We’ve got another scandal related to the poor quality of the antennas used by Apple. The first such situation took place with the release of the iPhone 4, which had to be kept in the right way so as not to lose its range. Now, the owners of the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are complaining about poorly functioning LTE and Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz band. It turns out that these problems are most likely associated with new antennas, which (in spite of this) have new iPhones provide better coverage and faster LTE.

In 2010, we had to deal with an affair that was named antennagate. It was connected with the iPhone 4, which had revolutionary antennas in the form of stripes located outside the casing. A genius idea. However, the performance was a bit worse. Shortly after the premiere of the iPhone 4, it turned out that the user holding the smartphone changes the parameters of the antenna used, which caused problems with coverage. That’s why Steve Jobs arranged a conference where he showed how to hold the iPhone 4. Then Apple sent a free case to its customers that solved the whole problem. Therefore, it might seem that Apple will never again launch a smartphone that has a coverage problem due to poorly designed antennas. However, the reality turned out to be brutal.

iPhone XS

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have poor antennas for LTE and Wi-Fi 5 GHz

The biggest advantage of new iPhones is the new LTE modem (Gigabit class) and the MIMO 4×4 antenna. Thanks to this, the iPhone XS was supposed to be characterized by faster LTE Internet and better coverage. Everything was going well. Even tests results showed in the network, which showed that LTE in iPhone XS works much faster than in the iPhone X. However, when new iPhones hit the users, it turned out that they have problems receiving LTE and Wi-Fi networks (5 GHz band). The network immediately appeared many theories regarding the causes of the observed problems. Both the new chipset responsible for wireless connectivity and the power amplifiers used are accused.

However, the most credible theory draws attention to new antennas. This thesis was based on the results of measurements made during the certification of new iPhones by the Federal Communications Commission. Measurements conducted in conductive conditions (ie the meter was connected instead of the antenna) show that the iPhone XS sends LTE signals with a power greater than 200 mW. On the other hand, measurements of EIRP radiated power show fairly large deviations from those adopted for the standard of 200 mW (23 dBm). This means that the antennas used by Apple have a negative energy gain! In this case, the iPhone XS may have problems receiving good signal quality, which translates into worse speeds.

Source: WiWavelength, FCC

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