The Faraday Cage

Following the Apple Press Conference on the iPhone 4 earlier today via Text updates on Engadget we were presented with the following Image shared by Apple at the time.

In our Islay scotch affected state we erroneously called the test room shared with us a Faraday Cage. UPDATE: Apparently the correct description is “anechoic chambers

For the purposes of this post, the name sticks.

This post isn’t about informed or lengthy Continue reading

On Reception – The iPhone 4 hysteria – The Real Life/Lab Test Conundrum

On Reception – The iPhone 4 hysteria – The Real Life/Lab Test Conundrum

by Ed Dale
on 13. Jul, 2010
in General

I’m well aware that Apple are not infallible.

Exhibit A – The Mighty Mouse – Jon Ive and co were out to lunch when they put that shocker out. I still twitch when I think of the dirt attractor ball. (the new mouse is awesome)

Exhibit B – Mobile Me – For two terrifying weeks my email archive was gone forever. I got it all back but it wasn’t fun.

But today – we need to get real fast about this iPhone 4 thing.

To say I’m a power user of the iPhone is an understatement – I actually developed a shoulder condition because of the amount of time I held the thing. I run my business off the iPhone – I could not imagine doing business without one.

As a tragic – I actually got an iPhone 4 shipped from the UK to Australia and have been using it extensively in the past two weeks in places that no phone should rightly get reception, let alone the “flawed” iPhone 4.

But first, let’s take a baseball bat to the Elephant in the room – The Consumer Report published in the US in the last couple of days – lets just accept this lab test is spot on.

(I wonder how you can test call drop outs in such an environment – I don’t give two hoots about signal db’s – can the phone A – make the call and more importantly B – once the call is made, not drop the call.)

Ok, if you touch the iPhone in the right place you experience a signal degradation – check


Hear me out.

I’m fortunate enough to live in Australia – we have the best iPhone compatible network in the world – the Telstra Next G network – I so wish my fellow iPhone lovers in the UK , Japan and the USA could experience what a network can do that actually takes complete advantage of everything the iPhone can do. The range, coverage and performance of the network is without question – the best in the world.

(I’m fortunate enough to travel for my day job and have experienced the joy of trying to use the overstressed AT&T network – If you think verizon could have coped better – you’re on drugs, but I digress)

Here’s the thing, out the front of my home there is a vortex of Next G misery – every time I pull my car in front of my house for the past five years, Blackberry, Nokia, First three iPhones – the call was cut mercilessly. You could set your watch by it. Regardless of phone, on the best network in the world, my call dropped.

Enter the iPhone 4.

For the first time in four years, the call kept going!!!

I was stunned.

Actually, the first time this happened – I was on a 3G SKYPE CALL (I can’t tell you how well this works on the Next g network – the voice quality is out of this world) – when I released the call didn’t drop – i immediately applied the “Death Grip” on the iPhone 4 – it just kept on rocking.

I called up a mate on the cell network as soon as I got off the Skype call – and i must have looked like a total tool trying everything I could (in a known dead spot for cell phones, I hasten to add) to “death grip” this phone into dropping the call.

EPIC FAIL – my death grip musn’t be up to snuff – the iPhone kept up it’s noise cancelling enhanced magic and the call kept going.

I grabbed my 3gs – made the call – and it dropped with in 20 seconds…


I actually received my iPhone when I was having a break in Far North Queensland. We go up each year and being an iPhone tragic – know that once I get up in to the World Heritage Dainetree Rain Forrest – the cell coverage goes south…

Just for laughs, I pulled out my iPhone 4.0 at Thorton’s Beach (google it – it’s miles from anywhere)- and it had signal! My wifes iPhone 3gs – NADA.

As I’m sure scared out of their wits iPhone 4 owners the world over do as soon as they are faced with one or two bars signal – I immediately applied the death grip….

Did the call drop, did my twitter access die – NO!

This to me is the crux of the issue – the iPhone 4 has better day to day real world reception than the iPhone 3gs –

Jimmy Fallon – the tonight show host – jumped in a car in New Yprk for heavens sake and went to his favourite call drop spots in Manhattan and sure enough – the phone kept on trucking.

Apple have sold two million of these things – for goodness sake – if there was a real world usage problem – with calls dropping out every time the damn black line of death was touched – there would be riots in the street (at least one footlocker would be smashed up at the very least).

If you’re in a weak transmission area, on AT&T and the phone is struggling to make a call and you touch the antenna then the call will drop – but it’s not happening in REAL WORLD PRACTISE.

Please ask user after user, in the real world, with real world use If the iPhone 4 is better than there prior phone. The iPhone 4 is noticeably better and the noise cancelling microphone is awesome (no one even mentions that damn thing – just the way Apple wants it!).

Even breathless tech bloggers can demonstrate the magic disappearing bars but add they cannot make calls drop.

Don’t get me started on how much better wi-fi reception is on iPhone 4

In real world use, this phone is OBVIOUSLY better than the 3GS.

If in real world use you could make calls drop by applying the death grip on demand – like I said, there would be riots in the streets – the fact of the matter is you can’t in real world use so why would Apple recall their best performing phone ever???

It doesn’t make any sense.

The iPhone 4 is by far the best phone I’ve ever owned. Facetime is a game changer (ill save that debate for another day)

It would be a tragedy for the pitch fork wielding tech blog community that are ignoring the real world experience of millions of iPhone 4 users for a lab test that was not undertaken in real world conditions.


I had to share this in full goodness. Despite Apple’s ridiculous PR fails this past month, they still make the best Products and now the BEST Mobile Device…okay Smartphone.

Chalk us down for two so I can facetime with my wife and kids.

Breach of Trust

Recently I wrote about trust in some detail.

Today I wrote about a breach of trust. Except I didn’t call it that at the time. However as the day went on, I eventually realised this was exactly what it was.

pondering the vagaries of trust and how quickly it breaks downTue Jul 13 05:46:15 via Digsby

It felt like a big step to take but I eventually realised that, just as with a breakdown in trust in any relationship, one thing is often enough to cause trust to be breached. And while the trust I described in Continue reading

Some people at Apple PR are idiots

It’s official. Consumer Reports’ engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.

Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4’s signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that “mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.”

The iPhone scored high, in part because it sports the sharpest display and best video camera we’ve seen on any phone, and even outshines its high-scoring predecessors with improved battery life and such new features as a front-facing camera for video chats and a built-in gyroscope that turns the phone into a super-responsive game controller. But Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4. 

I rarely hold my 3GS without a case, I’m not left handed, our network in Australia is heaps better than AT&T’s appears to be, I imagine I’d be unaffected. But others will, so why didn’t they just send out a couple thousand free cases.

As I said at the time Apple PR shared that bullshit, it smelled false. Now all the great stuff about your device will be forgotten about.

Better to admit a design flaw which impacts a small percentage of your users than to allow others to own the conversation about your brand.