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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. Wilbourn's Avatar
      Wilbourn -
      I was having this issue when I first got my iphone on thursday. It was clearly obvious that the signal was going down due to the way I was holding the phone. Although the signal decreased, I didnt notice a loss in data speed via 3g while in safari or the app store. I went and purchased one of the clear Belkin grip vue case from best buy yesterday and since then I havent noticed the signal issue anymore, so maybe jobs was correct about the cases helping the signal issue (Possible conspiracy between apples antenna design and case makers for the iphone?)...
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
    1. Philbert's Avatar
      Philbert -
      I just read that a 4.01 update might fix the antenna problem. So first it's something all phones do now it's something they can fix with a software update. Which is it apple?
    1. EagleyeBDV's Avatar
      EagleyeBDV -
      I was in line for the very first iphone, had to take it back 3 times due to it shutting down with out me knowing, went the 3 phone then canceled my contract due to a bad produce. I really thought there would be a class action suite.

      I am "i" addict just the same... as the 3g came to market, I upgraded tot he i4 and got my pre-order in between crashes and got the i4 a day early... tweaked it out and found the "flaw"

      Called apple to ask for a fix and to supply me with a non static case or "bumper" free of charge, due the this oblivious design flaw... got the quick no, and then the slow no when I asked to submit it to management. I WAS TOLD Apple will release a statement this-afternoon.... errr .. never belittle the customer, not even and "apple" customer... I gave my own release statement back to the office with their first return....

      I will buy the i4 "a" when it is released....

      PS: I guess they field tested it on apple campus where their own tower stood.... How could an team of engineers not conciser static transfer from your skin to zap the signal like it did..
    1. TheGrandFinale2001's Avatar
      TheGrandFinale2001 -
      Sigh, the only blemish on the face of Apple. It's own arrogance. Not ignorance, but ARROGANCE lol. Cause they know better lol.
    1. javiert30's Avatar
      javiert30 -
      Quote Originally Posted by pldtboy View Post
      Steve Job is holding it wrong when he did the presentation at WWDC. So even him he doesn't know that there's a flaw in the antennae reception.
      On his presentation he never made a phone call using his cellphone signal, he demostrated just the FaceTime call wich use wifi.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Philbert View Post
      I just read that a 4.01 update might fix the antenna problem. So first it's something all phones do now it's something they can fix with a software update. Which is it apple?
      The same way they "fixed" the 3G when it had low signal so they released a software update that makes the bars read higher and that "fixed" the antenna reception so you could drop a call with 3 bars.........
    1. TheGrandFinale2001's Avatar
      TheGrandFinale2001 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Philbert View Post
      They did this on purpose so you'd buy one of their bumper cases to fix it. Typical apple, lying to their customers again.
      Agreed. When they came out with that bumper that pretty much said everything
    1. Philbert's Avatar
      Philbert -
      I wonder if you could wrap some scotch tape around it, particularly that area. It might look nicer than a bumper and still get the job done. Plus you don't have to give apple more money.
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      I don't want a free bumper. I hate cases. I want a free iPhone 5 next year, with redesigned antenna.
    1. lalp's Avatar
      lalp -
      Hi eg6motion:

      Here is proof of the signal loss while holding the phone on the left hand and the one with signal is holding the phone above the brakes in the fram leaving the left lower corner clear.

      Today I went to the apple store and could not reproduce the signal loss. I think that they have a signal booster. Just minutes prior, I had tested it in the parking lot and kept doing it. Well, I was told the same about the software, but also got 99% discount for the bumpers that I will get when they become available again. Oh yes, I got it in writing by the store manager ;-)

      Lalp