iPhone 4 Reception; better than any before or worthy of a lawsuit?

So, unless you have been living in a cave for the past few weeks, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of reporting going on about the new iPhone 4 and it’s reception issues, maybe you’ve even read a few of them.

Update: Apple’s press event doesn’t seem to have had much effect. Most everyone is still saying that the iPhone 4 is defective, and, like Consumer Reports, using test that measure db loss to prove this fact. These people are still ignoring the real issue; does the phone handle calls as good or better than previous iPhones? All the subjective (ie, non-scientific) tests seem to indicate that yes, it does. In fact most of those tests indicate it does better than most other phones. So, how is it defective?

I’ve had my iPhone 4 now for a couple weeks (no thanks to Fed-X), and I can say with certainty that it’s reception is an improvement over my old iPhone 3G. I’m not sure what the bars are on either, I’ve known for years now that those are mostly meaningless as an indicator of a cell phone’s reception capabilities. I have found they can be used as somewhat of an indicator of changes in otherwise static reception, or to find the best location to make a call inside a building, etc.

What I find a bit confusing, somewhat comical, and to a large extent troublesome, is the ongoing issue of calling on Apple to “fix” the reception of the iPhone 4’s “reduced reception” while being held, especially if the two metal bands that serve as the antenna are bridged by the user’s hand. The reason being that according to all of the tests I can find, like this one, the iPhone 4 has better reception than any previous iPhone in any reasonable definition. Fewer dropped calls, ability to use the phone in places you can’t use previous iPhones (ie, due to poor reception), clearer connections, etc.

So why, in the very same breath, do all these sites demand Apple provide a “solution” for the metal antenna issue? Sure, the measured signal db lowers a fair amount, but if in every usable measure the phone improves the ability to make and complete a phone call, why should any user care? What I want is to have a cell phone that makes a call when I want to do so, doesn’t drop the call and maintains a clear conversation. The iPhone 4 does this better than any previous iPhone, which is exactly what Apple advertises.

Look, if you are all hung up on measuring db’s and just can’t stand the thought that you are not getting the absolute best signal you can, then there are plenty of solutions available, from holding the phone differently to getting a cover for the phone. And really, if you are this person aren’t you going to get a cover, bumper, skin, etc. to protect that device anyway?

My final take is that Apple promises improved “reception” with the iPhone 4, and delivers. They didn’t promise improved db attenuation, because that is not what it important. Suggesting Apple should be forced to supply a solution is absurd; it’s like saying that Apple should supply an external hard drive to go with the phone because they didn’t deliver the absolute most NAND possible.

It’s like this; no matter what technology (or, for that matter, any product) you purchase it could always be better! So quit bitching that Apple only greatly improved your shiny new tow and didn’t massively improve your toy to absolute highest level possible.

NOTE: I do want to point out that my opinion on this is not limited to Apple or the iPhone; it’s just the latest case I’ve noticed of this trend, and feel I know enough of the details about to post about it and not seem like a total ass (just half of one). My point is that a majority of the population today (not just in the US, but worldwide) feels entitled, and the focus is on themselves.

Appreciate what you have. Drive with consideration for others. Say Please and Thank You … and mean it!

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About Lane Roathe

I make my living designing, producing, and programming computer software. I have done work on numerous platforms, including MacOS, Win95/NT, Apple //, Super Nintendo, Sega, and others; writing mainly games but also operating systems, applications, utilities, etc. I have started and run several companies, currently operating Ideas From the Deep.
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