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The Dog Ate My Antenna

July 3, 2010 10:26:07.138

This open letter from Apple may or may not describe what's going on with the new iPhone, but it sure sounds odd:

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. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

Now, it's not as if I've done studies or anything - so this is all anecdotal. Having said that, I don't recall many calls dropping with my 3g phone while I was just sitting in one place - I've had that happen with the new phone a few times, and yeah - I've been holding it with the left hand at the time. Call me crazy, but that doesn't sound like a software error in signal strength display.

Again, this is all anecdotal - and I know that in the presence of a lot of media coverage of this, I could be falling sway to confirmation bias. Still - that latter just doesn't hold up well for me :)

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posted by James Robertson


Re: The Dog Ate My Antenna

[Mike] July 3, 2010 11:26:54.691

My favorite bit of the whole thing is that the bars are now being treated like some standard unit of measure. I can't stop thinking of Spinal Tap every time this mess comes up.

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