So maybe it wasn’t AT&T’s fault after all.
Apple recently revealed that there is a fundamental flaw in their method for calculating how many signal bars to display. And we have the iPhone 4 (and its “learn to hold your phone the right way” fiasco) to thank for bringing this software snafu to light.
CNN Money shares the following details from Apple:
“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,” Apple wrote in a statement posted on its website. “Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.”
That means, for example, that iPhones sometimes display four bars when they should be displaying two. Apple said users reporting a significant drop in bars when they hold their iPhone 4 are probably in an area of “very weak signal strength” but were unaware of that because the phone displayed four to five bars.
“Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place,” the company said.
Perhaps most surprising, Apple disclosed that the problem is not confined to the iPhone 4. The faulty formula has been present in every iPhone model since the 2007 original. Questions remain about whether the issue is strictly software-related, or if it also involved hardware problems. However, Apple has said it will release a free software update in the next several weeks to fix the glitch. It will use a new formula recommended by AT&T.