Is Apple's Solution Better Than These Other Hardware Fixes?

With Apple delivering a solution to address the iPhone 4's reception problems, we're taking a look at the hardware problems that have plagued gaming over the past few years, and how the manufacturers solved them.

Wii Remote Straps

The Problem

The flimsy Wii remote straps that shipped with early versions of Nintendo's console weren't quite up to the task of securing the controllers to the wrists of players. The straps would snap, sending Wii remotes flying, causing property damage and, in some cases, physical injury.

The Solution

Nintendo replaced the flimsy launch straps with thicker, stronger versions. Customers that had already purchased the console could call Nintendo for a free replacement. Eventually Nintendo added a non-slip rubber controller jacket to the Wii remote, against distributing them free to existing customers.

The Red Ring of Death

The Problem

The initial batch of Xbox 360 consoles released by Microsoft were plagued with hardware issues. Failure rates were high, the most prevalent being the fabled red ring of death, three flashing red lights indicating a general hardware failure.

The Solution

A year and a half after the console's release, Microsoft extended the warranty on the Xbox 360, giving customers experiencing the red ring of death three years from the date of purchase to get systems repaired for free.

DS Lite Cracking Up

The Problem

North American versions of the Nintendo DS Lite proved prone to developing hairline cracks around the hinges.

The Solution

Nintendo called the issue a minor problem, but still offered to repair DS Lite hinge cracks free of charge.

Dead PSP Pixels

The Problem

When Sony first introduced the PlayStation Portable, a large number of users reported dead pixels on the handhelds' shiny new screens.

The Solution

Though the company called dead pixels a common problem with LCD displays, Sony offered replacements for players plagued with the issue.

Bad PSP Buttons

The Problem

Dead pixels weren't the only problem plaguing the PSP. The handheld's square button was unresponsive and prone to sticking.

The Solution

After a brief bout of denial, Sony again agreed to replace the defective handhelds for users.

The Day The PlayStation 3 Died

The Problem

On March 1, 2010, PlayStation 3 consoles all over the world began having issues with getting online, as well as playing certain games offline, even when not connected to the internet.

The Solution

Wait a day. 24 hours after the problem began, it went away. Sony blamed an issue with the PlayStation 3's clock functionality.

The iPhone 4's Bad Reception

The Problem

Apple's iPhone 4 featured more memory, a brighter, higher resolution screen and reception issues that cause the phone to drop calls and lose signal when gripped a certain way.

The Solution

Everybody gets a free bumper case, keeping them from touching the phone they spent so much money on, and solving the problem of fingers causing reception issues. If users have already purchased one, Apple will refund the cost.

So how's that for a solution? Free condoms for everyone!

[Apple press conference image courtesy of GDGT. Top image via Flickr.]


    I had this exact conversation the other day, Apple needs to swallow their pride and just hand out those bumpers to fix the problem.

    But rather than admit they were wrong on the design front, they tried to blame it on "the bars" and rushed out an update to change the way the bars display reception.

    I know it's hard pill to swallow for a company that prides itself on design, but seriously, people will respect Apple more for admitting one mistake than trying to cover it up. If anything they should take the angle "You know what, it turns out we are human, and it is possible for us to make mistakes!"

    I know it may be more than what other companies have offered for some issues and problems, but it still very cheap of them.

    Considering this will be an issue for every iPhone 4 user til it get phases out for the iPhone 5.
    I did read that Apple will be doing some software update to help it but it won't fix it properly.

    The iPhone 4 is a very expensive product. A very expensive product that some people may want to show off with its glossy finish and nearly all glass case. It sucks that they are being to cheap and in denial of the problem they won't TAKE full responsibility and just do this. Very, very lazy of them.

    3GS is probably the way to go! Considering Face-Time is only allowed via Wi-Fi its kinda pointless. 3GS I believe feels great and looks great with the curves and is allowed the new iOS update. Perhaps 12 months will have to wait yet again for hopefully a phone Apple *may* get right for a change.

    I was dead set on getting an Iphone 4 with telstra since optus gave me reception problems. Now i find the Iphone 4 has an inbuilt fault to a problem I most find frustrating. This has really put me off it.

    I am going to either wait for a better model to come out by august/September, or investigate alternatives like the Android phone

    while I am a very anti apple consumer, and pretty much laughing that they have screwed up so badly, cant people also just put some nail polish or something over the dodgy metal pieces, to block conductivity? rather than ruining what is , i must admit, a very slick looking device with a gaudy rubber bumper?

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