• Your favorite

    Apple

    ,

    iPhone

    ,

    iPad

    ,

    iOS

    ,
    Jailbreak
    , and
    Cydia
    site.
  • Apple: No Death Grip, Bars Displayed Wrong


    Apple is finally acknowledging the Death Grip, but saying it's - in effect - an optical illusion: a bug in how the software displays signal-strength bars on the screen. In a "Letter From Apple" posted on their website this morning, the manufacturer claims that the iPhone 4 "mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should" and that people who see drops of 4 or more bars must just be in a weak signal area. Though Apple says a software fix will be forthcoming in "a few weeks," it will only incorporate a formula recommended by AT&T for calculating bars while "[t]he real signal strength remains the same."

    After a week during which Apple steadfastly denied the very existence of the so-called Death Grip, today's "Letter" is the first admission from the company that "iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band." The letter goes on to say that "[a]t the same time, we continue to read articles and receive hundreds of emails from users saying that iPhone 4 reception is better than the iPhone 3GS" (as if this is somehow in contradiction to the prior statement), and asks rhetorically "What can explain all of this?" The answer, Apple says, is software, claiming that they were "stunned" to find that the formula that calculates bars is "totally wrong," that it causes the iPhone 4 to "display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars," and concludes that people who report reception problems "most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don't know it… their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place."

    This response stinks in a number of ways. In the first place, the so-called "formula" is no more than a mapping of signal strength readings to bars. Anandtech noticed in their testing earlier this week that the fifth bar has an absurdly broad range, from -91 dBm up to -51 dBm, so that you can lose as much as 40 dBm and still show five bars. So that may be the "formula" they are talking about changing, but what about people (including this writer) who have noticed real loss of sound quality and dropped calls due to the Death Grip? What about Anandtech's testing showing an average 20 dBm drop in signal? Apple is silent on these points.

    Perhaps they are hoping the complaints go away when people see more bars (and bigger ones - the first three will apparently be taller) on their screen. Or perhaps there's another fix in this software rev that they're not talking about. After all, why should it take "a few weeks" to implement and test a change to one formula? There seems to be a lot we're not being told here, but we'll most likely have to wait for the update to find out what.

    Thanks to everyone who sent this in.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple: No Death Grip, Bars Displayed Wrong started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 229 Comments
    1. Dayvidpriddy's Avatar
      Dayvidpriddy -
      My coke bumper has been on back order for days now...twiddling thumbs...
    1. topless1967stang's Avatar
      topless1967stang -
      What a big cover up. Most Apple users are pretty techy and not stupid to fall for this claim. When my bars go down, my data download speeds drop to about 1/4 speed. That is not a software formula problem. Apple fixing the bars will not increase the download speeds up to where they normally are when you don't hold the phone like that.
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      http://www.informationweek.com/news/..._Smart_mostpop


      while I find the commercials very funny if I was apple I would laugh back with an ad like... iPhone grip issues?!?! No more we have a grip on who we will offer our phones too. And its not Verizon... Welcome T-Mobile!!! LMAO now with T-Mobile Apple wouldn't have to redesign their device to the non SIM company...

      I personally love the SIM cards... In europe when the cell age hit in the 90's I hated the fact that if I broke my phone I couldn't just go get the one I wanted... Ill take SIM (and its slightly slower speed) over having a CDMA phone that if I break I have to find verizon and hassle with them to get a temp or replacement. Never will I go back to Verizon... T-Mobile perhaps.. :-)
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dayvidpriddy View Post
      I don't agree, the phone has a warranty for the life of the original contract (according to an AT&T rep I spoke with yesterday.) If the phone becomes or is defective during that time period it has to be replaced. Contracts work both ways, not just the companies way! You have rights too my friend. The issue has been known from day 1, it's no surprise to anyone if things come up after 30 days. Apple is claiming a "fix" after 30 days so people are going to wait, if it doesn't fix it all falls back on their laps.
      No. Read more closely. Apple is saying that there is not a reception/grip problem and has not promised a fix for that. They said that it is showing more bars than it should which is the only thing that will be fixed. In 30 days, they are going to tell you the exact same thing... "There is no problem." Return/Refund: DENIED Not only that, beyond 30 days they would only be obligated to give you a replacement and NOT a full refund. Apples to oranges, bud.

