iPhone’s Pesky Problem

Cingular, now AT&T, has been my phone service provider ever since my parents gave me my first Nokia as a high school freshman. Every two years my contract expires and I am eligible for an upgrade.  I cannot wait to get the latest and greatest, technology savvy device. On July 5, 2010 I was eligible for a new cell phone and I have yet to upgrade, which is very unlike me. I have had my eyes on Apple’s iPhone ever since the first version  debuted in 2007 and have been patiently waiting to get my hands on one of my own; more specifically the iPhone 4!

As a firm believer in Consumer Reports, I now question myself whether or not to buy the new iPhone 4.  Even though within the first three days Apple broke their record and sold 1.7 million devices, Consumer Reports recently announced that they can’t recommend the iPhone 4. CR explains “the iPhone 4 finished atop the smartphone ratings, in part because it “sports the sharpest display and best video camera we’ve seen on any phone,” has excellent battery life, and has an array of other new features. There’s just one pesky problem”. They found when they tested the device there was a flaw in the antenna which results in dropped calls and reception problems. The antenna surrounds the outside of the device and when your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left hand side, the signal weakens and possibly can cause your call to be dropped.  Another problem that CR found is that the signal strength was misleading and “mistakenly displays 2 or more bars than it should for a given signal strength”. http://tinyurl.com/2u7vxm6

CR however, did find a solution for those who already bought the iPhone 4.  One solution is to cover up the antenna with a piece of duct tape. Honestly, if I just bought a brand new phone I shouldn’t have this problem; it’s a brand new phone! The only thing I would want on my phone is a cover to protect it. The other solution is indeed to use Apple’s Bumper case on the phone to help the reception. Consumer Reports said, “With the Bumper fitted, we repeated the test procedure, placing a finger on the Bumper at the point at which it covers the gap below. The result was a negligible drop in signal strength–so slight that it would not have any effect, in our judgment.”  http://tinyurl.com/27yyjr9  But how sure can we be that that’s the real problem solver? Apple has not made any comments about this issue but instead says that there is a flawed formula that calculates the number of bars available on the iPhone 4. They are working on a software that iPhone users can download to solve this problem.

Apple is holding a press conference July 16 at 10am in California to address these issues and complaints from consumers around the world. There have not been any reports yet about the outcome of the conference. I am counting on Steve Jobs and Apple engineers to find a real solution to the iPhone 4 because if this problem isn’t fixed in some way shape or form, the chance of me buying the iPhone 4 is not promising. I think I will make my decision once reports from the press conference release to the public. I can always stick with Samsung and get their new smartphone. Decisions, decisions….

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