Enough About The iPhone 4 Antenna, More About AT&T’s Bad Network

The iPhone 4 antenna issue perhaps jumped the shark when Consumer Reports declared this week that it did special testing to prove that the “death grip” really can lead to a loss of signal. Hey, Consumer Reports? Where was your special investigation into how just being on AT&T’s network can lead to a loss of signal?

It’s The Network, Stupid

Seriously, it’s the antenna woes that caused CR to withhold a “recommended” status for the iPhone 4?

Look, I can take two iPhones, put them on my desk side-by-side, not touch either one of them, and yet one might show signal degradation for no reason.

More important, I can be holding my iPhone (iPhone 3G or iPhone 4) with a FULL signal (whether you believe the bars or not) and not be able to hear someone clearly or send or receive data.

How About A Bumper Case For AT&T?

But yeah, let’s waste more time investigating the antenna. And then let’s waste even more time testing that putting a case around it will help. Yeah, we knew that. Apple told us that.

You know what the case doesn’t solve? The far more common issue of AT&T’s network still giving iPhone owners grief in general, case or not.

Warning: iPhone Ownership Produces Self-Loathing

By the way, I’m living a living case study of how Apple’s latest phone might indeed be its Windows Vista, a meme that’s making the news today.

I begrudgingly upgraded, hating myself for staying with AT&T but still preferring the iPhone’s interface over Android and wanting a fresh new phone after my last one two years ago. But in the past few weeks, I find myself even more angry than in the past any time my spanking new iPhone fails to work as advertised due to AT&T.

You know, it’s the little things. I can’t send or receive data. Phone calls sound like they’re underwater. I can’t get the screen to turn on during a call by hovering with my finger, as in the past — and yet somehow it often senses my ear and puts a call on mute, by mistake.

Android Paralyzation

Suddenly, Android is looking much more attractive to me. I think the EVO and the Droid X are still too big in size for me, too PDAish, and I have a future post on that. But if the Droid Incredible’s screen resolution is better than that of the Nexus One — and looks somewhat as sharp as the iPhone 4 — that might push me over the edge.

But that’s also Android’s weakness, in another way. There are so many bigger and better Android phones coming around the corner every few weeks that I almost feel paralyzed from making a move. That I might hang on with the iPhone a bit longer than I really want to, waiting for the next best thing.

I Left Vista; I Could Leave The iPhone

Still, I might make the jump, which brings me back to the “Is the iPhone Apple’s Vista” meme.

Vista was so bad that two years ago that it drove me to the Mac, where I continued to run Windows XP and Mac software side-by-side. I skipped Vista entirely. I got back to Windows only because my Mac died, and the repair took so long that I upgraded an old laptop to Windows 7 and discovered, hmm, things have gotten better.

Earlier this year, I loved my iPhone way more than Android. Now my iPhone “upgrade” has me hating it more each day, a PR issue that both Dave Winer and Rex Hammond write about today.

Maybe I’ll switch to Android and wait things out until the iPhone 5 fixes the Vistaness of the iPhone 4. Or maybe I’ll go Android and perhaps be as done with the iPhone as I was with Windows Mobile, when I left that behind.

Then again, maybe I’ll go Kin :)

Some past posts from me on iPhone and Android: