Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all

Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all

Summary: Apple said today that it is discontinuing the free bumper case program for iPhone 4 and said that the problem with the device's antenna was smaller than originally thought.


Apple has said that it is discontinuing its free bumper case program that was announced during a press conference in July to discuss problems with the iPhone 4's antenna.

At the time, Apple downplayed the antenna issue, despite a non-recommendation from Consumer Reports because of the antenna problem. In its statement today, the company said:

We now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue was even smaller than we originally thought. A small percentage of iPhone 4 users need a case, and we want to continue providing them a Bumper case for free.

Apple didn't quantify the "smaller than we originally thought" or "small percentage" with hard numbers

The free case program will be discontinued for all iPhone 4s sold after September 30. The company will also return to its normal return policy for iPhone 4 after that date.

Previous coverage:

Topic: Apple

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  • RE: Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all

    Yes, yes it was a big deal. Enough of one that Steve Jobs had to come out and tell people not to hold the phone a certain way, hold a press conference about it, then dodge questions on how to hold other phones. I'd say it was a huge deal.
    Loverock Davidson
    • when the FUD effected stock price it was a big deal..

      @Loverock Davidson - but in actuality it was a problem only experiences by a TINY, MINISCULE number of users in the field..
      c'mon.. this is stupid they are selling ~200,000 units a day.. if this was a real problem.. the regular news would have picked this up.. their would have been a huge outcry from the general public.. as it was the only people actually taking about this were tech forums.. the FUD got spread SO thick though that investors started getting spooked and this is why Job did his presentation.. the presentation was primarily to ease stock holders nerves, not users..
      • RE: Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all

        Everything you mentioned did happen. It was a lot of people, the news did pick it up, and there was a huge outcry from the general public. I've seen Apple get mocked on mainstream TV because of it. The antennagate is a huge deal.
        Loverock Davidson
  • Yeah that's typical...

    They provide an answer that calms the storm but now that all of the talk has died down they don't fix the problem they just go back to business as usual...

    I know, some will say the problem doesn't exist on their phones and I've had friends say that (I proved them wrong with their own phones) but it doesn't change the fact that Apple never intended the free case to be a long term solution.

    My guess is they'll release a small revision with a real fix installed and anyone who happens to get a first run left over will be stuck with what they get.
    • can you say 30 day no questions asked return policy??

      @Peter Perry - you say people are experiencing a "problem" with their own phone and they don't know it? could that be because the "problem" is not service effecting?? and if it's not service effecting then is it actually a problem? c'mon, this is idiotic..
  • It affected me until I bought a case

    It was really easy: touch the gap with any part of your hand and signal strength plummeted to the point where making or receiving a call was impossible. This was never a problem with my Windows Mobile HTC Touch Diamond which is interesting because the Diamond was so small that holding it naturally resulted in you covering most of the phone's surface area with either your hand or your face. The iPhone, a [b]HUGE BRICK[/b] in comparison, would die if you touched it wrong with nothing more than the tip of your finger.
    • RE: Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all


      Agreed, this is an extreme problem and I don't understand why this is. It REEKS of your finger touching 'shorting' something in the phone.
    • FUD


      mdn said it best: "This concludes this failed test of the anti-Apple FUD system."

      sorry geeks and nerds, outside of your little blogosphere no one in the real world had a problem with it. time to find a new "flaw".
      banned from zdnet
      • Exactly

        @banned from zdnet
        Sold (is still selling) views on news blogs.
  • But would I buy one?


    I'll wait until the next version to see if it has the A4 replaced with a dual core chip. :)
  • If the sales figure of 200,000 units per day is correct

    and considering all the press the issue has gotten I'd have to say I agree with Apple it's no big. What Apple should have done from the start is to have a sticker or warning on the box the iPhone came from demonstrating where not to hold the iPhone. What's happening now is would seem is that people very well know and are still buying in huge volume so all this could have been avoided with a little more up front attitude from Apple. Bad Apple in that case but good Apple from they have made yet another product that people seem to want/like.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • "No big deal"

    Say whatever you want, but when people like Jay Leno make jokes about it in front of millions of people, it's a big deal. Trust me, the "iPhone doesn't work if you hold it a certain way" meme is part of the vernacular. For Apple to try at this date to throw dirt on the issue only makes things worse. Big mistake.
  • RE: Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all

    Do I call Apple - Microsoft II? Or should I call Microsoft - Apple II. Both seem to think that consumers having problems are of little importance. Any consumer could tell those idiots that "any" problem is a big deal. We pay enough for their products so that any problem should be corrected quickly and we should receive a sincere apology instead of "it's no big deal".
  • RE: Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all

    I think they just rushed the product and didn't consider field tests in this area. A simply non-conductive laminate clear coating would fix the problem. No one would "see" any difference, but electrically the antenna's would be insulated from shorting by the hand or fingers touching them.

    Apparently, from what I understand, the various antennas are around the edge of the device. When held in a certain situation where the fingers or hands short 2 of these antennas together, the problem begins. A simple protective, non-conductive laminate would be a simple fix, and will probably be on the units that follow with nary a word from Apple about it. The problem will just disappear.
  • RE: Apple: Antennagate wasn't a big deal after all

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