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  • Apple Defends iPhone 4 Reception with General Swipe at All Mobile Phones

    Since Wednesday evening, we've heard from no shortage of readers and contributors on MMi who are confounded, amused, or downright angry about the peculiar phenomenon of cell signal dramatically tapering off when you hold the iPhone 4 by the antenna band. While we've investigated the matter and tinkered with possible fixes since the issue was first broached, Apple formally chimed in on the matter last night.

    Cupertino's response? "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone," the company said in reference to mobile phones having reception issues when held improperly. "Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas." Needless to say, some iPhone 4 buyers (and prospective buyers) aren't taking too kindly to Apple's terse response to the issue. Of course, Apple did at least present one viable solution: "If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."

    To be fair, Apple is correct about other devices having reception issues when they are held or touched at locations sensitive to antenna disruption or blockage. But plenty of iPhone 4 buyers were, admittedly, looking for something more from Apple than, as the Financial Times reported, a recommendation to hold the phone differently. Luckily, as the company was more than willing to point out, there are products - like a $30 bumper - which can mitigate the impact of this reception glitch. But following a frustrating pre-order debacle and now massive iPhone 4 supply shortages, this latest headache likely isn't a welcome or timely headache either for customers or Apple.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Defends iPhone 4 Reception with General Swipe at All Mobile Phones started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 151 Comments
    1. c1ockwerk's Avatar
      c1ockwerk -
      i shouldnt have to buy a case to fix the problem. send me a free bumper
    1. D to the M's Avatar
      D to the M -
      Quote Originally Posted by SchmilK View Post
      i drove 32 miles in 45 minutes while on a single phone call and going passed the 2 mile marker areas that i ALWAYS drop calls on my 3GS i did NOT loose the call once...the whole time TRYING to get it to drop the call!
      I got tired of reading the other complaints about this. Schmilk i completely agree with you. I used to lose calls in my office all the time. I have had nothing but crystal clear phone calls and ZERO dropped calls.
      I do have a bumper but i just think it looks nice like that i like the grip and that it rests on the rubber and not the glass on the back.

      Yeah 30 bucks was crazy for that bumper and yeah apple didnt release any cases with any other iphone so maybe they knew about it but their marketing worked for me!!

      THIS PHONE IS GREAT and i wouldn't trade it for an Droid, EVO or HTC on the market.

      holy mother of .... this video is going to start some PTSD flairups or some epilleptic seizures. i couldnt take it anymore.
    1. dale1v's Avatar
      dale1v -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post
      For every problem, there is a solution, and Apple historically has resolved them more quickly than any other company.

      Chill out people.

      PS-I can't make it happen to mine. 2 big cups of Hatorade.
      From what I recall, Apple has resolved software problems quickly. This debacle is a flaw in hardware of the phone from the design up.

      The recessed headphone jack (another hardware issue that was a complete disadvantage) in the first gen iPhone was not resolved quickly; a new model (the 3G) had to be released a year later to fix that. From the article, you can see that Apple have made no indication that they are going to fix this (now confirmed) problem soon. You can put the hater card back in your pocket now.
    1. Wastegate13's Avatar
      Wastegate13 -
      My 3g still on 3.0.1 does the same thing in regards to signal quality when held near the bottom of the phone. I'm going to try to get an iPhone 4 today and see if it has the issue.
    1. silent1643's Avatar
      silent1643 -
      my wife just went to the apple store and they treated the reception problem like they never heard about it, and haven't had any complaints yet - and it just looks like a software problem that apple will release an update soon to remedy it - this was the store manager for Christ sake!
    1. iSteed's Avatar
      iSteed -
      The bridging of antennas isn't a real issue for me but I've been having issues a lot with the 3G network lately. My gs was the same. Web pages hanging or not loading when I have full bars. I keep have to switch to edge and then back only for a temporary fix. Reboot doesn't help. And my gs did the same crap
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by madrigal77 View Post
      I've been here since the beginning and rarely give thanks, but my dry sense of humor struck that one right on the head.
    1. dq13's Avatar
      dq13 -
      This is so much B.S. from Apple... my HTC HD2 has full signal and no matter how I hold it, even if I try covering the whole back with both hands, signal is still 100% it doesn't vary at all... so don't come saying this happens with every phone, because IT DOESN'T!!!!1
    1. Eagleye's Avatar
      Eagleye -
      Quote Originally Posted by madrigal77 View Post

      HAHAHA! That pic is GOLDEN!
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      he should send that pic to Stv and tell him it's him and his company's fault we hold it wrong, because of the adds
    1. eortizr's Avatar
      eortizr -
      The Apple way
    1. beantown6171's Avatar
      beantown6171 -
      1-800-275-2273 tell them u want a supervisor that this is uncalled for
    1. spyder2005's Avatar
      spyder2005 -
      @ Madrigal77 ... can you please email Steve Jobs that Image? Thats a work of art and a well made point!
    1. jayson9's Avatar
      jayson9 -
      WOW! A phone that needs a rubber..... I guess its for safe talk!! And at $30 a pop, it better be a french tickler with ribs!!


      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> D R O I D <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

      Week #2 with Droid Incredible, No drop calls, great signal, great tethering, and no rubber to ensure I hold it just right --- whatever.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      I'm currently on hold to speak to an Apple supervisor.

      LOL @ Jimmy Hendrix song on the line!
    1. xclusiveiphone's Avatar
      xclusiveiphone -
      Wow that is so hypocritical of Apple.
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Apple should have just covered them antenna pieces up.
      Hmm, it stopped working at WWDC and they release the bumpers...sounds like Apple knew about the issue.

      I still want the iPhone 4 though and I don't think it's a major issue.
    1. calvinbui's Avatar
      calvinbui -
      someone go sue. that would be hot.
    1. p3eps's Avatar
      p3eps -
      The general signal on my iPhone 4 is dreadful anyway.
      I used to get a decent 3G signal at my work, with it sometimes being 'H' on my HTC HD2... but with my iPhone 4 I can only get an 'o' which is slower than a 56k modem! Even in my house I've gone from a 3-4 bar 3G signal to 1 bar of 3G or 3-4 bars of E.
      This happens whether I'm holding it, or whether its sitting on my desk / couch.

      At my work is mainly where I use my phone internet (at home I use WiFi) - so if there is no improvement, I guess I'll have to ditch the iPhone 4 and find something else

      Its a real shame, as I'm loving it so far other than the poor signal and the incompatibility with my car bluetooth kit.

      I'm with O2 (UK)... so my other option is to pick up an Orange PAYG Micro Sim and see if thats any better. I don't have a contract, so I guess I can swap networks if necessary. A lot of hassle though!
    1. americaroma's Avatar
      americaroma -
      Ok signal bars go down... But have any of you actually experienced dropped calls after holding the phone the "wrong" way?

      Ive had the phone for two days now but havent really used it for calls so i havent tested if it drops calls due to that issue...