What’s Different About the iPhone 4S Antenna?

By , Oct 6, 2011

One part of Apple’s iPhone 4S announcement that perhaps isn’t getting all that much talk time (see what I did there?) is the new, redesigned antenna system. That’s particularly interesting considering how eager everyone was so talk about it, back when the iPhone 4 was suffering from the good ol’ AntennaGate debacle!

So, what’s so new about Apple’s latest redesign of something that most phone manufacturers never even talk about at all?

According to Apple’s own press release from yesterday, it’s a pretty big deal…

“Improving on the innovative stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. iPhone 4S now supports twice the download speed with HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps and iPhone 4S is a world phone, so both CDMA and GSM customers can now roam internationally on GSM networks.**”

Those two “**” actually mention that HSPA might not be available on your carrier. Really? We’d not noticed.

So the iPhone 4S will now ‘intelligently switch’ between its two antennas, helping it to send and receive information in a more reliable fashion. Does that stop the death grip we heard so much about last year? We’ll find that out in a week or so, won’t we?

Whether the average iPhone 4S buyer will even know about the change is entirely debatable, but the fact that Apple even mentioned it shows just how aware the company is that the iPhone 4 did indeed have an issue with cell reception. The boys from Cupertino will no-doubt have fingers, toes and anything else they can, all crossed in the hope that we don’t see a repeat of the AntennaGate hysteria of 2010.

Another potential boon for the iPhone 4S and its shiny new antenna system is the supposed increase in download speeds. In a world where 4G is very much a buzzword, Apple has managed to avoid falling into the trap of going toe-to-toe with the Android handsets that are currently doing so well amongst the geeks and technorati out there, but at the same time has improved matters for its customers. Faster download speeds – twice as fast, if you believe what you read – are always a good thing. Here’s hoping AT&T’s data network can kick data out quick enough for the iPhone 4S to download it!

We’ve not even mentioned the fact the iPhone 4S is a world phone yet! Now, CDMA loving Sprint and Verizon customers can happily roam onto GSM carriers’ networks when they go globetrotting. The added bonus? Apple doesn’t have to make two different iPhones anymore!

Did you think Apple’s new iPhone 4S antenna was a big deal yesterday, and are you expecting improved download speeds where you live, particularly our international readers?

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  • Yuval

    So it won’t have this reception drop anymore?

  • Darrin

    I could see a possible jailbreak tweak that will allow the use of both antennas simutameously so that Verizon and sprint customers can talk and surf at the same time. Utilize the tech just slightly different then it was intended and make a huge difference for CDMA customers. You never know how great a feature that is until you can do it not noticing and then have it taken away. I personally use Att and love it but talk and surf is mandatory for me

    • fdxgncgfn

      or run on two carriers or maybe even get two times the speed. If it was possible, tmobile customers could buy an unlocked 4s and then utilize the double antennae to get regular 3g speeds.

  • Francesco

    Truee, you never know wat a lil tweak could do to an iphone, the jailbreak community have had great minds for tweaks to help the iphone be faster an really a mindblowing device, so I think and hopefully they can find one for the double antenna, to help sprint :)

  • Paul H

    The problem is that the Verizon iPhone 4 was not available until last February. I am still more than a year away from fulfilling my contract. The 4s has some impressive improvements: A5, beta Siri, better antenna, world capability, but simply not each to spend a fortune to leave the Verizon iPhone 4 contract early. At this point I am probably looking at iPhone 6, unless iPhone 5 is sooo great. Hey if iPhone 4 uses the alleged 4th generation wireless network and that is lighting fast, only then would I switch early.

  • Sean

    NO IT DIDN”T THINK IT WAS A BIG DEAL. ALL I WANT IS AN IPHONE 5

  • Erik

    I want to know if the vibrate switch lines up like the iphone 4 verizon or att version? Will my ATT iphone 4 cases fit the 4s? Or did apple move the vibrate switch? It looks to me like we

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angel-YoDuh-Castillo/674406718 sOleFresh

    I am very excited about finding out what kind of “real world” speeds i’ll be experiencing. I never had a problem with my i4 at all with the reception issue luckily, but faster is ALWAYS better!

  • Badlands

    Can I unlock it and take it to Tmobile AND connect to their 3G network now???? I hate AT&T. Only reason I’d get it v

    • fdxgncgfn

      no

  • Badlands

    Can I unlock it and take it to Tmobile AND connect to their 3G network now???? I hate AT&T. Only reason I’d get it

  • Franz

    So does that mean it wont need an unlock? Like will it operate on T-mobile in the US or any other carrier overseas?

    • fdxgncgfn

      yes, but on certain carriers(tmobile mostly) the frequency of the waves are different, and not the same as the iPhone 4s was designed for, so 3g won’t work

  • http://www.MassEffectForums.com WaterTrooper

    The iPhone4S rivals any 4G phone out there.