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Apple to change iPhone signal display, not reception
Quote:<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px ;" src=""/>Software update on its 3G, 3GS and 4 models to be released soon.

Apple Inc, following complaints about reception problems with its iPhone 4, discovered a software problem that has displayed inaccurately high signal strength since the original device was introduced in 2007.

Some iPhones have been showing more bars of signal strength than merited, leading users to believe they had better reception. A software update to fix the problem on its 3G, 3GS and 4 models would be released “within a few weeks,” Apple said today in a statement.

“We were stunned to find the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong,” Cupertino-based Apple said. After the fix, “the real signal strength remains the same, but the iPhone’s bars will report it far more accurately.”

Customers have complained about poor reception from the network of AT&T Inc, the iPhone’s exclusive US carrier, since it debuted three years ago.

“This is really surprising that something as simple as this is what is causing the problem and that it’s been around for so long,” said Francis Sideco, an analyst at iSuppli Corp. in El Segundo, California, which analyses the engineering of wireless devices.

Apple fell $1.54 to $246.94 at 4 pm New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 17 per cent this year.

iPhone antenna
The iPhone is Apple’s top-selling product, accounting for 40 per cent of its revenue last quarter. The company sold 1.7 million of the devices in its first three days on sale.

Verizon Wireless, the largest US mobile-phone carrier, is set to begin sales of the iPhone in the US in January, two people with knowledge of the plan said this week.

Apple said some users reported they lost four or five bars of signal strength when they held the iPhone in a certain way, a bigger drop than normal. The company has suggested customers hold the phone differently or use a case.

Apple’s rivals have been trying to take advantage of the antenna problem. Motorola Inc. released an ad highlighting that its new Droid X phone has a double antenna design, “the kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls.”

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