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  • iPhone 4 Proximity Sensor Malfunctions Reported


    Increasing numbers of iPhone 4 users are reporting the touchscreen becoming active during phone calls when the proximity sensor would normally shut it off, leading to inadvertent button-presses. The reports are coming in with enough frequency and consistency to suspect a hardware or calibration issue with at least a particular subset of iPhones. No word from Apple yet.

    The iPhone's proximity sensor uses a small infrared LED and uses the reflection from nearby objects to deactivate the touchscreen when it's close to your head. If you hold it up to an iSight or other camera that can read near infrared light, you can usually just see the glow. The problem may be in how sensitive the detector is set to be on some phones or an actual problem with the detector. So far I haven't noticed it with my own phone, if I make a call and hold a finger in front of the sensor with my finger the screen deactivates out to about an inch away.

    An email from a MMi member this morning reported hearing keypress tones during calls, and in one instance his phone tried to initiate a FaceTime call while he had the iPhone to his head. There's an Apple Support thread with forty-one posts as of the time of this writing, most with similar reports. One user says the display activates when he rocks it from side to side.

    Anyone out there seeing this?
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone 4 Proximity Sensor Malfunctions Reported started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 159 Comments
    1. sunnywala's Avatar
      sunnywala -
      happened to me once or twice so far but not much. and i've been using it alot.
    1. BoostedEvoIX's Avatar
      BoostedEvoIX -
      So check this out guys. So yesterday i called apple and complained that my proximity sensor wasnt working. When i put the phone to my ear it darkened like normal but when i pulled it away it didnt light back up. Well i just got a replacement in the mail today already. Worked perfect, i synced and restored from my back up and guess what? It did it again!! Its not the phone, its software issue. I hit reset all settings and took care of it thank god!! Other than that, no other issues, no yellow color etc..Im sure they will take care of this with an update soon
    1. zmanforever's Avatar
      zmanforever -
      KNOCK ON WOOD!!!

      Only have the steel band death grip problem until an agent 18 clear case is out.

      Hey BoostedEvoIX this may sound weird but dude can you post pics of your car.

      That is my next car in a year!
    1. BoostedEvoIX's Avatar
      BoostedEvoIX -
      Quote Originally Posted by zmanforever View Post
      KNOCK ON WOOD!!!

      Only have the steel band death grip problem until an agent 18 clear case is out.

      Hey BoostedEvoIX this may sound weird but dude can you post pics of your car.

      That is my next car in a year!
      Sure, heres a few


      Sorry for the off topic guys




    1. zmanforever's Avatar
      zmanforever -
      Quote Originally Posted by BoostedEvoIX View Post
      Sure, heres a few


      Sorry for the off topic guys




      That vehicle is sex.
    1. danny_191's Avatar
      danny_191 -
      Yea same here key tones while in a call
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by sungod661 View Post
      Am i the only one that noticed that the moron in the picture is wearing a freakin BURGER HAT? sheesh couldnt we find another pic
      Quote Originally Posted by Punker1625 View Post
      Its a cheeseburger in paradise. I got one from margaritaville.(its a jimmy buffet song)
      No, sungod was right; moron applies
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AlexCrammer View Post
      What's a proximity sensor?
      It is the sensor at the top near your earpiece that senses when the phone is near your head. When it is near a solid object then it turns the touch screen off so no buttons are pressed while using the phone near your ear.
    1. Antman217's Avatar
      Antman217 -
      Glad I stuck to my good old 3g. iPhone 4 seems to have a lot more bugs than I was expecting. I'm just gonna wait till christmas.
    1. kjack05's Avatar
      kjack05 -
      Mine doesnt seem to have the reception issue everyone is talking about and my screen is perfectly fine.

      My proximety sensor works, but is to sensative if I barely reposition my phone the screen comes on and usually ends with me muting someone. hopefully the reset settings and network settings fixes this. it seems more of like a calibration issue than a hardware thing.
    1. Imsorussian's Avatar
      Imsorussian -
      All these issues mean that no jb will be out until apple comes out with ios 4.0.1 and right after with 4.1 and then maybe a jb. Thats pretty crapy news
    1. iphone925's Avatar
      iphone925 -
      Mine is doing that too on every call almost SO i have a question does any one know how to lock the screen while on a phone call so till that gets fixed we all can lock screens maybe so atleast it wont be hitting random buttons like factime mute hold speaker or what not and worst one END CALL so how do we lock the screen while on the phone call
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Yea I would bet on Apple dropping a minor patch here soon.
    1. jason_wehrwein's Avatar
      jason_wehrwein -
      I had the same problem all day long I reset all settings and it seems to work. I tried a test call moving around for about 5 min with no problems. I will report here tomorrow after using the phone all day.
    1. oops1975's Avatar
      oops1975 -
      Happened to me several times. Kept hitting speaker and accidently dialed people from my contact list... Just did hard reset as well as reset all settings.. hopefully it goes away...
    1. br8thw8's Avatar
      br8thw8 -
      I'm having the same issue. I don't even make many calls and my ear likes to hit random numbers and the occasional speaker button. I didn't know what was going on for awhile.

      I'm gonna try the reset all settings and see if that works.

      Oh, BTW, it DOES happen to phones that are setup as NEW phones and NOT restored from a backup. Like mine.
    1. ultimatexpka's Avatar
      ultimatexpka -
      worst Photoshop ever lolz
    1. sugebay's Avatar
      sugebay -
      As far as the battery, I have been using the phone all day and not needing a charge until the day is over. I have experienced the button pressing, hold/mute when the phone is up to my face. Once again though - new engineering = new problems.....I think it'll be fixed (possibly lots of returns though).
    1. mytran80's Avatar
      mytran80 -
      Thankgod i'm waiting on the white model , hopefully they will fix all the issues before I pick up my white iPhone otherwise I will have to drive 25 miles back and forth to the apple store ,very inconvenient especially for people who already waited hours on launch day
    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