It took serious hounding to get Apple to show ‘Black Lab’ antenna design and testing facilities

“Apple (AAPL) does not screw around with antenna design,” John Paczkowski reports for All Things D. “I know this because on Friday I was part of a small group of journalists given a tour of the company’s antenna design and testing facilities which are as impressive and confounding to an outsider as you’d expect them to be — massive anechoic chambers, CT scanners, prosthetic heads and hands filled with fluids designed to match the dielectric characteristics of the human body, all manner of RF measurement equipment and similarly equipped vans for field testing.”

“The facilities are referred to internally as ‘black labs,’ because their purpose had until that day been a closely held company secret,” Paczkowski reports. “Quipped an Apple PR rep, ‘The existence of this lab used to be secret. Now it’s not.'”

Paczkowski reports, “And as Friday’s revelations went, this was perhaps the most interesting of all. Because it’s not like Apple to pull back the curtain like this.”

Full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. With $100 million labs, dozens of PhD’s, and professed love of ‘users’ – the iPhone 4 remains the ONLY smartphone on the market where you can drop a call simply by touching it in a single spot with just one finger.

    Embarrassingly poor engineering clearly explained by putting form over function.

    Come October, Steve Jobs will announce that these really smart PhD’s working in these ‘Black Labs’, have engineered a hardware fix that solves the problem. We will then have the newly designed iP4 or maybe even the iP5.

    The question is, will those of us trapped with the original crippled phone, surrounded by an ugly rubber band or case of some sort, get to exchange it for one of the new ones.

    That will be the real test of just how much Steve loves his ‘users’.

    We’re counting on you, MDN, to be there for us!

  2. You need to see this in a TV PR ad that shows of the more that $100,000,000 ‘black labs’ vs. the Consumers Reports modified garage / storage room testing facility. Apple could offer the ‘black labs’ to Consumers Reports to do a real smart phone testing the next time. Good PR and would have real controllable data.

  3. @Doubletalk

    Which competitor do you work for? Or maybe you work for Consumer Reports?? Useless (and quite obvious) shill.

    Apple obviously designs products for intelligent people; not idiots who refuse to adjust their own behavior to use an advanced piece of equipment. “OMG, if I lay my foot on the brake pedal while driving because my foot is tired, MY CAR GOES SLOWER!!! OMG!!! I’M GOING TO SUE!!! Why didn’t Ferrari consult me before designing this car!??” Idiots.

    What the idiots don’t know is the antenna gap is actually an I.Q. sensor to determine if an idiot is holding the phone. If it detects an idiot it immediately shuts itself down in self-defense. The smart ones recognize the advantages of an antenna designed like this and hold it accordingly.

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