Testing iPhone 4's antenna performance

Testing iPhone 4's antenna performance

Summary: PA Consulting Group conducted tests that indicate that Apple’s iPhone 4 suffers from more connectivity problems compared to other smartphones.In the majority of its tests the iPhone 4’s performance was in the same range as the other smartphones tested (Blackberry 9700, HTC HD2), but it was consistently at the lower end of that range.

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PA Consulting Group conducted tests that indicate that Apple’s iPhone 4 suffers from more connectivity problems compared to other smartphones.

In the majority of its tests the iPhone 4’s performance was in the same range as the other smartphones tested (Blackberry 9700, HTC HD2), but it was consistently at the lower end of that range. And, as found by other testers, when used in the “death grip”, the iPhone 4’s performance was significantly worse than other smartphones.

In addition to its results, PA has also posted a video on YouTube of its tests.

Topics: iPhone, CXO, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones, IT Employment

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13 comments
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  • Whoopdee Friggin' Doo

    It's a non-issue.

    Stop beating the dead horse.
    itguy08
  • RE: Testing iPhone 4's antenna performance

    It's 'death-touch, not 'death-grip'.

    The iPhone 4 is the only phone that can be 'death-touched'.

    And yes, it is an issue, quite a big one even.
    drphysx
    • a huge issue solved by moving you hand 1 mm or putting on a FREE case..

      @drphysx - do you hear how stupid that sounds? seriously now.. such a huge issue... that only half a percent of owners complain about it and at most 1.7% of buyers return it (not all will return because of this).. me thinks thou doth protest too much dear sir.. me thinks thou art an Apple hater.. and a desperate one at that..
      doctorSpoc
  • Funny, I played with an iPhone 4

    At an AT&T store and tried the "Death Grip" and..... Nothing.... Maybe 1-2 bars of lost signal but I can do that on my Droid X.
    itguy08
    • Wow, that's scientific.

      @itguy08

      Those chumps at the testing labs are incompetent. They should hire you.
      Lester Young
    • RE:Funny, I played with an iPhone 4

      @itguy08 Denial is not a river in Africa
      richdave
  • My experience with my iPhone 4

    Before installing the 4.0.1 patch that "fixes" the bars display:
    - At work I got 5 bars and nothing I could do would cause me drop any bars.
    - At home I got 5 bars and simply touching the "gap" would result in me losing all bars and being unable to place a call.

    After installing the 4.0.1 patch:
    - At work I get 5 bars and nothing I can do would cause me drop any bars.
    - At home I get 2-3 bars and simply touching the "gap" would result in me losing all bars and being unable to place a call.

    So it is obvious that this issue is highly sensitive to your real signal strength.

    A few extra things to note:
    - Using a case fixes the problem. It is obvious that signal attenuation is not the real issue, as much as Steve Jobs would like that to be the case. The real problem is the exposed antenna, something unique to the iPhone 4.
    - Simply touching the gap would not always result in me losing all bars. Yesterday morning I touched the gap and didn't lose a single bar. I think those who were talking about skin chemistry were probably onto something.
    - The very first call I tried to make failed. Oh the irony.
    - I'm not on AT&T, I'm in Canada on Telus. This has nothing to do with AT&T although, as I mentioned above, the death touch only works if you have a weak signal. If AT&T's signal is weaker on average than other providers, you would expect this to affect AT&T more than others.

    To conclude: The iPhone 4 is a great phone that has a weakness. Signal handling is simply not one of its strengths. That shouldn't be hard to admit but for those of you who have an unhealthy attachment to a multi-national, multi-billion $$$/year mega-corporation, you simply can't admit that an Apple product isn't perfect. The iPhone is not perfect. I can deal with it. Why can't you?
    NonZealot
    • RE: Testing iPhone 4's antenna performance

      @NonZealot <br>Have to agree - sensitive to the overall signal strenth.<br><br>I turned mine in.<br>Other killer issues:<br>- proximity sensor issue<br>- inconsistent camera issues<br><br>Overall a great device.<br>As a phone it has very serious problems.

      and why can't I deal with it?
      Since switching to a non-iDevice I have had no call issues.
      Did not realize how nice that is.
      and yes, I am on AT&T...
      rhonin
    • Very well said

      @NonZealot
      nt
      use_what_works_4_U
  • Very Clever

    That was fun, but enough already.

    The fact is, the iPhone4 has an appeal that none of the copy cats can match.

    Hold your breath till your face turns blue, throw a tantrum, spew hate. There's just something about the iPhone4 that nobody else has. (Not to mention face time, which I'm sure the next droid will have)

    Now have your fun.
    yobtaf
    • RE: Testing iPhone 4's antenna performance

      @robertmro

      And that 'something' is...
      An excellent marketing campaign and an audience willing to blindly consume whatever is given to them. Even if the hardware is faulty. But who cares? It's pretty; and that's the most important thing someone should consider when buying a PHONE (remember that word, 'phone'? It comes after the 'i' on the device we're talking about).

      I liked Apple a lot better when I could say, "it just works," instead of, "it might work, if I hold it like Steve Jobs tells me to."
      Belligerent Nerd
  • RE: Testing iPhone 4's antenna performance

    FYI: In Toronto, Ontario, Canada we received our first iPhone. Performed the death grip test as indicated and nothing happened at all.

    Held it for 5 minutes. Made a few phone calls. The phone worked perfectly.
    nfeasey@...
  • RE: Testing iPhone 4's antenna performance

    As I recall from more than a couple of other blogs hyping this story that PA Consulting is just that, a business consulting firm and not a testing firm. They also could not get the iPhone to drop a call when not in the test chamber. Both of these items were conveniently left out of this post.
    non-biased