Even companies considered to be engineering greats can run smack into engineering problems every now and then. That seems to be the case with Apple and its newly released and redesigned iPhone 4, which according to Apple, sold 1.7 units in the first three days since its launch. But since its debut in late June, there have been growing complaints about poor call reception and calls being dropped when the phone is held in a certain way. The phone’s redesign called for the antenna to be wrapped around the device like a band, which some speculate could be the cause of any so-called reception snafus.
The complaints have escalated to the point that Apple, and its partner AT&T, have now been slapped with a class action suit alleging, among other things, general negligence and defect in design, manufacture and assembly. Apple’s official response to the alleged problem to PC Magazine was this:
“Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone,” Apple said. “If you ever experience this on your Phone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.”
Nevertheless, there are signs that Apple is taking more definite steps to address the problem. According to other reports, Apple is now hiring antenna engineers to refine the iPhone and iPad antenna designs. Qualified engineers: Get your resumes ready.