Image source: Engadget

The news of the iPhone 4 antenna issue has been in the public domain for the past four weeks since the release of the device.

The crux of the problem is this: When the external antenna of the iPhone4 comes into contact our skin, especially when held with the left hand, there is a noticeable drop in signal strength indicated by a reduction in the number of signal bars. This is referred to as the “Death Grip” illustrated by the video in this link.

This signal attenuation has been replicated by many reviewers and it is, a real flaw. US based product review and comparison group Consumer Reports could not recommend the iPhone4 based on this flaw. This however, has not stopped the jaw dropping sales figures: 1.7 millions iPhone4s sold in the first 3 days!

Apple made an official response via an official press conference which took place at Apple’s campus last Friday. Click on this link to read the liveblog.

In summary, Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs had the following points to make:

  • Phones aren’t perfect and Apple isn’t perfect.
  • The iPhone is the No.1 smartphone based on tech reviews with a high level of customer satisfaction.
  • The antenna issue termed Antennagate is not unique to the iPhone4.
  • Various other phones, such as the Blackberry Bold, Droid Eris , Samsung Omnia II were shown to have this antenna issue.
  • The groove indicating the external antenna on the iPhone4 has made it easy for others to exploit this issue with the iPhone4.
  • The iPhone has had the lowest rate of dropped calls and the lowest initial return rates with only 0.55% of customer calls received by Apple Care related to the issue.
  • The bumper case which was reported to alleviate the attenuation issue will now be provided free of charge with the iPhone4 up to the 30th of September.
  • Customers who are not satisfied with their iPhone4s can return their devices within 30days of purchase with a full cash refund for undamaged iPhone4s.
  • Apple loves their users.

With this, Apple hopes to have answered and allayed consumer fears of the antenna issue with the iPhone4.

This is perhaps the first time an innocuous technical issue such as the Antennagate has come under public scrutiny.

Apple has done it again.