iPhone 4S Includes Significant Antenna Upgrades

Apple has built significant antenna upgrades into the iPhone 4S, saying in the press release announcing the phone that it is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. We spoke to Spencer Webb, owner of AntennaSys, about the antenna history of the iPhones. He wrote extensively about the AntennaGate issues with the original iPhone 4 last year.

"With the iPhone 4," Webb explained, around the steel band "we had one cell antenna at the bottom. On the top, we had another antenna for GPS and Wi-Fi." This turned into Antennagate.


With the Verizon/CDMA iPhone, Webb believes Apple's designers "moved the GPS and Wi-Fi antennas beneath the back glass and turned the top antenna into a second antenna for the cell phone." This brought spatial diversity to the iPhone. This design helps solve the Antennagate problem, because the phone can switch between the antennas depending on signal conditions.

"If you cover up an antenna, you're probably not covering up both antennas," Webb explains. "Spatial diversity on the receiving side is required for use with the Verizon network."

The Verizon iPhone had 'receive diversity' -- it used two antennas for receiving data, but may have only transmitted on the bottom antenna. With the iPhone 4S, Apple claims to have both 'send and receive diversity' for GSM and CDMA. They're using this diversity as the solution to the antenna problem.

"The iPhone 4S may indeed be the first phone to have diversity on both the send and receive sides, and that is a decently big deal. They still have the antenna around the rim, though, so it's evolutionary, not revolutionary."

Image via This Is My Next

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
118 months ago

Wait, I thought there was no problem with the iPhone 4's antenna. How can Apple fix a problem they claimed didn't exist?


;)


They improved the antenna, it doesn't mean antenna was broken. Indeed iPhone4 receive much more better than 3GS.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
118 months ago
Wait, I thought there was no problem with the iPhone 4's antenna. How can Apple fix a problem they claimed didn't exist?


;)
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
118 months ago

Significant Antenna Upgrades my ass.

16 months for this?

God, I'm so mad right now.


Can't wait for you to let us know in every single post on the forums today.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
118 months ago

So, Apple's announcement today: "After sixteen months, we've worked out the kinks. Enjoy." :confused: Oh well, life moves on.


They worked out the kinks, put a brand new processor in it that is twice as fast and consumes the same power, and added a voice recognition system that actually seems to work. If someone installed an engine in your car that had twice the horsepower, got the same fuel economy, and added a brand new GPS navigation system, would you complain?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
118 months ago
I thought the upgrade was great. I don't get why people are disappointed. Technology only moves so fast. This year a speed bump, next year, a redesign, just like the iPhone 4 and 3GS before it.

As an indie game dev I'm excited about the new graphics capabilities, I LOVE the mirrored air play, and the tech demo that Epic released was very impressive.

Siri also has me interested which is funny because originally I thought it would be dumb, then I saw the video...

I also like the improved browsing speeds and storage bump. Very nice (and realistic) upgrade if you ask me.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
118 months ago

Significant Antenna Upgrades my ass.

16 months for this?

God, I'm so mad right now.


So you read and understood the entire press release in less than 1 minute?

I can see by the image it looks quite similar to my current iPhone 4, but I am going to actually read the article and press release before my knee-jerk reaction. ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

French iPhone Boxes Come Packed in an Outer Box With Separate EarPods

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:52 am PDT by
After the news that France would be the only territory to continue to include EarPods with the iPhone, it seems that Apple is not packing the earbuds within the iPhone's box (via iGeneration). Screenshot from TheiCollection's review video The French iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not have a different retail box to accommodate EarPods, meaning that all iPhone boxes are consistent...

Some Defective Apple iPhone 12 Cases Shipping Without Speaker Holes

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:54 pm PDT by
At least two customers who have purchased iPhone 12 cases have received defective cases that do not have speaker holes, which obscures the sound. Photo by Reddit user zarnold16 There have been two separate threads on Reddit from iPhone 12 customers who purchased a case and received one without speaker holes. One customer was told by an Apple advisor that the case wasn't meant to have...

Watch: New iPad Air Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the new iPad Air ahead of its launch on Friday. In addition to our more detailed review roundup, we've shared a handful of unboxing videos and first impressions of the device below. The new iPad Air via Karl Conrad The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. It is...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...