Consumer Reports Still Can't Recommend iPhone 4

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rantoc

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What a surprice, you need to put it in a garbage bag just to get reception. The good part it that its easiley discarded once step one is attempted =)
 

Anaxamenes

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I think everyone is just overreacting. Ok it has an antenna problem, there are ways to fix it. Why is it getting reported so often? Android had problems with mal-ware and it was reported once. I'm glad to know the antenna sucks, I'll take that into consideration if I ever decide to buy an iphone, but it's old news. Time to move on until they fix it.
 
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@snotling

i thought sheet metal cause that a far better material to use for an antenna then molded metal parts, thats not to say all the hardware and fixtures relating to the bezel is sheet metal, just the antenna itself, sheet metal parts can happily accommodate screws, heck the holes could even be punched out easily for the screws, if your using molded metal parts your going have to add a whole bunch of post process operations, also it's a much much much cheaper to use sheet metal then molded metal parts

the big difference is that if it is sheet metal then all apple has to do is source their metal coils with coating pre-applied, then do need to do squat, no changes to their process at all, it's a cheap cheap solution
 

maestintaolius

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[citation][nom]snotling[/nom]I won't expand on why enamel paint wouldn't do the trick, lets just say I preffer the polyurethane. but for this to work, you need to coat all around (otherwise it would probably fall off over time) the antenna which would mean changing its dimensions so the total thickness of the assembly remains unchanged. and I would worry about the phone loosing some of its rigidity with the glass surface laying on a layer of polyurethane instead of steel.Obviously not impossible, I have to admit Coating may be a solution but its clearly not a spray it yourself solution and there verry well may be some bumps on the road that prevent it from making its way to retail.[/citation]
It's stupidly easy to coat stainless steel compared to some of the metals I deal with, there are literally dozens of ways and we do them all the time. One of our more common ways is an enamel that's applied at very high temperature (so no, not consumer doable as most people don't have access to 500C ovens). The enamels are basically a nonconductive glass coating that you can engineer to almost any physical property and color you want. We typically use highly filled systems for thermal conductivity along with electrical isolation, we typically develop those materials for aerospace components where they want something with a relatively low CTE (although you can engineer the system to minimize CTE mismatching), large operating temperature range and no Tgs over that range. We also make an epoxy system as well that also adhere's readily to stainless steel depending on the customer needs (it uses lower temperatures than the ceramic enamel system). These are all very durable and UL RTI rated for hundreds of thousands of hours.

Things like stainless are relatively easy to adhere very strongly to and maintain said adhesion after formation. Things like copper actually can be more temperamental due to oxidation at temperature interfering with adhesion and nickel and some HASL solder systems can be pain as well due to tin and nickel poisoning some polymer catalysts. But even with difficult metals, it's hardly impossible to attach a coating if you know what ligand agent to use as an adhesion promoter based on your target metal and coating (and despite the ookie-spooky chemistry name, they're generally pretty safe to handle and safe for the consumer because they stay where they're put - kind of the point of an adhesive).

Just because you don't see these products on your Wal-Mart shelf doesn't mean they don't exist and aren't readily available. It's just the target market isn't the end user but usually an OEM.
 
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@maestintaolius

Since it seems like you're in the business.
Is this something that can be mass fabricated easily?
How much more time and money would it cost on top of the current Antennae design?
What's a good thickness that wouldn't chip?
Wouldn't the antennae need to be made smaller to account for the extra dimensions of the finished product since it's a flush fit?
 

snotling

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@maestintaolius
and
@bendoverapple, bendoverplease etc...

I'm happy to read all those wonderfull arguments of yours and I have to admit, some of you... if you are not all the same person trolling under a variety of names, actually know the stuff you are talking about.

and it is way more instructive and acurate than reading comments like: "those Apple idiots should eat their pink labcoats and get a real job if they ever can"

I've been in the IT industry for many years, and I know a few things about industrial design and manufacturing process having been in that industry as well (yeah, I'm an old fart). I'm in no way an expert in everything and I admit I do not know all properties of every material that is out there today.

I'm glad all of you joined in and pushed the reflexion further than just commenting with: "broken phone is lame"

Now lets hope Apple engeneers are able to figure out something like this because they sure are not reading Tom's!
 
