Think that there are only a few angry tech journalists upset with Apple about the iPhone 4 antenna flaw? Think again! New York Senator Charles Schumer is just as frustrated with the issue, and he wants Steve Jobs to know about it. Schumer recently wrote a letter to the Apple CEO, saying that Apple's solutions for the problem are "insufficient." Citing the now-infamous Consumer Reports review of the iPhone 4, Senator Schumer told Jobs he was concerned that "the nearly two million purchasers of the iPhone 4 may not have complete information about the quality of the product they have purchased" and that Apple needs to provide a written explanation of the reception issues as well as a "public commitment" to implement a free remedy to the problem. The full letter can be read below.
The whole iPhone 4 antenna fiasco is gaining more and more negative mainstream attention for Apple, and now more high profile figures from outside the tech industry are getting involved. I hope that Apple addresses the problems and can provide a solution at tomorrow's big press conference. I'm not counting on a full recall like some of the rumors have said, but free bumpers for anyone who wants one seems like a cheaper, more reasonable option. All will be revealed tomorrow, so stay tuned!
July 15, 2010
Dear Mr. Jobs,
I write to express concern regarding the reception problem with the Apple iPhone 4. While I commend Apple’s innovative approach to mobile technology and appreciate its service to millions of iPhone users nationwide, I believe it is incumbent upon Apple to address this flaw in a transparent manner. According to Consumer Reports’ review, released Monday on its website, the iPhone 4’s signal-strength problem is a hardwire glitch triggered by gripping the device in a particular manner. This finding, according to Consumer Reports, “call[s] into question” Apple’s recent claim that the problem is “largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software.” Consumer Reports declined to recommend the iPhone 4 because of this hardware design flaw.
Given the discrepancy between Consumer Reports’ explanation of the reception problem and the explanation provided by Apple in its July 2 letter to customers, I am concerned that the nearly two million purchasers of the iPhone 4 may not have complete information about the quality of the product they have purchased. The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device. To address this concern, I ask that Apple provide iPhone 4 customers with a clearly written explanation of the cause of the reception problem and make a public commitment to remedy it free-of-charge. The solutions offered to date by Apple for dealing with the so-called “death grip” malfunction-such as holding the device differently, or buying a cover for it-seem to be insufficient. These proposed solutions would unfairly place the burden on consumers for resolving a problem they were not aware of when they purchased their phones.
I also encourage Apple to keep its promise to provide free software updates so that bars displayed accurately reflect signal strength; I further urge Apple to issue a written explanation of the formula it uses to calculate bar strength, so that consumers can once again trust the product that they have invested in.
I look forward to Apple’s swift action on this matter, and once again laud Apple for its innovative efforts and service to millions of Americans.
Charles E. Schumer