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This article was published on July 15, 2010

8 solutions for the iPhone 4 that aren’t really solutions

8 solutions for the iPhone 4 that aren’t really solutions
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

Tomorrow we are going to hear it from Steve Jobs himself: the solution to the iPhone 4 reception problems. That gives us less than 24 hours to gossip about a possible solution. Here is my top 8 list of solutions that might be considered as solutions but that wouldn’t really be solutions. Get it?

Hold it different

Hold it different? I know we were taught to ‘Think Different’ but ‘Hold Different’? What is next? ‘Spend Different’ when our iTunes accounts get hacked? ‘Email Different’ when MobileMe crashes again? Apple has always strived to make gadgets that adapted beautifully to the user. That is what ‘intuitive’ is all about. In the iPad introduction movie we heard that there was ‘no wrong way to hold the iPad’ and that is exactly how it should be. ‘Hold Different’ is 100% surely not a solution.

Duct tape?

Okay, Duct tape can fix almost anything. It is THE solution for the iPhone reception issues according to Consumer Reports. But duct tape on my iPhone 4? Ugh. I’d rather trade it in for an Android before I go that far. Duct tape is NOT the solution people!


I like to use my headset. And I’m sure it would fix a lot of my problems. But it doesn’t apply as a ‘solution’. It wouldn’t fix the actuall problem but would just offer a way to not notice it. Besides, talking on a headset on public makes you look lie a dork who talks to himself. Oh, you didn’t notice people staring at you?


Using a case on an iPhone is like leaving the wrapping on your couch after you buy it. Sure, it protects your stuff, but plastic on your couch? How dumb is that? I would rather trash 2 iPhones a year and have no reception that carry it in a condom. Don’t tell me to go there…

Which brings me to the Apple Bumber…

Free Bumper

When I first saw the Bumper I kinda liked it. It looks, well, funny I guess. But it shouldn’t be anymore than a fashion accessory. If Apple is going to hand out these babies for free as a ‘solution’ I’m going to go crazy. If the bumper should’ve been there from the start they should’ve glued it on. Not sell it as an accessory.

Complete recall

So maybe Apple is going to do a complete recall, and fix the hardware? I guess that would be a solution, but also the end of an era. The end of an era where Apple used to make great and trustworthy gadgets just ‘just worked’. The stock would take a hit and it would amount to the worst product launch since, well, since the Newton probably. Would Apple ever recover after publicly admitting such a grave design mistake?

Oh god, please let it be a software fix. More on that option on the next page…

Software Update

You know, a software solution MIGHT be THE solution. If it would really fix the reception issue that is. If all it does is fix the display of the bars then this is just window dressing, and not a solution. The problem is that even if it really fixes the issue, how will we know? How will we ever trust this solution if it is just a software solution?

Apple better show some pretty convincing evidence tomorrow if a software fix turns out to be the only solution.

Revert back to 3G design

Can you imagine Steve Jobs coming on stage tomorrow and just saying

“Okay, we screwed up. That new antenna? Doesn’t work. I went all Apple Cube on my team and pressed on even though I knew it wouldn’t work. So, we’ve decided to revert back to the iPhone 3Gs form factor for all our next iPhones. No more glass and steel. Was fun while it lasted.”

That wouldn’t be right! I love the new design! Ever since the iPhone 4 was first revealed the ‘old’ one looks… old!

Lets just all hope and pray that Apple surprises us with a solution tomorrow that none of us saw coming, and which solves everything.

Is it going to happen? You tell me…

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