Apple Says There’s No Software Fix For The iPhone Antenna Problem

Apple Says There’s No Software Fix For The iPhone Antenna Problem

Last night, NYT reported that there was a software fix for the iPhone 4 antenna problem. In the Q&A following today’s event, Apple stated definitively that there was not and said the paper was “making this stuff up”.

GDGT’s fleety fingers transcribed the exchange, which started with a question from Engadget:

Josh, Engadget: NY Times says this might have a software fix, is this something that can be helped with software?

Steve Jobs: We just spent the last hour going through how the iPhone 4 drops only 1 more call per hundred than the 3GS. … Go talk to the Times, because you guys talk to yourselves a lot, and they’re just making this stuff up.

Scott Forstall: That statement is patently false. Can we continue to tune the way the baseband interacts with the network? Yes, and we do this all the time. But that statement is untrue.

Jobs: One many statements lately that fall into that category.

Update: NYT writer John Markoff clarifies that Scott Forestall is the one who said NYT was “making stuff up”.

In response to a similar question, later, Jobs said:

You’re asking me: is there a software fix for smartphone attenuation that’s seen on every smartphone when you hold it in certain ways?

An NYT source had suggested that the iPhone 4’s antenna attenuation arose from the “complex interaction between specialised communications software and the antenna”, and said that Apple could fix the issue with better-designed software.

Apple shot that idea down, explaining today that the signal degradation was indeed a hardware issue (though one, they claim, that affects all mobile phones). While Jobs killed the beautiful dream of a software fix, he did reiterate that the iOS 4.01 update has a more accurate signal algorithm, which should help iPhone 4 users get a better sense of what kind of service they can expect at any given location. [GDGT]