Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Antennagate" Issue – A Self-Test

After viewing the Apple press conference on the ”antennagate ” issue I wanted to do some experiments myself, since I am currently using a Blackberry Bold 9700, which was one of the phones Apple used to prove their point. I had full signal (5 bars on the Vodafone India Network). I held the phone in all ways possible – both hands, up side down, front side back, but did not see a single bar drop. I repeated the same experiment on my iPhone 3G (Airtel India Network) and got the same result – no visible signal attenuation. This made me doubt the information provided by Steve Jobs in the conference.

I was curios to know what I was doing wrong, so as to not being able to get signal attenuation. I then realized that Steve had mentioned more than once that smart phones have weak spots and in areas of relatively weak signal strength, gripping them in certain ways attenuates the signal strength. I was annoyed because my ten-minute experiment with full signal strength gave me no worthwhile results, but decided to sleep over it.

Yesterday I was out for lunch. I was waiting for my cousins in a lobby, which was a huge room with two sides open. I happened to look at my phone and saw that I had only 4 bars on my Bold. I got excited because maybe I was in an area with relatively low signal strength. I held the phone in my left hand like demonstrated in the video. Two bars dropped. I got even more excited, and kept thinking why did I ever doubt Steve. I played around a little and tried different grips. From 3-4 bars my signal dropped to about 2-3 bars, and I never saw a drop of more than 2 bars. Unfortunately I did not have my iPhone this time around. I wonder what I would have observed.

All in all there was some metal in what Steve said, but I am not entirely convinced, since I did not observe significant signal attenuation. Maybe I need to experiment in an area of even weaker signal strength to be able to get the results Apple got.

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