Apple posts job listings for iPhone, iPad antenna engineers

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“Apple has quietly begun a search for several antenna engineers, corporate job listings show,” MacNN reports. “People who win one of the positions will be expected to “optimize the radiation performance for wireless portable devices,” specifically the iPad and the iPhone. Candidates must have 10 or more years of experience in the field.”

“All of the openings appeared on June 23rd, the day many people began receiving the iPhone 4, which has fueled speculation that they may be related to the reception issues people began reporting at the same time,” MacNN reports. “Three other positions connected to iPhone antenna work became available on June 16th, however, which suggests either that Apple has been aware of problems for several weeks or that the June 23rd additions are purely coincidental.”

Link to the Apple Inc. job postings in the full article here.

29 Comments

  1. How Microsoft is relevant in something regarding Apple’s screwups again?

    Cultism at its finest.

    Hey, I don’t know that antennas use current and shouldn’t be touched, but at least a device that spends 90% of its time hidden in a pocket is relatively “pretty” and thus pretend I am a non-geek despite standing 215423 hours in a line to get one!

  2. Coincidental. Apple is releasing the iPad and iPhone to new carriers around the world as markets expand, they may need to adapt to China’s requests and its unique frequencies, not to mention Verizon rumors and new frequencies and network systems in the US, etc. It’s an ever-evolving platform of products fitting into many wireless niches around the world.

    It’s therefore no surprise that Apple needs new engineers from time to time…

    Furthermore, reports indicate the vast majority of iPhone 4 users are having no problems with calls and reception, they work as well or better compared to previous iPhones. (In fact some report improved reception! ) This leads many to believe there is no hardware (antenna) “problem” with the new iPhone 4.

    Whatever that death grip hysteria is about, it may be normal for cell phones in general, it may be a software tweak showing enhanced sensitivity to the reception bars, it may be the external antennas at some frequencies lose some sensitivity when pressed in certain ways – like touching a TV’s rabbit ears would change reception. Totally normal. Whatever. It does not appear to be a hardware problem. (And all have agreed that a cheap insulating bumper fixes it for those who have it, so whatever, it’s a non-issue.)

    There are videos showing Nokia and ANdroid phones doing the same thing (without any external antennas), so at that point you have to say, meh, let’s move on.

  3. Maybe they should start field testing their phones WITHOUT any cases.

    Regardless, get a case, problem solved.

    My iPhone cost me $300. My big gripe is the bumper case cost $30. That stupid bumper case should be free. It cost Apple maybe $4 each. So my iPhone cost 10% more because I need a $4 case to get the phone to work.

  4. That’s one awfully glaring coincidence.

    What a terrible black mark on Apple. They clearly chose form over function when it comes to the iPhone 4. They knew good and damn well what was going on and made those bumper cases as the solution.

  5. 1. The FEDs force mobile phone designers to place antennas at the bottom of the phone due to radiation issues.

    http://tinyurl.com/2c2mcyp
    According to antenna expert Spencer Webb, don’t blame Apple… blame the FCC.
    “…Just about every cell phone in current production has the antenna located at the bottom. This insures that the radiating portion of the antenna is furthest from the head. Apple was not the first to locate the antenna on the bottom, and certainly won’t be the last. The problem is that humans have their hands below their ears, so the most natural position for the hand is covering the antenna. This can’t be a good design decision, can it? How can we be stuck with this conundrum? It’s the FCC’s fault.

    You see, when the FCC tests are run, the head is required to be in the vicinity of the phone. But the hand is not! …”
    ———————–
    2. Of course Apple was aware, it is evident that most mobile phone developers are aware. Again, this is not specifically an Apple issue. MDN supplied video showing the exact same problem on 3 other phones yesterday:

    Nokia E71: http://tinyurl.com/3azz5bb
    HTC Droid: http://tinyurl.com/2frah7u
    Nexus 1: http://tinyurl.com/22l2zn8
    ————————
    3. Nokia Goes so far as to state:
    “..Antenna
    Your device may have internal and external antennas. Avoid touching the antenna area unnecessarily while the antenna is transmitting or receiving. Contact with the antennas affects the communication quality and may cause the device to operate at a higher power level than otherwise needed and may reduce the battery life….”

    Clearly Nokia is aware of the problem also.
    ———————-

    4. The furor over this is largely being driven by Gawker Media through Gizmodo. They harp on it daily, they create Facebook petition sites, they encourage class action law suits and so on.

    ———————

    5. San Francisco (Kook capital of the world) is forcing cell phone makers to disclose radiation levels, which I think might concern Apple. Though Apple is about average in radiation, they are not among the 20 lowest-radiation devices. The iPhone 4 is kinda high at 1.17 SAR rating (watts/kg) digital. While this is still meaningless, it’s enough to scare people. (I hear the esteemed mayor of San Francisco is now working on legislation for foil hats.)

    The Apple job description specifically mentioned radiation levels.

    If one were to lower radiation dramatically, perhaps you could convince the FCC to allow antenna placement elsewhere in the phone to cut down on the antenna contact/reception problem.

    Why Apple has drawn all the attention on this is one of those media vs. Apple mysteries that never gets discussed. Singling Apple out is like picking one Airline and blaming them for turbulence.

  6. The posts for the new job are presumably due to the iPhone hitting Verizon. Each carrier has it’s own requirements for their technology. CDMA and LTE use a spectrum of frequency that dependent on surface structure as well as boundary loss due to the wavelength of signals and how they travel. Keeping with Verizon and their tolerance for signal quality these positions may be for signal degradation due to radio frequencies traveling on similar planes (CDMA AND LTEAND GSM )for global roaming capabilities

    Just a thought guys

  7. “Again, this is not specifically an Apple issue”

    Yes, other phones do it but it’s not to the extent of iPhone 4 signal loss. It’s not even as bad on older iPhones. They don’t have their antennas literally wrapped around the outside of the friggin case.

    And who the hell cares about what some Nokia phone does anyway? They also suck at downloading and playing music, does that give Apple an excuse to suck at those things too?

    You’re right, it is being driven by Gawker. But if Apple hadn’t released such a flawed product, they wouldn’t be open to Ryan Tate’s shenanigans. Steve Jobs handed them this golden nugget, it wasn’t created.

  8. Thanks Thelonious Monk, I mean Mac – great name – but isn’t it infinitely more correct for Nokia to openly discuss the positioning of the antenna and related reception issues, then have Apple reluctantly step-up to the plate after the public caught on to the problem?

  9. I would also like to point out that the audio call quality of my iPhone 4 is much better than that of the predecessors. In addition the iPhone 4 hangs on to calls much better. I constantly get 4 or 5 bars in areas of the house where I was lucky to get 2 on my 3G or 3GS. Ironically, being made conscious on a daily basis of where I put my hands on my phone may have made my call quality even better.

    I just read where a Ph.D in wireless network planning techniques referred to the iPhone as a “lousy phone.”

    The Ph.D (unfortunately named Dick Gaywood) is some yahoo from Cardiff University. He is not specifically an antenna engineer and I doubt he could qualify for Apple’s job postings. (That name is very suspicious).

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