Apple Kicks Out Press Release To “Explain” iPhone Antenna Issues

I’m guessing that with all the talk and lawsuits over the iPhone 4 antenna issues, Apple had to do something to try and make this issue go away. A press release that was posted today is likely the first step in that. Here’s how Apple explains the antenna issues:

Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the 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 this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for 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.

We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

There’s one problem with this explanation. It doesn’t explain data and voice problems (such as dropped calls) that people have been seeing (or hearing as the case may be). So the way I see it, unless the phone is checking the signal quality and that’s what causes it to intentionally drop the calls, this upcoming fix will fix nothing.

It’s also ironic in a way that Apple is taking advice from AT&T to solve its problems, seeing as AT&T hasn’t exactly helped Apple’s image since the iPhone was launched. You have to have a chuckle over that.

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