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  • Engineer to CR: You're Doing It Wrong


    An electromagnetic engineer has found fault with the way Consumer Reports did its iPhone 4 testing, calling it "uncontrolled, unscientific" and no different than the simple experiments "that many of the blogging sites have done." While Bob Egan - who says he dealt with "exactly the kind of issues that now face Apple" in his career - stops short of saying that there is no problem, he says it was wrong of Consumer Reports to present their testing results as authoritative.

    As reported here on Monday, Consumer Reports claimed to have "confirmed" the reported antenna issue, replicating the results found by many users and more than a few blogs, and saying "it's official." Its lab tests consisted of setting up three new iPhone 4s in a sealed chamber with a "base station emulator," along with three other phones including an iPhone 3GS and a Palm Pre. Consumer Reports engineers are seen in the video of the testing in the lab, surrounded by a bunch of equipment with an iPhone in a clamp that looks like a robotic hand. Sure enough, when one of the engineers touches the lower-left corner, signal drops, and the other phones perform normally in the same tests.

    While the sealed chamber and base station emulator gave the ability to measure transmit power accurately, allowing more precise calculation of the difference between expected and observed signal, the test in general was no different than what Anand Shimpi had done weeks before, or really than what thousands of users have done on their own. Egan seems to be comparing the testing to an FCC certification test when he asserts that "the iPhone should have been sitting on a non-metallic pedestal inside an anechoic chamber," with no people inside the chamber and that "the base station simulator should have been also sitting outside the chamber and had a calibrated antenna plumbed to it from inside the chamber." He was asked in the comments to his blog post how they could have done the testing with no people inside. In response, Egan referred to the dummy heads used in specific absorption rate (SAR) testing of phones for the FCC. To gain meaningful information about the extent and possible cause of the problem, Egan notes, more scientific testing would have been necessary.

    It should be established beyond a reasonable doubt by this point that the Death Grip problem is real. Apple has no doubt confirmed the problem in its lab testing, and may even be starting to make moves to address it. While Consumer Reports probably overreached in saying the problem was "confirmed," it's at least another report - like Anandtech's - with detailed and specific results - and will hopefully be yet another spur for Apple to step up and deal with the issue directly.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Engineer to CR: You're Doing It Wrong started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 78 Comments
    1. cb22's Avatar
      cb22 -
      Interesting... You what I've noticed about this whole "death grip" thing. It all depends on were you located! I've been in Tampa for a few months now and I noticed that signal in my apt is great. I tried the death grip thing and I didn't lose any signal nor dropped bars! Went to ny a few days ago and all he'll broke loose. Lol!!
    1. Halten77's Avatar
      Halten77 -
      Typical....
    1. 0blivious's Avatar
      0blivious -
      Where there's smoke...

      Step up Apple.
    1. Rasta4Jah420's Avatar
      Rasta4Jah420 -
      niiiceeee
    1. aimetti's Avatar
      aimetti -
      well for me i have no issues so dont really care how this plays out.

      if apple gives me a free bumper ill gladly take it tho
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
    1. barryson77's Avatar
      barryson77 -
      now all u can shove it n stop talkin about Apple.HAATTERSSSSSSS
    1. sal_osx's Avatar
      sal_osx -
      Consumer Reports = EPIC FAIL!
      My friend purchased an IPhone 4 on Sunday and it has no problems. But 3 of my friends that purchased it on the date it came out have the death grip issue so it leads me to believe that Apple is doing something differently.
    1. skizo's Avatar
      skizo -
      Quote Originally Posted by pauldanielash View Post

      It should be established beyond a reasonable doubt by this point that the Death Grip problem is real. Apple has no doubt confirmed the problem in its lab testing, and may even be starting to make moves to address it. While Consumer Reports probably overreached in saying the problem was "confirmed," it's at least another report - like Anandtech's - with detailed and specific results - and will hopefully be yet another spur for Apple to step up and deal with the issue directly.

      Source: AppleInsider
      lolwut?

      Why should we believe this guy (who was interviewed by 'AppleInsider') over Consumer Reports, a well known and established reporting magazine/website?

      Seems more like a news fail to me.
    1. ctrobins's Avatar
      ctrobins -
      The CR test may not have been scientifically optimal... But, the testing does seem to do a reasonable jobe in determining how iPhone 4 performs when in use (by a human). Not how it performs when in an scientifically precise lab environment.

      Though I'm happy with my iPhone and it's reception right now, I'd be happier if there was no issue at all. The CR report as it stands should help motivate Apple to help all the unhappy iPhone 4 users out.
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Typical. Ask 10 'so called' experts and you're likely to get 10 different answers. Guess the answers depend upon how much money they're paid!
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      How do we know that he isn't doing it wrong too?
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      How do we know that he isn't doing it wrong too?
      exactly, i wanna see some credentials and how his tests compare to the CR tests
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Yeah how much did Apple pay this guy to say that? I am sure it is a lot less than $1+ billion Apple have to pay to do a recall.

      I mean if it fails with just simple test Consumer Reports did, why would there be a need to go deeper where only the phone is in the sealed room?
      In real life where people owns these phones, will they be sitting in a sealed room when being used? Hell no. That is just as rediculous as AppleDON'TCare's proof to customer there is no problem with the phone by only testing sitting flat on a table.
      Trying to distort the facts make this whole thing even worst, Apple screwed up they need to fix this or people will still not buy its product.
    1. nhoj_yelbom's Avatar
      nhoj_yelbom -
      man you need to just learn how to hold the phone............
    1. Maxidrom2002's Avatar
      Maxidrom2002 -
      u know what, screw that guy and his stupid anechoic chamber, what is he dealing with?... nuclear power or something?....its obvious to everyone that this phone has problems...this makes me very very mad...
    1. Electrodaktylus's Avatar
      Electrodaktylus -
      Meh! This guy is paid by apple. Consumer Reports is been doing this for a long time. Who is this "mamao"?
    1. sLevin1fo's Avatar
      sLevin1fo -
      I believe so much scrutiny only makes these people money. Apple has the spotlight and (like effen always) will maintain it. The only real question is, "Who's making money and how much in just media?"
    1. x2dope's Avatar
      x2dope -
      yeah I have the signal issue but I have a case so I could give a rats behind. For the people that dont use a case I hope you drop it on the sidewalk and ruin your phone.
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      All of these tests remind me of Mythbusters using ballistics gel to test conductivity through the human body. Cmon, really? It varies so much with each person there is no way to test things like this. Each person's hand will have drastic differences in conductivity. Each area you stand on the face of the planet will react drastically differently to this "problem". The only problem here is that the antennas are on the outside, and even then, it's a difference from other phones.. not a problem. On the pro side, you get a better signal, which is something you guys complained about before. On the bad side, you have to hold it a little differently and avoid a slit on the phone.. or get a case. Why is this such an issue?

      You want to test this? For real? Do a survey of everyone who bought the phone. Instruct them on how to perform the death grip, and have them return their results. The overwhelming response will be that people are fine with their phone and don't see the problem. If they do, they've not been a dumbass about it, and bought a case. Even a strip of tape around the edge fixes this people.. /TOPIC!

      Why oh why are we beating the everloving **** out of a dead horse?