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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. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by brian5s View Post
      I can definitely say that this is true. Happens every time you pick up the phone. Sit the phone back down and the signal goes up. So, I decided to try a little experiment. Put my iSkin 3GS case around it, and guess what. The bars went back up while holding it!!!
      So you're saying you're not being used as an RF ground now? Right..........Me (1) Apple (0)

      I've only been in Electronics Engineering since 2001, Apple has engineers from how far back that should have known this? DUH?
    1. KSMatic's Avatar
      KSMatic -
      Turn off Wifi, Bluetooth and you won't lose reception. Your hand is acting like a circuit thats "short-circuiting" the reception when touched together. When its off, it doesn't short because its not on.

      Try it.
    1. kickerman65's Avatar
      kickerman65 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      Explain the 3G and 3Gs having the same issue, smartasses.
      Yea well im running 4.0 on both my 3GS and my 3G and i have zero issues with reception no matter how i hold it. So explain that smartass
    1. xclusiveiphone's Avatar
      xclusiveiphone -
      Quote Originally Posted by kickerman65 View Post
      yea well im running 4.0 on both my 3gs and my 3g and i have zero issues with reception no matter how i hold it. So explain that smartass
      bump!
    1. jih128's Avatar
      jih128 -
      i just love this community how everyones contributing... my verizon contract expired and i was going to switch to at&t just for the iphone 4... but apperently people in my area have bad service with at&t and now this to make it worse
    1. scatman10's Avatar
      scatman10 -
      Just tried this on my 3gs i smothered the phone with my hands like everyone has been doing. Guess what happened? I lost 3 bars oh my!!! Common sense? Yes.... Smother your phones antennae and lose signal. I just hope it isn't worse on my iphone 4 that arrives tomorrow
    1. Jedi5o5's Avatar
      Jedi5o5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kickerman65 View Post
      Yea well im running 4.0 on both my 3GS and my 3G and i have zero issues with reception no matter how i hold it. So explain that smartass
      watch the video
      [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84Lpt2YkF3Q]YouTube - iPhone reception issue on iPhone 3G.mov[/ame]
    1. Chase817's Avatar
      Chase817 -
      Happens to me too, but it doesn't go to no service, it only drops from 5 to 3 bars most of the time.
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      I'm not doubting it's a software problem but if it is what kind of software would make it lose signal when you touch the case of the phone. I just don't understand what kind of software can cause a problem like that from the phone being touched on the case.(not on the screen)
    1. maxgsteinberg's Avatar
      maxgsteinberg -
      Quote Originally Posted by KSMatic View Post
      Turn off Wifi, Bluetooth and you won't lose reception. Your hand is acting like a circuit thats "short-circuiting" the reception when touched together. When its off, it doesn't short because its not on.

      Try it.
      anyone tried this?
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by scatman10 View Post
      Just tried this on my 3gs i smothered the phone with my hands like everyone has been doing. Guess what happened? I lost 3 bars oh my!!! Common sense? Yes.... Smother your phones antennae and lose signal. I just hope it isn't worse on my iphone 4 that arrives tomorrow
      Smothered? I believe the issue is TOUCHING the i4, not shoving it 2 feet up your...... GIGGITY@!

      For the record it cannot be i4 firmware if "I" don't have problems on my 3GS, as all firmware is the same.
    1. Windmeel's Avatar
      Windmeel -
      Quote Originally Posted by maxgsteinberg View Post
      not to get off topic...but i bought my xbox 360 for $500 3 days before it dropped in price...

      i will never buy something as soon as it comes out again
      Take it back then. I actually only buy consoles from Costco cause they have a no questions return policy. When I red the red ring, I take it to Costco and get a new one, not wait six weeks to get a refurb.
    1. androd25's Avatar
      androd25 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jedi5o5 View Post
      I have been trying to replicate this issue with my 3GS, and with an older 3G. Both on 4.0, one is JB.

      I can't replicate it.
    1. kwickone's Avatar
      kwickone -
      Did not read the whole thread, but this only seems to happen to my iphone 4 when I wifi on. If no wifi, signal stays where it was.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by androd25 View Post
      I have been trying to replicate this issue with my 3GS, and with an older 3G. Both on 4.0, one is JB.

      I can't replicate it.
      Me neither.
    1. maddogtheta's Avatar
      maddogtheta -
      I have been trying to replicate this with my iphone 4 but so far any way I hold it I still have full bars.
    1. Ticko's Avatar
      Ticko -
      i wonder if a bumper helps it since you dont actually come in contact with antenna.
    1. spyder2005's Avatar
      spyder2005 -
      Not to bail Apple out here but that's what happens when:

      A)People expect a new iPhone every year, on the dot around June.
      B)Someone releases details about an unreleased phone (gizmodo)forcing Apple to release the phone earlier in order to maintain old product (3GS) profitability
      C) a company is forced to keep up with its market position

      FACT IS, as you can tell from posts in this thread.
      Some people have the issue, some people dont.
      Ive realized the whole "place your phone on the table to get more service" issue ever since my first cell in 1996. My 2G, 3G and 3GS all do that. To that extent (0 bars), NO, but they all do it. So nobody should be accusing anyone for "bs" or calling someone a "smartass" only cause its not happening to you.

      Give it some time. A solution will be found. Either you'll return your unit or the situation is solved software wise. I still dont have my iphone4 but im still getting it, because with a company the size of Apple the issue will get resolved (cash or fix) one way or another.

      Patience is a virtue.
    1. sunshinejenn03's Avatar
      sunshinejenn03 -
      I've tried every which way to duplicate this and I can't. BUT my wifi signal goes down though. Weird?

      Also I did drop a call to my dad twice this evening but I attributed it at the time to AT&Ts network and shrugged it off. He complained that my voice sounded tinny off and on.
    1. dq13's Avatar
      dq13 -
      Holly crap. I hope I get my hands on one tomorrow so I can try this... if so, it's going back to apple and will stick around with the old 3gs until they fix this real good