Apple released iOS 4.0.1, with its touted reception-signal fix for the iPhone, on July 15. Apple will host a July 16 press conference to discuss the iPhone 4.
released iOS 4.0.1, with its touted reception-signal fix for the iPhone, on
July 15. The software push comes a day before Apple hosts a scheduled press
conference at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters to discuss the
According to an on-screen
window accompanying the update, iOS 4.0.1 "improves the formula to
determine how many bars of signal strength to display." Updated devices
include not only the iPhone 4, but also the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.
Although the iPhone 4 has
proved to be a substantial marketplace success, selling some 1.7 million units
within its first three days of release, the device has been dogged by reports
of poor reception whenever the
exterior antenna rim is touched
. While Apple initially tried to downplay
the issue, with CEO Steve Jobs reportedly telling one irate customer to "Just
avoid holding it that way," media coverage has continued nonstop.
On July 2, Apple issued a
statement suggesting that the iPhone 4's issues were software-related, not
"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," Apple wrote
on its corporate Website
. "Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly
displays two more bars than it should for a given signal strength." That
means, the company suggested, that an iPhone is liable to display four bars'
worth of signal strength when it should, in actuality, be displaying as few as
At the time, the company also
promised a software fix, which turns out to be iOS 4.0.1.
Outside groups, however, have
continued to insist that the issues are hardware-related, and not software. The
hoopla seemed to reach something of a climax on July 12, when
Consumer Reports wrote that it would be unable to recommend the iPhone 4
because of what it termed "signal strength issues" related to users
touching the exterior antenna rim.
However, placing a rubber
bumper around the device seemed to mitigate the issues, blogged
Consumer Reports' Paul Reynolds on July 14
: "With the bumper fitted,
we repeated the test procedure, placing a finger on the Bumper at the point at
which it covers the gap below. ... The result was a negligible drop in signal
strength-so slight that it would not have any effect, in our judgment."
But the publication felt that
the fix, no matter how simple, was not enough to let it recommend the iPhone 4
"The Bumper solves the
signal-strength problem. So does a piece of duct tape, as we reported earlier,
or just being careful with how you hold the phone," Reynolds wrote. "But
these options all put the onus on consumers to solve or pay for a fix. We're
still calling on Apple to provide an acceptable free solution to the iPhone 4's
While the announcement of a
full recall during its July 16 press conference seems unlikely, Apple could
attempt to satisfy any unhappy iPhone 4 owners with a number of other measures,
including free bumpers. Apple has been predictably tight-lipped about
Apple also issued iOS 3.2.1
for iPad, which includes tweaks to the tablet's WiFi connectivity, video
playback and copy-and-paste for PDF attachments; it also adds Bing as an option
for Safari search.