Leaked Apple document shows antenna troubleshooting guidelines

by PYB James | Jun 01, 2010

Apple’s fourth generation iPhone has been the subject of much bad press over an issue regarding its antenna.

In short, new users found that their signal was dropping if they held the phone in such a way that the antenna on the bottom left hand corner of the handset was covered by their hand.

Now, a memo leaked from the company show how front line customer service staff have been briefed to deal with complaints from dissatisfied customers.

Apple’s first line of defence is to state that fourth generation iPhone’s wireless performance is superior than that of previous generations, and that testing conclusively proves that it is superior to the iPhone 3.

Apple’s  troubleshooting procedures go on to state that it is an inevitability that certain things, such as holding a mobile phone in a particular manner, can reduce the reception of any mobile phone, and this is the case for all iPhones. In their words:

“It is a fact of life in a wireless world”

The customer service staff are then directed to advise iPhone 4 owners not to hold the black strip on the bottom left hand corner with their hand. People who own the older iPhone 3 are told not to hold their handset in a way which covers the bottom right hand side of the phone.

Protective cases and rubber ‘bumpers’, which are affixed to each corner of the iPhone, can improve the antenna’s performance, but these have to be bought separately. Many new iPhone owners will have purchased something along these lines, as well as some iPhone insurance to protect their new gadget, but Apple are taking a hard line on keeping customers happy with any promises of a free bumper. The leaked document states:

“We are not appeasing customers with free bumpers – don’t promise a free bumper to customers.”

Given that a bumper costs around £25, many customers may not be keen on buying one, especially after purchasing the handset and adding insurance, even if it was cheap iPhone insurance.

Although Apple makes many valid points, particularly about how any mobile phone’s reception can be affected, this issue has attracted a lot attention. Rumours abound that Apple may find itself involved in a class action lawsuit sometime soon.

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