Sunday, July 25, 2010

iPhone4 Antenna Problems

When you touch a bare antenna, you become part of the antenna and change the intended length of it. You will effectively detune the antenna, and reduce performance. I thought about this when the iPhone4 was announced, and assumed that they would insulate the antenna with some type of laminate, or plastic coating, I was wrong.

I do think the design of the antenna is rather brilliant. Its designed to work when you hold it vertically or horizontally, but that goes out the window when you detune it. The Death Spot on the iPhone4, is basically shorting the 2 radios together. I wonder if you disable the Wireless and Bluetooth, if that problem will still be present. Apple's solution of giving out cases should have been from the beginning. I see this as poor research, development, and lack of proper field testing.

When they were Beta testing these in the field, the one Gizmodo found had a case to hide what it was. That case insulated the antenna. So their field testing results were flawed. I wonder if the engineer that designed the antenna was fired or not.