Posts Tagged ‘antenna’

In Focus: HTC

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

HTC is back in the headlines again this week as they have confirmed that the HTC Gratia is indeed heading to the UK but the original November launch will no longer push through. This latest development may come as a bit of a disappointment for some who were looking forward to the device, but according to the Taiwan based phone maker, the Gratia will be launching here pretty soon.

The device is a well made, mid range handset. From the 3.2 inch TFT touch screen to the 5 mega pixel camera, everything about this phone speaks of smart phone practicality. The Gratia will have a slight edge over the original Aria as the new handset will come packed with the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system.

HTC is currently known for being a heavy supporter for both the Google Android and the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 OS. However, there have been a few reports that the manufacturer might also start working on its own mobile platform. Given the market success and acceptance of the HTC Sense user interface, it might not be such a bad idea at all –even Samsung’s Bada is currently doing great as the Korean phone maker balances all three mobile platforms.

Speaking of the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform, the HTC HD7 is currently considered as HTC’s flagship WP7 device. However, recent news indicates that the device is not entirely as good as it seems.

It appears that the device’s antenna is located in the bottom of the device. While this is not as bad as the design flaw on the iPhone 4, it is still something that users should be mindful about. As with the antennagate, it is feared that touching the exposed area is likely to block out the device’s signal and might result in dropped calls.

Apple Conference: Reactions from Motorola and Samsung

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

apple-1The emergency press conference that Apple hastily put together seems to have left the Cupertino based developer-manufacturer in a worse position than originally intended.

The event was lead by none other than Steve Jobs himself, while undoubtedly a genius among his peers, he has also gained the reputation of being the crankiest old man in the tech industry. And this time, he has managed to bring in other mobile phone makers into this little presentation –an act that the same companies are not too happy about.

Right after the Apple conference, Research in Motion (developers of the BlackBerry and the BlackBerry OS) have stated that their mobile devices should not have been part of Jobs’ presentation, after all, BB phones do not need to have a casing just so they would work properly. Finnish phone maker Nokia also gave out a statement regarding their antenna designs and how they tested their products. Nokia was not particularly named by Apple, but the implication that “all phones are equal” meant that Jobs was generalizing the entire industry.

Samsung-Omnia-2Samsung, whose Omnia 2 Windows Mobile smart phone was mentioned directly and shown off in the presentation, has yet to make an official statement (like RIM’s open letter) but their spokesperson has already given out what might be a glimpse at the Korean manufacturer’s official stand, part of which says that “The antenna is located at the bottom of the Omnia 2 phone, while iPhone’s antenna is on the lower left side of the device. Our design keeps the distance between a hand and an antenna.”

Motorola is another company that was not named in the conference, but has also decided that Apple has said too much. The phone maker stated that “it is disingenuous to suggest that all phones perform equally”.

They are quite right: the Apple iPhone 4 is the only device among its peers that is suffering from such a unique problem.

White iPhone 4 to Debut in the UK This Month

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Apple-iphone-4-whiteWith the recent onslaught of reception issues caused by the iPhone 4’s badly placed antenna, Apple is trying to win over the hearts of more consumers by announcing the coming of a white version of the device.

Earlier this month, the white iPhone 4 used by a tech journalist misled consumers into thinking that the white iPhone is already available in retail stores. Unfortunately, Apple said that the production of white colored iPhones takes longer than its dark colored counterparts. In short, the company is prepping up the market for a timely debut of the coveted white iPhone.

Most likely to please their disappointed fans, it is now confirmed that by the end of the month, a white variant of the iPhone 4 will be released in the UK.

This has been announced after Steve Jobs called an emergency press conference over the iPhone 4’s signal problem. With all the talk about free cases and refunds, Apple is still not saying anything about improving the iPhone 4’s antenna design in time for the white iPhone’s debut.

The company has previously posted a job ad on their website looking for a new Antenna Engineer, which means that they are aware of the implications of serving up a sloppily designed iPhone 4. After ignoring Ruben Caballero’s warning about the dropped calls that the antenna may cause, one would think that the mobile industry giant has learned a lesson about releasing products before they are polished.

Unfortunately, it looks like consumers will just have to settle for a free bumper case coming with their white iPhone 4 purchase.

Will you buy a white iPhone 4? Surely it looks good but the improvements look to be purely aesthetic. The fact still remains that the iPhone 4 fails to smoothly function as intended for a mobile phone.

