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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. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      @s4mb4 the consumers have a right to complain if they feel there is an issue with a product, true whining about is annoying but if it gets the company to do something about it, it's a good thing for both consumers and company

      pros for the company:
      1. it shows the company wants to take care of there customers this gives them a good rep
      2. it could/will give the company more sales as consumers see that the company cares about the end user and listens

      pros for the consumer:
      1. they get a better product
      2.they gain more confidence in the company
    1. Patrick G.'s Avatar
      Patrick G. -
      Jobs says it's a non-issue:

      Apple Responds to iPhone 4 Antenna Problem - PCWorld
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Appl£ have caused this issue on puppose to sell rubber bumpers and at £25 or $30 that will make them a sweet profit
    1. DimaSSS's Avatar
      DimaSSS -
      Quote Originally Posted by mattolson View Post
      I might put electrical tape down the side and see if that works, could be a good and decent looking temp fix
      please dont put eletrical tape on a 300 dollar state of the art invention, yes its malfunctioning, but we dont want to turn into a shed tool
    1. iFone_Inpho's Avatar
      iFone_Inpho -
      iPhone calls with apple about atenna issue:

      Call 1:
      Apple-thanks for calling apple. How may I help you?

      Me-I can't make a call when I touch my phone

      Apple-really? Hmm that's weird. Let me talk to my senior manager. Be right back!

      *30 min later*

      Apple-hello. Apple has no stand on this issue at this time. Please don't hold the bottom left of the phone or get a case.

      Me-you understand that's retarded right. That's like me buying a new car then later being told that I can only drive it if I don't touch the steering wheel.

      Apple-I apologize for the inconvenience. Have a nice day.

      Call 2:

      After the same convo as before I got transferred to a senior sales rep

      Me-I can't make a call when I touch my phone

      Apple-we are aware of the problem most likely a hardware problem and we are trying to resolve this issue. Does this happen every time? (yes). Do you have another phone you can use? (no) are you planning on buying a case (I don't know). Ok we will send you a free bumper. I will contact you when there is a solution to this issue. SOMETHING WILL BE DONE ABOUT THIS. Even if it means replace your phone with new hardware. We will not leave people with a phone like this.

      So do I believe them? I really don't know. But what I do know is that on the 29th day, if there is no fix I will be returning the phone. What's your thoughts on this convo?
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Your second conversation was almost exactly the same as my conversation. I got a follow up call from the supervisor, two emails, and an email from the guy who will be sending out the bumpers. Still not sure what is going to happen in the long run, but we shall see.
    1. fffizzz's Avatar
      fffizzz -
      Yea, my second call got me a bumper. They said I could goto a local apple store or send it to to be replaced. I said, have you seen the local stores right now? I also need my phone. So they're shipping a bumper, and will notify me of any updates. I can also still get the phone replaced, but im gonna wait a bit to find out what they say.
    1. iFone_Inpho's Avatar
      iFone_Inpho -
      I really feel like addressing this issue as a "non issue" is a bigger problem than the antenna problem itself. Apple and Steve need to acknowledge that this is a pressing issue and do something about it. It's a real shame to because this phone is beautiful. Everything about it is awesome but something like this call absolutely ruin a really great product. We will see what happens I guess.....
    1. senorian's Avatar
      senorian -
      So I just called customer support. I spoke with a regular tech guy who must not have heard of this issue. He quickly placed me on hold while he got an experienced tech on the line. The guy I spoke with said he had heard of this from a few other people and that Apple was currently trying to resolve the issue. He said he didn't know if it was a hardware issue or something that could be updated through a software update. He asked me a couple of questions and then he had me try three tests.

      1. I folded up a paper towel and placed my left hand at the lower left corner. Bars dropped from 5 to none.
      2. I placed two of my fingers over the black bar on the bottom left. Bars dropped from 5 to none.
      3. I used my shirt and undershirt and gripped the bottom left corner. Bars dropped from 5 to 4 and remained at 4 for over 2 minutes.

