My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Apple and the Antenna - Black Sabbath and much ado about nothing

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Apple and the Antenna - Black Sabbath and much ado about nothing

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good

New Testament, I Thessalonians 5 vs 21

It seems Friday July 16th 2010 AD was indeed the Black Sabbath, as my girlfriend Audia Granston used to describe a Sabbath after a bad week of work in her cosmetology emporium that used to be located on Toll Gate when she was alive.

It was indeed a Black Sabbath for Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs, who held an impromptu conference to respond the complaints of a minor few in the Great United States of America as it relates to an issue, which from all accounts and Media reports, is a non-issue, as CEO Steve jobs had and still does maintain.

Oweing to its commonness on other smart phones scientifically documented to lose signal when held a certain way but nonetheless caused Apple stock price to plunge as stated in our own local newspaper “Apple shares plunge after bad review of iPhone 4 sparks recall rumours” published Friday, July 16, 2010 By NIALL FIRTH, The Jamaica Observer.

CEO Steve Jobs castigates the Media for blowing the whole thing out of proportion, seeing as it was a complaint of a minority of customers, as based on Apple Inc. irrefutable in-house statistics that indicate that less than 0.55% of iPhone 4 users worldwide or even in the United States of America alone complained of problems with their shiny new Apple iPhone 4.0.

With only 1.7% of AT&T customers wishing for a refund on their purchase compared with 6% of Apple iPhone 3GS customers in 2009 as stated in the article “Apple's solution for the iPhone 'death grip': free cases”, published Friday July 16 2010 by Ben Patterson, Technology Writer, Yahoo! News, and back then it was due to a A4 Processor overheating problem, which like the new antenna was also an idea of mine.

CEO Steve Jobs in a controlled manner also pointed his own Pet Theory, with which John Public wholeheartedly agrees: due to the new design, fewer people thought to use protection in the form of buying a bumper of case, with Apple own in-house recording that only 20% of customers purchased one of Apple US$30 bumpers, as opposed to 80% for previous models.

An indication in the mind of John Public of how people care their products – and possibly a jab by CEO Steve Jobs at the promiscuous nature and mindset of most people, who like their Plan Contracts, dive headfirst into relationships without wearing condoms, assuming that all is safe based on appearance alone after being warned this is not so at all.

Albeit many may say that Apple is not being truthful, it is good to note that the Media had indeed blown the whole thing out of proportion as CEO Steve Jobs later goes on to assert emphatically: “This is not a large number. This doesn’t jibe with what you read”.

That’s right folks, most of the Apple iPhone issues (for this is not so great as to warrant calling it a problem, as a problem is a permanent, difficult to solve issue) have originated from suggestions I and many other design people have sent in to Apple, which Apple’s PhD wielding scientists promptly flesh out, design, prototype and solving problems as they come along.

Anyone feeling queasy about John Public or other members of the Third World suggesting designs to companies need to rest easy; most Fortune 500 Companies DO read your emailed suggestions, blog posts and even Twitter and Facebook comments (the new Media in case the Old Media people are not getting it) and to them, seeing as how their businesses are customer –oriented and consumer driven, they do take note with a grain of salt.

Your suggestions, hundreds of them are all with merit and if enough persons suggest a similar concept, it merits research, being gauged as a statistical sample that indicates a desired trend among consumers, even if the suggestions, on the face of it, has little scientific merit, as consumer electronics and the satisfaction of consumers with their product purchases is not an exact science.

In short, my suggesting ideas for new products or writing proposals is nothing new, as designers have been submitting design ideas to Apple, HTC, Motorola and other hardware and software companies for years, even from Jamaica, which does have a small developer base, most of whom are just regular programmers and not “rich” people living in Upper St. Andrew.

I would even go out on a limb and assert that the best design ideas come from creative non-engineering people who live in the Developing World or Third World as Jamaica is often called, due to the fact that we have out-of-the-box thinking. This by virtue of our impoverished state, as we are always seeing more low cost, efficient ways to make technology accessible to all .

One such example is the One Laptop Per Child Project which has morphed into Netbooks, another contrived suggestion of mine made as far back as 2002, proving that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

The real thing is that Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs owned up to this nagging Media magnification of the Consumer Reports lackluster rating and non-recommendation of an otherwise excellent product. He has shown remorse.

He is also healthy, if the Media hounds are looking yet for more pounds of flesh or blood in the water. But most importantly he has issued everyone a free bumper or case as we Jamaicans call these rubberized grip accessories, which from a common sense point of view, customer should naturally buy themselves as a means of protecting their investment.

Many of these Apple Fanboys plunked down so much of their hard earned and saved cash a la plastique on a contract of prices ranging from US$199 to US$299 depending on which model you purchased.

This is much the same argument one would make for a luxury car or any other high-end device one purchases: you buy things to care for your purchase and protect it so that it does not get damaged, and bumpers do just that for Mobile phones.

To further cement my point, the antenna actually improves the signal reception of the Apple iPhone 4.0 on Telecom Provider AT&T’s Broadband Wireless Network. In-house testing from Apple Inc. and its eighteen (18) PhD wielding scientists and their US$100 million anechoic test chambers confirmed long ago.

