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An Engineer Fails the Consumer Report Test

9536 Views 69 Replies Latest reply: Jul 13, 2010 4:58 PM by kevwright2002 RSS
  • Dan Slocum Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 9:08 PM (in response to Bostonimann)
    Bostonimann wrote:
    I am a self professed Apple fan. My family each have a Macbook Pro, iPhone 4 and iPad.

    I also have relied on Consumer Reports for 20 years. They do not take any advertising and have won every lawsuit filed against them by disgruntled manufacturers. Simply put, they have no bias. They also hire top engineers in every field they do tests.

    So here is my bottom line. It is now clear that Apple has a hardware problem here and every day that goes by without a real acknowledgment is a day their terrific brand gets tarnished. Apple needs to tackle this head on.

    As for me and my family, we all have nice cases on our iPhone 4s, so we do not have thevissue (did before the cases).


    Amen. And now the late night comics are having a go at it.

    APPLE. It's your golden egg. Time to fix it.
     iMac 2.66, iPhone 3G White 16g, 2008 Macbook White, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 1.5 GB Ram
  • tharger Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 9:19 PM (in response to Dan Slocum)
    I agree. But my guess is that they can't.
    Mac Book Pro (Early 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • ChristianM19 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 10:37 PM (in response to MrCourtney)
    MrCourtney wrote:
    Folks -

    There's lots of threads where you can vent your frustration. It would be to everyone's advantage if you could get back to an engineering discussion on whether CR's testing was sound or not.


    CR engineer is right
    Blog dude is right, but his testing is a way AROUND the issue as it will just test the reception based on signal strength rather than rely on the iPhone antenna.

    In other words, CR engineer = real world testing
    If you have 8 Grand to drop on testing equipment that CR uses, then buy this:
    http://www.ramayes.com/UsedTest_Equipment_forSale.htm
    2009 Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (15,675 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 10:54 PM (in response to ChristianM19)
    CR engineer is right
    Blog dude is right, but his testing is a way AROUND the issue as it will just test the reception based on signal strength rather than rely on the iPhone antenna.

    No, the "blog dude" is proposing testing that removes extraneous factors and unwarranted assumptions from the test. It better isolates the problem with the antenna, and is more scientifically rigorous. For all we know, it will give the same results as the CU test.
    MacPro4,1 8 Core, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone 4, iOS 4.0, AirPort Extreme, 160GB iPod Classic, 5 PCs/WinXP SP3
  • iSilver Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:07 PM (in response to MrCourtney)
    MrCourtney wrote:
    To even reasonably run a scientific test, the iPhone should have been sitting on a non-metallic pedestal inside an anechoic chamber. The base station simulator should have been also sitting outside the chamber and had a calibrated antenna plumbed to it from inside the chamber.

    ================

    Spoken like a true engineer - one would imagine Apple did these sorts of tests but how they work in the chamber doesn't really matter if the phone doesn't work when it's in the hands of the consumers.

    I suppose most iPhone users stroll down to their closest anechoic chamber so they can make a phone call. Is there a charge for that? Oh, by the way, do you know where my local anechoic chamber is?
    MacBook Pro (Feb 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (15,675 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:17 PM (in response to iSilver)
    You obviously have no clue how or why engineering test are performed.
    MacPro4,1 8 Core, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone 4, iOS 4.0, AirPort Extreme, 160GB iPod Classic, 5 PCs/WinXP SP3
  • Dan Slocum Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:20 PM (in response to modular747)
    modular747 wrote:
    You obviously have no clue how or why engineering test are performed.



    Enlighten us. I thought the Consumer Reports engineer explained it in a conversational, intelligent and thoughtful way.

    The iPhone 4, sadly, has a significant hardware issue. What do you propose?
     iMac 2.66, iPhone 3G White 16g, 2008 Macbook White, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 1.5 GB Ram
  • Stevenam81 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:37 PM (in response to modular747)
    This whole blog is ridiculous. There is definitely an issue with the antenna. This is a fact that is slowly but surely becoming accepted. The reason we know how much db is lost is because of the testing that AnandTech did. Here is the link, it's a great read.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3794/the-iphone-4-review/2

    Anyway, for those who don't read the article the tester was able to get a db reading instead of bars. EDIT: I had a quote here but it mentioned some stuff I don't believe is allowed here so I removed it. Just read the article if you're curious as to how he got a db reading.