      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      Verizon, Nokia Poke Fun At iPhone Antenna Issue -- InformationWeek


      while I find the commercials very funny if I was apple I would laugh back with an ad like... iPhone grip issues?!?! No more we have a grip on who we will offer our phones too. And its not Verizon... Welcome T-Mobile!!! LMAO now with T-Mobile Apple wouldn't have to redesign their device to the non SIM company...

      I personally love the SIM cards... In europe when the cell age hit in the 90's I hated the fact that if I broke my phone I couldn't just go get the one I wanted... Ill take SIM (and its slightly slower speed) over having a CDMA phone that if I break I have to find verizon and hassle with them to get a temp or replacement. Never will I go back to Verizon... T-Mobile perhaps.. :-)
      Umm... CDMA 3G without a SIM is slower than GSM 3G with a SIM. The reason people want Verizon is for coverage. The extra speed on Sprint is 4G WiMax, which can't be compared to GSM 3G (try LTE).
    1. ealvinito's Avatar
      ealvinito -
      So it looks like no JB for another few weeks.
    1. umkthxbye's Avatar
      umkthxbye -
      Quote Originally Posted by yahoowizard View Post
      Hm. If this doesn't work, I'm not sure how much trust Apple will get after it. Then again, the guy in the famous iPhone gripping video got the bars to disappear to "No Service", so I'm not sure how making the bars bigger will do anything. I think the only thing to result from this is that it's going to show more bars when there's less service, or less bars when there's actually a lot, so gripping will start to increase the service of the phone =D.

      EDIT: Actually, then again, they're fully acknowledging that the bars do drop if you grip it, even normally. They just try to make it appear normal by saying every phone does it, but gripping my iPhone 2G with both hands has no effect whatsoever. Wish I had more phones to test though.
      I've actually tested my iPhone 3G and my iPhone 3GS in my apartment where I get 5 bars all the time. I completely covered both iPhones in my hands numerous ways and I've only managed to drop MAX 2 bars, most of the time it would go between dropping 2 then going back to dropping 1 then back to 2 and so on. I don't have an iPhone 4 to test my current location and wont have one till they come to Canada, nor do I actually want one till all the issues with it are fixed(I do love how sexy the phone looks though).
      I don't understand why they would put the antenna at a location where the user will "have" to put his/her hand to actually hold the phone. Moving the headphone jack to the bottom and putting the antenna in the top left where the jack is now would be the logical solution(not both at top left due to radio interference). That's just my opinion though.
    1. elite_jounin's Avatar
      elite_jounin -
      Quote Originally Posted by geoffe View Post


      this fixes the "death grip"
      rotflol epic!!! Xd
    1. piston597's Avatar
      piston597 -
      So basically Apple is doing the opposite of spoofing bars, they are gonna say that the coverage is 1 bar for me where it has ALWAYS been 5?? And my other NON APPLE phones still display 4-5 bars CONSTANTLY, so I guess they are wrong too huh? And releasing it in a few weeks = AFTER 30 day policy, so we can't get our money back. Wow Apple, just send out the free rubber bands and admit you f*cked up!!
    1. mj0528's Avatar
      mj0528 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ealvinito View Post
      So it looks like no JB for another few weeks.
      Yup, it's crap! They did this to us on purpose! They knew they left a whole open and now they will cover it and "fix the antenna issue"

      Release it now as the software update will do nothing but kill JB plans.
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Even though I haven't as yet realy experienced the reception issues, I have noticed that in relation to the 3G and reception at my office, the iPhone 4 DOES hang on to signals better and has more reception where previously I'd have to go out of the building to get any sort of decent signal.

