Apple says iPhone 4 reception is the "best"

  • Apple has issued an official statement rebuffing claims that its popular iPhone 4 shipped with a faulty antenna design.

    However, the Cupertino-based company did acknowledge a "dramatic drop" in reception bars for some iPhone users and described the phenomenon's root-cause as both "simple and surprising."

"We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same — the iPhone 4's wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped.

    "[Nevertheless], we were stunned to find that the [software] formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.

    "For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don't know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place."

    To fix the above-mentioned issue, Apple will be adopting AT&T's recently recommended formula for (correctly) calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength.

    "The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone's bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see."

    The company also pledged to issue a free software update "within a few weeks" that incorporated the corrected formula for the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4.

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