Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Jul 2010 19:04 UTC
Apple So, the iPhone 4 has been out for a while, and is getting mostly pretty good reviews - there's one major sore spot, though. Apple made this hoopla about their fancy antenna thingie, but as it turns out, this thingie is kind of a design flaw, causing signal loss (and dropped calls) for some people. Despite downplaying by Steve Jobs himself, AnandTech has done a thorough investigation, and they've found out that the problem - which affects every mobile phone - is a whole lot worse on the iPhone 4 due to the new antenna. At the same time, however, the iPhone has much better reception in low signal situations. What?
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Poor and potentially dangerous design
by ndrw on Sun 4th Jul 2010 03:49 UTC
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The article in Anandtech says it all.

The antennas are laid out along the rim of the device in such a way that they are NOT insulated. If the antenna is touches another conductor (like user's body, a key in a bag) it detunes from its center frequency, causing a major drop in received signal power.

This is particularly visible when two of antennas (GSM and WiFi) are shorted together by placing a finger atop a slit between them (and if you're a left-handed person you'll be doing this all the time). The resulting signal loss in this scenario is quite dramatic - quoted 20dB of signal loss is 100x less of received signal power or 10x larger distance.

What is more worrying is what happens with all the transmitted RF power (2W in case of GSM). Likely a substantial part of it is going to end up being conducted into the user's body. So, if you're the Iphone4 user don't wait for Apple and buy the damn holster now.

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