The people, or at least bloggers and pundits, have spoken and Apple has listened. Kind of. Tomorrow, Apple will host a Media Event to talk about the iPone 4. Everyone thinks that means the iPhone 4 antenna reception.
In case you've been vacationing in the mountains far beyond the reach of cellular or you forgot to pack your iPhone or iPad, the iPhone 4 is the first with an antenna on the outside: the stainless steel band around the side.
The best test and report I've seen on this, by antenna design expert Spencer Webb of AntennaSys, found the following (full account is at Webb's blog):
- gripping the iPhone 4 has a strong negative effect on data rates, both up and down
- gripping the iPhone 3G also lowers data rates, but much less so
- using Apple's rubberized "bumper" around the iPhone 4 (covering and insulating the steel band) mitigates much of the negative effect
- iPhone 4 data rates are much better than iPhone 3G (both up and down) in all the tested conditions.
So. What's the Right Thing for Steve Jobs to do?