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. @R2,

    “…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. …”

    With all due respect, you are wrong.

    Have you watched the E71 video? Hand placement drops signal strength completely to ZERO.

    Hand placement on the droid drops up to 22% in dBm.

    Hand placement on the Nexus one drops from 79 dBm to 101 dBm, a 22% drop, and the phone drops 3G and switches to Edge!

    The problems are equally as pronounced as the situation on the iPhone.

    There is a trade off with the external antenna. Placing antennas on the outside of the phone will improve signal strength, however touching the antenna can weaken the signal quickly.

    I for one prefer the option of using my tiny brain and not touching the antenna. I get better call quality if I don’t touch the antenna. I like that much more.

  2. @theloniousMac

    And all this is completely irrelevant because the problem is not hands blocking the signal (a signal which can actually pass through a lot of things, including ie, plastic), but hands conducting the current of the antenna.

    The signal might be affected by hand placement in all phones, but few (or none) allow someone to actually touch the antenna itself, which then leads to the completely different (and more dramatic) problem of the current inside it now going/getting wasted into you.

  3. @iVista 4

    I think Apple simply does not know how to react to something that has been known for sometime suddenly being declared “An iPhone Issue.”

    This is as bad as all the media reports when AT&T;’s website got hacked referring to the website hack as an “iPad Security Breach.” That was also a Gawker Media conducted smear campaign.

    And the primary point of my post is that Apple is not “reluctantly stepping up to the plate.”

    This is an interpretation of a job posting. I’m far more inclined to believe @Eddie’s interpretation.

    “Reluctantly stepping up to the plate” would imply that this is an iPhone issue and not a generic cell phone issue.

    Again this is like saying Southwest Airlines 767s experience turbulence so turbulence is a Southwest Airlines problem. Then if Southwest turns around and asks, “Hmmm.. can we actually do something about turbulence,” acting as if that is proof that they are culpable.

  4. Your personal bar experience is also irrelevant, because bars do not represent some kind of % of some fixed standardized signal power. (or else, tell me what that is)

    Phones simply display 5 bars up to the point they can do a quality call, and then continue to display 5 bars for EVEN STRONGER signals.

    This means that if someone is in an area with an exceptionally strong signal, even if he halved his signal’s strenght, he could still be getting 5 bars even if he is affected by the problem.

    On the other hand, if someone is right at the edge of the 5 bar “qualification” then he would actually see the problem. In other words: Not all 5 bars are equal.

    If some people are lucky then and have really nice (let’s call it, 10 bar) signal in their area whereas damaging the signal has no effect, because the remaining signal is still good enough, this doesn’t mean that they can dismiss the experience of those whose might be further away from the cell tower.

    And of cource if the first category moved into a location where this was the case, they would be affected too. In fact, any test between phones that does not happen in the same area is rather silly.

  5. The antenna issue has NOTHING to do with it’s placement. it has to do with the hand touching and GROUNDING the antenna with the metal on the side of the phone. DESIGN ERROR! Pickup and try using a cheap walkie-Talkie by the metallic antenna, and it won’t work either. insulate the metal from the skin, and guess what, signal strength will return. Glass, non-conductive plastic, painted wood they all would all work, and look pretty too! Metal on skin, FAIL!

  6. @HM… I take it you also did not watch the videos.

    Logically the signal extinction or attenuation problem should be more pronounced on a phone where you can actually touch the antennae, like on the iPhone 4. However it is just as dramatic if not more on other 3G phones. 22% drops in signal strength, being bounced to edge, dropping to zero bars is pretty freaking dramatic for phones that have no external antennae. The iPhone 4 does, in my opinion on my tests, better than that.

    What is amazing is that this stuff has been discussed as far back as 2007, 2008 on Boy Genius Reports…

    I just find it amazing that all of a sudden people notice it happening and it’s an “Apple problem.”

    I guess I should get used to it. Apple will always be attacked for crap like this.

  7. I think it would be a cheap fix for a company that has multiple tens-of-billions of dollars in the bank to give away a cheap cover, but you know they’d never hear the end of that one. Dvorak would prattle on for years about the ‘troubled launch’ of the iPhone that required Apple to provide covers as a ‘band aid fix’ or whatever nonsense.

  8. Thanks thelonius for the clarification. I agree with your point, and hence changed my handle as the metaphor was not entirely accurate. Although, I do think, that if this issue was well-recognized by Apple prior to the launch, the ethical thing would have been to either fix it, or if this was not totally feasible, then at least communicate upfront with the public beforehand and not after the fact. This makes it appear as thought they only entered into the discussion once called on it – reacting as opposed to taking a more correct pro-active stand.

  9. Rather than looking at this as a defect, why not look at it like a culture changing moment – I propose everyone make an iPhone 4 call and tribute to Michael Jackson at the same time by wearing a special left hand glove, made from material that actually ENHANCES the antenna reception. Black glove for white phone, white glove for black phone, together living in harmony…

    (i’m no MJ fan but the thought of thousands of iPhone owners identifiable by the *special* single glove seems as reasonable as waiting in line for 8 hours on release day)

  10. “So my iPhone cost 10% more because I need a $4 case to get the phone to work…”

    Oh, reeeallly? Your phone wouldn’t work without it?

    Fercryinoutloud.

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