Posts Tagged ‘issues’

Apple Acknowledges Mac Pro ATI X1900 XT Problem

Apple has determined that certain ATI X1900 XT cards sold for use in Mac Pro and Mac Pro (8x) computers between approximately August 2006 and January 2008 may experience distorted video. Affected graphics cards have “V6Z” in the last 4 digits of the card’s serial number.

Would be nice if they would also acknowledge the problem with the ATI X1600 in Mac Book Pros from the same period.

Posted: September 29th, 2010
Categories: Apple, Mac
Tags: , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

iPhone 4 Reception Issues, Some Perspectives…

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, it seems like 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…

A great read. At the end of the day “lab tests” of varying degrees of accuracy, and technical proficiency are only going to tell us one side of the story. Just as web videos with geeks squeezing iPhone 4s and proclaiming that the world has ended will only give us another very skewed view on reality.

For my part I’ve never had an iPhone that is so damn solid at maintaing calls, and data connections.

Posted: July 14th, 2010
Categories: Apple, iphone
Tags: , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

iFixit : Apple Silently Fixing Antenna Issue?

Reports started surfacing today that Apple may have quietly revised the iPhone 4 to add a nonconductive coating to the metal band on the sides of the phone. This would fix the sudden signal drop from electrically bridging the antennas by touching the band in the bottom-left corner with your hand.

We got an independent report of a similarly updated phone from a member of our community, so we decided to investigate. We exchanged one of our units (that had been experiencing unrelated problems with its Bluetooth connection) to see Apple has changed the manufacturing process since their initial production run.

The serial number on the unit tells you the manufacture date; our original phone was manufactured in mid-June (week 25). The replacement unit we got was made in early-July (week 27), apparently too soon for a manufacturing change.

The serial number also identifies which factory it was made in. (We don’t have a mapping of numbers to physical factories, but we can tell if two phones came from the same plant.) Apple has always done this, and we’ve occasionally had fun comparing Macs to see if they were birthed in the same place. A fun aside: I once had a Mac made in Apple’s Elk Grove, California factory. This information may be useful if Apple is rolling the production change out to their factories one at a time.

The iPhone 4 serial number is easy to decode! It’s in this format:

aa = Factory and Machine ID
b = Year
cc = Production Week
ddd = Unique Identifier
ee = Colour
f = size

Our serial numbers:
85025xxxA4S (16GB unit we took apart)
86025xxxA4T (32GB test unit)
86027xxxA4T (32GB replacement)

Apple has so many iPhones out in the field that it’s very hard to get a feel for what’s going on. They may have just switched to their new process at one of their factories, or they may be rolling it out slowly, or this may be an internet myth. The only way to find out is to check a number of units that have just shipped from the factory.

Or perhaps this is just a symptom of manufacturing tolerances / mistakes made with a rushed roll out and overstretched manufacturing lines? My iPhone 4 serial number is the same as iFixits’ week 25 models, and I do not have this issue.

We need your help! If you got an iPhone in the last few days, check the serial number. If the production week is bigger than 27, try checking the impedance of the metal frame with a multimeter. If you hold the leads about an inch apart, the resistance should be less than one ohm. If it’s substantially higher, you may have a unit with the new coating.

My original iPhone 4 exhibits a resistance significantly higher than one ohm.

Posted: July 14th, 2010
Categories: Apple, iphone
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

On Apple Deleting iPhone 4 Reception Issue Threads

The internet is abuzz with news that Apple has deleted discussion threads involving the Consumer Reports tests concerning iPhone 4 antenna issues.

The internet buzz concerning the thread removals is important for one reason, however — it shows how sensitive customers are to the antenna issue. Never mind that Consumer Reports said they couldn’t recommend iPhone 4 in one sentence then named it the best smartphone on the planet in another. Never mind we still don’t know how many people have the problem. Never mind that other phones have the same problem albeit to lesser degrees. Never mind that Apple’s historic misrepresentation of signal strength might be exacerbating the issue, as could AT&T’s network. Never mind anything else.


