The PR storm Apple is in after it turned out users were running into reception issues with their iPhone 4 devices due to a flaw in the antenna design appears to be destined not to blow over anytime soon, hastily scheduled press conferences and unhelpful software updates notwithstanding.
Bloomberg this morning published a report saying Ruben Caballero, one of Apple’s senior engineers, actually told chief exec Steve Jobs in the early design phase of the fast-selling smartphone that the antenna design could lead to dropped calls, citing a person familiar with the matter who requested to stay anonymous.
Not only that, another unidentified source tells Bloomberg, but a carrier partner also voiced some concerns about the antenna design before the device’s June 24 release.
There are only so many carriers this could be, obviously. The exclusive carrier in the United States if of course AT&T, and Apple’s European partners include Vodafone, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, while Softbank carries the iPhone 4 in Japan.
Here’s the key part of the Bloomberg report:
Apple’s industrial design team, led by Jonathan Ive, submitted several iPhone designs before Jobs and other executives settled on the bezel antenna, said the person familiar with the company’s design. Caballero, the antenna expert, voiced concern in early planning meetings that it might lead to dropped calls and presented a serious engineering challenge, the person said.
The metal bezel surrounding the handset would need to be separated in sections to create individual antennas capable of handling particular ranges of the radio frequencies for different wireless networks, the person said. If a user covered one of the seams between the sections, their finger would act as a conductive material, interfering with the signal, the person said. Consumer Reports suggests iPhone 4 users cover the antenna with duct tape to help mitigate reception woes.
Can someone please email Steve Jobs to verify if he really dismissed concerns voiced early in the design process by a senior member of staff and a carrier partner, and ask him why?
Steve Jobs was the co-founder and CEO of Apple and formerly Pixar. Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, California to Joanne Simpson and a Syrian father. Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California then adopted him. In 1972, Jobs graduated from Homestead High School in Cupertino, California and enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon. One semester later, he had dropped out, later taking up the study of philosophy and foreign cultures. Steve Jobs had a deep-seated interest in...
Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the...