Droid X Double Antenna Design To Prevent iPhone 4-Like Signal Problems

Well, we are still two weeks away from the launch of the next big Android handset – the Droid X. And the ads are beginning to reach the mainstreamers. The latest is a full-page ad on The New York Times announcing the July 15 launch day.

Hidden under the glitz and images are those tiny few words taking a dig at Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna signal reception issue. The ad reads,

“And most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design. The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls. You have a voice. And you deserve to be heard.

We are not sure how the double-antenna design on Droid X works. Apple’s iPhone 4 comes with two separate antenna bands that caters to Bluetooth/Wi-Fi and voice calls respectively. We are unsure if Motorola Droid X contains two antenna that perform the same functionality, though we think that is the case.

Motorola has had some fantastic releases in the past few months. We will wait and see how this launch goes. Meanwhile, check out the latest ad below.

Motorola Droid X print ad

How To Fix Signal Reception Issue On iPhone 4

Okay. So you are one of those poor souls who braved the weather and queued outside the Apple Store for hours before you could get hold of your prized possession only to realize that this thing does not make a call.

It looks like there are several hundreds of users out in the wild complaining about the signal reception issues that seem to be plaguing the recently launched iPhone 4.

Apple has not announced an official fix. Steve Jobs has pronounced his verdict – Users are holding their device the wrong way. Apple is also learned to be sending manuals to their retail staff instructing them about how to counter complaints from iPhone users experiencing these issues. Effectively, there has been little support from Apple about this so far.

Surprisingly, there seems to be a minor workaround that has helped several users get over the signal reception issue. Get ready and note the steps carefully

1. Use the paperclip-like pin that was provided with your iPhone to remove the SIM card from the tray

2. Now, with the tray open, reseat the SIM on the tray so that it is properly centered

3. Reinsert the tray into the iPhone

Looks too absurd a fix for an issue as important as signal reception, right? But it seems to be working for a lot of users. One user on the MacRumors forum offers a reason

“The metal part of the sim card is not centered and is contacting the sim tray. The sim tray is steel and the sim tray is contacting the outer antenna band. Once you touch the phone, this could be causing a sim issue. If when you touch the antenna line on the lower left it changes the state of frequency, power or what ever, it might actually be messing with the sim card. The metal on the sim is connected to the sim tray, the sim tray is connected to the antenae and the antenae is connected to your hand when you touch the phone. Take a look at your sim card and see if the metal is just off center enough to touch the tray.”

So there you go. Try it – It costs nothing. And don’t forget to post in here about how it goes.

Calls On iPhone 4 Disconnecting Frequently Due To Proximity Sensor Issues

It looks like Gray Powell (that same Apple engineer who lost his iPhone in a bar) lost the only handset Apple had for testing prior to its launch. Otherwise, it is difficult to believe that the new iPhone has so many flaws that are becoming apparent with every passing day.

First, users complained about noticing yellow or brown splotches on the much-touted retina display of the new iPhone 4. The issue was dismissed as a “residue from manufacturing” that should resolve with usage. There were a few reported scratches on the glass casing that appeared to be an anomaly.

This was followed by reports that suggested that the positioning of the antenna band resulted in poor signal reception on iPhone 4. The news was followed by a controversial statement from Steve Jobs who remarked that users were holding their device the wrong way.

The troubles seem to be far from over. Users are now reporting that the extra-sensitive proximity sensor on the new iPhone could be unintentionally meddling with user-input. Users note that their calls have been hung-up or muted without their consent. Other users have also noted frequent “cheek dialing” and migration to FaceTime because of the super-sensitive nature of the iPhone’s proximity sensor.

Here’s a quote from a user on the Apple support forums

“1st call I made I kept hearing as if someone was dialing a number…only later did I realize it was me hitting it with my cheek over and over again.

2nd call later that night i looked up my contacts and called a friend. Was talking with him and then when I was talking to him it started dialing somone in my contacts that is the least person I would want to call right now and made a three way call! I couldn’t believe it.

Basically I can’t risk this and can’t keep ending calls or dialing numbers or hitting buttons….if there is no software fix for this….I may actually need to return this within the 30 day period. I’m not going to risk this potentially being a massive hardware issue and not software.”

Are you facing these issues? Tell us your problem in the comments.

Poor Signal On iPhone? Steve Jobs Says It’s Your Fault

Apple iPhone users have rarely enjoyed great cell phone connectivity on their handsets. Many users often carry two handsets – one iPhone for bragging purposes and another handset to actually make calls. Such is the level of network connectivity from the AT&T network.

Of late though, AT&T has promised to rectify their network. The carrier is in the process of building a next generation cellular infrastructure that can offer its subscribers much improved network connectivity. While this is expected to take some more time before it is completely incorporated, the carrier has also been trying out other strategies like the implementation of Wi-Fi networks in highly congested areas so that subscribers in these areas can consume much more data.

