Apple posts jobs for iPhone antenna engineers

iPhone antenna job postings

Since its June 24th release, the iPhone has stirred up quite a ruckus. There have been consistent reports that Apple's latest attempt at better reception has fallen short. When the iPhone 4 is held in the left-hand (covering the black strip at the bottom left corner), the phone's cell signal seems to fade into the abyss.

On that note, Engadget has found some interesting job postings on Apple's job search site. The latest three postings went live on June 23rd. This just so happens to be the day reception complaints began coming to light. The job title is "Antenna Engineer - iPad/iPhone" and contains the following in its description:

"Responsibilities: Define and implement antenna system architecture to optimize the radiation performance for wireless portable devices."

The same job posting (without the iPad in the title) was made back on January 29th as well. This could be a sign that the postings are a mere coincidence, or that Apple has known about the issue and ignored it since the beginning of the year. The fact that Apple felt the need to add the iPad into the mix could just be a way to try and divert attention from the company admitting iPhone antenna defeat.

On the bright side, at least Apple is taking complaints seriously and hiring engineers to help with the problem. In the meantime, if you're experiencing the antenna design flaw, it may be wise to grab a bumper or, as Steve Jobs suggests, "just avoid holding it that way."

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Yes, but when apple talks about jobs, you can never be sure whether they are talking about employment or their CEO.

Chester0 said,
A small sticker at the afected area would not work?

When has it been that you wanted to buy any kind of new device that would need fixing, even if it is just duct tape fixing?

Chester0 said,
A small sticker at the afected area would not work?
and if you hold the phone in such a way that your hand over laps the sticker and still connects both antennas?

Okay I personally think that apple has made a mistake with this phone honestly. The company rushes its products and tries to burn every customer they can get by creating a new iphone every year and a new mac every 1 and a half. There bullcrap of how they created a new grade of steel and "NEW" face talk, please apple over sells everything to the point to which they sound really stupid, but its there way of bringing the revenue to the company. Face it everyone on this site and fourm has a fair or great knowledge about technology and how things work. The rest of society does not and they fall for there stupid bullcrap apple gives them. The iphone 4 is an upgrade from the iphone 3GS obviously , Is the upgrade to the iphone 4 necessary?, no. They way they placed the antenna is just so stupid I mean did anyone really think for a second when they were designing the whole antenna,WiFi,Bluetooth part."Just avoid holding it in that way" really jobs really. Every person who holds an iphone holds it covering the left and right side and it cleary blocks the antenna signal. Jobs is cocky and arrogant with that statement and that has not changed since the 80's, I hope apple falls hard on its ass again. Well anyone want to take up on the job offer? =)

I'm wondering if this job is a new position or if they're now replacing the guy/girl they just got rid of...

maybe this has nothing to do with current iPhone issues. Maybe this is an Antenna Engineer for LTE? Many places I have worked it takes some time to post a job. I find it unlikely that they would post a job to fix a problem that was just reported that day. I don't think there is any evidence to show that Apple knew about the issue prior to launch day.

spartyjohnson said,
I don't think there is any evidence to show that Apple knew about the issue prior to launch day.
I'm somewhat torn. A lot of people note that they would likely test the phone with a case to make it look like an iPhone 3GS.

Which is fair, but why was this the first year that they released some form of a case (the bumpers) that conveniently cover only the antennas? The easiest counterargument for that is that they did not have flat edges before, but that just does not feel right to me.

The iPad also was one of their first cases I believe...they just recognized they could make money from selling them. They'd have done it regardless of the signal issues and if they knew it was an issue it would have come bundled I'm sure to address that fact rather than sell a defective product.

Ahhhh.... , I was hoping the title read more like

Apple posts Jobs for iPhone antenna issues

Anyway, this is probably a normal job posting that is unrelated to the recent iPhone 4 antenna issue news. The antenna issue is more a QA problem...my guess is that QA reported the problem but it would of required a hell of a redesign to fix it and Apple didn't want to delay production. So really, this is Steve Job's fault who I am sure was fully aware of the situation before HE decided Apple should release the phone to the general public.

