Apple Hiring Antenna Engineers. Replacement iPhone 4 fixes issue for one

 In News

In what seems bad timing on Apple’s part, or perhaps a move borne out of necessity, they have started advertising for Antenna Engineers.

What ever happened to Grey Powell I wonder? The now famous Apple Base-band engineer who lost the iPhone 4 prototype? Perhaps Apple could do with putting him back to work on this issue?

This has all caused much sarcastic merriment on Twitter today, as pundits have picked up the story and circulated it, because of its obvious relevance to reported iPhone 4 reception issues.

Although Apple is still maintaing that the iPhone 4 reception issues are a non-issue, it seems clear that some iPhone 4s seem to be affected more than others. Or at least some individuals with iPhone 4s are having more problems than others.

What the breakdown is for iPhone 4s with the problem out of the nearly 2 million that have sold by now is unclear. I suspect the percentage is a vocal, unlucky minority.

So far there is also no sign of a software update to iOS 4, which many expected this week to address the issue. But this is most likely because this is something that cannot be fixed in software.

It is also something which affects all mobile devices to some degree, and unfortunately has bitten Apple because of their high profile and boasts of improved performance for radio signals on the new iPhone 4.

Most technical analysts agree that this is not an issue that is solely Apple’s problem. And that it is balanced by the fact that for most people the iPhone 4 is actually significantly better at dealing with data and voice transactions than previous iPhones, and even most of its competition, when on an even playing field.

That is probably small consolation to those who are experiencing problems though.

Anecdotally I have just spoken to a friend in the US who had vibration and signal issues with his new iPhone 4, and was able to exchange it for another unit. And this same individual, using his iPhone 4 in the same geographical area is now having no problems at all. Which tends to lend some credence to the theory that this is related to manufacturing problems for specific units.

A more charitable view of Apples requirements, which are as follows…

The candidate will be expected to performance radiation performance measurements, create test plans, execute them, publish test reports, provide feedback to the other design engineers, and lead some of the manufacturing of antenna.

Must have strong problem solving skills and strong working knowledge of radiation performance. that perhaps Apple wants to improve their devices over and above the industry standard, and avoid further issues like this in future.

What’s your take on the iPhone 4 receptions issues? Bad manufacturing, or bad design? Let us know your view in the comments.


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  • Sada

    This has to be a design flaw! If you hold with two fingers the 2 lines at the bottom of the phone on each side the signal drops. This seems to me that something is being shorted out by the skin. If this is the case then Apple are ignorant to suggest that you hold a ‘handheld’ device differently, because it can be fixed quite easily by putting a thin layer of see-through plastic over the exposed metal at the manufacturing stage. If simple tap works (…) then this suggestion will work.

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