Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.
I don’t know which part is more ridiculous: that Apple is trying to pitch this as an explanation, or that people are going to take them for their word.
On the other hand, it is a brilliant marketing piece. In one short letter Apple manages to say that:
- There’s nothing wrong with the phone itself.
- Our math error makes the phone report it has better reception than it should. This basically means “AT&T’s network sucks horribly, but our phone reports it more optimistically.”
- It is not our fault that we built the greatest phone in the world and AT&T sucks.