call them. HTC is not. Customers call the carriers for almost every other mobile phone. The correct comparison, I would think, is the combination of manufacturer and carrier call complaints. But we don't know that data and therefore cannot make an appropriate comparison.

dining table

I was planning to buy new cell phone. I have decided to buy an iphone 4. That phone can do almost anything that a computer can do. I just wish that iphone 4 don't have any problem.

KangWei Khoo

For me, the scandal is that "Apple has invested more than $100 million building its advanced antenna design and test labs. Our engineers have logged thousands of hours designing and testing iPhone 4 in these state-of-the-art facilities" and yet come out with Antennagate. How could a company and a leader so meticulous with details allowed an "error" this big to slip through their quality control? unless they are banking so much on their popularity and fan-base who'll gladly close an eye to this problem


This is a totally valid report good job.

I was watching the press conference and saw the number 0.55% and I thought it was a HUGE number. so I googled .0055 X 3,000,000 = 16,500 and your article came up. Awesome.

Apple needs to give up and take responsibility. But without balls they cant.


Jason Bowers:
"I also wonder if the number of complaints against this signal loss Apple experiences aren't higher than HTC's because there is a significant amount of publicity about the Apple situation?"

I would argue that because of that publicity, Apple is getting fewer complaints because people already know what the problem is. No need to call to find out what's possibly wrong with the phone or inform Apple about the problem.

Redditch tyres

Definitely agree with what you stated. Your explanation was certainly the easiest to understand. I tell you, I usually get irked when folks discuss issues that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail right on the head and explained out everything without complication. Maybe, people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks.

stainless steel cladding

I hope everything will be fine and Apple will resolve the issue as soon as possible.A lot of people wanted to have iphone and it's sad to hear the negative impact of the issue.

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récapitulation des Grands, je ne peux même pas croire que vous avez pu écrire that.I eu tant d'inquiétude en train de regarder cela et je pensais que j'étais le seul qui avait la rage contre nature / haine pour Kelly, heureux je ne suis pas le seul, comme je me concerne. Ces femmes montrent que vous pouvez l'age sans m?rir.

white iphone 4

I have recently started using the and I having some problems here? in your blog you stated that we need to enable write permissions on

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