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  • Possible fix for reception issues?


    Some crazy (read: awesome) fellow over at [ame=http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=955742]MacRumors[/ame] may have accidentally run into the real cause of the so dreaded reception issue that has been plaguing the iPhone 4. The benefit of finding the cause is that the solution is so simple I'm still having trouble believing until I tried it myself.

    It actually worked.

    For those that can't be bothered to click or links or have the attention span of a cat on caffeine, here's the summary:

    Quote Originally Posted by shawntkeating
    Uh I have a possible reason this fixed the problem.

    After taking my sim card out to test this I inspected it closer for the first time.

    The metal part of the sim card is not centered and is contacting the sim tray. The sim tray is steel and the sim tray is contacting the outer antenna band. Once you touch the phone, this could be causing a sim issue.

    If when you touch the antenna line on the lower left it changes the state of frequency, power or what ever, it might actually be messing with the sim card.

    The metal on the sim is connected to the sim tray, the sim tray is connected to the antenae and the antenae is connected to your hand when you touch the phone.

    Take a look at your sim card and see if the metal is just off center enough to touch the tray. This might be so simple it's stupid nobody has thought of this.
    The general result from people posting there have been positive. "Fixing" this issue however can be tricky for some. As everyone knows, iPhone 4 runs a Micro SIM card, and the tray is designed as such that you really have no wiggle space to reposition it in order to avoid the sim memory to touch the tray. I personally used tape and it worked. Others have taken different approaches to the issue (cutting, coating, sacrificial goat), but the goal is the same: Don't let the sim memory (gold contacts) touch the tray!

    NOTE: Of course you can still death palm it and get the signal to fail, this is more directed at those users that have signal issues just by covering the slit with their finger, etc. There seems to be mixed results, maybe it does something, maybe it doesn't.

    Feel free to post your results here.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Possible fix for reception issues? started by Happy Noodle Boy View original post
    Comments 262 Comments
    1. tylernys's Avatar
      tylernys -
      My reception seemed to be 50/50 when touching the frame "wrong". Tried the tape trick and it works perfectly!!!!
    1. FireMedic92's Avatar
      FireMedic92 -
      Maybe instead of new sim trays or free bumpers, we should be getting free scotch tape! 
    1. SchmilK's Avatar
      SchmilK -
      Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic92 View Post
      Maybe instead of new sim trays or free bumpers, we should be getting free scotch tape! 
    1. cypher7810's Avatar
      cypher7810 -
      Well I just got off the phone with apple. I got it escalated up to a sr. tech manager. They told me to wait a few days, that they will release some kind of software os update that should help most people (though it seems more a hardware issue to me) and wait for that , that if that doesnt fix it, they will ship me a new one. I just hope the OS "fix" isnt hey lets just display 5 bars all the time no matter what. Placebo fix.
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      schmilk, that's great!
    1. cypher7810's Avatar
      cypher7810 -
      Quote Originally Posted by tylernys View Post
      My reception seemed to be 50/50 when touching the frame "wrong". Tried the tape trick and it works perfectly!!!!
      Which tape fix? The sim card tape fix? or the tape on the side of the case fix?
    1. mmurphmsu's Avatar
      mmurphmsu -
      Quote Originally Posted by cypher7810 View Post
      How did you get all your contacts and info back on the phone?

      Well if you have your phone synced with your computer it shouldn't be a problem. I have Outlook 2007 on my PC and it has all of my contacts. Ya my previous txt messages weren't there but thats not a big deal.
    1. mmurphmsu's Avatar
      mmurphmsu -
      Quote Originally Posted by cypher7810 View Post
      Well I just got off the phone with apple. I got it escalated up to a sr. tech manager. They told me to wait a few days, that they will release some kind of software os update that should help most people (though it seems more a hardware issue to me) and wait for that , that if that doesnt fix it, they will ship me a new one. I just hope the OS "fix" isnt hey lets just display 5 bars all the time no matter what. Placebo fix.
      Ya I hope your right. I have a case going with AT&T and their suggestions haven't really helped. So I guess I am gonna have to call Apple.

      I have a clear rubber/gel case around the phone and it does this at my work (see pic).
    1. santacruzlocal's Avatar
      santacruzlocal -
      O-M-G !!!, This totally works, it saved me so much embarrassment, THANK YOU so much to who ever came up with this, I would love to donate money via paypal ............................. NOT REALLY, This is stupid, and shame on all the people who tried it.
    1. clive.weller's Avatar
      clive.weller -
      Here in the UK I have not had this singnal problem.I am with O2. Anyway, I checked my SIM fitting and it just (only just) misses the tray. Maybe this is a manufacturing fault in the USA but not in the UK.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      I suggest electrical tape, not selleotape as it is conductive,

      meaning you'll still have a short circuit, and still have the grip of death issue. not as bad as before granted
    1. Pchild's Avatar
      Pchild -
      You guys will jump on the bandwagon for anything.

      The tray has a rubber lining on the top side (where the sim makes contact).
    1. ~rage's Avatar
      ~rage -
      ekull and santacruz are right. this is either something some guy came up with when he was stoned out of his mind or the biggest troll of the month. seriously, anyone who actually risks voiding their warranty on such an idiotic 'fix' deserves whatever they get(i.e. absolutely nothing).

      and shame on the staff at modmyi for giving credence to this.

      fail
    1. Pchild's Avatar
      Pchild -
      Wow, look at my 3g speeds with my tinfoil hat on!

    1. cory's Avatar
      cory -
      Quote Originally Posted by bcon1208 View Post
      Hmmm hoping for a fix but I'm a software guru...hardware fixes are slightly above my realm of expertise . Anybody feel like posting a lovely guide on how to accomplish this fix, or maybe a few tips? Thanks!
      Really? Scotch tape is above your realm? Come on man. Your not going to brick your phone with tape.
    1. iPh0wned's Avatar
      iPh0wned -
      would it be better to take a regular sim and cut it 1 or 2 mm offset to have the metal chip a bit higher?
    1. pm_kennedy's Avatar
      pm_kennedy -
      I'm waiting for a Switcheasy Rebel M type case. I don't have the reception issues though
    1. logikfive's Avatar
      logikfive -
      I wonder if this could be why the first day I got my iPhone 4, I had a few times where it said "No SIM Installed" several times. Only fix was to remove and reinsert the SIM card or reboot the phone.

      The SIM card tray appeared to be seated in the phone correctly.
    1. alnk1015's Avatar
      alnk1015 -
      can you use a sharpie and color the edge of the metal??
    1. x999x's Avatar
      x999x -
      I just tried this, my bars still drop. If there is ANY plus side to this, I can't get the phone to the "Searching" point of reception loss for the time being. I get stuck at one tiny little bar now. I guess this is a small victory.

      Lastly, has anyone noticed that this signal loss with a deathgrip seems to happen primarily indoors? I have literally had both hands wrapped tightly around the phone in my parking lot with full bars. I tried to deathgrip every which way, and the bars never went down. If any of you are planning on showing off your phone to Fandroids, I recommend doing it outdoors so they can try to deathgrip it since thats probably on the top of their hatorade list.