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I wonder how many of you have used an iphone... let alone iphone 4....
 

sidran32

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[citation][nom]awood28211[/nom]The case is a band-aid when the wound obviously required surgery.I love the "I can't recreate the problem on my phone" scenario. And not all Toyota cars would speed out of control causing accidents either, but it still happened and all models affected were subject (or at least feared to be subject) to it at any time.I love the Whoopi smashed hers. She was doing something important to her (live interview) and it dropped the call.[/citation]
I have a friend that couldn't reproduce it. He also uses the dB to indicate signal strength instead of the bars. So, I wanted to test it myself. I took it, held it the way reported, and after a few seconds, the signal strength went from "pretty dang good" to "barely able to retain a call". I'd say those that can't reproduce it aren't holding it properly anyway. Protip: Hands must be moist (easier for those with sweaty palms, but for the rest of us, spit works as well).
 

snotling

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[citation][nom]sidran32[/nom]I have a friend that couldn't reproduce it. He also uses the dB to indicate signal strength instead of the bars. So, I wanted to test it myself. I took it, held it the way reported, and after a few seconds, the signal strength went from "pretty dang good" to "barely able to retain a call". I'd say those that can't reproduce it aren't holding it properly anyway. Protip: Hands must be moist (easier for those with sweaty palms, but for the rest of us, spit works as well).[/citation]
what will be a neat joke to play on Apple lovers with bumpers on their iP4 is place some conductive material inside the bumper where the antenna joint is. like bits of copper string (from an elctical wire) the bumper will hold it in place.

then just sit back and try not to laugh while they blame the roof, the weather, and your dog for the bad signal and make a prayer to the shit-lord to make it work again.
 

steiner666

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Man, its funny how fast ppl who once loved apple have come to hate it. I'm a PC, so of course I'm enjoying every second of it, but theres really no need for me to pitch in.

hopefully this gives other companies/products a chance to get some healthy competition into the market.
 

fayzaan

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I will still buy an iPhone 4 just because the software and games available on iPhone are not available anywhere else :/. I know the issue isn't as bad as some people portray it to be. So hah!
 

cj_online

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[citation][nom]snotling[/nom]Apple should stop recommending consumer reports, either with reason or just for spite.and put it on that page! http://www.apple.com/antenna/[/citation]
hmm.. Interesting... any1 shed some light on this?
 

matt87_50

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lol, personally I think the most innovative aspect of the antenna design IS its flaw!

"here at Apple we are continuously pushing the boundaries of shit the consumer will take, and still buy the thing"
 

maestintaolius

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[citation][nom]gom99[/nom]@maestintaoliusSince it seems like you're in the business. Is this something that can be mass fabricated easily? How much more time and money would it cost on top of the current Antennae design?What's a good thickness that wouldn't chip?Wouldn't the antennae need to be made smaller to account for the extra dimensions of the finished product since it's a flush fit?[/citation]
Heh, I wish I could give answers like 7, 4 and 8 to all those questions, because they're pretty much the exact ones you need to figure out when designing something. So the answer is, it varies. Well, except on mass production, that I can answer with a definite yes it's mass producible.

Generally, coatings placed on base metals (in my industry) range anywhere from a few mil (1/1000 in) to 30+ mils. The usual driving factor for thickness in our applications is concerns over thermals (so you don't want to go to thick) vs concerns about dielectric (so you don't want to go to thin). A secondary factor on the thin side as a limitation is the particle size of your pigments and other fillers - the rheology of highly filled systems start to get weird below 10x your largest particle size and really weird below 5x. Physical durability generally improves with thinner coatings because the ceramic is able to bend and flex along with the metal more easily (chipping in our cases is usually more prevalent in thick coatings while thin will typically flex and recover). This has to do with angles and distance, you can think of a bend as a arch where the inner surface of the bend experiences compression and the outer surface experiences tension, the greater the difference in radius of those two surfaces from their common center (i.e. the thickness), the higher the force tensors will be on the surfaces. Of course, you can go super thick to the point where things don't flex or bend much at all (but shatter with enough force), but that costs more.

