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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. lili4311's Avatar
      lili4311 -
      My 3GS loses 2-3 bars when I hold it vs 5 bars when it's laying flat. I think it's 4.0. A lot of people have also had problems with their 3G not working after updating. I had to reset my network settings 4x for it to have good 3G signal
    1. iSteed's Avatar
      iSteed -
      This is pretty crazy.. You would think with all the engineers and design team they had this wouldn't be an issue.. Craziness!!
    1. XFaega's Avatar
      XFaega -
      Here is way the signal drops when we touch the sides. Just think of it this way. If you touch positive to a negative wires on a battery it shorts out. The same applies with the outside antennas they get shorted out by having the signals crossed when we touch the side. Also like Steve said in his key note that I know many of you are wondering why do you have those black dividers now you know why.
    1. giancarlo's Avatar
      giancarlo -
      it all depends how you hold the phone though. If you palm the entire back when youre on a call then yea it drops to about 2 bars. By if you hold the phone by the bottom half your reception stays fine. An issue nonetheless but it doesn't affect me when i use it because of how i hold it. Those bumpers are going to look funny I think, might just wait for nice cases to come out.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Oh snap!

      It has to be a bug! Or we will...
    1. KSMatic's Avatar
      KSMatic -
      no one is taking my advice? lol, its hardware issue.
    1. KSMatic's Avatar
      KSMatic -
      Quote Originally Posted by maxgsteinberg View Post
      anyone tried this?
      I've tried it myself which is the reason why i posted this
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Thats funny. i used one for about an hour today and never noticed it loose any signal.
    1. and1gator's Avatar
      and1gator -
      For those that have had this occur with a 3G or 3GS using iOS4 what baseband are you running. Excuse the ignorance but could the baseband have an affect on how reception is handled. I have a 3GS on baseband 05.11.07 with iOS4 and my reception did not drop at all. Just throwing that out there too.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Only happens to me when it grab all four corners at once and hold it for a decent period of time. Say 30-45 seconds. I think that it's screwing up because you're touching the separate antennas together. I don't forswear this being a massive issue as most people are thinking. My opinion is that a simple case will solve it. I don't hold my hand on the phone like that throughout the time I've had it, and even living in a crappy service area the first phone call I made (25 minutes long) sounded better than all iPhones I've had. It happens to me every time I make myself do it, but so far I've not had a problem when actually using it. Having it on me tomorrow all day I'll see what it's like then, but a simple case for it would probably solve the problem for me. And a case is a must for me, I like naked gadgets but with what I do for a living it's simply not possible to not use one.

      Oh and anyone else notice that old screen protectors won't fit right? The screen is longer! Damnit.
    1. oops1975's Avatar
      oops1975 -
      questin for the guys who have iphone 4... did the packaging have any plastic protective thing around the phone... in that case or otherwise I would prefer some kind of invisible shield stuff around the antenna to avoid touch rather than buyin those ugly a** bumpers...
    1. KSMatic's Avatar
      KSMatic -
      Also, just to let people confirm, I am using MicroCell with AT&T and its right next to me.. By me holding the sides together with the wifi on, the reception decreases to two to one bar. When I have wifi off, it doesn't decrease and stays at 5 bars.
    1. lili4311's Avatar
      lili4311 -
      @KAMatic - my bf tried it, it doesn't help. The bars still drop

      @and1gator - I have baseband 05.13.04. My 3GS lowers
    1. scgmilan's Avatar
      scgmilan -
      Mine has been dropping calls too but AT&T sucks in Denver
    1. iSteed's Avatar
      iSteed -
      I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't just try it with my 3gs it lost signal the whole to nothin.. I grabbed it so allmy fingers were touching the crome band. Thats messed up.. I'm on 5.12.01
    1. Saosindeath's Avatar
      Saosindeath -
      Watch this, it might explains the hardware defect or error of the iphone 4 reception problem people been having while holding it properly.

      [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-BR-LgA9Lw]YouTube - iPhone 4 Reception issue identified! Part 1[/ame]
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      It's a firmware issue that apple is going to fix after a jailbreak comes out for it so that they can patch it and nearly force everyone to update.

      If it's a hardware problem...... SOL (other than replacement)
    1. JayQuint87's Avatar
      JayQuint87 -
      Holy **** this is true...I did not believe this video then i tried it and if you hold it at a slight angle while holding it it will slowly drop bars.

      I am a radio operator in the military and I know that the human body conducts any electricity that it touches (duh right?) There are huge safety issues when dealing with heavily amped up gear in my job.
      Why did apple not know this? They have some of the smartest engineers working for them and they did not know that HUMAN=Ground.

      The only way to quick fix this would be to get some type of Insulator between you and the metal antenna band.
      Get a iPhone case in other words..

      Well this is just great..
    1. itaintrite's Avatar
      itaintrite -
      Just go exchange for another iPhone until you get one without this problem :P
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      They want to sell you their $30 per rubber bumpers. That is way to much money for a piece or colored rubber that wraps around the edge of the phone.