Feeds

Boffins authenticate Apple 'Antennagate'

Judas Phone 'death grip' proven fatal

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More evidence has surfaced that Apple's beleaguered Judas Phone does, indeed, have serious reception challenges — and today's facts and figures come from a sophisticated source.

"Tests ... have indicated that Apple's iPhone4 does indeed suffer from connectivity problems compared to other smartphones," begins a report by the PA Consulting Group, a global management, IT, and technology consulting firm headquartered in London.

PA ran the Judas Phone through a comprehensive battery of tests, both on Vodafone's network and on a test network in an anechoic chamber not unlike those used by Apple (video) in its product testing, as trumpeted by Steve Jobs during his "There is no Antennagate" presentation on July 16.

PA's testing was conducted at its corporate Technology Centre, "deep in the Cambridge countryside", as described in an admittedly somewhat silly video that the company produced to give an overview of its testing and that testing's results:

The iPhone 4 was tested in various orientations, being held in different grips, and with and without a rubber bumper that Apple now offers to any Judas Phoner who wants one. PA's test bumper, however, was a thick rubber band, since Apple's branded bumper, they note, is not yet available in the UK. By way of comparison, the same tests were performed on a Blackberry Bold 9700 and HTC HD2.

The PA Consulting Group's test results, simply put, make Steve Jobs and his favorite phone look rather shabby:

  • Uplink to Vodafone, not held: BlackBerry best, HTC second, and iPhone third — although the differences were minor and "the user may not notice much difference in practice."
  • Uplink to Vodafone, firm and light grip: Again, on average, BlackBerry best, HTC second, and iPhone third. Testing was done without the iPhone's antennas being bridged — the so-called Death Grip — because: "When the 'death grip' was used and the gap bridged, the signal level dropped to the point where it was not possible to conduct the test as the call could not be established to begin with."
  • Test network, not held, various orientations: As before, BlackBerry best, HTC second, and iPhone third, "but the Blackberry has a further lead over the other two, and the difference between the iPhone and the HD2 is negligible."
  • Test network, various grips, 0° and 90° orientations: Same order of results, although "the results are now closer than on the live network."

When PA added its rubber-band iPhone 4 Bumper equivalent to the Judas Phone, performance increased substantially in all cases: whether the phone was held in the right or left hand or in a 0° or 90° orientation.

PA's dry, objective overall conclusion: "The iPhone antenna performance is comparable with the performance of the other mobiles when handled or hands-free, though at the lower end of the range."

But PA's equally objective assessment of the Death Grip effect is damning: "The so called 'death grip' gives a substantial further drop in performance for the iPhone to the point where we could not quantify it using the same test method."

On Apple's "Smartphone antenna performance" web page, Jobs & Co state that "nearly every smartphone can lose signal strength if you hold it in a certain way." But PA Consulting Group's testing indicates that when a bumperless iPhone 4 is held in "a certain way" — the antenna-detuning Death Grip — that loss of signal can cause calls to be dropped or not connect in the first place.

As Steve Jobs put it during his "There is no Antennagate" press conference: "We haven't figured out a way around the laws of physics yet." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.