Apple always was never good at R&D in antennas, miles away from Nokia's achievements.
iPhone was first designed as gadget, second as phone.

manosdoc said,
Apple always was never good at R&D in antennas, miles away from Nokia's achievements.
iPhone was first designed as gadget, second as phone.

your comparison is apples to oranges here.. Nokia have been in the mobile industry since its inception. THEY ARE THE LARGEST mobile company in the world!.

They have tons and tons of experience. Hence why they have always done well.. The only reason Apple is this popular is because of the marketing they did way back in 98 to change the image of the company. That is now paying off. This is what many other companies don't get. Materialism is also a major factor to this..

On a side note: Apple iPhone only exists and is this popular in North America, and some parts of Europe. Everywhere else.. no one gets this hyped and really cares. Nokia rules!

How did he compare Apples to Oranges. Both companies are making phones...He's comparing Apples to Apples...

And I'll tell you people like the iPhone in Australia too...about 1/3 of this office has them.

This story JUST keeps getting better...

I'm seeing a LOT of aluminum hats and maybe rabbit ears taped to IPowns already...

Awesome testing dudes!!!

So they figured out, after the iPhone 4 release, that they don't know how to design an antenna correctly so they are looking for people who do. A little late, but makes sense.

techbeck said,
So they figured out, after the iPhone 4 release, that they don't know how to design an antenna correctly so they are looking for people who do. A little late, but makes sense.

"The same job posting (without the iPad in the title) was made back on January 29th as well"

I wouldn't connect the dots this easily. Given the timeframe, this sounds more likely intended for the future of Apple products. In late January, surely the iPhone 4 design must have been practically set in stone and unchangable regardless what some random engineer new at work would have told Apple?

No, I don't buy that.

I hope, they at least had engineers before working on this. I can see from a design standpoint how nice the antenna band would be, but I would at least hope that they had some engineers testing it. I wonder if the type of metal used or any coatings added to it would affect the performance

gamestargrinder said,
I hope, they at least had engineers before working on this. I can see from a design standpoint how nice the antenna band would be, but I would at least hope that they had some engineers testing it. I wonder if the type of metal used or any coatings added to it would affect the performance

Didnt an engineer loose one at a bar? so they were.. OR.. they all got too drunk to realize it lol..

on a more serious note, yes this is an issue. But only a handful of people have faced this issue out of 1.75 million who purchased it. And as usual, the media over blows the situation. And people who don't like Apple, will thread this along just to make their case seem better..

all in all, I have the iPhone 4. It works fine. I have had a few software hickups, but nothing esle.
Every phone has its issues, the nexus one did, the droid did, the HTC Evo did.. - now these companies have to learn from their mistakes and just make sure that their manufacturing partners and engineers pay a closer attention to details.

As long as there isn't a new iPhone within the next 11 months. I don't mind. It's not an issue for me. There's no link (for me) between what the iPhone shows and the true signal strength. If they release a new model in 6 months, there'll be hell to pay and Apple will lose so much money.

John. said,
As long as there isn't a new iPhone within the next 11 months. I don't mind. It's not an issue for me. There's no link (for me) between what the iPhone shows and the true signal strength. If they release a new model in 6 months, there'll be hell to pay and Apple will lose so much money.

They're gonna lose money either way. They won't come out with a new phone but just the same one without the defects.

John. said,
As long as there isn't a new iPhone within the next 11 months. I don't mind. It's not an issue for me. There's no link (for me) between what the iPhone shows and the true signal strength. If they release a new model in 6 months, there'll be hell to pay and Apple will lose so much money.

You do realize that this time next year, they will come out with an updated version right? thats what they've always done.. .

dimithrak said,

You do realize that this time next year, they will come out with an updated version right? thats what they've always done.. .


That's why he said 11 months.

bdsams said,

Becucase its really funny when someone gets fired....