    When he held the phone, covering the black line, he lost 24db. He did these tests over and over and took an average. This sounds like a true test to me. We don't need a lab to figure this stuff out. How many of us use our phone in lab conditions?

    I've been saying this next part over and over but I know that every time I post this a few new people get to see it. For those of you saying you don't have an issue please read and understand this. The article explains this but if you are in an area with great reception you will never notice any problems. The best possible signal is -51db. If you are getting -65db, a loss of 24db will put you at -89db. Guess what? The cut off for 5 bars is around -91db so you will never see a drop in bars. Anyone not reporting an issue must be getting a signal of -67db or better. Please tell me this is making sense.

    All the software update will do as far as the display of the bars is remap the bars to different db ranges. By the way, this is not speculation or rumor. Apple has stated that the calculation is off for the display of bars. After the update it will take a stronger signal to maintain 5 bars. For example, maybe they will move the 5 bar cutoff to -70 or -75. This will fix the "dramatic decrease in bars" since going from 3 bars to no signal isn't as "dramatic" as going from 5 bars to no signal. Most likely after the update, nobody will lose signal in a 5 bar area. In turn, many people used to seeing 5 bars in an area will only see 3 or 4 in that area.

    I find it funny that Apple is "surprised" that their db calculations are wrong since they are the ones who remapped the bars a couple of years ago to give more people 5 bars. Now they can just put the db ranges back where they were originally and start pointing the finger at AT&T when people wonder why they don't have 5 bars.

    Message was edited by: Stevenam81
    iPhone 4, iOS 4
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (15,675 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:31 PM (in response to Dan Slocum)
    Your idea of an engineering test appears to be one that produces the results you want to hear, and becomes by your definition, "intelligent." The problem with the CU test as explained by the "blog guy" is that it introduced extraneous factors and didn't assumed linear effect in the iPhone 4 antenna/receiver at different signal levels. The test he proposed tries to eliminate those variables. As I said, it probably will show the same results, but the results will be more meaningful.
    MacPro4,1 8 Core, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone 4, iOS 4.0, AirPort Extreme, 160GB iPod Classic, 5 PCs/WinXP SP3
  • Dan Slocum Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:34 PM (in response to modular747)
    modular747 wrote:
    Your idea of an engineering test appears to be one that produces the results you want to hear, and becomes by your definition, "intelligent." The problem with the CU test as explained by the "blog guy" is that it introduced extraneous factors and didn't assumed linear effect in the iPhone 4 antenna/receiver at different signal levels. The test he proposed tries to eliminate those variables. As I said, it probably will show the same results, but the results will be more meaningful.

    Blah blah blah. The phone will have to be fixed. The rest is noise. A lot of it FROM you.

    Accept the flaw and let's get a solution from Apple.
     iMac 2.66, iPhone 3G White 16g, 2008 Macbook White, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 1.5 GB Ram
  • modular747 Level 6 Level 6 (15,675 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:37 PM (in response to Stevenam81)
    If you read some other threads, I discussed the anandteck tests, more than week ago. The weakness of that test is that it relies on the iPhone's own internal measurement of signal strength which may very well be inaccurate. The CU and other test proposed use an external measurement of signal strength in isolated conditions.
    MacPro4,1 8 Core, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone 4, iOS 4.0, AirPort Extreme, 160GB iPod Classic, 5 PCs/WinXP SP3
  • Dan Slocum Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 12, 2010 11:40 PM (in response to modular747)
    modular747 wrote:
    If you read some other threads, I discussed the anandteck tests, more than week ago. The weakness of that test is that it relies on the iPhone's own internal measurement of signal strength which may very well be inaccurate. The CU and other test proposed use an external measurement of signal strength in isolated conditions.



    The FIX?
     iMac 2.66, iPhone 3G White 16g, 2008 Macbook White, Mac OS X (10.6.4), 1.5 GB Ram

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