      I told him I didn't have a case or bumper and asked if that would help. He said it could but he wasn't 100% sure. No offer for free bumper.
      He did give me his email and asked me to follow up with him sometime late next week.
    1. iFone_Inpho's Avatar
      iFone_Inpho -
      Don't get off the phone with a senior apple advisor without a free bumper that's the least they can do. I would call back and say you want a temporary fix. That's what I did
    1. Craig02's Avatar
      Craig02 -
      I live in the UK, Went into my local Apple store today and got the manager, He said i could have a free bumper if i could prove that Apple customer support are giving them away... How can i prove that

      Anyway so i called support this afternoon and got somebody, They refused to give me a bumper and insisted that its a software issue and apple technicians are working hard on getting an update out soon

      So really i don't know what to do,
    1. csworrell's Avatar
      csworrell -
      Just use your right hand idiots.
    1. NiteStar's Avatar
      NiteStar -
      Use your brain moron. You can use your right hand and still have your finger cover up the lower left band, which is all I need to lose signal, like in my case. Are YOU going to tell my how to use a "proper IPhone holding technique"? Think before you speak from now on.
    1. iFone_Inpho's Avatar
      iFone_Inpho -
      Lol^^ I live a phone that I have to hold my pinky out like I'm at a tea party or something. FYI I'm sure everyone already knows but I did put my 3GS rubber case on and it does stop the signal from falling but i am still glad I got my free bumper out of apple. Also I don't really see how it can be a software issue. If someone could explain the reasoning behind that to me I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by csworrell View Post
      Just use your right hand idiots.
      What if I need my right hand for something that requires it because, well, I'm right-handed? Even if it were that simple, it's still not a solution. We would have gone from having a phone we could use in either hand to having one we can only use in one hand. It would cause awkward situations including drops and other accidents, so it's not like it solves an issue without creating one.

      Solution FAIL.
    1. zturn13's Avatar
      zturn13 -
      Quick thought what if the IOS 4 needs to boast power to ant. when you touch it. It could be why the 3g and 3gs are also affected on IOS 4 cuz our hands absorb and block some of the signal so if the ant. doesn't have more power it cant collect enough service. and if it is the way it displays the signal (seems very unlikely i dont think it know that you picked it up and change the signal status)it would rest the ant. to try to reconnect with the tower which is why it disconnects you and drops the call. Just a couple of thought that i didn't see when reading the comments i could be way off what you guys think?
    1. itsmejdn's Avatar
      itsmejdn -
      I just bought a case. It fixed it. Haha.
    1. peachy997's Avatar
      peachy997 -
      I just ran some tests on my mates iphone and at the bottom of the sides of the metal rim there 2 black plastic strips that separate the bottom metallic strip from the rest of the rim. If you only use 1 finger to bridge this connection on the left hand side the reception drops from full to 1 bar.

      do the same just touching the right no effect on reception.

      this leads me to think that the conductivity in the finger bridges the gap and effectively takes the signal from being focused in the bottom half of the phone to all round the edge and therefore reducing the signal to the antenna in the bottom left.

      Im guess bridging only the right hand gap that the effect isnt noticeable as it is farther from the antenna itself (tho my knowledge of high frequency field behaviour aint great)

      i dont know if this had been posted before and if so I apologise, and I imagine my theory isnt completely right, there is certainly an effect on the phone I have when only the gap on the left hand side is bridged.
    1. mhand's Avatar
      mhand -
      Quote Originally Posted by itsmejdn View Post
      I just bought a case. It fixed it. Haha.
      Cases Suck
    1. DJM AutoWerkz's Avatar
      DJM AutoWerkz -
      So I got off the phone with apple twice and and tried to get then to send me a free bumper but noooo they just kept telling me out technicians are looking into it. COMPLETE ********.