The antenna issue has become a matter of public perception now and that’s a huge problem for Apple. The mainstream media has their teeth in it now. They smell blood. The open letter and its contents clearly weren’t enough this time. As brilliant as they are in marketing, handling customer-facing problems is their kryptonite. MobileMe’s initial launch might have been the goofy red kind of kryptonite. They finally acted, they finally fixed it. This might be the green kind of kryptonite. The kind that hurts.


Posted: July 13th, 2010
Categories: Apple, iphone
Tags: , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

Bob Egan on Consumer Reports iPhone Testing…

Consumer reports “RF” engineers should know better than to think they can run an engineering grade test for an issue like this in a shielded room. And certainly not one with people in it.

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.

I have not seen CR’s claim directly that the finger effect reduces the iPhones sensitivity by 20db as reported elsewhere, but unless CR connected to a functional point inside the iPhone that number is fantasy. Even the way they seem to have tested the change – by varying the base station simulator levels – seems to assume the iPhone receiver and/or transmitter operate in a linear fashion (the same way) across all signal strengths – bad assumption.

Bottom line. From what I can see in the reports, Consumer Reports replicated the same uncontrolled, unscientific experiments that many of the blogging sites have done.

That is certainly my impression of their testing too. AnandTech’s investigation was far more thorough, and concluded that whilst this is an issue, it’s really not a major one, and in fact the iPhone 4 performs better all around than most other mobile phones, including previous iPhone models.

Unfortunately a lot of people put a lot of store in what Consumer Reports have to say.

I’m not saying that Apple has no h/w problem and they surely have a s/w issue. But I’m still wondering that if the software signal algorithm was not AFU’d in the first place how many, if anyone would talking about this “problem”

I also don’t know what part of this problem is Apple’s and what part is related to the AT&T network.

I imported several iPhone 4s into Thailand. None of the units I imported have exhibited this problem on our (supposedly) crappy 3G networks here, during rainy season! Anecdotally I have been able to relax in my condo and take and make calls in a way I never could before with any previous iPhone model.

I was also in the UK this weekend just gone, both in and out of airplanes, and at a race track and had zero issues using my iPhone 4…

And we don’t know how the observed effect is, or is not, similar to other devices.

We also don’t know if placing a finger on the antenna bridge is detuning the antenna or detuning the receiver itself.

And neither does Consumer Reports.

Oh. Mr Job’s, right now, silence is not golden. I’m quite sure Apple has these answers by now… If not, send me a few more iPhones ( i bought 3). I’ll find a chamber and get you some answers in a day.

Ps. Blogged from my Iphone4 in a rest area on my way home from work, cause I just couldn’t help myself..

Apple could still make this all go away with a few free Bumpers for existing customers. But perhaps they don’t see why they should. Unfortunately that stubbornness will hurt them in the end, regardless of whether it is right or wrong.

Posted: July 13th, 2010
Categories: Analysis, Apple, iphone
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

Replacement iPhone 4 Does Not Have Signal Issue

A call from a friend of mine in the US who has had an iPhone 4 with signal issues, has reenforced my opinion that this is a manufacturing tolerance issue.

My friend could get signal strength on his new iPhone 4 to drop out when doing the “iPhone 4 Death Grip”, but now, using a replacement iPhone 4 in the same geographical location, with the same provider, the issue is gone completely.

I know 20 people personally with iPhone 4s now. 1 of them has had this issue.

Interesting interview with Ive on the iPhone 4, and there’s that word tolerance again…

“So it’s assembled first, the band, and then the final machining and grinding are performed, so the tolerances are extraordinary…. Whatever people’s feelings are about the actual design of the product is of course subjective. But objectively I can say that the manufacturing tolerances are phenomenal.”

The goals have been well-met, and on the subject of phenomenal tolerances, when you see the phone be sure to check out the insanely thin reveal around the hatch for the Micro SIM card on the side; I’ve never seen that kind of tolerance on something I could actually afford to buy. Upon seeing it my first thought was I will never pop that open, because I’m convinced it will never close again. “I assure you, it will,” Ive laughs.

I wonder if any of this will come back to bite Apple. Not because their design is anything other than phenomenal. But perhaps because their factories are not quite achieving the standards that these tolerances require.

