Qualche factcheck su iPhone 4

Apple venerdi sera (alle 19 ora italiana) terrà una conferenza stampa che presumibilmente sarà sui problemi di ricezione di iPhone 4:

Apple would only say that the press conference would be regarding the iPhone 4. No other information was available when I spoke with them tonight.

Repubblica prima lancia la notizia nel giorno sbagliato poi approfondisce in un pezzo pieno di “potrebbe”, di “ipotesi” e “rumors” che riassume quel poco che si sa dai siti stranieri:

Una delle ipotesi è quella di una maxi operazione di richiamo il cui costo è stato stimato in 1,5 miliardi di dollari.

Proprio i rumors su un possibile ritiro – subito dopo la bocciatura dell’iPhone 4 da parte di Consumer Reports – hanno penalizzato non poco il titolo Apple in Borsa.

Mi chiedo: il difetto c’è o non c’è? In quanti l’hanno notato? Cosa dice esattamente Consumer reports? E’ una bocciatura o no? Chi ha stimato i costi del ritiro?

Le risposte da un rapido giro su Google Reader:

Engadget riconosce l’esistenza del difetto in sé pur non riscontrandolo nelle unità testate ma lascia la parola i lettori (leggetevi tutto il pezzo e troverete pareri contrastanti):

That said, however, it’s not at all clear what the real-world effects of the antenna issue actually are for most people — as we’ve repeatedly said, several iPhone 4s owned by the Engadget staff (including our review unit) have never experienced so much as a single dropped call, while others suffer from signal issues that results in lost calls and unresponsive data in a dramatic way. What’s more, at this point Apple’s sold well over two million iPhone 4s, and we simply haven’t heard the sort of outcry from users that we’d normally hear if a product this high-profile and this popular had a showstopping defect. Honestly, it’s puzzling — we know that the phone has an antenna-related problem, but we’re simply not able to say what that issue actually means for everyday users.

So we’re doing what we can do: we’ve collected reports from every member of the Engadget staff who’s using the phone, as well as reached out to a variety of tech industry colleagues for their experiences. As you’ll see, most of our peers seem to be doing perfectly fine with their iPhone 4s, but the people who are having problems are having maddening issues in an inconsistent way. We’d say it all comes down to the network — particularly in New York City, where AT&T just completed a major upgrade — but even that isn’t a consistent factor in predicting experience. Ultimately, we just won’t know what’s really going on until Apple comes clean and addresses this issue (and the growing PR nightmare it’s become), but for now we can say with some certainty that not everyone is affected, and those that are seem to be in the minority. Read on for the full report.

Risultati altalenanti li trova anche Neven Mrgan:

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The only conclusion I can draw from these data is that the iPhone 4 3G cell signal reception is really inconsistent. (At least that’s the case where I live.)

Consumer Reports da il massimo dei voti a iPhone 4 ma non lo “raccomanda” finché non viene risolta la questione della ricezione. Non lo chiamerei “bocciatura”.

Basta leggere le parole di Consumer Reports nel post in questione:

The iPhone scored high, in part because it sports the sharpest display and best video camera we’ve seen on any phone, and even outshines its high-scoring predecessors with improved battery life and such new features as a front-facing camera for video chats and a built-in gyroscope that turns the phone into a super-responsive game controller. But Apple needs to come up with a permanent—and free—fix for the antenna problem before we can recommend the iPhone 4.

Consumer Reports riporta fatti e valutazioni non cerca il singolo titolo sensazionalistico, nel post successivo ribadisce sia il problema sia l’ottimo giudizio dell’iPhone 4 come device:

Our tests, conducted in our labs using controlled signals, confirm growing anecdotal indications that the iPhone 4’s problems are anything but illusory. Our tests found that when your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing to do—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal. We tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre. None of those phones had the significant signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.

Ironically, aside from these reception glitches, our other tests placed the iPhone 4 atop the latest Ratings of smart phones. But we did not feel comfortable listing a phone with such a problem as “recommended,” and therefore have withheld that tag.

Il problema si sposta perciò dal piano tecnologico alla valutazione del comportamento di Apple domani sera. Update: il Post lo dice meglio di me. 🙂

Per finire, il costo del richiamo di tutti i telefoni viene stimato in un miliardo e mezzo di dollari da Tony Sacconaghi di Bernstein Research che lo ritiene improbabile:

He has issued a report with a US$1.5 billion price tag as his best guess. However, that’s not what Sacconaghi believes will happen. Instead, he suspects Apple will relent and issue free Bumper cases to those who want them. With an estimated production cost of $1 each, the cost would drop significantly and frankly hardly disrupt Apple financially.

Update: 152 commenti al post di Bob Egan, ingegnere elettrotecnico, che critica i metodi adottati da Consumer Reports nei loro test (via AppleInsider che cita ulteriori approfondimenti via email).

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