Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Rather Shocking iPhone Usage Incident.

I don't know if anyone has noticed this, because it's not something that has been advertised on the 'net. But I have more than noticed something rather shocking about my iPhone 3G (it's the 16 GB model of last year.)

Yes, my iPhone has given my hand a mild electric shock! Serious!

I was surfing the 'net over 3G whilst riding home on the bus this afternoon. My bus ride takes me through several suburbs, as it takes about an hour (a bus can travel great distances in an hour). In that hour, and through those suburbs, my phone has passed through a number of mobile phone towers, and there was one time -- the only time I have surfed the 'net on an iPhone during my bus trip home -- when my phone lost its 3G signal, and seemingly tried to reconnect... to GPRS.

"Great!" I say, "my network connection just got demoted!"

But that wasn't the shocker. Mobile phones are known to try and renegotiate with mobile phone towers at full power in order to re-establish a mobile network connection, and I have a very strong suspicion that it was during this time that my iPhone applied a small level of pain to my left hand... enough for me to think that this actually hurts, and that I should put the phone down somewhere, fast!

I do remember that in Apple's WWDC'07 Keynote presentation when the first-generation iPhone was first released in the United States, Steve Jobs did mention where on the phone's exterior the aerials were for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and, of course, cellular: the Wi-Fi aerial is internal, the Bluetooth aerial surrounds the camera at the rear of the phone, and the cellular network aerial is... guess where... around the glass face of the phone! The phone's aerial is that metal trim around the front facia panel of the phone!

Exactly what my left palm had been touching when the pain triggered one of my senses, rather uncomfortably!

How is it that a mobile phone that has the potential to shock people be allowed to be sold on the open market like this? Didn't anyone at Apple think that maybe this cellular network aerial ought to be covered?!

This has been the only time when my phone has literally shocked me, in the 6 months or so I have owned it. I suppose I could ask whether my phone is actually faulty or something, or whether I should be brave and try again on the same bus route some other time to cop the same electric shock from the phone's aerial.

In either case, I'm not looking forward to my future with the phone.


—tonza

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