Bloomberg: Apple engineer warned company of possible iPhone 4 antenna woes

Bloomberg is reporting that "someone familiar with the matter" is claiming Apple's very own antenna expert, Ruben Caballero, warned the company of possible flaws that could have created the issues so many of you are currently experiencing - dropped calls and reception problems.

The report also includes a separate source claiming a particular unnamed carrier also voiced it's concern to Apple over the newly designed antenna system prior of it's release on June 24th. This news all coming in within just one day prior to Apple's last minute iPhone 4 press conference.

Apple has declined to comment and is refusing to grant any interviews with Ruben Caballero.

[Bloomberg]

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Jeremy

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Bloomberg: Apple engineer warned company of possible iPhone 4 antenna woes

54 Comments

And here come the same 10 people that post flaming comments every time something about the antenna issue is mentioned. I guess they don't have $29 for a bumper, or would rather wage a holy war against Apple...

I can’t understand the logic behind people pushing for a free bumper. It makes no sense to me. Why buy a few hundred dollar product that only works when you have to buy another product to cover it up? Is it just me or is that the most asinine alternative. How would that play out in any other industry. “Here’s your new car! Oh, but if you want it to drive you’ll have to purchase a transmission. But don’t worry it will work without it; you’ll just have to drive it differently. Take some drive lessons from Fred Flintstone, he’s an expert.” And this example doesn’t even 100% work b/c a transmission will not alter the look and feel of the car as is the case with a crappy plastic bumper. Fix the f-ing phone. I don’t want a plastic bumper around my $500 (off contract) iPhone!
I am an apple fan and have many apple products but this scam has really made me question my loyalty to apple.

The iPhone brand is now permanently damaged! Two years ago I convinced our company's CTO to get the iPhone and I was successful. We switched over from WinMo. We were due for a new phone this year and they were considering the new iphone but today our CTO told me that they decided to go with some Samsung POS Android phone.
Err Apple, we have over 40 phones...... What a mess!

@junebu401
Probably affects less than 10% of the people out there. The phenomena mostly exists in conditions of poor signal somewhere around -100 dbm or worse, for people who hold the phone a certain way, and for people of certain highly conductive skin. And to make it even worse, in areas of poor signal, strange stuff happens. The phone isn't going to be magical make service always possible in areas of poor signal. Overall, it's really not that big of problem in usage.
But you know that life in the Internet age doesn't work that way. Apple can't have a product where it has an easily identifiable spot on the device where people can lose signal by holding it. It's like an open sore. People can't ignore it. So, they have to do something to eliminate it.
Yeah. This really hurts Apple. They have to overcorrect and lose some near-term profit in order to maintain their brand image. The brand image takes years and years to develop. It's a huge force-multiplier. They have to overcorrect.

The problem with quotes like these is they could mean anything. It's like with that Prof that was heavily quoted saying there would be issues with the antennas 2 weeks before the release. Except he was talking about body tissue absorbing RF signal and if that was going to be a problem then touching the antenna anywhere would cause an issue, which it demonstrably does not.
The only issue with the antenna design is shorting the GSM antenna with the WiFi antenna causes a signal drop (I don't think anyone has sufficiently explained why the signal drop happens though).
People, such as myself, only see the issue if they are in an area where they are not getting a very good signal, hence it does not appear to affect everyone.
This 'flaw' in the design could simply be remedied with a non-conductive, RF transparent coating over the steel.
The issue doesn't bother me much as I know to avoid it, but regardless owners should not be expected to pay extra for a coating or case to resolve the issue.

After two weeks of heavy use, I've yet to drop a single call. I guess I should shout louder about how HAPPY I am with my phone since the only ones getting all the press are the ones bitching.

@DeathGrip
No, they will argue otherwise. It's not Apple's fault, it's your fault for either having a signal problem (since many claim, and of course some may be valid, that they've experienced no problems so it must not be a real problem), or it's your fault for being cheap and not buying a $30 cover to place upon Apple's product. I mean poor them, here they designed a clearly defective phone and everyone is angry at them and upset they need to shell out additional money just to have the phone work properly.
Tomorrow, if Apple announces free cases or recalls the phone, I'm sure the same people will be praising them as gods...I don't get it sometimes.
Sure, the iPhone is freaking awesome, but why can't people acknowledge there is actually a problem with iPhone 4?! I mean evidence of the problem is everywhere, so what if you don't have problems with it, clearly enough people do.

My experience is that holding the bottom left only effects outgoing data of voice. So you may think you aren't effected but for all you know the person on the other end doesn't hear you at all. I have TONS of problems with WiFi on my phone. I can't connect to my AP at home or at work. It sucks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Apple screwed big time. The very top of Apple…This will hunt them for years. They will never be able to remove this stain from their white immage It's too late for patch PR now.

I think most of the people that are NOT having problems with reception would turn out be those living around those closely overlapping 3G towers that AT&T built in a few major cities.

