Feeds

Boffins authenticate Apple 'Antennagate'

Judas Phone 'death grip' proven fatal

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.