Hence the basis for the inclusion of my External Loop Antenna Design and basic non-scientific tests by PC World as stated in the article “iPhone 4's Antenna Boosts Voice and Data Rates, With One Big Flaw”, published Friday, June 25, 2010 05:38 AM PDT by Mark Sullivan, PC World.

Even the Consumer Reports own testing in its anechoic chambers indicate the same improvement in the reception of the phone and verifying it as an otherwise excellent device with much improvements.

The SOLE issue that they had was the fact that if held in a manner where the lower left hand side of the Apple iPhone 4.0 had the antenna shorted out, the phone lost signals and this controlled experiment supposedly was replicable under various conditions by various other testing facilities.

Thus confirming prior reports of the Apple iPhone antenna issue based on anecdotal reports as stated in my blog article entitled “Apple iPhone and the Loop Antenna - Strange Encounters of the Third Kind” and explained to be more of a physics related problem as stated in the article “Appleantenna issue a "physics problem", not a software problem”, published June 30, 2010 1:05 PM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

Already Apple had pointed out problems do exist with the way in which the signal bars are displayed and the inaccuracy of its display as stated in the article “Apple 'stunned' to find iPhones show too many bars”, published Friday July 2 2010, Associated Press, Yahoo! News which Apple has been at pains to point out, is not Industry standardized which is true.

Still the Media poke holes in this explanation as stated in the article “Poking holes in Apple's iPhone 4 antenna explaination”, published July 2, 2010 8:58 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength in the face of evidence, albeit anecdotal, that it is an antenna issue knowing the signal bar display is also an issue.

Which, genuinely, is in need of standardization in much the same way that the image quality from digital cameras need to be quality assessed as stated in the article “Help coming for judging phone camera quality”, published March 24, 2010 10:26 AM PDT by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Deep Tech.

A complaint article is coming on that soon…………..

Curiously enough, while the Media is making much ado about nothing for Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs and giving him unnecessary Media coverage about his company and its impending lawsuits as stated in the article “Lawsuits Cite Antenna Problems with Apple iPhone 4”, published Thursday July 1 2010 by Barry Levine, for Yahoo! News.

It’s good to note that his company’s stock price is back on the upswing and on a path to regain most of its shareholder value after losing nearly US$5.00 after the Media circus started by the Consumer Reports misrepresentation.

With the free US$29 bumpers issued however, Apple may actually be setting a trend that ironically smart phone market (US and Internationally) started by Blackberry maker RIM (Research in Motion) by giving its customer complementary leatherette cases with plans eventually to issue its own custom styled bumper, as Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs free gesture seems to mimic.

Which should cost him about US$180 million, assuming US$5 per case based on an estimated sale of thirty six million (36,000,000) projected sales between now and the Summer of 2011 as stated by analyst Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster.

The fact that he has faced the issue head on and held the Press Conference for the Media hounds and expressed remorse was enough to soothe the most vengeful of spirits, especially in light of the fact that overall, Apple Inc bagged close to US$ 5.9 billion in 2009 with a decent payout of US$1 billion to Apple App Developers.

Making John Public realize that all this Media circus may be just for show to satisfy everyone who wanted to see Apple vulnerable, a show which they got, and a stage from which Apple has departed and moved on to design better things.

It is good to note that smart phone sale are moving so briskly, that they is a shortage even among rival smart phones on the rival Telecom Provider Network Verizon and Telecom Provider Sprint as stated in the article “The Summer of the smart phone shortage”, published July 13, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

Which for the first time has a trio of potential Apple iPhone killers, four (4) to be precise, all from two (2) manufacturer, one being HTC using its SnapDragon processors (processor name being my suggestion to HTC, I am one busy e-mailer!!) and the other being Motorola, which ironically makes the A4 chipset for Apple devices, all designs having the same form large hand sized 4” screen form factor that John Public had suggested to them via email.

HTC Evo 4G on Telecom Provider Sprint 4G Wireless Broadband Network, HTC Droid Incredible 4G on Telecom Provider Verizon 4G Wireless Broadband Network and the Motorola Droid and its cousin the renamed Motorola Droid X on Telecom Provider Verizon 4G Wireless Broadband Network.

Our local Telecom Provider Digicel, soon to launch their WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Wireless Broadband Network, will re-brand the Motorola Droid as the Motorola Mainstream and is banking on to deflate the air out of Telecom Provider CLARO sails as it relates to the now obviously popular and unstoppable Apple iPhone 4.0.

Meanwhile the Apple iPhone 3GS is now significantly reduced in price to US$99 on a Contract Plan as stated in the article “Get a new 16HB iPhone 3GS for US$97”, published May 25, 2010 5:18 AM PDT by Rick Broida CNET News - The Cheapskate .

Info based of course on information from one of Digicel’s Brand Managers who made the declaration while introducing the recently launched Jus Buss Promotion, their lead-up to the Digicel Broadband launch Smile Jamaica TVJ on Friday July 9th 2010, Television Jamaica.

Stay tuned……….for in the USA, the Smart Phone Wars have begun and in Jamaica, the data Wars have begun, as Dekal Wireless sees blood in the water………..

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