What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
News In Brief

Apple’s ‘Reception Deception’

Matt Berger Jul 2, 2010

By Bob Moon

“Reception Deception” surely can’t be the phrase Steve Jobs wants associated with the Apple iPhone this close to the release of his new 4G model, but that’s what several bloggers have labeled today’s mea culpa from Apple.

The company admitted in a statement today that it’s been using a flawed formula to display extra signal bars giving the perception that the phone has service, even when it doesn’t. Apple said it’s iPhones have done this since it was first introduced.

We’ve got the details on this evening’s Marketplace. But there’s one sentence in Apple’s carefully crafted statement that you’ve really got to see in print. This is how the company explains all those dropped calls and Internet connections that users have been complaining about:

“Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong… We sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars…” Referring to customers complaints, Apple noted: “Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.”


Previously, Apple suggested that the customers plagued by signal problems weren’t holding their new iPhones correctly. So what is the correct way to hold your iPhone? Do we need to draw you a picture? That’s what Scott Johnson did over at MyExtraLife.com.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.