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According to TiPb, the unofficial iPhone blog, Apple routinely deletes threads from its forums at discussions.apple.com if they are complaints. This time however, the internet is abuzz after the company recently deleted various threads about a ConsumerReports.org report about the iPhone 4’s controversial antenna issues. The report stated that the consumer site could not endorse buying an iPhone 4 after tests revealed serious problems with the device’s reception.
The antenna issue has been raging for a while. The recommendation from Consumer Reports to not buy the iPhone 4 adds to a growing chorus of negativity — a rare experience for Apple and its usually lauded-products. At this stage the feedback from Steve Jobs has merely been, “don’t hold the phone that way“. In a separate statement from Apple, the Cupertino company said the issue could be solved by putting the iPhone in a case; something you can buy from the company at extra cost. Consumer Reports has also posted a quick fix for those who have already bought the phone: “Simply cover the lower left corner with tape” — not something you’d expect from a company that prides itself on quality and design.
ConsumerReports.org aren’t the only ones that have been doing some testing. Engadget gets the same
results with the signal completely disappearing if the phone is held in a specific way. This is something that seems to especially affect those who are left-handed. Anandtech also did some testing, actually stripping down the phone to its bare bones. The site found that “the fact of the matter is that cupping the bottom left corner and making skin contact between the two antennas does result in a measurable difference in cellular reception”.
Dr Richard Gaywood, an antenna expert, on Gizmodo confirmed the antenna design flaw. He states that “the best scenario is for Apple to coat the antenna and replace all existing phones with a revised model”. This might seem like an unprecedented and costly exercise however. With the web alight and consumers complaining, Apple might have to bite the bullet and do a recall on the iPhone 4 so that a coated version without the issue can be put on the market.
Yet with Apple deleting discussions and staying mum on the subject it doesn’t seem that an easy fix is on the way. At this stage, apart from taping your phone, getting a case, or as one researcher found, wearing oven gloves, perhaps the only real fix is to not buy an iPhone?