IDC Survey Finds The iPhone 4 Antenna Issue: Sending Mixed Signals

FRAMINGHAM, MA – July 16, 2010 – On July 16, 2010, International Data Corporation (IDC) fielded a brief directional survey done in collaboration with the IDG TechPanel that seeks to provide insight into the impact the technical problems with the Apple iPhone 4 will have on the buying behavior of those in the market for a new phone. The survey indicates that 66% of current iPhone owners are delaying their purchase of the iPhone 4, thus lengthening the normal upgrade cycle associated with the release of a new device. However, the antenna issues do not seem to be impacting the 74% of non-iPhone owners who indicated that they are not delaying their purchase plans.

According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the iPhone 4 is the most successful product in the company's history. The iPhone 4 introduced a variety of new capabilities into an already iconic product line that has altered the design and use of the mobile phone in a significant and profound manner. However, recently uncovered problems related to the design of the device's antenna have attracted unwelcome criticism from the press as well as the public at large. The iPhone 4 has been plagued by a variety of issues, including signal attenuation that results in dropped calls, especially in urban locations such as San Francisco and New York City. Some of these problems have been attributed to network capacity challenges that AT&T, Apple's exclusive carrier partner, has been working to address.

As part of an effort to improve the iPhone's reception capabilities, the iPhone 4 introduced a new antenna design that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Instead of placing the antenna inside the device shell, the iPhone 4's antenna was built into a metal band that surrounded the exterior edge of the phone. Unfortunately, when the phone was held in a manner that covered the lower left hand corner of exterior edge, signal strength deteriorated resulting in a dropped call.

The antenna design flaw was uncovered after the iPhone 4's initial introduction, which, as referenced above, was nothing short of a success. Even with a loyal fan-base and reviews that were unanimously positive, the effect of the technical problem on those who are looking to purchase a new phone, particularly the iPhone is largely unknown.

"We are pleased that Apple is working with its customers to offset the reception issues related to the iPhone 4," noted William Stofega, program director, Mobile Device Technology and Trends at IDC. "It will be interesting to monitor the effect of Apple's response to the antenna problem over the next several months."

To learn more about IDC's directional survey about buyer intent toward the iPhone 4, please contact Will Stofega at 508-988-7845 and

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting [].



Recent News

If you would like to interview an IDG employee or quote an article in your news coverage please fill out the form below: