It’s official. Consumer Reports’ engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception. When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone’s lower left side—an easy thing, especially for lefties—the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether if you’re in an area with a weak signal. Due to this problem, we can’t recommend the iPhone 4.
That’s Consumer Reports, incidentally, which put the phone in an RF-isolated room to perform their tests along with a base-station emulator.
Oops – that’s about as close to proof as you’re going to find. In an RF-quiet environment it’s pretty easy to prove your case, and it appears that CR did so.
The tests also indicate that AT&T’s network might not be the primary suspect in the iPhone 4′s much-reported signal woes.
I have never been impressed with the iPhone (any generation) in terms of RF. Ever. It has always been a "form before function" device from my perspective, all the way back to the original units. Then again I’m spoiled – the best RF-performing GSM phone I’ve ever used was a Nokia 3395. I may still have one laying around here somewhere, and all of my old Nokias (including a 6610 which was nearly as good) still work just fine. Old, yes, but one thing Nokia does know how to do is design and build an RF section.
Incidentally, buying devices that work before selecting them for "sex appeal" may be why I’ve never had a material problem with the "can you hear me?" BS that so many suffer with when it comes to cellphones. I guess my view is that a cellphone is for communicating rather than trying to shag some hot chick at the local bar by flashing my "bling."
This is a common flaw for consumer devices – be sexy rather than be smart – or good. Of course sex sells, and so the more "sexy" you can make something look the better it sells, and as long as you remain within the "acceptable" functionality envelope you don’t get hurt – too badly. Witness Motorola, which had the "hot" phone for a long time…
Apple has had a hell of a time with what is arguably its most important product release since the initial iPhone in 2007. The handsets have been plagued with spotty screens, combustible USB ports, signal strength measurement inconsistencies, and the most damaging of the issues – an ill-conceived antenna design that causes attenuation when held from the lower left had corner. Steve Jobs did the Blankfein (Goldman Sachs CEO, stating that the Wall Street bank was doing God’s work) imitation by opening his mouth when he shouldn’t have and said that users were “hold the phone the wrong way”. Not only that, but Consumer Reports just came out with a report stating that they can not recommend the buying of an iPhone until the antenna situation has been rectified, prompting speculation that Apple will be forced to recall millions of phones.
As a matter of fact, the review was rather poignant:
“If you want an iPhone that works well without a masking-tape fix, we continue to recommend an older model, the 3G S.”
One solution to the Apple iPhone 4’s antenna problem is to cover the lower left corner with tape.
It is very easy to fall out of favor with the trendy crowd. While I doubt very seriously that Apple is in danger of doing this anytime soon, a massive recall will open the door for devices which are technically much more capable, flexible and open than the iPhone, ex. the Android powered HTC and Samsung devices. Basically, the danger to Apple here is not the expense of a recall, but the loss of mindshare and potential widening of the opening for some very capable competition – an opening that did not have to be there!
Don’t believe me, click the link to the consumer reports article and peruse the comment section…
Chris Kimble shared his chart of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF, XLU, with us.
The one month performance inset shows XLU’s uninspiring performance compared to every other ETF on the list. However, the rather steep bullish falling wedge pattern says that it may be time for a bounce.
[Click on chart to enlarge]
Chris likes XLU for a short-term bounce off the 200 day moving average at $44. One way to play this setup is to buy the XLU outright. Chris suggests a 3% stop loss on the shares.
Another bullish play is to use options in a strategy designed by Phil:
We are only two months into 2015, and it has already proven to be the most volatile year for the economic environment since 2008-2009. We have seen oil markets collapsing by about 50 percent in the span of a few months (just as the Federal Reserve announced the end of QE3, indicating fiat money was used to hide falling demand), the Baltic Dry Index losing 30 percent since the beginning of the year, the Swiss currency surprise, the Greeks threatening EU exit (and now Greek citizens threatening violent protests with the new four-mo...
Today the National Bank of Ukraine announced new capital controls on currency transactions. All Interbank Transactions Over $10,000 are Banned. The national Bank of Ukraine has expanded the list of administrative restrictions for stabilization of the hryvnia, in particular, completely prohibiting the withdrawal of foreign dividends and limiting the purchase of foreign currency on the domestic markets.
Resolution No. 160 is effective from March 4, 2015 and is valid until June 3, 2015.
Previously, prohibitions did not target dividends on securities that are traded on stock exchanges.
The NBU has also introduced limits on the balance of banks' operations on the interbank ...
A second day of losses brought markets closer to support, and a potential decision point.
The S&P tagged support at 2094 and the 20-day MA at 2090. Bulls will need to step up to the plate tomorrow if such key support is to hold. Lose 2093 and 2064 comes into play. Volume climbed today to register as distribution.
The Nasdaq was little changed. It was able to rally in late afternoon trading as it hugged the 10% envelope (relative to the 200-day MA. The 20-day MA is looking like a logical next test, but if it was to do this, it would give up today's low without much question. Bulls need to be careful not to buy the dip too early. At least the inde...
Despite low trading volume, a strong dollar, mixed economic and earnings reports, paralyzing weather conditions throughout much of the U.S., and ominous global news events, stocks continue to march ever higher. The world remains on edge about potential Black Swan events from the likes of Russia, Greece, or ISIS (or lone wolf extremists). Moreover, the economic recovery of the U.S. may be feeling the pull of the proverbial ball-and-chain from the rest of the world’s economies. Nevertheless, awash in investable cash, global investors see few choices better than U.S. equities.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then ...
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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