Today, in a press conference taking place at Apple’s HQ in Cupetino, CA CEO Steve Jobs declared to the world that the iPhone 4 has been having some problems. Jokingly calling it “Antenna Gate” Jobs reiterated the company’s commitment to satisfying all customers. Then he went on to explain that antenna signal loss is not unique to the iPhone 4 and is, in fact, common to the entire mobile phone industry.
He then trotted out some specific examples including the Blackberry 9700, the Samsung Omnia and the DROID Eris, all of which seemed to suffer from the same loss of signal when gripped a certain way. Jobs also said that the iPhone 4 underwent extensive testing nd that Apple knew if the phone was held a certain way the signal bars would drop.
Going on Jobs said that regardless of the rumors and apparent widespread antenna issues only .55% of all iPhone 4 users have actually called AppleCare to report problems with their devices. He also cited return rates on the device comparing them to the return rates of the iPhone 3GS, which were 6% according to AT&T. For the iPhone 4 return rates are at 1.7%, a third of the iPhone 3GS.
Jobs also cited AT&T’s dropped call rates per 100 calls indicating that the iPhone 4 drops less than one call more per hundred than the iPhone 3GS. Although, he seemed to attribute that to fewer cases being available, including Apple’s own “Bumper Case,” for the iPhone 4 than the 3GS.
Finally, Jobs again stated that Apple cares about all customers and he wants all customers to be happy. To ensure that, he said “There is no antenna gate” and outlined Apple’s plan of action to combat this perceived issue:
• iOS 4.0.1 update which fixes the inaccurate signal strenthg reporting on the iPhone 4
• Every iPhone 4 owner will receive a free case from Apple. Log in and choose a case at Apple’s website next week and they will send it to you. Users who already purchased the “Bumper Case” will receive a refund.
• If the customer is still not satisfied, simply return the iPhone 4 for a full refund.
• The Proximity Sensor will be fixed in the next update.
Well there you have it. Apple says the iPhone 4 has an antenna problem, just like most smartphones, and offers a free case to fix it. Until they design a new iPhone that doesn’t have this kind of issue or, as Jobs said during the conference “rewrite the laws of physics” I guess a free case is going to have to do.
If you’re an iPhone 4 user having the antenna issue, is a free case enough for you or do you want more? Sound off in the comments.
UPDATE: The full video of the presentation is now online at Apple’s website.