While this is certainly a case of what happens in the internet age and with a 24/7 News Cycle, you can’t simply dismiss an issue that in your mind only impacts a vocal minority. It has been replicated enough, by enough people to show to show that something is going on… and it appears that its very likely rooted in the design of the phone, which makes it Apples fault.
I love my phone but something funky is going on.. I have had 3 dropped calls in an area of my house that was also tough (from a signal strength perspective) on my 3Gs but usually did not result in a dropped call. Depending on my grip in that area, I show anywhere from 5 – 0 bars. And the same exact thing happens with my wife’s phone. On the other hand in areas I had no chance of making a call on my 3Gs I have been able to with my 4.

@Erik; I live in Morgan Hill, this town has been widely known for it's cellular/RF deadspots all over town. This is not a strong signal area. I still get better reception on my ip4 than my 3g. Secondly, I believe the attenuation issue could really be detuned antennas in some ip4 models. As the units are machined, tooling wears down... So specs will vary slightly. This makes a large impact on HF RF transmissions because your antenna is now not 1/4 wavelength or a multiple thereof.
Sheesh, soo blown out of puportion! How many units sold vs. how many units reported as faulty? This number/figure I have yet to hear.

@Jaredkaragen
Something's wrong. My iPhone was dropping more calls than ever. I had to return it. The iPhone 4 is a lemon. Apple will have to issue a recall and sell a fixed model under a new name. Damage has been done and let fester too long by Apple.

My number 1 issue with my 4 is the proximity sensor. Out of the 3 years I've owned an iPhone my face has NEVER accidentally hung up a call or activated any other functions while I was on a call. It's annoying and pretty ridiculous considering they've never had an issue with it in the past.

@The iPhone Blog
I'd hate to say this guys, because i hate having to sign in to leave comments on blog sites and i hate having moderators.. but i think you guys might need to start thinking about it, there's just way to many trolls now and it's getting worse.
The whole reason this antenna issue has become what it's become has been because of trolls in the first place.

@iPhoneMilk
Yes, because without trolls nobody would have had a dropped call or lower speeds on contact. rolls eyes

Wait so this is only a problem because of people on the internet.. completely made up? Big conspiracy between anonymous internet posters and MSM?

I have a leaked copy of tomorrow presser. In summary, it states that those that have purchased an iPhone 4 will receive compensation in the form of one license of MS Vista Home Premium.

I have verified the problem w/ the Cisco Speed Test app... testing at my home (strong signal) and at work (decent signal). At home the speeds fall tremendously, and at work they completely cut out when the death spot is touched with my pinky.

@zero credibility
Then take your iphone back because there's something else wrong. Numerous tests from reputable agencies have shown a bumper eliminates the issue.

@Sara
Apple's stock right now is not killing it -- it took a pretty big hit, yesterday mostly because investors are a skittish bunch, spooked by uncertainty. Right now, nobody knows what this will cost Apple to "fix", and, while that is up in the air, some people are selling. Hence the Friday press conference, to convince users and shareholders this is a blip, not a trend.
Any analyst who believes Apple can affix a number to the costs on Friday, and that they can contain any brand damage -- both pretty fair bets, IMHO -- will likewise bet Apple's positive long term trends will soon reassert themselves, leaving long term performance targets unchanged.

Fanbois still in denial...classic!
"Save us
The human, existence
Is failing, resistance
Essential, the future
Written off, the odds are
Astronomically against us
Only moron and genius
Would fight a losing battle
Against the super ego
When giving in is so damn comforting
And so we go, on with our lives
We know the truth, but prefer lies
Lies are simple, simple is bliss
Why go against tradition when we can
Admit defeat, live in decline
Be the victim of our own design
The status quo, built on suspect
Why would anyone stick out their neck?
Fellow members
Club "We've Got Ours"
I'd like to introduce you to our host
He's got his, and I've got mine
Meet the decline" NOFX

@iPhoneMilk: "The whole reason this antenna issue has become what it’s become has been because of trolls in the first place."
Yes, everybody knows that trolls have fat little hands that block the antenna!
HAHAHA your comments are priceless.

@Shrike
@djpantsparty
@Joe McG
@Jaredkaragen
Thank you for being the only people on this thread to post something intelligent.
@Iphonemilk
You are absolutely correct on both points
@Iphonehatertrolls
go somewhere else and spread your misinformation. I have the iPhone4 and it has done nothing you people are "claiming" in good and bad reception areas. This whole thing is an overblown pile of B.S. on an issue that every freakin phone known to man has the same "problem".. i.e. human body radio wave interference.

@JaradKragen:

I live in Morgan Hill, this town has been widely known for it’s cellular/RF deadspots all over town. This is not a strong signal area.

It would seem that Senator Joe Wilson would have something to say about your claim.
You, sir, sit directly in the heart of a VERY strong signal area.
See The Coverage Map: http://tinyurl.com/2wyj69t

I've had mine since the 24th. No problems here! I ended up buying a bumper just in case, I for one don't need hand outs, if I can afford an iPhone I can afford accessories too. Quit crying and buy a bumper until the issue is fixed with your device. Nothing is perfect. Not even the iPhone.

@JoeM
The Captivate? What's wrong with it that its a POS? At least it doesn't drop my calls when I hold it with my left hand...

There's always someone to warn you that something will go wrong. So what? If Steve Jobs listens to all those voices he'll never get anything out of the door.
I'm not an Apple fan, but I respect the company for their continual strive to go beyond the current technology boundaries. And when you do that, you make mistakes - it's part of the game.