March 29, 2012: Apple settles its “Antennagate” controversy by giving affected iPhone 4 house owners the prospect to assert a whopping $15 payout.
The settlement covers clients who skilled issues with the cellphone dropping calls attributable to its cutting-edge design, however weren’t in a position to return their handsets (or didn’t need a free bumper from Apple to mitigate in opposition to the issue).
Whereas it’s debatable whether or not a $15 payout was price submitting all of the paperwork obligatory to assert the money, the Antennagate story and the following class-action lawsuit generated large headlines on the time.
Antennagate: A uniquely Apple controversy
Antennagate referred to the tendency of the iPhone 4 to sometimes drop calls when held a sure means. The issue proved notably vexing when customers held the cellphone of their left fingers in such a means that their palms coated the system’s tiny antenna hole.
A bit like 2014’s “Bendgate” controversy with the iPhone 6 Plus, Antennagate was massively overblown by the media. The antenna drawback affected solely round one name in 100.
Nevertheless, issues got here to a head when revered commerce publication Shopper Studies mentioned it couldn’t suggest the iPhone 4 due to the defect. Within the aftermath, Apple CEO Steve Jobs flew again early from a household vacation in Kona Village, Hawaii, to handle the issue at a press convention.
By being trustworthy in regards to the antenna drawback, however standing by the iPhone 4, Jobs defused the state of affairs. Antennagate didn’t immediate the mass iPhone returns some feared. Nonetheless, Antennagate stays a big second in Apple historical past for a number of causes.
Apple design: Type over perform?
For starters, it marked one of many first occasions that Apple’s design-first method to expertise clashed with making a product that “simply labored.”
Metallic isn’t the perfect materials to put subsequent to an antenna. A design just like the iPhone 4’s can create a Faraday cage that stops indicators from getting in or out of the cellphone.
The unique iPhone obtained round this through the use of a plastic band on the backside. Nevertheless, for the iPhone 4, Apple design chief Jony Ive wished to switch the plastic for aesthetic causes. The design brilliance of Apple’s engineers made this attainable. Nevertheless, some argued that their answer illustrated the hazard of placing kind earlier than sensible perform. (Some individuals proceed to lodge that very same accusation in opposition to Apple as of late.)
The opposite factor Antennagate highlighted was simply how large Apple had develop into. By the point of the iPhone 4 launch in 2010, Apple had transitioned from the money-losing firm it was within the Nineties to develop into some of the invaluable companies on this planet. What wouldn’t have been information for an additional firm grew to become a significant story for the much-scrutinized Apple.
Do you bear in mind the Antennagate drama? Did you personal an iPhone 4? And, in that case, did the antenna drawback have an effect on your utilization of the handset? Go away your feedback beneath.