Don’t fix the iPhone 4 antenna issue

I don’t think the iPhone 4 antenna issue should be fixed for two reasons.

1: It does not occur if you use a case. If you don’t use a case, you can hold the phone a different way.

2: It’s caused by the laws of physics. It’s like saying that your MacBook Air is easier to break in half, and therefore it’s flawed and should be made thicker.

No. That’s simply a side-effect of its design.

When you have external antennas, you can attenuate the signal with your hands. That’s the way this world is.

I, for one, like the iPhone 4’s thinnest-smartphone-ever design. And I use it with a black bumper case.

I don’t understand why everyone thinks a “bumper” is an acceptable fix. You can’t dictate how to use the iPhone, specially to all the users who don’t like bumpers, cases, etc.

You can’t use the iPhone underwater; it is not waterproof. You can’t put the iPhone inside a barbecue and expect it to survive. You can’t drive your car over the iPhone and expect your phone call to remain connected.

Whoops! I just dictated how to use the iPhone.

Sure, holding the iPhone in a particular way without a case is not a particularly hazardous way to use it. But my point is that there is plenty of precedent for “dictating” how to use the iPhone (or any other product, for that matter). It’s not a question of whether they can dictate; it is merely a question of in what way, and to what degree.

2 Responses to “Don’t fix the iPhone 4 antenna issue”

  1. athanhcong says:

    I don’t think I agree with your argument here.
    Basically, It bases on some assumptions:
    1. *a good, stylist design* is better than usability;
    If Apple already know about the affectation of external antennas, and they still design it like that. It’s a suck decision, because it conflicts with their reputation about caring for UX.
    If every people need a wrapper for using iPhone 4, so a better design is including a wrapper with iPhone 4.

    2. People will be willing to change their habit, especially the habit of holding sth, that is very native. So there will have the case *ppl don’t want to use the case, and don’t want to change their habit either”, especially the stylist users, who want to be satisfied, not have-to-follow.

    So, just see the sale of HTC 4G EVO, Droid X and iPhone 4, you will know which assumption is better.

    • Elliot Lee says:

      1. I consider design to be a part of usability. A better design makes a device more usable.

      Designing the phone this way carries a slight downside– users can short the antennas– but the *overall* user experience is better because the phone is smaller, thinner, stronger, and– indeed– even has better overall reception than any previous iPhone.

      Apple’s videos demonstrate that the same issue that everyone seems so concerned about with the iPhone 4 actually exists with every smartphone, iPhone 3GS included.

      The idea that it is far worse with iPhone 4 is a false perception caused by the fact that the phone’s “weak spot” is more easily visible. But despite the increased visibility of its weak spot, the phone still has better overall reception than many other phones.

      2. It is not a requirement for users to change their habit. If you’re in an area with strong cellular (or AT&T) coverage, you can’t attenuate the antenna enough to make a call drop, or even degrade the call’s audio quality for that matter.

      How do the sales between those 3 smartphones compare? (I don’t know.)

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