Apple was warned of problems with the iPhone 4’s antenna over a year before the device went on sale, an insider at the firm says.
The source claims a senior engineer told Apple’s top brass that the antenna design could compromise signal strength while the iPhone 4 was still on the drawing board in 2009, and that one of the firm’s carrier partners also expressed concerns shortly before the device launched on June 24, the Washington Post reports.
The iPhone 4 features an innovative antenna design, whereby the separate receivers used to pick-up multiple frequencies are incorporated into steel bands running round the outside edge of the device.
However, the receivers are separated by small gaps that the insider said can be bridged by the user’s finger, resulting in interference, the Post said.
Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar says Apple has already developed a fix that prevents such bridging by beefing up the insulation around the antenna, according to Barrons Blog.
The fix could be revealed in a press conference Apple is due to hold later today (Friday).
Apple has been inundated with complaints and even a brace of lawsuits regarding the signal strength, which appears to drop-off dramatically if users hold the device in the bottom-left corner.
Although Apple insists the problem is caused by faulty software, speculation is rife that the problem lies in the iPhone 4’s hardware and that the firm could be forced to issue a product recall.