Sharp End: iPhone 4 problems. Solved!

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Dealer Jez Harris discusses iPhone 4 antenna issues, Three marketing and Orange commercials

iPhone 4 probs. Solved!

There has been a lot of reports regarding the reception issues suffered by users of the new Jesus phone, the iPhone 4. If a user holds the side metallic band towards the bottom left side then their coverage and calls may drop.

Apple’s response was initially muted. Mr Apple, Steve Jobs, apparently told people in emails that they are holding the phone “wrong”. You what?

But now Apple has made an official statement and blamed the loss of reception on the fact the handset was in fact displaying coverage incorrectly – a problem with its algorithms in the lab, or something.

It is not a case of the coverage dropping, it is case of the coverage not being available in the first place. Ahem. Poppy cock. As a user, I am fed up with being greeted by the message that network signal has been lost. Completely.

I read one report blaming it on the fact the new micro-SIM holder makes contact with the actual SIM card and, because the holder is metal and touches the antenna band going around the edge of the iPhone, this is what is causing signal degradation.

This makes more sense. So I followed descriptions given on how to isolate the iPhone’s micro-SIM card holder from the SIM card with a little bit of tape between the two.

When I put my SIM card back in after it’s slight modification my signal bars shot up and reception was excellent for a while. Reception kept dropping out later due to the tape I had put on the holder coming off and again allowing direct contact between the SIM holder and the card.

I wish Apple would just own up and admit it makes mistakes too.

Praise to Three

It doesn’t happen very often but I have to give praise where it’s due. I’ve long baulked at the way networks advertise allowances/bundles as ‘unlimited’, usually with a tiny asterisk next to the word, which invariably shows the airtime is indeed limited.

Three has now said it will no longer advertise allowances and bundles as ‘unlimited’ and will instead actually state the fair usage on number of minutes, texts or data. Well done Three for having the common sense at last to advertise products as they actually are, without misleading descriptions.

Now we just need the other networks to also abandon this outdated and deceptive means of advertising products falsely.

Late Price books again

July saw the introduction of completely new commercial terms from Orange and, as expected, it took a while for distributors to get their heads around it to publish their July price book for dealers.

However, I did not quite expect the mayhem and delay that occurred this month. I received my Orange pricing this month on the July 6. Not only could I not plan ahead and complete quotations, but for the first few days of the month I had no idea of what the commissions were at all, and whether or not I was actually making a profit on the connections I was doing.

Apparently one of the main reasons for the delay was repeated new pricing information being received by the distributors from Orange. Distributors would start finalising a price book only to receive further updates from the network and then have to go through the pricing yet again.

Orange knew for quite a while before these new terms what the potential for disruption was yet seemed totally unprepared to finalise the new terms in sufficient time for distributors to take in and process the information.

When the pricing did finally come through, it raised many questions before I could get a grasp of how the new terms actually worked. My initial thoughts were, “Oh my god, time to quit.”

But after analysing the new proposals I have settled and believe they could be quite beneficial for dealers introducing quality customers to the network.

I still think it’s an overly complicated process and will be hard to administer and keep records of, but the initial panic has given way to cautious optimism.

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