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  • Say What?! iPhone 4 Loses Reception Bars When Held by the Antenna Band?

    Talk about holding one's calls.

    Apparently, if you hold the iPhone 4 by the antenna band, you'll lose your bars, your reception, and maybe even your call. As this video making the rounds showcases, holding the handset with your fingers pressed upon the antenna throws off your cell reception and effectively reduces your bars all the way down, in some cases, to zero.

    Of course, it isn't yet clear if the real issue relates to an inaccurate showing of bars or a significant problem with the actual antenna. But as thousands unbox their iPhone 4s and activate the long awaited updated smartphone, you may want to give your device the finger so to speak and play the home game version of this video demonstration.

    But as Paul noted earlier in his piece "iPhone 4 Screen Defects Reported," in every new product, manufacturing defects are almost inevitable. So as scattered but undocumented complaints similarly surface, there's a good chance we'll know in the coming hours and days if this example is an isolated incident (and let's hope that it is)... or if this is the first real bug and potential nightmare for the 4th generation iPhone and its customers.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Say What?! iPhone 4 Loses Reception Bars When Held by the Antenna Band? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 563 Comments
    1. vegassteven's Avatar
      vegassteven -
      I don't believe you guys are having the same problems. Go look at apples discussion threads this is a very specific problem to the 4 which happens on the upper left hand side of the device on the gap in the antenna.

      It's iPhone 4. Admit that

      the iPhone 1-3gs all have the antennas on the back wrapping around the device.
    1. dayloon's Avatar
      dayloon -
      Does anyone here have a bumper ? If so, does this sort the problem out ?
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      I lold I reading all these post
    1. DJM AutoWerkz's Avatar
      DJM AutoWerkz -
      One person earlier in this thread said he had one and no problem but he's probably bull shittin
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      If this is real it has to be a grounding issue. There's no way the design passed QA without ever being both held in someones hand while they were on the phone. "Oh sh!t Steve, we forgot to try making a call! Oops!"
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      Quote Originally Posted by M4tt Dam0n View Post
      I can't believe some people are so blinded by Apple that they accept the problem saying the bumper will "fix" this. WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU! I am terribly pissed that the problem is with all iPhone 4. When you buy a 600$ phone it should work as expected! Even 20$ phones have better reception. Damn you apple couldn't you test it better??? I mean dammit it's a phone and it cannot even make calls properly. I'm so disappointed.
      Well, some people -- or at least me -- are probably just hoping that the bumper is a temporary fix until we hear something from Apple about a true solution.

      Is that so hard to understand?
    1. iKiro's Avatar
      iKiro -
      Lol remember when Steve jobs couldn't load the page when he was on safari during wwdc? This is what probably happened and he probably just blamed AT&T since it's a good cover up xD
    1. delizaza23's Avatar
      delizaza23 -
      Apple has never been good at making phones anyway. ok iphone is a good device but it is the worst phone i have ever had and I was hoping that the iphone 4 would resolve the matter but not. I have an old scruby nokia and everywhere i go it has better signal then iphone. imagine paying so much money for a phone and not get what you want. I am really waiting for windows mobile 7 on a good device with enough choice of apps which that day will come in about 12 months after. I will hate it but i will move because too expensive and i feel sorry for those people in US are being fuked by AT&T.
    1. graneum's Avatar
      graneum -
      If the problem is caused by short circuit between antennas... not only hand but any Electrically Conductive material can cause this problem, SO you can test this issue by leaving the device on table without touching it while it has full signal bars... then by something like a pin laying on the sides surface (or any conductive material you find around), if the same thing happen (losing signal after some seconds) then problem is caused by how you hold the device and it should does the same on ALL phones... as I've seen, some people say that they don't experience this issue...
      I expect something wrong will happen (cause separators are already there)...
      I dont have an i4 yet to test it myself so the people those have not this problem should try this...

      And mention, human body is more complicated than a simple conductive material and not all bodies are same...
    1. eballesq's Avatar
      eballesq -
      I believe the issue arises when your hand is in contact with ALL THREE sections of the frame -- the three black bands around the exterior of the phone separate it into three sections -- left, right, and bottom. When I gripped the phone with my hand only touching the left and right there was no signal loss. As soon as I moved my hand so it also touched the bottom section, the bars started dropping. I moved my hand back to just the left and right, and the signal strength returned.

