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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. Legend_master's Avatar
      Legend_master -
      The reception issue is bad if I hold it a certain way, ok change hand position. What about the fact that it does it when I put it in my pocket? That's annoying, I don't want one of those belt clip pos devices. Such a phenomenal product, but what a crappy oversight.
    1. dogdaysunrise's Avatar
      dogdaysunrise -
      What if they put the gap between the two antennas at the center of the bottom or even better at the top of the phone......the hand barely ever touches there?!

      .....was just thinking out loud................
    1. JamieLee2k's Avatar
      JamieLee2k -
      I think I might have found a solution, and doesn't make your phone look bulky or tacky, what about sticky tape? surely thats not conductive so it should fix the issue, I haven't tried it fully yet but I can't see why it wont work
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Apple is sending me some bumpers

    1. JamieLee2k's Avatar
      JamieLee2k -
      How did you manage to get them from apple for free? also how can we get them in the UK free?
    1. viettho's Avatar
      viettho -
      The way they responded to the problem sounds very familiar. It's like "don't use flash, it's wrong. Use HTML5".
    1. JacquesChirac's Avatar
      JacquesChirac -
      ive had no problems here
    1. stlroddddd's Avatar
      stlroddddd -
      the first thing i thought when he said the band is the antenna, was will this cause a reception issue. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to at least formulate that thought and then test it. this and the fact they brought that little bumper out with the release of the phone leads me to believe they knew the deal. instead of owning up to it and giving the bumpers away with the product, they felt it would be in their best interest to be quiet about it. apple has really put themselves in a bad position with this deceit.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by JamieLee2k View Post
      How did you manage to get them from apple for free? also how can we get them in the UK free?
      Just try calling your local Customer Service number. Ask to talk to a higher-up rep.
    1. xclusiveiphone's Avatar
      xclusiveiphone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dayvidpriddy View Post
      I made a post about this on the forums under general for the iPhone. Apparently the folks who replied to it seems to think I need to "get over it!" Talk about being a fanboy...
      Those are the kind of people who have no social life and could care less about the phone functionality.
    1. JazJon's Avatar
      JazJon -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      Apple is sending me some bumpers

      Sweet, can we contact apple care online or do you have to visit / call a local store? (never used apple care actually)
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      They are right, my phone came with a list of ways not to hold it
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Quote Originally Posted by JazJon View Post
      Sweet, can we contact apple care online or do you have to visit / call a local store? (never used apple care actually)
      I don't have apple care, I just called the 1800 number that is preloaded in your iphone contacts.
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      I meant to post this...the regular way I hold a phone (any phone for that matter) is with my right hand. My ring finger automatically rests in the the same area that the black 'band' in on on the bottom left side of the phone. There is no way for me to avoid this, it's just a natural way to hold the phone. So it's not just a problem for left handed folks.

      I called my local Apple store and they are sold out of bumpers *surprise*! Do the bumpers really look as big and bulky as they do on youtube vids or are they smaller in person? That is what is making me not so fond of what I've seen online so far.
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dayvidpriddy View Post
      I meant to post this...the regular way I hold a phone (any phone for that matter) is with my right hand. My ring finger automatically rests in the the same area that the black 'band' in on on the bottom left side of the phone. There is no way for me to avoid this, it's just a natural way to hold the phone. So it's not just a problem for left handed folks.

      I called my local Apple store and they are sold out of bumpers *surprise*! Do the bumpers really look as big and bulky as they do on youtube vids or are they smaller in person? That is what is making me not so fond of what I've seen online so far.
      My wife has a bumper on hers and I think it looks fine.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I haven't had this issue at all. I was TRYING to reproduce the problem and couldn't...

      My new problem... girlfriend just ran my iPhone 4 through the wash
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      ^ I hope you are kidding
    1. bcon1208's Avatar
      bcon1208 -
      I'm not a fan of cases but now it looks like I have no choice...THANKS APPLE!!!
    1. hotwheels177819's Avatar
      hotwheels177819 -
      lol white dot on it doesnt really mean anything wrong with it swehbe.
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      Quote Originally Posted by StealthBravo View Post
      ^ I hope you are kidding
      What'd you say to the apple rep lol? I can barley call on my phone, it drops the call cuz I am holding it, any way I hold it my bars drastically drop. I gotta set it on the table with speaker on lol sucks.