10 things we learned from today’s iPhone event

Well, today’s iPhone event has come and gone, and I think we all learned a couple very important things.

1 – We learned Apple loves its users.

2 – We learned that “all” smart phones have signal reception issues depending on how you hold them. In fact, Apple made a point of showing us all a comparison of various phones dropping reception bars as you hold them. But one thing that was conspicuously absent was a comparison between the iPhone 3G S and and the iPhone 4. You see, while I can consistently make my iPhone 4 drop from 4 bars to “SEARCHING” in my house, I can’t get my wife’s 3G S to drop below 4 bars no matter HOW I hold it (and no, it doesn’t have a case, nor would it need one, as the antenna is INSIDE the damn phone!)

3 – We learned the reason Apple charges $30 for the bumper case. It is now obvious to me that the reason Apple’s 40¢-to-make rubber band of a case is sold for $30 is that Apple knew they’d have to give them away and needed to create the perception of “value”.

4 – We learned Steve was on vacation in Hawaii last week. I’m not as angry as the BP exec going yachting during the oil spill crisis, but I also wouldn’t have minded if Steve were in Cupertino yelling at people while this was going on.

5 – We learned Apple loves its users.

6 – We learned the the iPhone 4 only has less than 1% fewer dropped calls that the iPhone 3G S. Unfortunately, that doesn’t take into account that there are likely far fewer calls even being attempted with the iPhone 4.

7 – We learned that most of the press in the audience asking questions were not buying Apple’s explanation and really do feel Apple sacrificed form over function.

8 – We learned that only .55% of customers have called AppleCare and only 1.7% have returned their iPhone 4’s. This makes sense to me, as I have more or less been bitching non-stop for 2 weeks, but have not called AppleCare, nor have I returned my iPhone. I figured with all the media attention Apple was aware of the problem, plus I knew I had 30 days to return it and Apple claimed they were working on a fix. Of course, I can’t really return it, but I will call AppleCare today just to get my voice in on the statistics. (Update: Just called AppleCare to report that .56%, not .55% of iPhone users have reception problems. Yes, I count as 23,000 people).

9 – We learned Apple really loves its users.

And finally…

10 – Ultimately we learned that Apple has designed a device that needs to be wrapped inside a case to function properly.

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Comments
29 Responses to “10 things we learned from today’s iPhone event”
  1. darrell says:

    basically the dropped calls are a minority and apple backed it up with numbers.

    people on the internet have got to chill out (including me.)

  2. Bruce says:

    They have the 3G and iphone 4 comparision on apples website.

  3. Uncle Miltie says:

    I can get my 3GS to drop from 4 bars to 0 bars / searching while sitting here at my desk, holding it similar to the death grip.

  4. Jonro says:

    What’s wrong with you? Every product that Apple makes needs a case. People need a case. Books need a case (a bookcase). The district attorney needs a case. Why shouldn’t an iPhone need a case?

  5. Mike says:

    “We learned the the iPhone 4 only has less than 1% fewer dropped calls that the iPhone 3G S. Unfortunately, that doesn’t take into account that there are likely far fewer calls even being attempted with the iPhone 4.”

    This makes no sense. Just because fewer calls are being attempted does not mean that the percentage of calls dropped would change.

    Also on the AppleCare front.. you might not have called.. but typically people WILL call about that kinda thing. I’ve spent most of my life doing tech support and the statistics we get about people calling in about problems are very accurate. Also just to add, genius bar appointments go into Apple’s ‘AppleCare’ logging system.. so if you’ve whined to your local ‘genius’ you’ve already made your point!

    Also just to add at this point.. i’ve also had one since day 1 and i’ve not had a single dropped called.. and i DO use it with my left hand.. and right.. that said perhaps being in a country with widespread GSM coverage does help (As in.. basically every country outside of north america.. :) )

  6. Steve says:

    My iPhone 4 isnt in a case and it functions perfectly… I have only gone below 4 bars once and that was in a Walmart and after I entered the freezer section/area.

  7. Wade says:

    “We learned the the iPhone 4 only has less than 1% fewer dropped calls that the iPhone 3G S. Unfortunately, that doesn’t take into account that there are likely far fewer calls even being attempted with the iPhone 4.”

