Today, Apple published a letter to its users on their website. To my surprise, they state there is no issue, but rather a glitch in how many bars are displayed. What is Apple doing? Increasing the size of the bars, adjusting the sensitivity to the display of the signal strength and telling us to not worry.
From the letter:
“[…] Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars […]”
“To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see. […]”
Really? Increasing the size of the bars doesn’t seem to address the fact that when the antenna is shorted, the performance of the phone greatly decreases. In my own tests (before and after) of the known antenna issue, performance decreases. It’s not a cosmetic issue. It’s a faulty design. Pictured below are screenshots my independent test on the iPhone 4 performance. Left – holding the iPhone with the deathgrip; Right – holding the iPhone by the right side.
This isn’t just a bunch of fanboys citing the bars go down. This is proven loss of performance with the faulty antenna design.
The solution here is to give away a free bumper. I anticipate the cost of a bumper is less than $2. Amazing that Apple has the crass to insult their users with a software update to make the bars bigger than actually addressing the situation.
[Image credit, modified: altermark]