In the case of an handheld antenna, we're not talking real high voltages or parasitic loss (unless you're Emperor Palpatine) so you would ideally go as thinly as possible so fitting tolerances shouldn't be TOO affected. Apple being Apple, they'd probably want to color it, so that'd result in needing to know dimensions of pigment particles/conglomerates and how much thickness/pigment concentration is required to attain the desired color intensity which would put a minimum boundary (plus coating tolerance) on the design thickness.

So, as far as thickness to prevent chipping, well it really depends on if the minimum thickness you can coat is flexible enough to not break under 'typical' use conditions (whatever that means), otherwise you might be forced to go thicker to make it harder, but then it costs more, especially if you have to redesign the phone to fit the new part. Without knowing Apple's tolerances and their suppliers' tolerances, I can't really give a yes or no answer. Dealing with OEMs a lot, the thing that surprises me most is how ridiculously bad the tolerances are on machined parts, especially in Asia (it's not uncommon for me to see board to sink gaps with absolutely silly tolerances like 0.030"±0.020, much to my annoyance).

As far as cost, well I don't know how much simple coatings will cost because my company's materials are designed mostly to deal with high power or high voltage situations. Just based on some simple guessing from the iphone antenna size, our material would range from anywhere from 50 cents to maybe a few dollars an antenna, but that's our material which is designed for significantly different applications. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple could get away with a simple 8-12 mil coating of pigmented enamel or epoxy for 10-20 cents or less an antenna. It may not sound like a lot, but when you start talking millions of phones (not to mention additional testing to verify the fix works and various other regulatory retesting that may or may not be required) the numbers can start to become pretty large. My guess, however, is Apple's margin is large enough on the iPhone4 that they're not going to fret over the cost of coated antennas, if it was something like a low margin, high volume low-end consumer phone, a couple cents can have very large effects on end profits. *disclaimer - these are not guaranteed quotes so anyone interested would need to contact their vendor's sales dept :p

Anyway, I realize this is a longer answer than 99.4% of the people here will care about or read but I enjoy sharing knowledge of the dark OEM underworld that most consumers never think about (so long as it doesn't get me in trouble heh). It's also serving as a personal distraction from the bad news I got today from the vet that my cat is very, very sick (lots of fluid in his lungs :( - he's indoor only, only 5 years old and the tests aren't back yet so with no determined cause of said problems so my engineering brain is very frustrated over a lack of a defined cause and effect situation, not to mention the resulting very upset wife). So you'll have to bare with me that I rambled on for 30 minutes heh.
 

snotling

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[citation][nom]cj_online[/nom]hmm.. Interesting... any1 shed some light on this?[/citation]
it means they stand by their tests and statements even after the other manufacturers have negatively commented on it, this should be interesting, if the other phone makers really can demonstrate that their phones are unaffected by the way the user holds them then they will sue Apple for defamation and have a really good settlement and press in return.

On the other hand if they do not sue, that pretty much mean they cannot back their statements (however vague they were) with proof and won't risk action.
 

snotling

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[citation][nom]maestintaolius[/nom] I realize this is a longer answer than 99.4% of the people here will care about or read but I enjoy sharing knowledge of the dark OEM underworld that most consumers never think about (so long as it doesn't get me in trouble heh). It's also serving as a personal distraction from the bad news I got today from the vet that my cat is very, very sick (lots of fluid in his lungs - he's indoor only, only 5 years old and the tests aren't back yet so with no determined cause of said problems so my engineering brain is very frustrated over a lack of a defined cause and effect situation, not to mention the resulting very upset wife). So you'll have to bare with me that I rambled on for 30 minutes heh.[/citation]
Well, I for one took the time to read it, and sorry for you cat even if I'm allergic, I'm not a hater ;-)
it is annoying that anytime an article is published, the most lame brained comments come out first, They are probably posted by the publisher at the same time as the article to start a flame war and generate traffic. but I might be the conspiracy theorist on this one!

A solution would be to make all comments silent until there is more than one page worth and publish the comments either in reverse order on with the first 20 or so in the second page and comments 21-40 on page one. this would keep the flame trolls at bay or at least moderate their effect.

You read this Best of Media?
 
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