    The number of dropped calls per 100 calls does not depend on the total number of calls made. Your comment makes no sense.

  8. Chris Leither says:

    Update: Just called AppleCare to report that .56%, not .55% of iPhone users have reception problems. Yes, I count as 23,000 people

    Damn Doc, that is exactly why we love you so much… and you’re not even our customer!

  9. Bruce says:

    I only have two bars on my HTC incredible and no matter how I hold it I cannot get the signal to move. Is that because it is Verizon and not ATT.

  10. Ruben says:

    Comparison to iPhone 3GS is on the website: http://www.apple.com/antenna/

  11. Kenneth says:

    I’m one of the 99.45% of non-complaining people that get better reception with the new iPhone 4. My old original iPhone would barely work at my office, and I’d have to walk towards the window across the room to stay connected on calls. I now get 2 bars (with the revised firmware) and have no issues with calls at my desk. To me, it is better. An no, I’m not cupping the phone like a retard trying to screw my signal.

    No they just need to fix the damn proximity sensor issue damn it. That shit is so far beyond the antenna issue it’s not even funny.

  12. So, if .55% of people have a problem, somehow that translates to the device needing a case to function properly? I don’t think so. I disagree with point #10.

    • Matthew, my opinion is that 100% o the iPhone 4 users have this problem. It just isn’t affecting them due to their coverage location, or because they have a case. Just because you are able to make a call doesn’t mean you device was not built incorrectly.

      And BTW, Consumer Reports is still giving iPhone 4 a thumbs down after Apple’s somewhat bizarre Q and A press conference.
      – The Doc

  13. Brandon says:

    …”3 – We learned the reason Apple charges $30 for the bumper case. It is now obvious to me that the reason Apple’s 40¢-to-make rubber band of a case is sold for $30 is that Apple knew they’d have to give them away and needed to create the perception of ‘value’ “…

    So, I’m not the only one who thought of this. I found it odd that Apple would produce a case for the iPhone when they never have before. It’s not like the bumper was revolutionary and warranted being produced by Apple directly… AND to charge $30 for something that must have cost less than a dollar to manufacture seemed ridiculous. So, I too believed they were aware of the signal issue only AFTER manufacturing 100,000s, if not millions of iPhone 4s. The only solution: bumpers. Charge waaaaay too much for them, so when they start giving them out for free, it seems extremely generous.

  14. dr Who says:

    Not that smart doc, maybe your specific iPhone 4 has a problem. Get it to Apple they look into it and fix it, or replace it, if it’s faulty. They have a great service you know. And stop with just sitting on your sofa and bitching, it’s bad for your health and your blog you know.

  15. Boesvig says:

    Dr Macenstein, my opinion is that 0% of the iPhone 4 users have this problem. It’s just that some of them are douchebags hating on Apple.

    See what I did there, Doc? Do you now see how stupid your above argument is? Steve Jobs presented arguments based on facts, and here you are, claiming that all 3 million iPhone 4 users have reception problems. Based on what? Oh…your opinion. I see. You do realize that your lack of evidence to support such a grand claim renders your argument invalid, right?

    And this “all iPhone 4 users have reception problems, they just aren’t affected by it”…what the fuck is that supposed to even mean? If they’re not affected by it, how is it their problem?

    And BTW, referencing Consumer Reports automatically invalidates anything you write. They’re like 3 steps above Jizzmodo in credibility…on a ladder with a million steps.

    Please…I want the old Doc back. Kindly stop being an asshat.

  16. Emmanuel says:

    For ease of reading, best practices suggest writing ‘0.55%’ rather than ‘.55%’
    == In scientific research, this is mandatory to reduce errors.

  17. Purplerhinoboy says:

    I, too, have had zero issues. I was traveling last week in North Central Arkansas and NEVER dropped a call. My new iPhone 4 works better than my friends iPhone 3G S. His phone drops phone calls constantly.

  18. Deanoz says:

    I love the Macenstein website – I really do…however stop with the flame bait PR. Steve Jobs I believe handled the issue superbly during the iPhone 4 event today. He backed up his points with hard data and came up with a solution for users – choose a case or return the phone. Pretty Simple.