Theories: Apple’s Press Conference Details

Monday, July 19th, 2010

apple-1The only thing we can confirm is that Apple will be holding a press conference. Aside from that, any other detail would be anyone’s guess. Of course, we can make a pretty good assessment of the issue that they are most likely to discuss: that they will not be issuing a recall of the handsets.

It was already known a few days ago that the problem with the iPhone 4 is more than just the signal bar issue that Apple keeps insisting about in the open letter they wrote a week ago. And the more people are learning about it, the less the public is trusting about the new smart phone. In fact, a hard hitting magazine article exposed all the problems of the Apple iPhone 4, and the fact that only a recall could possibly amend the hardware situation.

This of course led to the eventual drop in the value of Apple’s stocks: a recall would cost the Cupertino based company about a billion Pounds worth in resources (actual estimates place the value at 1.5 billion USD). For those wondering why a recall would cost so much, the sheer volume of handsets alone is staggering: Apple reported that they sold 1.7 million devices in three days of sales, and it has been a couple of weeks since the launch.

Right now, as much as we would want to believe that Apple’s real concern is their users, the more favored assumption is that the press conference is meant to boost the belief of shareholders in the company. As such, it is likely that they would announce that a recall would never happen. The company was not generous enough to give away the iPhone 4 Bumpers (which gave an indirect fix to the problem), so it is likely that they would not invest in a recall either. If we are (hopefully) wrong, then it will be a great day for all iPhone 4 users.

Apple Antenna Issues: Conference is Coming

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Apple-iPhone-4-3Apple has already confirmed that they will be holding an “emergency conference” for the iPhone 4. Many already assume that the agenda will be covering the ongoing issue with the device’s antenna.

To make a quick recap, the antenna of the iPhone 4 has been designed with a very striking flaw, it loses reception easily. This is triggered when a certain part of the metal band around the handset comes in contact with human skin. It is notable to add that while it is common for any handset to lose a couple or so bars when held in certain ways, this is the first time that holding a smart phone in a casual manner has the possibility of lowering performance.

The issue is so predominant because all it takes to ‘accidentally’ press the antenna’s weak spot can be done by holding the device with the left hand when taking a call. This is because the exposed antenna portion is situated to where a finger would casually land.

The initial reaction from Apple was pretty nonchalant, and the first online interaction with Steve Jobs was not helping anyone. Apple seemed to approach the situation by telling people that they are holding the device in the wrong way. This led to a public outcry against Apple’s stand on the matter.

Things took a turn for the worse when Apple officially dismissed the issue as a result of a faulty signal meter display. While Apple may have been telling the truth about the OS having such a problem, it was a completely different matter that did not have any relation to the antenna problem. This seemed obvious to most people, as the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS had no such issue.

Some users have resorted to finding their own solutions to the problem. A few crafty iPhone 4 owners taped the exposed area, while a few covered it with a coating of nail polish. Some discovered that the Apple iPhone 4 bumpers also made for a great fix.

Antenna Issues on the iPhone 4 Explained by Apple

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Apple-iPhone-4-3With so many people complaining about the iPhone 4’s antenna issues, Apple has decided to take an active role by answering the issues behind the so-called antenna problem. In an open letter addressed to all iPhone 4 owners, Apple explains the cause and the root of the issue, as well as the steps that they will take to rectify the problem.

According to Apple the cause of the whole antenna problem comes from the signal strength meter of the iPhone OS. The meter uses an erratic code in order to calculate and display the signal strength of the handset in a given area. Because of this, signal strength is often miscalculated and that users are led to believe that they have more signal than they really do. In most cases that the iPhone displays a signal strength of up to four or five bars, the real signal is a measly one or two bars.

When actively making a call, the actual signal strength is shown as the signal meter is refreshed. Because of this, users are led to believe that the signal suddenly drops when the handset attempts to make a call.

In order to solve the issue, Apple has announced that they will be launching a quick patch for the iPhone 4. They also stated that since they use the same technology for the older iPhones, they will also release a patch for the 3Gs and other older versions of the smart phone.

Owners of the iPhone however, are not pleased with the new announcement. Many doubt the validity of Apple’s claim regarding the problem. Many tech experts also agree that completely ignoring the hardware issue is not a good move for Apple –with the large number of complaints regarding the antenna, it is unlikely that the UI update would actually resolve the situation.