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  1.    #1  
    Got an iPhone 4 yet? Hold it carefully by the glass, avoiding the new steel antenna band that runs around the edges. Note the number of signal-strength bars you have. Now, touch the steel band with your other hand, preferably the left and bottom sides together. You will almost certainly see your signal disappear, or drop by three or four bars.

    The problem is being so widely reported that Gizmodo has managed to add 16 videos of the phenomenon, along with many, many user reports. The problem is also repeatable, making it look like a lot more than simple coincidence.

    If you have ever touched a bare-metal loop antenna for a TV, you’ll know that the water-filled human body has an effect on the reception, although in that case it usually improves the picture.

    This, it turns out, is not entirely unexpected. Just two weeks ago, Jens Nielsen of Danish blog ComON quoted Professor Gert Frølund Pedersen of the Department of Electronic Systems at Aalborg University:

    [H]uman tissues will in any case have an inhibitory effect on the antenna. Touch means that a larger portion of the antenna energy turns into heat and lost. This makes the antenna less efficient to send and receive radio signals. [Translation by Google]

    Simply holding the new iPhone in the hand is enough to kill the signal. Even Walt Mossberg, in his review of the iPhone 4, had an eerily similar-sounding experience:

    [O]n at least six occasions during my tests, the new iPhone was either reporting “no service” or searching for a network while the old one, held in my other hand, was showing at least a couple of bars. Neither Apple nor AT&T could explain this. [Emphasis added.]

    Is it possible that a problem like this would make it into the wild? You’d think that it would have been discovered in testing. On the other hand, maybe this is what caused Steve Jobs’ connection woes at the WWDC keynote where he demoed the new handset?

    So if you have dry skin, you're good. Otherwise, you'll need to get a bumper case to use your phone. I see a possible recall in the future.

    Read More IPhone 4 Loses Reception When Antenna Band Is Touched: Firmware Issue? | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
  2. #2  
    It's been acknowledged and confirmed by Apple as a software problem, they've said an update is on the way. A lot of the videos show the bars dropping to the point where the phone says it has no service, yet you can still make/receive calls, so that clearly points to a software issue.
  3. #3  
    Engadget said they were still getting dropped calls.
  4. #4  
    Even though it might help I don't see how software can cure this issue. Seems like a design and possibly a component quality problem. It's funny how something like this got past quality control.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Even though it might help I don't see how software can cure this issue.
    It's an easy software fix...reprogram the icon to always stay at 5-bars...there, done.
  6. #6  
    Naturally, Gizmodo would gleefully report an iPhone flaw. I have an iPhone 4. The experiment is repeatable. This story is just missing one important component; it does not seem to end in more dropped calls. No reviewer expressed a concern about having more dropped calls. Some even reported improvements. By the way, the experiment is repeatable on a 3GS that has been updated to iOS4. If you consider all that, the story isn't so sensational. iPhone 4 DOOMED! It does make for a nice headline; it just doesn't amount to an actual loss in signal.
  7. #7  
    actually it loses signal every single time and its only on iphone4 not 3gs:

    !

    and by loses signal I mean completely drops the call
    Last edited by Donny927; 06/24/2010 at 04:54 PM.
  8. #8  
    "No reviewer expressed a concern about having more dropped calls. Some even reported improvements."

    THANK YOU for saying this. It's primarily a display issue (of the bars) and doesn't affect reception (any more than reception is already affected by ATT....)

    I have wanted to point it out, but i know people have enjoyed this tidbit...plus I am already seen as being argumentative!

    So thank you. At this point, the detractors should know this.


