In an open-letter to iPhone 4 users, the company admitted that while there were no significant issues with the phone’s external antenna design that weren’t found in most other smartphones, it got the mathematical formula that calculates the number of bars to represent signal strength “totally wrong”.
What’s more, the formula has been wrong since the release of the original iPhone.
According to the company, the iPhone 4 was showing two bars too many, claiming that it was showing as many as four bars when it should have only been showing two. The fact that users may have seen a significant drop in signal strength, the company says, was more likely due to the users being in a weak signal area. The claim is that the signal strength in that situation should never have appeared as high as it did.
Apple’s solution is to use the same formula that AT&T uses to more accurately account for signal strength.
The company will issue a free software update within a few weeks to rectify the software error.
As the error has existed since the original iPhone release, the software update will be applied to all iPhones, including the iPhone 3G and 3G S.