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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. DJM AutoWerkz's Avatar
      DJM AutoWerkz -
      Ok I just got off the phone with a apple sr advisor or manager whatever. He told me to explain exactly what the problem was etc so I did. He said there gathering info from all iPhone 4 owners that call in about this problem and said there waiting on the technicians to see what they want to do either it be, fix the iPhone 4's, or replace or last but not least GIVE OUT FREE IPHONE BUMBERS FOR IPHONE 4 owners WTF!
    1. twitchthecat's Avatar
      twitchthecat -
      no. changing the sim, like changing the software, will have no effect on the problems inherent in the hardware.
    1. senorian's Avatar
      senorian -
      Quote Originally Posted by rubberneck View Post
      Hilarious.. I just got off the phone with Apple support on this reception issue.

      First the support person told me it sounds like a local network problem. I explained that sitting on my desk I have 5 bars, in my hand I have zero.

      She then had me reset the network settings. I did that and the phone rebooted. It came up with 5 bars, I placed it in my hand and counted down to her 4,3,2,1 nada. Then put the phone my desk and counted back up 1,2,3,4,5.

      She then said it sounds like a problem with the SIM card so take the phone to a local ATT store and have them replace the SIM card.

      Is there ANY chance in he11 this could be a SIM problem?
      So I just tried this out and got the same results. Iphone sitting on my desk has 5 bars. Picked up and held with left hand and the bars slowly disappear to nothing. I'm going to try this again at home though. My work area didn't have outstanding coverage with my 3G iphone but this doesn't look good. F-ing Apple
    1. InDashMP3's Avatar
      InDashMP3 -
      Hey all...I'm curious.. I couldn't find a way to create a poll on Modmyi.com, (maybe you can't).. but I was curious to see just how bad this issue might be.. I have created a poll at www.AntennaFlaw.com . MODS..if this is not cool, please remove, but I think it's o.k. to post??
    1. MATADOR473's Avatar
      MATADOR473 -
      Tack on another victim . I just got my iphone4 today . And i can say that when i touch the famous ANTENNA my bars disappear ; and actually making a call it seems like forever to connect the call . WOW APPLE GOOD ONE
      NOW WHAT .?. Quality ??? . Oh by the way looks beautiful . feels a bit heavier than the 3gs ..

      APPLE MAKE THIS RIGHT !!!
    1. NiteStar's Avatar
      NiteStar -
      Wow, I'm even having a problem with the proximity sensor. I "accidentally" put the Apple rep on hold somehow while talking to her about this reception issue. Seems its WAY to sensitive and turns on even while on my ear and my ear/cheak (lol) starts hitting the buttons while talking t someone.

      Maybe this is a software fix as well? lol
    1. BoostedEvoIX's Avatar
      BoostedEvoIX -
      Quote Originally Posted by NiteStar View Post
      Wow, I'm even having a problem with the proximity sensor. I "accidentally" put the Apple rep on hold somehow while talking to her about this reception issue. Seems its WAY to sensitive and turns on even while on my ear and my ear/cheak (lol) starts hitting the buttons while talking t someone.

      Maybe this is a software fix as well? lol
      Hit the reset all settings button, read on another thread it fixes it. I have the same problem now when i put my ear to it, it dissapears like normal but when i pull it away it stays black and cant use the key pad,speaker or hang up. I called apple tech support and they just shipped me a new iphone today lol. I get it tomorrow. But try reseting the settings see if that helps
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      OK, I talked to Apple. The first tech told me the phone was designed that way! To which I told him that was BS and that it was unacceptable. He also told me that it was only a visual problem, and that the signal was still strong. I refuted that by giving a short course on how your body would interfere with it. Then he tells that he could only tell me what he was told to say. He then transferred me to a senior tech, who by the way stated that sites like Gizmodo, etc. were reporting on it. I start to talk to her when the call drops… freaking classic! They can't call back because guess what, I've got no damn signal since I am holding it like a normal person would! I put it in my old 3G silicone case and it gets signal again. So now I call back & go through the whole dog & pony show to get to a person again. He gets me to another senior tech after about 25 minutes of hold time. The senior tech tells me that they will report it to the engineers. She also said as more people call it, they would escalate the issue for a resolution… SO CALL APPLE PEOPLE! (1-800-MY APPLE) She also offered me free bumpers to hold me over till they figure out the problem & how to fix it. I have 2 of these things, so they are sending two, ask for one when you call. It's the least they can do. She assured me she would call me back in a week to give me a progress report. So, I'm gonna hold my breath now, gotta go.
    1. Lace's Avatar
      Lace -
      So it turns out I lose bars not when I hold it on the top left side like in the video, but when I hold the antenna slots. This is ridiculous
    1. scorpio71rick's Avatar
      scorpio71rick -
      I have a 3gs and i recreated the same issue on it. This must have been an issue that never got notice, until now. I swap my iphone 4 sim card at the att store to no success. I think it is a hardware problem and not a software. They need to take the iphone out of the shelves and reimburst everyone. To sad,because it really a cool looking phone.
    1. andtron's Avatar
      andtron -
      Amazing, I understand that with something new comes new problems. But to let such a major issue go unnoticed, UNBELIEVABLE! You would think that Apple might just take a few phones out for the day prior to launch and test them out.

