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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. santiagodraco's Avatar
      santiagodraco -
      Quote Originally Posted by sandyt87 View Post
      No sir I think your sense of humour had a failure. Might be the cause of apple's new iPhone features.

      Jks mate I hate the way apple is treating this and its loyal customers. I truly feel for you guys those bastards knew about the fault and then tried to make a profit off of it. If they get away with this one my next phone will not be made by apple I can assure you that.

      What use is a phone when its not a phone?? Keep your retina display I want to talk to people.

      True that.

      Seriously considering waiting for the Dell Streak. I live in Austin and have seen one in action here and it's a really really cool phone. A bit large, but if you can deal with that it's pretty damn slick.

      In any case this reception issue is a serious let down considering how hyped the phone is. I'd really love to see it work consistently well... as a phone!
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Calling Apple one last time... they said so far that Apple will come out with an official word on this by end of today or tomorrow.
    1. sandyt87's Avatar
      sandyt87 -
      Just as a little side note, let me share with you a little experiance I had 2 days ago.

      I was testing the OS 4 beta for a few weeks and could never pick up the normal carrier here in cyprus (less than a month till I get home woot). When I manually selected it I would drop all the time or default to the crappier network out here if in auto. Now last night Id had enough so I went back down to 3.1.2 jailbroke, then made a custom 3.1.3 firmware with snowbreeze (my shsh file was on cydia thanks saurik!!)

      After I had it stable and sync'd and backed up, I noticed I had almost full strength on the normal carrier. I put it in the same place where I normally have my phone, where the night before, I couldn't pick up the carrier or was a weak signal.

      Now its been like that since I went back to 3.1.3. I can't comment on how ios 4 interacts with the phone section of the iPhone and this was tested on a first edition 3GS, but I can tell you my normal network has not dropped since.

      So the blame may not rest firmly with the phone itself.

      BTW it was the final edition of the IOS 4 I had running not any previous beta.

    1. X2thaP's Avatar
      X2thaP -
      I haven't read the last few pages of responses here, but in case nobody else has noticed yet, I have this 'issue' with my 2G iPhone as well, but it never loses connection, it just drops a few bars, that's it. So I am leaning towards the 'this is normal behavior' side of the story. This doesn't mean I think u can't complain, especially if u loose signal completely, but I'm just saying, this happens on the very first iPhone as well and I can't seem to find the articles and complaints about that.
    1. beantown6171's Avatar
      beantown6171 -
      Quote Originally Posted by blainesill View Post
      Currently on the phone with Apple again.

      The rep is telling me that they don't have access to sending out free bumpers and that I would have to go to a retail store. I'm explaining how there are multiple reports of this being fixed via phone and email to their support, and she's saying they're all false.

      I'm being directed to another supervisor again.

      Will update after speaking.

      tell them u want to talk to a senior advisor, i went through it today after i went to the apple store and they gave me another phone that did the same thing, he told me to keep the original one and call 1-800-275-2273, i told them that i shouldn't have to spend money on the bumper and he said that he will send one out right away
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Ok, so the guy is gonna call me back in half an hour to an hour and will tell me if I can get one, better...
    1. blainesill's Avatar
      blainesill -
      I just talked to a senior advisor.

      He said they're working on the issue and that they aren't sending out free bumpers at this time. It might be offered in the future.

      He basically said that it's not known right now if it's a hardware or software issue, and to just sit tight.

      He did say to hold the phone without touching the antenna gap. Said it's a little silly to say, but that there's nothing else he can offer right now. He was much nicer about it than the previous reps I spoke to.

      I gave him my email, and he sent me his contact number. He said he would email me when there's a solution.

      He also said to contact him personally, if I myself figure out a way to fix the issue.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Yea I think they have stopped giving out bumpers. I am glad I got a few before they stopped
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      I said this before:

      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      Appl£ have caused this issue on puppose to sell rubber bumpers and at £25 or $30 that will make them a sweet profit
      in the Say What?! iPhone 4 Loses Reception Bars When Held by the Antenna Band? thread and I think it's a plan they had thats gone wrong by too many people being affected at once
    1. kalel0607's Avatar
      kalel0607 -
      I have been reading through everyones post and its out of order the response Apple gave about the reception issue. Having to pay £25.00 for a bit of rubber so you can hold you mobile while calling is a joke. Steve Jobs doesnt care hes just happy with the millions he has made on phones that dont work properly. Everyone should take their iPhones back and demand a refund and I bet Apple would get up off their asses when they see the money disappear.
    1. sircutbreaker's Avatar
      sircutbreaker -
      I guess the signal is so strong where I live. because I cant make the bars disappear where I am no matter how I cover/hold, etc...

      The phone is marvelous...

      I can hardly wait for a jailbreak so we can use the video chat wherever, whenever...
    1. bigdrdok's Avatar
      bigdrdok -
      Which case did u buy? wats the brand name and how much?
    1. PAKIS-RULEZ's Avatar
      thats y i never buy new iphones lol onrelease dates let the apple addictive s suffer.. its allways been like this let new ppl test the iphone4 and new one will come soon
    1. Tweetix's Avatar
      Tweetix -
      Hm! That's the main reason why I don't buy the iPhone when they first come out just for the simple fact that their first batch always have issues, mad issues. Therefore I'm gonna wait till the second or third batch of iPhone 4 to be shipped to the stores and when there's no more lines for me to buy one.
    1. Xenontac's Avatar
      Xenontac -
      Part of the fun of owning an iphone is the sheer number of cases around to dress up our phone, putting on one is not an issue for me ( and it solves the reception issue too).
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xenontac View Post
      Part of the fun of owning an iphone is the sheer number of cases around to dress up our phone, putting on one is not an issue for me ( and it solves the reception issue too).
      Lucky for you, the case that I bought does not solve the reception issue... I still get 0-1 bars on contact... I tried my friends bumper case and it gives me 4-5 bars constantly... and I can't spend $30 more on a case.
    1. gbarielmoreno's Avatar
      gbarielmoreno -
      I have a case on my iPhone 4 and it works great.
    1. Philbert's Avatar
      Philbert -
      They did this on purpose so you'd buy one of their bumper cases to fix it. Typical apple, lying to their customers again.
    1. xclusiveiphone's Avatar
      xclusiveiphone -
      Here's another example of poor QA from Apple. EPIC FAIL!
      Some iPhone 4's are Shipping with Wrong Volume Buttons [Video] | Redmond Pie