According to the New York Times, a second software update would be required to fix the reception problems on the iPhone 4 and may be the topic of Apple’s press conference later today. According to many users, the latest iOS update–version 4.0.1 still does not address the reception issues though Apple has redesigned the way the reception bars appear on the iPhone–and the New York Times is citing a person familiar with the matter that a second iOS patch will be needed to resolve dropped calls and reception problems:
One person with direct knowledge of the phone’s design said Thursday that the iPhone 4 exposed a longstanding weakness in the basic communications software inside Apple’s phones and that the reception problems were not caused by an isolated hardware flaw.
Instead, the problems emerged in the complex interaction between specialized communications software and the antenna, said the person, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
The person said the problems were longstanding but had been exposed by the design of the iPhone 4. All cellphones can be affected by the way a hand grips the phone, but well-designed communications software compensates for a variety of external factors and prevents calls from dropping, the person said.
Over time, various sources have attributed the problems with iPhone 4’s reception due to Apple’s handling of the antenna–primarily that a non-conductive coating was not applied by Apple to the external antenna. However, this latest source seems to think that the problem may be software related rather than hardware related. If this is true, it would be good news for both users and Apple as a massive recall would not be required. For a change though, this is an iPhone flaw that users cannot blame AT&T for.