No Star Spangled Bars Here: Apple Admits Its iPhones Misrepresent Signal Strength

Jul 2, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Not only does the new iPhone 4 have a problem with its antenna when one grips it, Apple has made a startling admission about ALL of its iPhone models: "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," Apple said in a statement, Ars Technica reports.

A software fix will be available in a few weeks, the article says.

The piece, by Jacqui Cheng, concludes: "Apple’s explanation that it always used too many bars—especially for users in low signal areas—sounds like the company wasn’t doing enough to account for interference or the other variables that come with overall signal strength, resident Ars programmer and former GSM/RF Engineer Clint Ecker told us. At the same time, the explanation gives us some pause—why has this problem in bar calculation only come up now and not previously if it has been in practice for two years already? Furthermore, Apple’s statement doesn’t address the very real issue of handsets losing up to 24dB of signal strength from simple bridging two of the phone’s antennas—which is either a serious hardware flaw or another error in how the phone detunes its antennas."


  1. Ice hockey is an interesting exercise, I like it.

  2. I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

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