While AT&T seems to be improving their network, it appears that Apple customers’ worries are far from over. The Cupertino based company introduced its latest iPhone this week amidst much fanfare. To their dismay, many users have noted that the new iPhone 4 has a peculiar problem – the cell signal strength drops to nil when held on the bottom sides of the phone. The iPhone 4 has its antenna band – that helps in connecting to the towers along this region (You can notice the black seam running on either side of the phone on the bottom sides) and by holding the iPhone in this region results in blocking signals.

Steve Jobs had in fact bragged about this new technology during a meeting with developers at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month. Back then, he had noted that the stainless steel bands on the lower sides of the iPhone 4 was a primary structural element of the iPhone’s antenna system that will help in better connectivity and that this has never been done before. Check out the video below.

Now, users are no longer amused. In particular, left handed users who typically HAVE to hold the iPhone at these designated spots during a call have been particularly inconvenienced. Several left handed users who had recently emailed Steve Jobs ([email protected]) seem to have received this response from the man himself (or his assistant)

“Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.”

Well, no fact of life this. I just tried this on my lowly Samsung F480 – I simply could not succeed. Didn’t happen with my iPhone 3G as well. As some people have been noting, this could as well be a software bug that Apple has failed to take note of.

Nevertheless, as Apple has pointed out, you may either change the way you hold your iPhone (It’s your fault) or buy one of those colorful bumpers that are now available for sale at Apple Stores. It costs $29 only.

iPhone 4 Launch In Canada To Be Delayed?

The new iPhone 4 shall not be hitting Canada on June 24. However, Steve Jobs had noted in his keynote address during WWDC 2010 that the new iPhone shall be available in Canada from July. The tentative date of launch was expected to be between July 7 and 15.

However, there are now speculations that this may not happen. Folks at BGR have noticed a small change in wording on the Apple website where “Coming In July” has now been replaced with “Coming Soon“.

While the optimistic lot among you may interpret this as an indication for the iPhone 4 to be available before the end of this month, the likelihood for this is pretty slim. Apple has seen yet another record breaking launch that saw over 600,000 iPhone 4 units pre-ordered on the opening day – so much so that Apple had to stop pre-orders midway.

This being the case, an advancing of the Canada launch is unlikely. Instead, chances are high that customers in Canada may yet again have to bear the brunt for the success of an Apple device in the US.

[via BGR]

Is iPhone 4 Unbreakable?

Hate to break it, but it appears that the iPhone 4 actually breaks pretty easily. The new strong glass material on the iPhone 4 was one of the talking points (besides the retina display, that is) of Steve Jobs’ speech during WWDC 2010 keynote address. However, according to folks at the iFixyouri, more than a couple of drops from waist-level should do the trick.

The team attributes the vulnerability to a design flaw in the new iPhone that has the glass in the new iPhone sitting on top of the aluminium frame unlike the earlier model where it was recessed a bit in order to be protected by the Chrome bezel.

While there may be truth in this, we are not sure if the iPhone would actually end up like this

iPhone 4 glass shield

Don’t believe? Wait until June 24 till you get your own piece.

[via iFixyouri]

iPhone 4 In India – Launch In September?

Vodafone India has issued a short media statement announcing that Apple’s newly unveiled smartphone, the iPhone 4 shall be launched in India “in the coming months“. That’s pretty much a no-brainer given the subjective nature of the announcement. Nevertheless, indications are that this could mean that a September launch of iPhone in India is likely.

Why? Because Apple has indicated that the iPhone 4 will launch in over 80 countries in that period. Also, Apple may have already stopped the distribution of iPhone 3G worldwide. Nevertheless, the company had only recently introduced iPhone 3GS in India and so yet another launch may get a lot of these new iPhone 3GS users frustrated. It is possible that Vodafone offers an easy upgrade offer to these users. But the modalities that may be worked out are mere speculations at this point.

There is no word from Airtel, the other iPhone carrier in India on when they plan to launch the iPhone. But considering the statement from Vodafone, expect another from Airtel pretty soon.

[via Vodafone PR]

iPhone 4 In Canada

Canada is not among the list of countries where Apple will be launching their new iPhone on June 24th this year. But as Steve Jobs had noted during his WWDC 2010 keynote address, the iPhone could be hitting the Canadian market in July.

According to reports, three Canadian carriers – Rogers, Telus and Bell shall be offering the iPhone 4. While the price of iPhone 4 in this North American market is not yet known, speculations are that the price will stay around the $199 and $299 price point that has been announced for the US. Besides this, the carriers are also likely to enforce on the three year contract that has been the norm in this part of the world.

The launch dates will be out shortly. You can sign up to Rogers for information on the availability when it is out.

[via IntoMobile]