Rumors: New iPhone 4s With Non-Conductive Antennas

News | Monday July 12 2010 11:16 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , ,

I've been following all of the iPhone 4 stuff since I got mine the day before release. I was able to replicate the signal issue. I also had the proximity sensor issue, causing inadvertent mute button pushing. There were a few other software issues I was experiencing so I consulted Apple at the Fifth Avenue store in New York. They replaced my phone. The diagnostic showed that the OS was corrupt and certain utilities were failing. [They claimed that] all phones with a proximity sensor issue were being sent back to Apple for further study.
Well, when I got the new phone it was different. It was different hardware. The black [plastic] bezel isn't as black on the new one. I couldn't see the proximity sensor at all on the previous iPhone 4, now I can. The stainless steel band on the new phone is less 'steel-y' and more matte. I've also tried to replicate the signal drop and failure. While I can't say for sure that it is entirely fixed, there is certainly huge improvement. I'm guessing they coated the steel with something, took some black out of the bezel and sent them out without saying too much about it. I also think Apple is willing to warranty a phone for any reason except the signal issue.
The guy next to me said that he had to press the home button several times before the phone would come back from stand-by. This happened once. The Apple tech ran the diagnostic, everything was fine. They still replaced his phone. I think they're doing a 'silent recall'.
4 to verify this claim but the new iPhone 4 that they got didn’t have different hardware and they were also able to reproduce the reception problem on the new iPhone 4.
iFixit is also reporting that they’ve received a similar report from one of their community members. So iFixit exchanged one of their iPhone 4 (manufactured in week 25). They got a new iPhone 4 manufactured in week 27 (early July). They checked the impedance of the metal frame with a multimeter to find out if the new iPhone 4s have non-conductive antennas. They have also explained how users can measure it:
If you got an iPhone in the last few days, check the serial number. If the production week is bigger than 27, try checking the impedance of the metal frame with a multimeter. If you hold the leads about an inch apart, the resistance should be less than one ohm. If it’s substantially higher, you may have a unit with the new coating. (Accuracy of multimeters varies dramatically, but we’d expect a nonconductive coating to have a very high impedance.)
But they have also observed that the conductivity of both the iPhones was similar.
So these rumors need to be taken with a grain of salt. We can’t believe that a company like Apple will try to do something like this silently. If they’ve identified a hardware problem in iPhone 4 then they would have come out with a public statement.
So far, Apple had released a public statement two weeks back to confirm that
, which will be fixed with a
that will provide users a much better indication of the reception that they are getting in a given area.
In case you had a similar experience like the one reported by Gizmodo reader then please let us know in the comments.

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