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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. kickerman65's Avatar
      kickerman65 -
      Its great to see that some people are not having the issue but scary to see that most people are. Hopefully i win the lottery when i pick mine up tomorrow.
    1. rubberneck's Avatar
      rubberneck -
      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.
      No. I tried turning off wifi and bluetooth, it doesn't solve my reception loss.
    1. NiteStar's Avatar
      NiteStar -
      So if it is the software.... I held my phone the same way in the video and after about 1 minute, I had "searching". I attempted to make a call and go the "call failed" message and "no signal" for bars. Can software do this?
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iphone925 View Post
      All i have to say is

      This should not short the antenna right ?
      Just remember to take a glove off every time you want to click the screen. Or maybe cut a hole in the finger of one of the gloves.

      By the way how can software even make the reception go away if you're touching the outside of the phone?
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      What the ****?
    1. AnonymousR1's Avatar
      AnonymousR1 -
      I tried to replicate this on my iPhone 3GS, and my roommates iPhone 4. Niether phone lost any signal.
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      I always felt like apple was sort of behind on hardware, no question this phone has it's flaws.
    1. justinpotter81's Avatar
      justinpotter81 -
      I have this samen effect on my 3GS.... Just simply touch all 4 sides of the metal band and it's like magic!!! No more signal bars, who needs those anyway?
    1. BoostedEvoIX's Avatar
      BoostedEvoIX -
      having the same issue wtf!!
    1. scooby4's Avatar
      scooby4 -
      Haha...yeah ummm i think they knew this and thats why they have the bumpers...cuz are they gunna take a shot at makin a protectet now...hmmmm
    1. remoteme's Avatar
      remoteme -
      Mine does the same thing...I thought it was just me.
    1. katmeef's Avatar
      katmeef -
      Quote Originally Posted by xclusiveiphone View Post
      Really, do you honestly think this is a new product? They had a year or maybe more to design this iPhone and they can't find such a trivial problem that a consumer discovered in one day?
      Maybe I didn't make myself clear when I said I think it's an intentional flaw to get geohot to drop his exploit. Whether you agree or not I really couldn't care... Edit: The fact that I'm dropping bars in my 3GS, which I've never noticed in the past, says enough for me.
    1. flintoff's Avatar
      flintoff -
      Nop I don't loose any bar by holding all 4 side of the metal parts soo someone just made up about 3gs

      And abt iPhone 4 havnt tested yet hopefully something will come up soon
    1. mvangogh's Avatar
      mvangogh -
      think you got a bad phone 'cause it doesn't happen for me
    1. Forever Young's Avatar
      Forever Young -
      ya know with all the talk about apple purposely holding back stuff on a model of iphone or ipad (like the ipad camera) just so they can add it the next year to boost sales, it doesn't seem unlikely that they made the phone like this so that they can squeeze an extra 30 bucks for the bumpers from everyone. 30 X 600,000 is a lot of money. And it just seems funny that these bumpers seem to only be good for fixing the reception problem. Can't they get sued for knowingly selling a broken product and making the customer spend more to fix it instead of them fixing it????
    1. katmeef's Avatar
      katmeef -
      Quote Originally Posted by justinpotter81 View Post
      I have this samen effect on my 3GS.... Just simply touch all 4 sides of the metal band and it's like magic!!! No more signal bars, who needs those anyway?
      What baseband are you on?
    1. twitchthecat's Avatar
      twitchthecat -
      Quote Originally Posted by spyder2005 View Post
      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.
      You must work for the company. I agree with you, bot only in part, particularly since you seem to believe that returning the unit is a solution. I don't know about you, but I didn't purchase the phone I got today only to return it tomorrow because it has worse reception than I had before. The cash fix is getting your money back - will that come with an adjustment for the time value lost of that money - I bet not. What I want is a sweet smart phone. A crucial thing for me is that my smartphone work. I can always use my wife's iPod Touch otherwise.

      And oh, you blame consumers for forcing Apple to release a new phone each year? Are these the same people forcing Apple to use Flash? Apple rushed the release of the phone and this basic mistake will leave it, and us, the preorder folks, as naked as the emperor in his fine robes for releasing and purchasing such a flawed product.

      Your remaining two points, insofar as they blame anyone other than Apple, are equally meritless.
    1. katmeef's Avatar
      katmeef -
      Quote Originally Posted by flintoff View Post
      Nop I don't loose any bar by holding all 4 side of the metal parts soo someone just made up about 3gs

      And abt iPhone 4 havnt tested yet hopefully something will come up soon
      Well I do have the problem on my 3GS..
      What baseband are you using on your 3GS which is unaffected?
    1. ElderBrE's Avatar
      ElderBrE -
      This is the same in the other iPhones if you touch the right spots.. it's just more obvious in the 4 because of the design, but how it is held in the video is unnatural anyway so.. I don't think this will end up being a problem, just like it hasn't been with the other iPhones..

      Of course, not everyone gets it, the better reception you have, ie, if you're very close to a repeater, the less chances you have of it happening, you have to be somewhere more or less with bad reception.. But if you want to try with a 3G, just hold your fingers close to the four corners, and bam.

      (Not to mention this is an issue with most other phones, don't you always have worse reception while holding it than when leaving it alone?)
    1. mr1080p's Avatar
      mr1080p -
      SAY WHAT??? Here comes more blame on AT&T's network when this is clearly a hardware issue. Most patrons just aren't that smart to notice this because it drops signal. I guess this is what makes Apple and AT&T a perfect match!