      That said, I had noticed that sometimes when the phone is in my jean pocket in certain locations some calls are not as audible while using a headset...something must be wrong somewhere. But to say it will take weeks to sort this out is UTTER BULLS**T from Apple Sounds as though they're gearing up for some hanky-panky (like introducing a formula that would either always show full strength signal or falsify the bars in some other way )...I'd say that'd be a HUGE FAIL for Apple !

      Well, let's all look at the bright side...at least the iphone 4 will go down in the history books as the phone that exposed the 'defective formula' for signal bars in all phones and will in a few decades probably be worth more than apple is selling it for at the moment

      Seriously though, I think that NOT fixing this sh*t will only do more damage than good to Apples future
    1. mestapho's Avatar
      mestapho -
      Just read the anandtech review of the i4 and you'll see that the antenna issue is indeed real. He does show that there is a problem with 5 bars displaying over a very large range, but there is still much larger drop in signal strength while gripping the phone when compared to the 3gs and a droid or htc (I forget which).
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      If your car is having a problem going above 45 mph and the mechanic fixes the problem you are satisfied. If apple fixes your car they point you to roads where the speed limit is 45.
    1. radioboy's Avatar
      radioboy -
      Clearly, everyone on Modmyi knows way more about antenna design and cell networks than the engineers at Apple, and creating and testing a software update that will be simultaneously pushed out to almost 2 million phones is a process that should take 12 hours at most.

      The way people are reacting to this you'd think Apple slapped your mother and called her a whore.

      They're trying to fix the issue, so just CTFD. Obviously they're going to look for a solution that DOESN'T involve recalling and replacing 2 million phones, so the first place to look will be software.

      If you're still having issues after the fix, then resume making noise.
    1. cypher7810's Avatar
      cypher7810 -
      Well this is bs. I'm gonna make them exchange mine because I already get few bars when I hold it, now I'll have none. Also if it's just the bars then why can I run a speed test and see actual speed decrease and I drop calls? **** you apple. You are right on track to be like Microsoft with horrible customer service
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by radioboy View Post
      Clearly, everyone on Modmyi knows way more about antenna design and cell networks than the engineers at Apple,
      FYI- they put out this crappy design in the first place
    1. jayson9's Avatar
      jayson9 -
      Trying to cover my fake sneeze..... "Ahhhhh Bullsh!t!!!!".

      DROID!
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      My last few 3GS phones would show the lowest signal strength until I toggled airplane mode on and off again, triggering it to reconnect at full strength. It does it all over... at work, home, downtown, etc. The only correlation I can seem to find is when I am using BT/WiFi I can watch it go down almost immediately, and I use those things OFTEN.
    1. rolandgabor's Avatar
      rolandgabor -
      I feel much better now!!! Thank you Apple.
      so.. after the software "fix" my usual " wrongly calculated" 4-5 bars will decrease to 1-2? Now that is the best news i heard in a long time. That will help with the S***Y reception we already have.
      Ohh another question:
      Does this mean that we were scammed all this time by being led into thinking we have good reception?
      Does this mean AT&T's service is even worst than we thought?
    1. aimetti's Avatar
      aimetti -
      lol apple would have been better off just not saying anything
    1. umkthxbye's Avatar
      umkthxbye -
      Quote Originally Posted by radioboy View Post
      Clearly, everyone on Modmyi knows way more about antenna design and cell networks than the engineers at Apple, and creating and testing a software update that will be simultaneously pushed out to almost 2 million phones is a process that should take 12 hours at most.

      The way people are reacting to this you'd think Apple slapped your mother and called her a whore.

      They're trying to fix the issue, so just CTFD. Obviously they're going to look for a solution that DOESN'T involve recalling and replacing 2 million phones, so the first place to look will be software.

      If you're still having issues after the fix, then resume making noise.
      Yeah they are trying to fix it now after saying "There is NO problem". Guess that means we are smarter then their engineers and there testers if there testers couldn't even notice this, the most needed function of any phone is reception. Apple failed in admitting the issue, they kept denying the issue, had they admitted the issue from the start their wouldn't have such an uproar about it. They need to start coming clean about errors and stop trying to blame the users for their poor engineering.