"It's Toasted" became the Lucky Strike slogan despite their protests and was a huge success. This wasn't entirely fiction of course, it was based on a true story.
See also: David Ogilvy's Shell campaign
And Claude Hopkins' Schlitz campaign
Does Steve Jobs have a curly mustache and monocle I don't know about?
And so yes, if anyone else does dare try the "we have cool testing facilities" move, they'll be patently copying Apple's marketing — not that this hasn't happened before.
The only other companies I've seen try to spotlight their facilities as being really cool and beneficial to customers have been car companies with their automated assembly lines and Intel. It doesn't work in a lot of circumstances, but there is definitely a huge cultural significance in the amazement at technology (or if you're not amazed, it's just nerd porn).
... So yes, I don't think that's a ridiculous word to use.
I just tried holding my Nexus One (UK) in different ways. I was able to squeeze it from 4 bars down to 3, but nothing else :/
Poor reception by AT&T is another real problem, but not at issue here.
Edit: More to the point, the grip that causes perhaps the greatest attenuation of signal is one of the more comfortable, natural grips for the phone. The effectiveness of any phone's antenna can be reduced if you hold it right. Most phones are designed so that the comfortable, natural ways to hold the phone minimally interfere with the signal.
FWIW, I think it's a lame response from Apple.
I’m actually surprised by that. I always thought of Apple as a fairly undynamic one trick pony when it comes to PR. (The secrecy, suspense, big event and hype cycle.) I should have noticed something when they released their “Thoughts on Music” or “Thoughts on Flash” letters.
(— edit: wow. The top story right now on HN is not some article lamenting Apple’s reaction, it’s cool pictures of Apple’s testing facilities. This is fucking brilliant PR ;)
What was the quote? "The only thing worse than being talked about all the time, is not being talked about all the time". Because bad press can be turned into awesome press.
Apple builds new product -> people have problems -> Apple solves problems.
Which inevitably will imply:
Competitors builds new product -> people have problems -> ..
There is no step 3! (badum-chunk!)
Testing a various websites shows that while most phones drop signal, the iPhone 4's signal dropped significantly more because the antenna is exposed and your skin comes in direct contact with the antenna rather than just in close proximity.
With the bumper "fixing" the problem, wouldn't putting the antenna inside the case essentially create the same fix by putting non-conductive material between the user and the antenna?
I like the innovative external antenna (Anandtech calls the design tradeoff "ballsy") and I like holding more calls in more places. I'm willing to hold it "right" in exchange.
Furthermore, how are they supposed to affect those waves, and to what end?
In the RF chamber the foam inserts are impregnated with conductive material, sort of like antistatic IC foam.
The surfaces are designed to present maximal absorption area to any wavefronts within the room, and they're made all spiky and angular to disperse the reflections that do occur, not unlike the way a Stealth aircraft works. The goal, again in both the acoustical and RF test chambers, is to eliminate standing waves to the greatest extent possible, across the whole frequency range of interest. If you have standing waves, the measurements you make will have unwanted dependencies on the physical location of the transmitting and receiving antennas.
Play a sinewave through your speakers and you'll probably find large variations in loudness as you move around the room. The whole idea behind these expensive test chambers is to avoid that effect. They are also usually shielded to keep external sounds/EM fields out, but this is actually a secondary consideration for most users.
Edit: another reason for shielding the room, obviously, is so the company can operate things like base-station emulators without running afoul of the law.
Not going to nitpick about the wavelengths but you're off by a factor of about 3 here.
Sorry, I've had a lot of caffeine today.
"75 seconds ENcounting!"
Edit: point being that sometimes simple things are the best inventions.
In our tests, iPhone 4 dropped from 3 bars to 1 bar
In our tests, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 dropped from 5 bars to 1 bar
In our tests, the HTC Droid Eris dropped from 4 bars to 0 bars
In our tests, the Samsung Omnia II dropped from 4 bars to 1 bar
In our tests, iPhone 3GS dropped from 3 bars to 1 bar
It was always something quietly infuriating before, but here they've intentionally tried to contrast themselves against their competitors.
Also: "bars" is not a scientific unit.
Well, sure it is, if you're measuring the pressure of hot air.
However, I have to wonder at this PR, changing the discussion from whether it is unusual to dropbars from how the phone is held, from whether it is unusually easy to miss-hold the iPhone 4.
It wouldn't suprise me, I've never seen so many blue spikes in one place ;)
In fact, the whole chamber is shaped like a cube, and the measurements must be made in the middle of the cube. In the chamber I visited, the "floor" was made of a wire mesh suspended at mid-height inside the cube, so there it was impossible to fall.
I can't be the only person who had this thought.
Anandtech feels they "willfully" went for more sensitivity for most situations, at the price of variability depending on certain rarer signal situations. He calls the design choice "ballsy".
It gets more exciting if you mute it and put on Liberi Fatali in the background.
No matter how I hold any of my iPhones, reported signal strength is the same.
Anyone else experiencing this?
I just checked my EVO manual and it specifically says where not to touch the phone (upper left). The difference seems to be that people learned where not to touch the iPhone and then made a huge deal about it as if it was something new.
"To assure optimal phone performance and ensure human exposure to RF energy is within the guidelines set
forth in the relevant standards, always use your device only in its normal-use position. Contact with the
antenna area may impair call quality and cause your device to operate at a higher power level than needed.
Avoiding contact with the antenna area when the phone is IN USE optimizes the antenna performance and
the battery life. "
I find it crazy how many people leap to either attack or defend Apple without having ever used one of the things.
I have an iPhone 3GS and have put off upgrading because of the signal issue. I figured there was some media hype, but wouldn't have figured I'd be unable to replicate the issue.
(that's actually a more recent model)
Apple engineers tested iPhone 4 in a variety of scenarios, environments, and conditions in order to gauge performance. They spent thousands of hours in cities in the U.S. and throughout the world testing iPhone 4 call quality, dropped-call performance, call origination and termination, and in-service time. They tested iPhone 4 while stationary, at high and low speeds, and in urban, dense urban, and highway environments. In low-coverage areas and good-coverage areas, during peak and off-peak hours iPhone 4 was field-tested in nearly every possible coverage scenario across different vendor and carrier equipment all over the world."
"huge antenna lab" + "antenna sucks" = "lab is useless"
just basic math, no degree needed (although I have one ;))
So they spent million of $ to improve the antenna and forgot this little detail? Where are the testers?
I'm not saying if the design is good or bad, but there are tons of instances in history of companies doing things to alleviate minor issues that had the potential to turn into massive PR cases and create much greater losses over the long-term.
He was sitting in the chair, didn't you see him? ;)
Then at Princeton, where they were in the same room, the machine (which was much less fancy) produced much more information because people saw what was going on as it was running.
Seems to me that this could easily be something of the case. Fancy test facility with no grounding in anything.
Furthermore isn't it kinda more embarrassing when, instead of admitting there was a problem, they just say that the phone was tested. It seems to imply that the issue is intentional.
The subtext of Apple's PR here is: You want to have an argument about RF engineering and the complexities and tradeoffs involved? Bring it. Apple's engineering team stands by its work. But you better be prepared to argue like an engineer, not a gossip columnist.
First off what I'm saying is that while fancy pictures of high end lab equipment might look impressive, it doesn't mean that it is the best way to design things, even when the people doing it are really good.
Secondly, while I understand that the intent of this is to tell people something along the lines of, "We didn't give you a defective device, we really did a great job testing it first, look at our facility", it can easily be spun as, "well you can't have done that good a job because even with all this fancy equipment you still released a product that has a design issue"
I was half-hoping they wouldn't, but alas.