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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. jtanner's Avatar
      jtanner -
      Quote Originally Posted by bennyg View Post

      Mines absolutely fine! Wonder if its just a US of A problem?
      Quote Originally Posted by bluebirds View Post

      Have the same issue on Orange UK
      Strange... I can only say, Im using o2-uk.... Ive tried the test again and still no probs at all.

      My only issue is there's no jailbreak yet haha
    1. start2finish's Avatar
      start2finish -
      My iPhone 4 arrived yesterday and I cannot duplicate this problem. I am on at&t with a un-modded phone. I have 3-4 bars of EDGE at home. I haven't been out and about with it yet to see if 3G is affected.
    1. Cokeman's Avatar
      Cokeman -
      Has anyone seen this on Gizmodo's site?

      Update 23: Reader Joe called up Apple to ask about the reception issues, and they said...

      Their answer? "Get a bumper" and "it's not their problem".

      I told the CSR that if their solution is to buy a bumper, why aren't they giving them out for free? Again, she said not her problem.

      Quite an infuriating call - while I sympathize with the verbal beat-down that many of the Apple CSRs will be getting over this problem, they need a better solution than to recommend fixing the problem with their own rubber cases...
      If this is true & is going to be Apple's answer, we will be bombarded with lawsuit announcements. If this Apple's solution, I will never buy another Apple product for sure.
    1. NiteStar's Avatar
      NiteStar -
      Well all I know is that when it goes from 5 bars to "searching" in less than 1 minute by touching the sides, I can't even run a speedtest. It's not just a graphical error, we are really losing a signal.
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by love2drive2fast View Post
      Ok, I know a lot of us here are geeks ... but I don't want a f'n cheap-***** rubber band around my $300 phone so it will do what it was SUPPOSED to do (ummmmmmmm ... make calls).

      Also gotta chime in with the other guys on the "A CASE IS NOT A FIX" thing ... this is simply NOT acceptable !!! And anyone who thinks it is, deserves any POS they buy.

      I have all 3 previous iPhones ... and NONE of them do this ... no matter how I hold them ... not even a single bar ... and not after close to 2 minutes on each !!!

      Now does anyone have some tape so I can fix the bridge on my glasses ? ... thanx ... lol
      But you could always color the rubber band a pretty color

      (I was joking about that by the way lol)
    1. AcePilot's Avatar
      AcePilot -
      Mine works fine too. For the ones with the problem, maybe you need more Iron in your diets!
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      I'm on hold with AT&T right now and they say this is the first they've heard of this issue...
    1. Dj_Cruz's Avatar
      Dj_Cruz -
      Im having the same damn issue!!! WTF? what now?
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cokeman View Post
      Has anyone seen this on Gizmodo's site?

      If this is true & is going to be Apple's answer, we will be bombarded with lawsuit announcements. If this Apple's solution, I will never buy another Apple product for sure.
      You should send that text chat over to Steve Jobs...that kind of attitude is uncalled for and she should be fired for that.
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      Well now we know why they decided to make a case that is made to "show off the front and back while protecting the sides" with this phone to sell on launch day.. Maybe hoping everyone would put it on as soon as they got it and not noticing?
    1. Ronnitude's Avatar
      Ronnitude -
      Quote Originally Posted by InDashMP3 View Post
      WOW.... Look, I am a technology geek, and typically I HAVE to have the latest technology. Being an early adopter almost always comes with certain risks.. I've had 1st gen PVRs, Phones, whatever..and accept that risk to a point.. I just happened to wait to buy an iPhone4 until the J/B community has successfully identified an exploit. I am very happy I waited. Reading above that the bumpers will solve the issue is what these manufacturers LOVE to hear..customers that are SOOOOO in love with their brand, that they will accept an alleged manufacturing flaw with some crap that you are NOT supposed to NEED for the PHONE to work??!! People, please.... If these issues are real (and the numerous reports seem to indicate this), do NOT accept the problem by saying a case will "fix" it, or I can simply HOLD the phone a different way.. that's rediculous.. Apple needs to address this. I will wait patiently on the sideline until the flaw is either debunked..or corrected.

      EDIT: OMG...and the person posted above me just said hopefull the case they ordered solves it... geeezz
      100000000% Agree!! This is terrible by Apple, and they should immediately do a recall to all phones and fix this design issue!! I work as a quality engineer and in my honest opinion, if Apple knew about this before they shipped their product then I would have ZERO respect for them. If that's the case, it's unethical and plain disgraceful!! AND I JUST SOLD MY 3GS today too this is so hard for me to hear right now lol
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      I just got off the phone with Apple, they said it's a software issue with iOS 4...people who upgraded to the new iOS 4 with their 3GS's are having the same issue. It's not hardware, according to them. The woman assured me they know what is going on and it will fixed in the coming days. In the meantime, she suggested turning off 3G, the problem will go away until a fix comes out.
    1. NiteStar's Avatar
      NiteStar -
      I turned off 3G last night and it did the same thing.
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      They tell you it's a software issue and that's ok I'd probably believe except for the fact that I can't imagine software causing you to lose signal because you touched something completely unrelated to anything to do with software.(The outside of the iPhone) Or is the outside of the iphone4 now a touch sensor and I didn't hear about it?
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      I think that the WiFi/Bluetooth antenna is interfering or being shorted with the other through his hand. I'd like to see it repeated with BT/WiFi disabled on the same phone.
    1. mysteryskater125's Avatar
      mysteryskater125 -
      I just picked up my iPhone 4 and it doesn't have this problem at all, I even touched the entire edge at the same time, with no loss of signal. weird...
    1. njt1's Avatar
      njt1 -
      Got my new phone today and sure enough the signal dropped when my finger touched the bottom left corner... applied my invisible shield that covered that area on the side and the problem is resolved. Seems it doesn't like skin to phone contact.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      ^What about the one on the top too?
    1. DimaSSS's Avatar
      DimaSSS -
      how about health concerns? the electric current of the antenna going thru our hands, no barrier at all, that cannot be good for us at all.