Total Recall

The iPhone 4 antenna issue is becoming a big problem for Apple. Not that it wasn’t before, but at least until then, this wasn’t an “advertised” issue. With Consumer Reports saying yesterday they do not recommend the iPhone 4, the antenna problem has been brought to the mainstream.

Until today, Apple’s stance had been pretty clear: “YOU create the antenna issue. The hardware is fine, you just don’t know how to hold your iPhone.” But can they maintain this? While fanboys easily drink the Apple Kool Aid, I doubt the average person will…

Crisis Communication expert Pr. Matthew Seeger tells Cult Of Mac:

Apple will be forced to do a recall of this product. It’s critically important. The brand image is the most important thing Apple has. This is potentially devastating.

A recall on several millions iPhone? Ouch! It’s going to cost them a lot… Seeing how Apple lost 9 billion dollars in market capitalization today on the stock market in the wake of what TechCrunch call the “Antennagate”, a recall might reveal more “cost effective”. Doing the right thing might prevent Apple from losing more money and stain their brand forever.

At this point, I think Apple only has 3 options.

I doubt Apple will do a recall of the iPhone 4. A recall means they will fix the issue and so far, they don’t know how to. So let’s assume they recall your iPhone. What are they going to do with it? Put some tape around it? No. There is no fix but removing the antenna and sticking it back inside the device, but we know this isn’t an option as there is no room for it inside.

The other thing Apple can do is to offer a free Bumper to every iPhone 4 owner. This will cost them a couple dollars per iPhone, which I assume is the production cost of one Bumper. Even if Apple has to give away 100 million Bumpers, it’s still much better than what it’s losing right now on the stock market… Sure the Bumper won’t fix the antenna death grip, but at least it will appease angry or frustrated customers.

Finally, Apple’s last option is to keep silent as it usually does, hoping people will be tired of trashing the iPhone 4, and see it as what it really is: the best communication device out there.

What do you think Apple will do? Will they acknowledge their mistakes and come clean? Or will they stay mute?

  • Marlon E.

    Look forward to finding out… also want to see if the fix the sensor, I’m forever muting my calls.

  • Dcontrol

    I’ve had the iPhone 4 since it’s UK launch & I really haven’t noticed the antenna problem whilst using the phone. I’m sure it will depend on where you are in any country as to what the general signal reception is like. If you are in a weak signal area then I’m sure it would be quite problematic & annoying to say the least. If in a fairly strong signal area like I’m in then it’s really not that noticeable. I’m annoyed to the extent that Apple hasn’t done anything about this apparent major flaw & came out & denied the existence of the fault at first.

  • Rossi

    I’m also in the UK and had no issues with signal on my 3GS. But I have experienced dropped calls on the iPhone 4 if you hold it like a….phone.
    To see Apple blame the end user of a product for their lack of R&D is more than a little disappointing. If they finally publicly own the issue and provide a fix in some form it’ll partly restore their rapidlying shrinking reputation. For me personally I think their initial handling shows they think little of their consumers.


    Well I have had my iPhone 4 for a couple weeks and I still don’t have the death grip problem. Even when I’m in areas with bad reception the 4 isn’t effected.

  • Joseph

    If it makes the iPhone better do whatever it takes but why did apple make this stupid mistake in the first place.

  • Thefallen

    they will keep their mouth shut and a lawsuit will be imminent…

  • Zach

    You know, I do see the results of the death grip. But if I don’t hold my iPhone that way, I get great reception. Even better than any of the previous iPhones. I’ve had my iPhone 4 in places where my original, 3G, and 3GS never worked before.

  • Galo

    Cmon Seb, you talk about apple fanboys sucking it up, but then you describe the iPhone 4 as the best communication device out there, when it is nothing more than a flawed device.

    I sense some hypocrisy in your objectiveness when you also clearly support your own last option for apple which is for them to remain mute and for people to “see the light” in a flawed device.

    And what good is the best communication device out there for, for when its held “the wrong way” it becomes an expensive iPod Touch? Oh right! just hold it differently, and it becomes a phone right back again!

    Now dont get me wrong, I love the iPhone, just not the 4, the antenna issue is like a super hot woman youre about to smooch, then she opens her mount and has rotten teeth, it just kills it for me, and I bet it killed it for a lot more ppl than you think.

    • @Galo Unlike what you may think I am not a fanboy and I don’t drink the Apple Kool-Aid. I’m probably the iPhone blogger that talks the most shit about Apple, so please don’t call me a hypocrite. Besides, I think the best thing Apple can do at the time is to give away free bumpers. Staying silent is NOT the way to go.

