iPhone 4 press conference – live

Apple is set to tell the world what it plans to do about the iPhone 4 reception issue.

iPhone 4 press conference - live

The company is responding to complaints that the smartphone loses reception when held in a certain manner, the now infamous “death grip”.

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See below for live updates from the Apple press conference from 6pm BST:

  • Thanks for sticking around and have great weekends. We’re (finally) off to the pub.
  • All done, with one last parting shot at the media: if Apple had dealt with the issue sooner, we journalists wouldn’t have had so much to write about.
  • Jobs says posting his email responses on the web is rude.
  • He just said some stuff about software, but we zoned out. Sorry.
  • Says it takes three weeks to get a new cell tower in Texas, but three years in San Francisco. “No one wants a cell tower in their back yard, but everyone wants perfect reception.”
  • Asked about claims that a software tweak could fix the problem, Jobs says no – despite media reports. Says journalists are just “making this stuff up.”
  • Apple engineers have gone round to people’s houses to check reception. Promises they call first.
  • “We’ve been around for 34 years… haven’t we earned the credibility and the trust of the press?” That’s not how it works… especially not when you keep us late on a Friday night.
  • Repeats that the reception issue has been blown out of proportion.
  • Jobs says that when something is successful it’s “human nature” to tear it down. Points to Google, says we should be happy an American company is succeeding with tech.
  • Jobs says delay in speaking out about the issue was because Apple didn’t have enough data yet. Guess he’s forgotten about that open letter blaming the software?
  • Apple was “stunned and upset and embarrassed” by the Consumer Report review, says Jobs.
  • Three execs on stage don’t use a Bumper case, and Jobs claims not to have seen any reception problems himself.
  • But adds: “We’ll consider things on a case by case basis.” At least Jobs has kept his sense of humour…
  • Apple won’t issue refunds for third-party cases.
  • Jobs: “You could make a really big smartphone that doesn’t have this problem… so big you can’t get your hand around it. But no one’s going to buy that.” (Wait, isn’t that the iPad?)
  • Asked about the September deadline for free cases, Jobs says that Apple will re-evaluate the situation then.
  • Says that as a leader, it’s Apple’s role to “educate,” and that’s why the company is sharing the reception data.
  • Points out that having the antennae on the outside means the phone is slimmer and can have a larger battery. (So there’s an upside, at least.)
  • Jobs says he doesn’t think he owes investors an apology.
  • Jobs denies reports that Apple was told before launch about the issue. “That’s a crock.” He says Apple would have dealt with the issue beforehand if aware of it. So free Bumpers in the box, then?
  • Audience member says they can’t get their BlackBerry to replicated the reception problem. Jobs says it only happens in certain areas.
  • Asked if Apple will change the antennae design, says Apple is “happy” with the design and reception is better than 3GS. “Looking at the data, we don’t think we have a problem.”
  • Jobs asked about his health. Says he’s fine, cut his vacation short to deal with the reception issue.
  • Q&A time…
  • “If we screw up, we pick ourselves up and we try harder,” says Jobs before (PC Pro reporter faints) taking questions.
  • Jobs claims Apple “loves our users” and that we “work to try and surprise them”. Mission achieved on this one. No-one saw the reception issue coming…
  • Apple to start shipping white iPhone 4 at the end of July.
  • Apple also working on an issue with the iPhone 4’s proximity sensor.
  • Company will offer a choice of cases from its website from late next week. Unhappy customers can return iPhone 4 within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.
  • Apple to give every iPhone 4 customer a free bumper case to resolve issue. Refund for customers who’ve already purchased one. Apple will re-examine data at end of September to see if cases have rectified situation.
  • Jobs claims ‘Antennagate’ has been “blown out of proportion”.
  • Jobs attributes higher rate of dropped calls to theory that more 3GS owners use cases for their handset than for iPhone 4. New phone doesn’t fit old cases, so more are naked.
  • Jobs admits iPhone 4 drops more calls than the 3GS, but fewer than 1% more.
  • Return rate of only 1.7% for iPhone 4, compared to 6% for 3GS.
  • Jobs says 0.55% of customers have contacted Apple Care about the reception issue
  • Jobs claims customers are reporting better reception on iPhone 4 than they’ve ever seen before.
  • Apple has spent more than $100 million on a state-of-the-art test facility, Apple boss claims.
  • Apple “screwed up on its (signal bars) algorithm,” claims Jobs. Claims iOS4 update will ease the issue and not make the signal drop look so dramatic.
  • Jobs tells crowd: “Phones aren’t perfect. It’s a challenge for the whole industry. Every phone has weak spots.”
  • Jobs says iPhone 4 not the only phone affected by “Antennagate”. Demonstrating the same problem on BlackBerry Bold and other handsets. That noise you can hear is lawyers scribbling.
  • Jobs says Apple has been working on a solution for the reception problem for the past 22 days. Company is “not sticking its head in the sand”.
  • Jobs appears on stage in front of a banner that says:” We’re not perfect. Phones aren’t perfect”. Apple CEO says company wants to make all users happy.
  • Steve Jobs is on stage.
  • Apple appears to be playing a spoof YouTube video from an Apple “fanboy”.
  • The press conference is due to start shortly

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