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The iPhone 5 Should Again Deliver an Improved Antenna

The iPhone 5's slight increased in height, combined with Apple's other design changes, should improve signal reception according to Spencer Webb, antenna expert and owner of AntennaSys. Webb wrote extensively about the AntennaGate issues with the original iPhone 4.

Because the iPhone 5 is taller, Webb explained to MacRumors, it has "increased antenna spacing and thus the antenna diversity will work better." Antenna diversity allows both the upper and lower antennas to send and receive signals -- a feat that the iPhone 4S was the first to accomplish. "The probability that one of the two antennas has a better signal is higher."

Iphone5frontback
Ergonomically, the taller phone means the average hand won't be able to cover both antennas. It's harder to hold "wrong". Also, since LTE operates at a lower frequency, 700 MHz, the additional separation is even more valuable.

The aluminum body of the new iPhone 5 will also help the antenna performance, and the hand sensitivity issue will be further diminished. The key word is sensitivity. In other words, changes in performance due to changes in "how you hold it" will be diminished. The antenna will see less change in the "ground mass" of the device.
Webb also noted that LTE support could actually help with network congestion in some cases. "The higher speed may have more to do with relieving network congestion than the requirements in the apps -- it gets the traffic out of the way faster."

Many tasks that are normally performed on the iPhone -- Google searches, fetching email -- will still be performed on the LTE-equipped iPhone, but won't be using the carrier signal for as long. Additionally, LTE gets data users off of the traditional cellular network, so 3G data connections and voice calls may be more reliable.

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago
Forget about rumors, it's all news today!
Rating: 7 Votes
29 months ago
Glad to hear. It's been over two years with my iPhone 4 and it's problem prone antenna. Hello iPhone 5!

Also, It'll be nice not to have to hear people knock the iPhone for it's antenna problems. I'm glad to see Apple is starting to be an industry leader in antenna design.
Rating: 5 Votes
29 months ago
Will this fone double as a surfboard?
Rating: 4 Votes
29 months ago

Glad to hear. It's been over two years with my iPhone 4 and it's problem prone antenna. Hello iPhone 5!

Also, It'll be nice not to have to hear people knock the iPhone for it's antenna problems. I'm glad to see Apple is starting to be an industry leader in antenna design.


Shame they can't say how much better it is since they are still selling the old phone with their inferior antennae.
Rating: 4 Votes
29 months ago
This is actually my biggest concern about potentially switching from AT&T to Verizon. I know that on VZW's 3G network you can't talk and be on data at the same time, but you should be able to do that on LTE. but what if you leave a 4G area and go back to 3G? Do you lose that capability for that time?

I'm not a big fan of AT&T's coverage area, but the ability to be on data and talk simultaneously is a huge plus for me and my family. We use it all the time.
Rating: 2 Votes
29 months ago
Antennagate: Part Deux
Rating: 2 Votes
29 months ago
He makes some good points. By this device having the aluminum back, it's much harder for your hand to not be touching chassis ground, meaning it's harder to present a vastly different impedance to the antenna. And if you're using a case, that already wasn't an issue.
Rating: 2 Votes
29 months ago

I came here wondering this exact thing.

I followed the live blogs and for the iPhone & iOS6, we basically heard everything over again that Apples own intentional leaks already told us. I still want to know ...

How much ram?

Will LTE function simultaneously w/voice/data on other networks?


It's largely up to the networks and the handset makers. I believe most LTE radios are capable of it these days.

As for RAM, apple usually doesn't tell. I'm guessing 1GB, but we'll need to see teardowns or diagnostic app screencaps to be sure.
Rating: 2 Votes
29 months ago

Oh their was definitely a problem and Steve lied his ass off and many believed him.

Antennagate was way over hyped. Every single phone in the world had the same issues to varying degrees. And Steve told it as it was. At least Apple tried to fix it on their new phones. The slight problem that existed.
Rating: 2 Votes
29 months ago
When I read the opening statement...

"The iPhone 5's slight increased in height, combined with Apple's other design changes, should improve signal reception according to Spencer Webb, antenna expert"

It brought me right back to the Antennagate Special I was so eager to dump in favor of an iPhone that could make reliable calls.

Enter the 4S, a much improved model. The product of some of the new Antenna Engineers that Apple had advertised for, and hired after the Antennagate Debacle.

Steve denied it, blamed it on us, but in the end we are seeing a refreshing confession on Apple's part that indeed the antenna is not one of their strong suits.

Since I have no desire to buy the elongated phone, I will be interested in reading the reviews to see if this antenna is indeed one more incremental improvement.
Rating: 2 Votes

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