      This was tested on both new i4s in my household, with identical results. It is most certainly a short circuit/grounding issue. I would presume a bumper-type case will resolve the issue, but as others have already said, that is not a true solution and Apple will need to address it.
    1. darkvale's Avatar
      darkvale -
      It's doing it on my 3GS so it's a software problem RELAX MAX
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      My friend received his yesterday via FedEx and I told him about this and that he needed to test his phone out. He claims he's held in tightly in his hand for minutes at a time (almost covering both of the sides of the phone with his hand and fingers (using one hand lol) and he is having no issues at all. Either he is lucky or is bs'n me...he's a fanboy so I'm not sure what to believe when it comes to him.

      Quick question...are there any pics of the black iPhone with the white bumper? The contrast would look killer (I think anyways) but for some reason Apple decided to show these guys off on white iPhones...WHY?
    1. delizaza23's Avatar
      delizaza23 -
      I am receiving my iphone 4 tomorrow, I am in UK and first thing I will test properly and do my report here if it does same in video than i am sorry the phone is going back. I love it but I am not stupid to throw my money away.
    1. DJM AutoWerkz's Avatar
      DJM AutoWerkz -
      I bet u apple is fixing this problem with the white iPhone 4's that's why they didn't release them.
    1. kingchkn's Avatar
      kingchkn -
      I just left Wal-mart with my ticket for my iPhone 4. I am heading back at 7:30 to pick up. I will check both screen and antenna and report back. by the way, my Wal-mart only got 2.
    1. DJM AutoWerkz's Avatar
      DJM AutoWerkz -
      Wow 2 u got lucky then.
    1. kingchkn's Avatar
      kingchkn -
      Only 2 Black 16GB. But I'll take it. I can always use my wife's upgrade at the end of the year to get the white.
    1. sendertimes's Avatar
      sendertimes -
      Quote Originally Posted by piston597 View Post
      So I guess you have to buy a case with this. Wow spend more money than you already did.
      I would figure that buying a case is necessary anyways, I would not want to expose the Iphone 4 to outside environments, its too much of an investment to just leave it exposed.

      On a down side, lets all be truthful here, we are all members of this forum , becuase it provides good information about this apple iphones, and others, We are all Technophiles, I remember when the first Iphone came out, I was one of those waiting long lines at the AT&T center to get my first Iphone, then came the Iphone 3G and again, I did the same as WE all did, wait in those long lines, just to get the newest Iphone, some of us got it just to stay ahead on the technology era, some of us got it becuase it made sense, then came the Iphone 3Gs with its fast processor and nice toys, we all went to those long lines, to stay ahead in technology. even if AT&T sold us an ordinary phone built inside and Iphone case, we would go out and buy it. even if the new Iphone 4 comes out today and it comes with several defects, WE will still wait in those long lines to get one, and why?? BECUASE We are all TECHNOPHILES,we breathe and live off this technology, I didnt have to see any Apple videos to convince me in buying one, Its an Apple, its a Iphone, the simple fact is that ,I dont know of any other phone, that we can Jailbreak, that we can install and customised our favorite applications , so our lives are made easier. Fine it has a issue with the bars, I would of preferred it in white, but they are gonna wait longer, thats fine in a few hours I will be a proud owner of an Apple Iphone 4, in a year from now, they will come up with the Iphone 5 , they will say that its better maybe even redesigned again, who knows, the important thing is that we will own a phone that we can customise the way we want it, And I see no other phone in the ,market that can do that yet.
    1. alectra82's Avatar
      alectra82 -
      Doesn't cause a problem with reception on my iPhone 4
    1. katmeef's Avatar
      katmeef -
      Quote Originally Posted by DoYouLikeLuxury? View Post
      Well, you're antenna isn't on the outside of your phone like it is on the 4 now is it champ?
      Obviously it's not on the outside as it is on the 4th gen, so the fact that the problem is occurring on 3GS as well points further to a software problem IMO.

      Just because 3GS model phones are 'only' dropping 2 or 3 bars does not mean we should trivialize the issue for non 4th gen iPhone owners who were only affected with signal loss on contact after upgrading to ios4..

      Edit: I'm honestly surprised some fanboy hasn't tried explaining to me how this Is a feature and not a flaw