Monday, July 5, 2010

Yet, another speculation on Apples antenna issue

So far, there has been quite an amount of fuss about Apples curious antenna issue, and, yes i know, i am a little late to the party, but anyhow I'll give you my never appreciated and surplus comments on that thing as well.

First, I'll give you a little summary of what we know so far and then I'll give you my conclusions, I swear I'll keep it short this time.
So we know, that if you touch your brand new iPhone 4 with your greedy fingers on the wrong spots (the Interweb calls it the 'touch of death', but I prefer 'cold grip of death'), you short wire your phones antenna, which is resulting in the loss of any carrier signal, what is leading to dropped calls. This is itself leading to a pissed off girlfriend and boss, what is inevitably leading to a broken up relationship and a lost job, in short, this antenna thing is straight leading to a ruined life.

So the main question is, why didn't Apple fix that prior to the release? Were they so much under pressure with the set release date? - Unlikely. Did they have not enough manpower or brains to fix it? - Nope, neither that one. My guess is, that Apple wasn't even really aware of this curious bug until the first load of flashy phones got shipped to their customers.

Let me explain: Apple is quite secretive about their new products, but of course something like a phone requires field testing. So what they are doing is disguising their gadgets. What Apple did to their 4th generation phone model in the field test was, wrapping it up, so it looked like a normal 3GS. This guess is supported by the lost/stolen prototype, which was completely wrapped up. So if it is wrapped, there is no antenna issue.

It is quite unbelievable to me that Apple spent such an huge amount of time in improving the speech and general phone quality (Quite every review says that the speech quality, even on busy streets, is really excellent) and didn't recognise that every 4th to 3rd call was suddenly dropped because of a connection loss.

So lets say, all phones that left Cupertino, where wrapped and therefore without the antenna issue. Remain the phones inside the holy halls of One Infinite Loop. I am sure, they did have some dropped calls there, due to the cold grip of death, but they paid not too much attention to it. This might have something to do with statistics. When we consider that the majority of phones where outside Cupertino (and therefore wrapped), say 100 phones, and only a small minority was inside the Apple Labs, lets say 20, there follows a picture like this:

In real life 25% - 30% of calls are dropped because of shortwiring the antenna. So we take this figure to our 20 phones inside Cupertino. When we say that each phone makes 10 calls a day (normally we would assume there would be a huge load more calls outside Cupertino, as this was real field testing, but for the sake of the sake we don't do that), then 50 - 60 calls (25% - 30% of 200), of a complete number of 1200 calls, have been dropped. Now this is a considerably low number, making only just around 5% of the total. When we add the fact that ALL dropped calls happened more or less in the same area (within Cupertino), then we might understand that Apple may recognised dropped calls, but didn't follow up this issue, due to statistical insignificance.

Now I am many things but NEVER EVER would I be a fanboi of anything, but it would seem reasonable to me if a company dismisses an issue because of these figures. Of course they made the error (if all my speculations are true of course) in thinking that all their tested phones where more or less equal, but a low number of failure, which all happened in the same place, are normally argument enough to dismiss something as less relevant or even completely irrelevant.

Now I wouldn't torture you, my dear reader, with all those wild speculations and boring calculations and then don't come up with a proper solution for all your pains, because there is a wrap for that. Check it out and tell me if it was worth the 10 credits. If not, I'll probably just put some tape over the hotspots, this gives the phone a nice vintage look :-).

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