    You interpret too much in your assessment. If you are serious about your gripes then I hope you are tee off just as hard on HTC/NOKIA/SAMSUNG/BLACKBERRY… the question is will you?

  19. Random nobody says:

    I live in a weak signal area, consistently having 2-3 bars and haven’t dropped one call on my iPhone 4 :) even without a bumper!
    However, if I felt that covering an antenna caused antenna issues I would stop covering the antenna!
    Furthermore, if I covered half the camera with my finger and all my pictures started to suck, I would move my fucking finger. If you would rather keep your finger over half the lens and complain about yoir shitty pictures, PLEASE return your phone and contribute to a winmo or droid blog and shut the fuck up please.

  20. Mike McGrath says:

    If you don’t like the iphone 4 don’t buy it and if you have it and are complaining return it. You people just want to get on the soap box. Apple has fought the good fight for years they have changed the world and given us alot and have changed our lives. SO IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE IPHONE 4 SO WHAT PISS OFF AND EITHER RETURN IT OR JUST GET THE FREE BUMPER AND SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!!!!!

  21. Joe says:

    Thanks doc. Your comments have been spot on from personal observation, I can contest to Apple’s poor handling of the situation. It now seems apparent that Apple is about to suffer dearly, most likely due to Steve Jobs’ God complex. I do indeed give them credit for their ability to brain wash people in to thinking there products are somehow superior. It seems as if, when the dust settles, Google will be able to claim victor and many people will be stuck with worthless Apple products which only a few will service and even that for a premium.

    I always enjoy reading the comments section as it gives great insight in to the emotional aspect to analyze… another indicator which now screams of a top for Apple. Lastly, a quote:

    “That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.” – Paul Valery

  22. xyberdruid says:

    wow this is the first time since it’s creation that I’m NOT pissed i can’t use an iPhone on verizon

    apple there’s one thing you seem to have forgotten:

    FANS OF YOUR PRODUCTS ARE LOYAL BUT THEY ARE NOT STUPID!

  23. Doc. Stop going against your natural fanboyism

  24. Wesley says:

    Hello guys!

    I live in Brazil and have a 3GS and a 3G… my phones here stay at constantly 5 bars of signal…. we have no dead zones here….
    So, last week i was traveling in US, in the cities of New York, Chicago and Texas… and my phones NEVER get to 5 bars… it stay only on 3-4 bars, when not on “Searching…”.

    That said, one of my friends is now on Brazil, on vacation, and his iPhone 4 here, stay at 5 bars all the time… no death grip!

    SO, i think that the real problem of the iPhone in US is coverage…. it’s SO weak….

    And i could see that weak coverage on my phone when traveling mostly to Chicago.

    Maybe when Apple starts sell the iPhone 4 on Brazil and the rest of the world, they will see that this is mostly a US covearge problem.

  25. Andy says:

    Could you tell from the press conference video that Steve Jobs was suffering from a bad case of Ass Cramps? Of course you could! He was practically crying at one point. Someone in the audience even asked him how his health was during the Q&A, it showed that much!

  26. LogiCub says:

    Doc, sorry Dude, love the site, love your articles, but you really are coming across as bitter and twisted here.

    Whether you actually happen to be suffering from the same problem that an apparently small percentage of people are suffering form, or if you’ve just been called a fanboy too much and you’re trying to show that you can be objective by spouting bollocks, I don’t know. But something ain’t sitting right here with the Doc we all knew and loved…

    Heard a great quote a few weeks back, not sure who said it first: “The plural of anecdote is not fact”, fits quite well here me thinks.

  27. timur says:

    if you don’t like it do not use it.

    I am in the other part of the world i.e siberia even in here there is no weak signal problem. how you guys can have such issues over US ?

    I own a factory unlocked 3GS and quite happy about it. and unlike you i can buy legally factory unlocked iphones and yes iphone 4 will be also like that. sad part is i have to wait a couple of months…

  28. Justin says:

    You are all wrong and Dr. Macenstein is correct. You hold it in your hand your signal degrades worse than any other modern phone out there. That doesn’t mean you will drop a call, or not be able to check email. It does mean you have a greater risk of dropping a call and your email is going to download about 30-50% slower than it should be.

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