In most cases no, in this case it is. And not because its Apple, its because the engineer didn't really think through what he was doing. If it was known before that holding your phone with your hand will cause a slight signal drop, what was he expecting by putting the antenna on the outside where your hand would, inevitably, be?

Hell if I made such a stupid mistake on my job, I would expect to be fired too.

If it was all just a software issue, then hey it's all good.

/- Razorfold said,
Hahaha someone probably just got fired!

There was an article on Ars a little bit ago discussing how something like this would happen. jobs would fight engineers for circuit board designs that looked pretty over functional ones.

It seems that it's form over function there and something like this would be a long time coming.

/- Razorfold said,

In most cases no, in this case it is. And not because its Apple, its because the engineer didn't really think through what he was doing. If it was known before that holding your phone with your hand will cause a slight signal drop, what was he expecting by putting the antenna on the outside where your hand would, inevitably, be?

Hell if I made such a stupid mistake on my job, I would expect to be fired too.

If it was all just a software issue, then hey it's all good.

I wouldn't put this down to just the engineers who designed the antenna. What about the testers and QA folks who failed to identify the issue? Surely they are just as culpable? This whole issue is indicative of a systematic team failure not of one particular person or department.

/- Razorfold said,

In most cases no, in this case it is. And not because its Apple, its because the engineer didn't really think through what he was doing. If it was known before that holding your phone with your hand will cause a slight signal drop, what was he expecting by putting the antenna on the outside where your hand would, inevitably, be?

Hell if I made such a stupid mistake on my job, I would expect to be fired too.

If it was all just a software issue, then hey it's all good.

I doubt there was a solo Antenna Engineer who is completely responsible for this **** up. I'm guess it was more the design teams fault. They probably sold old Steve Jobs on the form factor and the aluminum body, and Steve Jobs told the antenna engineers to "just make it work".

Anyway, to cover the part of the phone in question while holding it up to your ear with either hand puts you (well, at least me) in a very awkward position. But when surfing the internet it isn't unlikely at all to have the phone fully rested in your left hand while touching the screen with your right hand. Once you know where the spot it you can give that spot some air to breath and it works fine. Still, a major **** up on Apple's part. Sure, other phones suffer from degrading signal when you position your hand around particular parts of the phone....but I don't know of another phone who's signal goes from 5-bars to No Service in a matter of seconds from mishandling...

bugsbungee said,

I wouldn't put this down to just the engineers who designed the antenna. What about the testers and QA folks who failed to identify the issue? Surely they are just as culpable? This whole issue is indicative of a systematic team failure not of one particular person or department.

Exactly. Hard to point blame at just the engineers. And it also has yet to be seen if a software update will fix the issue completely. Because it is apparent that iOS 4.0 is causing signal degradation among the 3G and 3GS as well. I'm sure iPhone 4's design is in part to blame but blaming just the antenna engineers is a bit much. The QA people are more at fault since it's their job to catch these things. These new job postings may very well have been planned well before these issues were found but might have been published sooner because of them.

/- Razorfold said,

In most cases no, in this case it is. And not because its Apple, its because the engineer didn't really think through what he was doing. If it was known before that holding your phone with your hand will cause a slight signal drop, what was he expecting by putting the antenna on the outside where your hand would, inevitably, be?

Hell if I made such a stupid mistake on my job, I would expect to be fired too.

If it was all just a software issue, then hey it's all good.

sniff sniff.. gosh.. its a huge pile of BS!

dimithrak said,

sniff sniff.. gosh.. its a huge pile of BS!

Yeh...its not like this issue wasn't known before right? And its not like no other manufacturer would have thought about leaving the antenna open and exposed to the elements in order to get a better signal reception.

Not to mention that you're telling me that a highly paid engineer (or engineering team) didn't realize that short circuiting an antenna would cause a problem?

The testing team deserves part of the blame, but they couldn't do much thanks to Apple's secrecy / security. All their phones were in cases so no signal loss would have been detected.