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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. oops1975's Avatar
      oops1975 -
      So far no issues after all reset.. made couple of calls and everything seems fine...
      as far as battery goes, I don't have any issues... compared to my 3G.. its great.. but it may be because of new battery as well.. I was streaming Pandora for more than 2 hours today but battery never went below 65%.. So I guess I got lucky in that matter...
    1. Shockster's Avatar
      Shockster -
      Quote Originally Posted by xclusiveiphone View Post
      Here's another example of poor QA from Apple. EPIC FAIL!
      Some iPhone 4's are Shipping with Wrong Volume Buttons [Video] | Redmond Pie
      LOL WHAT!?

      Wow, I am SO glad I am holding out for a white one!

      This is just getting ridiculous!
    1. Apple.'s Avatar
      Apple. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shockster View Post
      LOL WHAT!?

      Wow, I am SO glad I am holding out for a white one!

      This is just getting ridiculous!
      What makes you think anything is going to change for the white one?

      It is in production now, meaning apple is using the same components as the black one just different color glass

      And for those thinking apple is going to recall hahaha I highly doubt it do you realize how much money they would lose? They are just going to tell everyone to restore the phone and set up as a new phone or that a software update will fix it

      I have an i4 32gb black no issues at all

      And I set up as a new phone
    1. stocis's Avatar
      stocis -
      moderators please make a post asking all those having software problems if are using backups from their previous iPhones. Just saying that this might be the cause of this for many
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      To all those having proximity sensor issues:
      I've just gone to settings> general> reset> reset all settings and this seems to have sorted the issue. Guess it must've been cos the iphone 4 was initially set up as a restore and not as a new phone...

      Hope it sorts out any other inherent issues on the iphone 4...I don't mean the yellowing of the screen
    1. mbeezy81's Avatar
      mbeezy81 -
      I just did the Reset all settings: and so far after making a few test calls it seems to be working properly now.
    1. iphone925's Avatar
      iphone925 -
      I just did the reset all setting and also tried restoring from itunes nothing helps still that proximity sensor seems to have the issue Can someone please tell me if there is a way to lock the screen while on the phone call so atleast i wont be hitting random buttons
    1. mbeezy81's Avatar
      mbeezy81 -
      No, i thought u could by pressing power but it doesnt.
    1. stocis's Avatar
      stocis -
      Quote Originally Posted by mbeezy81 View Post
      ^^^ u can lock the screen by pressing the power button.
      yeah and also end the call smartass. I'm getting sick of you 'workaround idealists'.
    1. JamieLee2k's Avatar
      JamieLee2k -
      tried resetting all settings and the fault is still there.
    1. oops1975's Avatar
      oops1975 -
      I did the reset last night and this morning while on the call, it did facetime call again... Mine was set up as backup of old phone
    1. Aidenn's Avatar
      Aidenn -
      I was having the same type of problem, only reverse. My phone would turn off the screen just fine when I brought it up to my face, but when I ended the call, or took the phone away from my face, the screen wouldn't come back on. At all. I had to actually restart the phone (holding down power and home buttons) for the screen to come back.

      However, after doing what you all have said (resetting all settings) it seems to be working just fine now.
    1. JamieLee2k's Avatar
      JamieLee2k -
      I wonder if restoring then only putting messages, contacts and photo's back will cure it
    1. filo4129's Avatar
      filo4129 -
      Yup, same thing happened to me. Hasn't happened more than three times in three years and I hit the mute button three times on my first call. Just glad to hear it isn't only me!
    1. iphone925's Avatar
      iphone925 -
      People who are having problems with there proximity sensor please report the problem too Apple - Support - Apple Expert So they are forced to come up with the fix the more people complaint about it the more the chances are they are forced into an fix for all the flaws
    1. evilhomer21's Avatar
      evilhomer21 -
      after entering your information, choose:

      iphone display and sensors -> iphone display does not deactivate when i put it to my ear
    1. s4boost's Avatar
      s4boost -
      yea i keep hitting speakerphone :-( and for some reason the phone app has frozen 3 times when i read an incoming text while on the phone
    1. JamieLee2k's Avatar
      JamieLee2k -
      I am unable to use that link, I am in the UK so it won't work, has anyone found a proper solution to this issue
    1. bobright's Avatar
      bobright -
      Quote Originally Posted by iphone925 View Post
      People who are having problems with there proximity sensor please report the problem too Apple - Support - Apple Expert So they are forced to come up with the fix the more people complaint about it the more the chances are they are forced into an fix for all the flaws
      What has Apple suggested when reporting the problem? Im sure a replacement would be the same, they need to just make a new round of phones and recall all the damn current ones.
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by bobright View Post
      What has Apple suggested when reporting the problem? Im sure a replacement would be the same, they need to just make a new round of phones and recall all the damn current ones.
      Come on Apple please tell the world a software update will fix it along with everything else. Just so we can laugh a little harder at the idea.