      I am very glad that I haven't purchased an iPhone 4 yet because of this, but I am still jealous of all you guys who iPhone 4's already
    1. NiteStar's Avatar
      NiteStar -
      Quote Originally Posted by BoostedEvoIX View Post
      Hit the reset all settings button, read on another thread it fixes it. I have the same problem now when i put my ear to it, it dissapears like normal but when i pull it away it stays black and cant use the key pad,speaker or hang up. I called apple tech support and they just shipped me a new iphone today lol. I get it tomorrow. But try reseting the settings see if that helps
      Thanks dude. I just did it and going to see what's up.

      As for the reception issue again... While talking to the Apple rep, she told me that "this is the first I've heard of it" and "thanks for letting me know for the next caller with this problem". LOL Never offered "free bumpers" though.
    1. BoostedEvoIX's Avatar
      BoostedEvoIX -
      Quote Originally Posted by NiteStar View Post
      Thanks dude. I just did it and going to see what's up.

      As for the reception issue again... While talking to the Apple rep, she told me that "this is the first I've heard of it" and "thanks for letting me know for the next caller with this problem". LOL Never offered "free bumpers" though.
      Post back if it works.
    1. arfreitas12's Avatar
      arfreitas12 -
      im calling them right now and im gonna try to get a new phone out of them and at the least a free case... we will see. hopefully i can be persuasive enough
    1. Turnamental's Avatar
      Turnamental -
      Ok, so I think it's a little bit of both hardware and software.
      I know this sounds dumb, but my old 3Gs is doing it since I put iOS4 on it...

      Maybe iOS4's programming uses the antenna differently. Before iOS4 I would lose ONE bar when covering the back of the 3Gs phone with my hand. Now it loses ALL and will jump from EDGE to No Service.

      It's most def the two bottom slots on the i4 though. I can make mine do it with only using TWO fingers!
    1. yogurt's Avatar
      yogurt -
      So this is what ive tested on my unlocked 3G 3.1.2 on tmobile I didn't lose any bars. However on my coworkers 3G 3.1.3 locked to AT&T she drops down to 2 bars. Then my other coworker has an unlocked 2g 3.1.2 on tmobile and he didn't lose any bars too. So what I then did was take my coworkers AT&T sim and put it to my unlocked 3G and what do you know, the bars started dropping, but only down to 2 bars. I then put back my tmobile sim back in and it stayed at full bars. Sorry I have no iPhone 4 to test, but hope this test I did helps out.
    1. eurolatin336's Avatar
      eurolatin336 -
      i am in canada and use carrier fido have 3gs MC model with ios4gm, when ios4 came out, i got an carrier update, maybe you guys need that update as well...... i dont have any loss of bars when holding normally either.
    1. BoostedEvoIX's Avatar
      BoostedEvoIX -
      ok guys just went to best buy cause i wanted to get a new case for my iphone 4. I got a belkin one that kinda like a bumper but also has a protective case for the back of the phone. Very nice case, snug fit. Anyways, i put it on and i held in my hand like before and service bars stayed all the way up. So yea its def not a software issue, its hardware
    1. arfreitas12's Avatar
      arfreitas12 -
      Quote Originally Posted by arfreitas12 View Post
      im calling them right now and im gonna try to get a new phone out of them and at the least a free case... we will see. hopefully i can be persuasive enough
      so im getting a few bumper case because i called =]
      no replacement phone though :/
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      My apple conversation was about the same as everyone else. I have two free bumpers on the way. That being said, both the manager and I agreed that was a bandaid and it would either be fixed or replaced. After our initial conversation he called me back, and my iphone prompltly dropped his call, then, holding the stupid thing in my shirt he called back and said they had just had a conversation with the engineers and all the managers and they thought there would be a software fix soon. But we left it that if there wasn't they would be replaced. His big thing through all of it was even apple didn't have any phones to exchange with me for a while.

      I have spoken with my at&t rep and she was going to find out tomorrow what they could do, I'm trying to keep all my options open right now.