  • steveb

    The iphone 4 is the best phone on the planet,I’ve not had a problem with mine.The only complaint I have is that you can’t customise the message tones.

  • choemin


    You are an Apple fanboy to keep using the iPhone 4 knowing that it is faulty. Stop shooting yourself in the foot. I have returned my iPhone 4 as soon as it fail my expectations.

  • Kevin

    I highly doubt there will be a recall. Apple will just say if your unhappy, return it. I think giving away bumpers is probably what they’ll do. I’ve had bumpers the whole time so I can’t say whether my phone is affected or not. But I can say it has superior reception to my 3GS. I actually just got my iPhone 4 as the second shipped batch. Can anyone confirm that they’ve fixed the incorrect reception bars issue in current production units? This phone shows far fewer bars than any of my iPhones (I’ve had them all) in all the usual places (ie work, home, shopping) yet as I’ve said has far better reception.

  • Brian

    Let the free market speak on this one. Anyone who bought the iPhone 4 knew the issues either prior to the 30 day return window (and the restocking fee was waived, by the way) or they knew it before they bought the phone. If users don’t like certain aspects of the phone they will return it or no buy it…which will then force Apple to recall it and fix it.

    Let the buyers be the judge, not a black robed man.

    Really FUNNY Apple satire articles on this site, check it out:

  • Thefallen

    Galo FAIL lol

  • AppleBits

    All I know is that I pre-ordered (late), so ship date was July 14th. But then all the hub-bub of the antenna was announced, so I canceled my order, thinking I’d re-order when they get this figured out. Needless to say, I have not re-ordered, nor will I, for some time. I love my 3GS just fine. So I think I’ll just wait it out a while. See what comes of this mess. But I agree with Seb, they really should just hand out free bumpers. They charge what, $30 for one? (I had one on order with my phone.) They probably cost like .17 to make…if that. SERIOUSLY about the best option for Apple at the moment. Even with no recall, returns are going to get crazy.
    And here’s another issue for me: let’s say I decide in a month or 2 to order….will I end up with someone else’s returned headache that is just “fixed”??? Uh…no thanks.
    I am picky. If I have to pay $400-600 for a phone, I want it brand spankin’ new, unused, and working perfectly!

  • Z

    Nice comments overall. I like apple cool aid and like hot women, not with rotten teeth though. I have to agree, that’s a big turnoff.

    I believe the reason to most of the people not to return the phone is BECAUSE everyone is wayting for the fix from apple. What I do NOT agree with is a bumper as a solution. Neither do I see any other solution to the problem but the phys. fix. Ultimately we see that not ALL of the phones are affected by the problem. So, encouraging a move, each and one of you unhappy with the problem should start bombing apple stores for replacements. Don’t take the bumper as a solution and neither should you accept any sort of guidelines on “Hold Your iPhone 101”. Demand a flawless phone in return.

    Let’s teach apple a lesson. Let’s bring all those millions of iPhone 4s back to the stores demanding a replacement. In the end of the day, the cost of the phone is not even a third of its price. You are getting ripped off on the phone, on the service and yet you can’t get what YOU want?!

    Think about it.

    P.S.: Im very happy for those that don’t face any problems, you are only supporting the fact that not all the phones have the same problem.

  • ian

    I have not had any issues probably cos I have a bumper case on the phone and have had since I got it on launch day. However I did do a test and take the phone out of the case and the signal did drop off when I held it to make a call. Come on Apple give everyone a free bumper case!

  • ian

    II have not had any issues probably cos I have a bumper case on the phone and have had since I got it on launch day. However I did do a test and take the phone out of the case and the signal did drop off when I held it to make a call.

    Come on Apple give everyone a free bumper!

  • Paul

    The free bumper is the best solution and it’s incredible that it wasn’t in the box already!

    And it is more incredible that Apple asks about 30 bucks for that thing!

  • In fact, this idea of putting the antenna outside can be a masterstroke from Apple. Compare the past models – the antenna is inside and then most users put a case anyway, so the it gets buried deeper still…
    read my views for all complaints on my post

    At this point we do not know
    1. How many users are affected
    2. If the iPhone 4 is still better than many other phones out there (not just the smartphone brands), there will be no need to recall.
    3. A software fix can fix what looks like a hardware issue.


  • Kaft

    go back 3gs

  • Kiru

    @Z You are an idiot. the iPhone 4 is not flawed. You know why? Because if you do 1 simple search YouTube, you will see hundreds of videos of phones with ‘antennagate’, including Sprint’s EVO and the Droid X. So perhaps before you speak next, you can do some research.