Coverage of Apple’s iPhone 4 Press Conference
Backstage at Apple Town Hall (via mrvideobba)
Apple today is holding its iPhone 4 press conference where it is expected to address issues with the device’s cellular signal reception.
The event is scheduled to kick off at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters at 10:00 AM Pacific Time / 1:00 PM Eastern Time, or just about one hour from now. Apple will not be providing live video or audio coverage of the event, and thus observers will have to rely primarily on text and photo updates coming out of the event.
Live Web/Twitter Coverage
- All Things Digital
- Ars Technica
- MacRumors Twitter updates
We’ll also be providing event updates here in this article.
Recent News and Rumors
- iPhone 4 Signal Issue Can Be Fixed With a Software Update?
- Apple Not Planning an iPhone 4 Recall
- Apple Addresses iPhone Signal Strength Display With iOS 4.0.1 and iPad Wi-Fi Connectivity With iOS 3.2.1
- Analyst Claims Design Fix for iPhone 4 Signal Issue Being Deployed
- Consumer Reports ‘Can’t Recommend’ iPhone 4 Due to Signal Issues
- Media are being let into Apple Town Hall for the press conference. The Wall Street Journal has noted the presence of a representative from Consumer Reports, the magazine that made the iPhone 4’s antenna issue mainstream news earlier this week.
- Most of Apple’s top executives are seated in the front row: Tim Cook, Bertrand Serlet, Bob Mansfield and Phil Schiller.
- Press conference opens with video of iPhone 4 antenna song.
- Jobs takes the stage. Scheduled for a 15 minute presentation followed by a Q&A
- Jobs says, “We’re not perfect. Phones are not perfect. We all know that. But we want to make our users happy.”
- iPhone 4 is best product we’ve ever made. We’ve sold over 3 million of them. Highest customer satisfaction rating, but we’ve been getting reports of antenna problems. It’s been dubbed “Antennagate”. We’re an engineering-driven company, so we wanted to find the real problem. So here’s our data.
- Shows BlackBerry Bold 9700 (Research in Motion), HTC Droid Eris (Android), and Samsung Omnia II (Windows Mobile) all behaving in exactly the same way. Bars drop to one or zero when held in areas of weak signal. A challenge for the entire industry.
- “X” marks the spot. We made it very visible, and with the help of our friends on some websites, everybody knows where to touch to make it happen. We haven’t found a way around the laws of physics yet.
- Shows off state-of-the-art antenna testing facility. Invested over $100 million in antenna testing facilities over the past 5 years and have 18 PhD scientists working on antenna design.
- We knew if you gripped the iPhone in a certain way, the bars would go down, just like every smartphone. It’s a challenge to the industry and we’re hoping to contribute to some solutions over the coming years.
- Only 0.55% of iPhone 4 customers have called AppleCare about the antenna issue. Historically not a large number for us. Return rates through AT&T for iPhone 4 are at 1.7%, far below the gold standard iPhone 3GS return rate of 6%.
- AT&T data on dropped call rates. Exact data not available due to competitive reasons, but we can say that despite our belief that the iPhone 4 has a better antenna design than the 3GS, dropped call rates have increased. But how much? Less than one call per 100 more than iPhone 3GS.
- It’s not much difference, but it’s too much for us, and we want to know why. Jobs’ theory is that when the iPhone 3GS came out, there was already a healthy market for cases that fit it. With the iPhone 4, 80% of consumers are buying the phone without a case, and we can’t make bumpers fast enough.
- Our engineers see there’s a problem, but it’s affecting only a small number of people. I’ve received over 5000 emails from customers who are having no problems and don’t understand the fuss. But we care about every user, and we’re not going to stop until everyone is happy.
- Here’s what we’re going to do. Yesterday, we released iOS 4.0.1…everyone should update.
- Free cases for everyone who bought or buys an iPhone 4 through September 30th. If you’ve bought one already, we’ll refund you. We can’t make enough bumpers, so we’ll source some third-party cases and you can pick. Apply on Apple’s site starting late next week.
- If you’re still not happy, you can return your undamaged iPhone 4 within 30 days for a full refund, no restocking fee.
- Other updates: We’re also tracking proximity sensor problems, and we’ll address those in our next software update.
- White iPhone 4 will begin shipping in limited quantities at the end of this month.
- Next batch of international iPhone 4 rollouts will take place on July 30th.
- We love our users, and we’ve built over 300 retail stores with Genius Bars to serve them and get free advice. But when we fall short, we pick ourselves up, figure out what’s wrong, and try harder. And when we succeed, users reward us with their loyalty. When we have problems, we take it personally. Maybe we should have a wall of PR people to insulate us, but we don’t.
- We’ve been working very hard over the past 22 days to figure out the problem, and we’ve confirmed that the heart of the problem is that all smartphones have weak spots. And if our customers are having problems, we’ll give them free cases or a full refund. But the data supports that this is the best smartphone in the world and there is no “Antennagate” for us, but a challenge to the entire industry.
Q&A with Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and Bob Mansfield
Q: How’s your health, Steve?
A: Fine! I was on vacation in Hawaii, but this was worth coming back for.
Q: Any changes to future antenna design?
A: Steve: We’re still working on this. We’re happy with the design. Maybe our wizards will come up with something better, but we don’t think there’s a problem here.
Q: I can’t get my BlackBerry Bold’s signal to drop like the iPhone 4’s.
A: Steve: You may not see it in certain areas.