Is the iPhone 4 “antenna-gate” really an issue for a Senator to focus on? I think not.

What gets my goat more than anything is when someone talks about something they obviously have new clue about, or they don’t have all of the facts.  Who am I talking about you might ask?  I am taking about New York Senator Charles Schumer (D).  He has written an open letter to Steve Jobs informing him that he needs to resolve “antenna-gate” with transparency.  Wow Senator, transparency.  Really?  I wish government would practice what the Senator is preaching. Wish they were as transparent as he wants Apple to be.

Boy Genius Report was kind enough to share Senator Schumer’s open letter in its entirety:

“July 15, 2010

Dear Mr. Jobs,

I write to express concern regarding the reception problem with the Apple iPhone 4. While I commend Apple’s innovative approach to mobile technology and appreciate its service to millions of iPhone users nationwide, I believe it is incumbent upon Apple to address this flaw in a transparent manner. According to Consumer Reports’ review, released Monday on its website, the iPhone 4’s signal-strength problem is a hardwire glitch triggered by gripping the device in a particular manner. This finding, according to Consumer Reports, “call[s] into question” Apple’s recent claim that the problem is “largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software.” Consumer Reports declined to recommend the iPhone 4 because of this hardware design flaw.

Given the discrepancy between Consumer Reports’ explanation of the reception problem and the explanation provided by Apple in its July 2 letter to customers, I am concerned that the nearly two million purchasers of the iPhone 4 may not have complete information about the quality of the product they have purchased. The burden for consumers caused by this glitch, combined with the confusion over its cause and how it will be fixed, has the potential to undermine the many benefits of this innovative device. To address this concern, I ask that Apple provide iPhone 4 customers with a clearly written explanation of the cause of the reception problem and make a public commitment to remedy it free-of-charge. The solutions offered to date by Apple for dealing with the so-called “death grip” malfunction-such as holding the device differently, or buying a cover for it-seem to be insufficient. These proposed solutions would unfairly place the burden on consumers for resolving a problem they were not aware of when they purchased their phones.

I also encourage Apple to keep its promise to provide free software updates so that bars displayed accurately reflect signal strength; I further urge Apple to issue a written explanation of the formula it uses to calculate bar strength, so that consumers can once again trust the product that they have invested in.

I look forward to Apple’s swift action on this matter, and once again laud Apple for its innovative efforts and service to millions of Americans.

Charles E. Schumer”

This guy really takes the cake.  After reading this all I can think of is an election year is coming, and this guy wants to look hip to his constitutes.  I love how Schumer cites Consumer Reports.  Really, did he even read the report, or did one of his assistants paraphrase key points, and the Senator just ran with it?  Let’s move on.  The good Senator then proclaims that he wants Apple to remedy the situation for free.  The only thing I can think of is that he wants Apple to give us all Bumpers, or recall two million iPhone 4s.  Schumer continues along the same vein when he states, and I quote, “I also encourage Apple to keep its promise to provide free software updates so that bars displayed accurately reflect signal strength…”  WOW!!!  Senator, if you even understood one iota of how Apple has been doing iPhone updates, you would realize that all iPhone updates have and continue to be free.  Why would Apple charge for an iPhone update?  This one statement proves that the Senator has no idea what he’s talking about, and renders his point moot.

I think there are bigger issues going on in the US right now that could use the Senator’s attention rather than an issue with a phone.  He should focus his attention where it is truly needed, not for nonsense like this.  As I write this I have just finished updating my iPhone 4 from firmware version 4.0 to 4.0.1, and I continue to have no issues.  In addition, I did this free of charge, compliments of Apple.  This should make the Senator feel better.  For every complaint I hear or read about, I also hear or read about how other people’s iPhone 4s are not having any issues.  These issues are relegated to a small few, who seem to be very vocal and are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Photo Credit: Senator Schumer holding a press conference with the families of Flight 3407 in the Senate Rules Committee hearing room (05/18/2010)

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I'm a husband, dad of two great kids, and I have a passion for Apple products. I got my first Mac in 2005, and I haven't looked back. I like the simplicity of the Mac, and how does the motto… Full Bio