This can't be a coincidence. Apple currently has three postings on their job site for antenna engineers. The postings went up on June 23rd. June 23rd? Hmmm...
Ah yes, that was the same day MacRumors: Forums lit up with complaints and Youtube testimonials demonstrating that the new iPhone 4 loses reception (the bars go to nil) if you grip the phone just-so in two places on the outer metal band (that functions as the antenna).
It's been a PR disaster ever since for Apple, although it hasn't slowed down sales that's for sure (1.7 million sold in three days).
Here's part of the job description:
Responsibilities: Define and implement antenna system architecture to optimize the radiation performance for wireless portable devices. The candidate should be able to design antennas suitable for wireless handheld devices with excellent radiation performance...
So what can we infer from this after our initial chuckle?
1. On the eve of the formal launch of the iPhone 4, Apple saw it would be shipping them out with a huge technical flaw. They shipped them anyway.
2. Someone high up the food chain at Apple fast tracked posting these three postions implying a vote of "no confidence" in the current iPhone engineering team's ability to fix this themselves.
3. Apple is looking for some really, really, really smart cookies to tackle this. The job requirements include at least a master's in electrical engineering, if not a Phd (this is not a 75k a year job) and ten years experience (and they want three of 'em).
Last updated: Jul 1, 2010
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio