Those little bars on your cell phone are bullshit, as Apple acknowledged in an email today.
“Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength,” Apple’s letter reads. “For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars.”
So they cheated on the bars to make the signal strength appear better than it was.
A software fix due to be released in the coming weeks will adopt AT&T’s guidelines for signal strength reporting, which will result in a more accurate portrayal of reception on the iPhone 4.
And got caught.
Testing of the iPhone 4 found that holding it in the left hand and covering the left side of the device can reduce reception by 24 dB. For a user with a “weak,” incorrectly reported five bars, this can result in a dramatic reduction of bars on the iPhone 4.
Because the new iPhone design has a little problem with the antenna.
24 Db is a huge signal loss. A 3 Db loss is half the signal strength. 24 db is just 1/16th of the original signal strength. Just from holding it in your hand.
Gee, who would have thought that people might hold a cell phone in their hand?