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iPhone 4 Antenna Troubleshooting Guidelines Exposed - No Free Bumpers!

June 30, 2010

While Apple is still somewhat ambivalent at its highest level about the new iPhone's antenna issues, it's not leaving those on the front lines without some sort of guidance. Indeed, BGR managed to put its hands on the AppleCare procedure sheet available to the reps if you confront them about the issue.

It seems like public relations had more to do with it than engineering, yet it's still a good read:

  • 1. Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy – your tone when delivering this information is important.
  • a. The iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4’s overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS.
  • b. Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world.
  • c. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand.
  • d. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band.
  • e. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.
  • 2. Do not perform warranty service. Use the positioning above for any customer questions or concerns.
  • 3. Don’t forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band.
  • 4. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it.
  • 5. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers.
Which reminds me that this rumored 4.01 antenna-fixing update still hasn't surfaced... Here is the deal: The iPhone 4 will indeed lose some signal when you put your fingers on that particular spot on the antenna, just as any other phone would. Is it an issue? It's not. I still haven't managed to find one single person who has trouble using their iPhone 4 because of that. It's more of a fun thing to play around with when you're bored with your phone. But still, no free bumpers? That's a shame.

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