The Apple Inc. Thread

Guest TFG1Mike

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* Video chat. Works only between iPhone 4s, and only through Wi-Fi.

* Can work with either the back camera or the new front-facing camera.

The most useless thing a phone can have. When are you going to use it? Riding the train? In a cab? It's a mobile phone, and video conferencing is better done on a computer where you are sitting down, not making everyone seasick. The Sprint Evo does this also, but at least they put in a kickstand to make it kind of useful.

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To say that iTunes is anything but a positive thing is ridiculous.

I love iTunes because its an example of creativity defeating piracy instead of legislation. This is how creative industries should work, creating easy to use universal payment systems for media services.

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My finger is hovering over the amazon purchase button to order my 32gb ipod touch. I really want one, should I just get it now and use the cash from my birthday on 6 weeks to offset it then?

edit: Screw it, I'd rather have it now. No sense in waiting, plus I'm going to be stuck in a hotel for a week in July and I'll need internets and podcast downloads.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Apple put out a letter to iPhone users explaining the iPhone 4's alleged crappy reception:

Dear iPhone 4 Users,

The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apple’s history. It has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever, and users have told us that they love it. So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them. Here is what we have learned.

To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones. But some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.

At the same time, we continue to read articles and receive hundreds of emails from users saying that iPhone 4 reception is better than the iPhone 3GS. They are delighted. This matches our own experience and testing. What can explain all of this?

We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising.

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. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.

To fix this, we are adopting AT&T’s recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength. The real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately, providing users a much better indication of the reception they will get in a given area. We are also making bars 1, 2 and 3 a bit taller so they will be easier to see.

We will issue a free software update within a few weeks that incorporates the corrected formula. Since this mistake has been present since the original iPhone, this software update will also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.

We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same— the iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. For the vast majority of users who have not been troubled by this issue, this software update will only make your bars more accurate. For those who have had concerns, we apologize for any anxiety we may have caused.

As a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

We hope you love the iPhone 4 as much as we do.

Thank you for your patience and support.


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It's definitely a black eye for Apple. I don't think they have ever had a problem like this before. The software tells you your reception is good when it's not, and when they fix it you will still have crappy reception because it won't fix the antennae problem. It's a PR nightmare.

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Well, a lot of what they said is true. Any skin-contact with any phone will reduce its reception somewhat. And if you touch the iPhone 4 along the black band separating the Wi-Fi and 3G antenna sections (while you're in an area with low 3G coverage), it'll screw with the reception. In high areas of 3G concentration, though, it isn't a problem either way.

It's a sure bet that they knew about the antenna problem beforehand, hence the cases that cover the antenna. The software issue was probably a genuine accident, and doesn't seem to be as big of a deal.

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I don't think the lawsuit could go through, for the reason they listed: every phone technically does that to some degree.

Still kinda sucks, though. It would have been better if they'd just mentioned it beforehand. "Hey, don't put your fingers there without a case, or reception might drop."

Bad PR timing.

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It's a design flaw. No other phones have this problem to the degree that it drops calls if you hold it a certain way. If they knew ahead of time and didn't try to fix it, or tried to hide it they will get sued. If they gave the cases with every phone and said "use this for this reason" it would be fine. If it's a flaw that just found out about, no big deal. If they knew ahead of time they are in trouble.

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Haha, seriously every month Apple becomes more and more like this century's Microsoft. That 'software' problem email is a crock of shit. Exactly why weren't they using the AT&T formula to begin with? It's not like people using the phone are first time mobile users. They have had mobiles before this and are obviously comparing the iPhone4 drop out with their previous coverage and have noticed a difference.

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It could also be that they'd get dropped calls with a regular phone as well, but are more used to the higher quality of the iPhone 4's normal reception. So when it drops from high quality to "normal" quality, it seems worse than if it were with a regular phone.

See, I've got two friends with iPhone 4s. One of them is left-handed (so his hand is CONSTANTLY over that black line), but lives in a high-density 3G-coverage area, so he never has any problems whatsoever. My other friend is right-handed, but lives in an area with low coverage, so he has some issues. He says that he had the exact same problems with his previous phone in that area, too, though.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, fellow iPhoners. I just got an iPhone 3GS (yay for previous gens being hella cheap!). Futzing around with the alarm, and would like to know in advance, is there a way I could access the Alarm playlist I have on iTunes for it?

Noperz Hannah, you can not do that with the built in alarm. I would suggest looking around for a cheap app. When I go out of town I use an app called Alarm Clock Pro, and put it on a stand before I go to bed. I am not sure if that app can run in the back ground, So look at the lite version first. Dont be afraid to search the app store's top 25, or the most popular in the Utilities category, You never know what useful thing you will find.

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Now that Apple has confirmed the date of its next "big announcement" for Sept. 1 in San Francisco, the rumor mill has kicked into high gear.

The big question is whether Apple will unveil its long-anticipated cloud-based music service, since it's easy to assume that the event will feature a music-centric unveiling (thanks to acoustic guitar featured prominently on the invite that went out yesterday).

Based on conversations with multiple label sources, the answer is a solid...maybe.

Word from label sources is that there is an ongoing dialog between Apple and music executives at the corporate level of the four major labels about a potential cloud-bases streaming service, and we've heard that there are some "large hurdles" to get over in that effort. Actual licensing negotiations for such as service do not seem to be taking place at this time, and likely won't until both sides hammer out a mutually agreeable concept.

But that doesn't mean there won't be any cloud-based announcements coming out of Apple at the event. Apple has been building a server farm in North Carolina that could serve as a data hub for all sorts of content, including music and video. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster issued a research note yesterday predicting the near completion of that facility points to a cloud-based content announcement.

"The company has indicated that the data center is on track to be completed by the end of CY10 and it will begin using it then," he writes in his note. "We believe an announcement at the Sept. event is likely, but the service may not begin until late in CY10. With Apple's growing family of connected devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Macs) it only makes sense that Apple would deliver a cloud based media service to leverage its competitive advantage in the space: devices."

That may just be limited to an Apple TV announcement, as predicted by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, citing "advanced talks" with networks such as CBS, Disney and Fox to offer 99-cent video rentals. The goal of course would be to kickstart one of Apple's rare struggling products - the Apple TV - which for three years has failed to make much of an impact in the digital living room market. Rumor has it that Apple will introduce a $99 version of that device, along with the new content renting scheme, which will also have smaller hard drive at the Sept. 1 event.

Gleacher & Co., analyst Brian Marshall old Reuters that he thinks the event will only feature an Apple TV announcement and a focus on new iPods, with no major streaming announcements at all. He doesn't expect any music streaming announcements until the first half on next year.

"It'll be about the iPod," he said. "Apple TV, that's still chugging along. They will likely introduce [an Apple TV] in a sleeker case with more storage, but that's not going to be a big deal."

But Apple could just as easily announce it's streaming music plans for the event without announcing the actual availability of the service. Doing so could take some wind from the sails of recently launched streaming music services like MOG and Rdio, as well as put some pressure on labels to fall in line with its plans. But it seems unlikely that Apple would do this since it goes against the company's strategy of announcing new products and services only when they are immediately available.

Meanwhile, the most likely announcement to take place at the Sept. 1 event is the introduction of a new iPod Touch with a front-and-back video camera lens that will support Apple's new "Facetime" video calling feature, first introduced with the iPhone 4.

I think it'll be the Apple TV relaunch and new iPods thing myself.

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