Posted: July 1st, 2010
Categories: Apple, News, Opinion, iphone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

Apple Should Probably Make iPhone 4 Bumpers Free

[I]t appears this problem can be easily solved – simply use an official iPhone 4 Bumper, which offers a rubberised rim around the edge.

Similarly, reports are coming in that placing a strip of ‘screen protector’ on the bottom-left side of the phone, where there’s a small gap where the antenna apparently sits, will also perform the same function, should you not want a big rubber ring on your new phone.

Many users will be rightly arguing that accessories and fixes shouldn’t be needed on a new phone – but it appears the problem is not as serious as first feared.

Even if only a small number of iPhone 4 users require this accessory to make their iPhone 4 work properly, and make calls, which is what a cell phone is for after all, then Apple should really sling the iPhone Bumper thing in for free.

The problem appears to be worse when holding the iPhone 4 in your left hand, as this is when the meaty area of your palm causes enough conduction between aerials to make the signals interfere.

Perhaps, at least left handed people should get a free Bumper?

UPDATE : There are some reports that iPhone 3GS users are experiencing similar problems since upgrading to iOS4. I have not been able to confirm that personally. But if that is the case then perhaps, as unlikely as it seems based on the evidence to date, this could be a firmware, or OS issue.

Either way Apple could do a lot worse than calming the waters with an option for disgruntled iPhone 4 users to get a free Bumper if they so desire. After all, they certainly don’t cost Apple $30…

UPDATE 2 : Steve Jobs has apparently replied to some emails on this issue, and his attitude is that people should not hold the iPhone 4 in a manner which degrades the signal.

Hi Steve,

So, um, just got my iPhone 4. Its lovely and all, but this ‘bridge the two antennae to kill your reception’ thing seems to be a bit serious. If I bridge them with my hand or with a piece of metal the bars slowly drop to ‘Searching…’ and then ‘No Service’.

Its kind of a worry. Is it possible this is a design flaw?


- Rory Sinclair

[Steve's] reply:

Nope. Just don’t hold it that way.

That’s not going to go down well.

Sure all mobile phones have reception issues. They are not perfect RF devices. But unfortunately for Apple this particular flaw seems to be easily reproducible, and is getting increasingly well documented on the internet. Which means that whether or not it is something you can do on other mobile phones or not, people are going to keep doing it, and keep complaining.

It’s unfortunate that it seems to very noticeably be a problem for a specific demographic. Left handed people. That in itself is going to focus the issue. And it could go negative for Apple.

Just make the Bumpers free, Steve.

Posted: June 25th, 2010
Categories: Apple, iphone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

MacBook Pro Core i7 can get hot : 100+ºC

During testing of the latest Core i7-620M based 17in Macbook Pro we noticed that there were problems running certain tests in our benchmark suite. The score being spat out for the Photoshop tests – fourth in a suite of six test applications – in particular was quite low, and we wondered whether it was down to heat issues.


To be sure of our results we left the Macbook Pro overnight to cool off. Upon coming back into the office we repeated our tests, first in Windows and then in OS X. By the time the second run of the Cinebench test finished in Windows, the CPU Diode was reporting a temperature of 101 degrees Celsius.

A similar situation occurred in OS X. We’ve included the graph showing the heat output from the MacBook Pro’s sensors below.

In it the CPU peaks at 101 degrees, but worryingly the heat buildup in the CPU doesn’t register on the enclosure sensors. This is despite the chassis getting hot to the touch, and the heat buildup being registered on all the hardware-based sensors in the Macbook Pro.


The generally cool styling of the Macbook Pro just doesn’t seem too capable when put up against the sheer output of Intel’s Core i7 processor. This is reinforced by the Fujitsu Lifebook running 20 degrees cooler in the same tests with the same CPU.


Posted: April 27th, 2010
Categories: Apple, Technical Specs
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Comments: View Comments.

Apple issues advice for iPad Wi-Fi issues.

Posted: April 7th, 2010
Categories: Apple, ipad
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: View Comments.
Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wordpress themes