    (and that is not to say there are not iPhone 4's that don't have an antennae issue - with so many there are bound to be, but this particular news nugget is a non-starter. And unfortunate given the reception problems some people have with ATT.)
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    Naturally, Gizmodo would gleefully report an iPhone flaw. I have an iPhone 4. The experiment is repeatable. This story is just missing one important component; it does not seem to end in more dropped calls. No reviewer expressed a concern about having more dropped calls. Some even reported improvements. By the way, the experiment is repeatable on a 3GS that has been updated to iOS4. If you consider all that, the story isn't so sensational. iPhone 4 DOOMED! It does make for a nice headline; it just doesn't amount to an actual loss in signal.
    You are incorrect here, as it does drop calls for some people, and this does not happen on the 3gs

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/s...d-left-handed/

    seems that the guys at Engadget have this problem and that it actually causes a dropped call, and is repeatable. not by readers but by the editors, on two separate phones in the UK. they also point out that this is NOT an issue on the review unit, which is running the same software. they also point out that it is not a problem on the 3gs for them.

    of all the general tech news sites out there, i find Engadget the most trustworthy.

    I think its safe to assume that some number of units, (certainly two) and probably more, are having this issue.

    it may be that there are varying degrees of it too, and that for some it can retain the signal, and for others they loose the functionality of the phone.

    certainly there is more information needed to figure out what is going on, but there are at-least two phones out there that are broken when held in the left hand.

    I was going to try and get my mom a new phone and the iphone4 was looking pretty strong among att offerings, especially with the better definition display. but now I may advise her to hold off a bit and make sure that these issues get ironed out as well as see what palm has up there sleeve.


    *not going the android rout because I or my brothers will be troubleshooting for her, and we aren't familiar with that platform.
    There are four lights.
  10. #10  
    If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video should leave you speechless.

  11. #11  
    For the life of me, I cant get my iPhone 4 to drop any bars. I have tried every grip, every position, etc. Nothing I do affects my signal.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobileman View Post
    For the life of me, I cant get my iPhone 4 to drop any bars. I have tried every grip, every position, etc. Nothing I do affects my signal.
    if it's not happening in all the phones (like yours) than I would say it is more likely a hardware related quality control problem, and not just software. Your on the likely side of probability in that case. Enjoy.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobileman View Post
    For the life of me, I cant get my iPhone 4 to drop any bars. I have tried every grip, every position, etc. Nothing I do affects my signal.
    Your hands have to be sweaty in order to properly ground it out. Also, for all of you, read the article linked below .. there's also reference to the Pre in it.

    Apple Responds to iPhone 4 "Death Grip" Reports - Gearlog
  14. #14  
    Haven't had any problems reception wise.

    In fact, i'm seeing 3G download speeds around 3.5 mbps and uploads over 1 mbps. Pretty snappy.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by MilenkoD View Post
    It's an easy software fix...reprogram the icon to always stay at 5-bars...there, done.
    Heh, that's probably what they'll eventually do. From everything I'm reading on this, it is a glaring, pretty inexcusable design flaw plain and simple, and it's probably going to be affecting a lot of people, not just some. However the devout worshipers will still pretend there isn't an issue, as usual.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Heh, that's probably what they'll eventually do. From everything I'm reading on this, it is a glaring, pretty inexcusable design flaw plain and simple, and it's probably going to be affecting a lot of people, not just some. However the devout worshipers will still pretend there isn't an issue, as usual.
    Oh i dunno..go look at various fixes for the Pre. Stick paper in the battery cover, etc. If i have to use a case, then easy fix. But like i said, i'm not having any issues anyways. It's a killer phone.
  17. #17  
    Doesn't the fact that this shows up in the 3GS running iOS4 mean anything? Would everyone like to ignore that fact after claiming that it is only the iPhone 4? I already gave you one link to a video. It has friends, lots of them!

    I think most of you just want to enjoy the idea of a major design flaw in the new iPhone so that you can feel better about not having one. What will you say after the problem is fixed with a software bug fix? Enjoy the momentary gloating. The press certainly will. Heck, I agree that Apple should have caught it sooner and never let it get out in their big OS upgrade. They deserve some type of rebuke.

    By the way, those yellow blotches on some of the screens are just a result of the phones being released a couple of days prematurely while the adhesive cured. They will all clear up on their own. But once again, the media will say that it is a design flaw and get lots of page views until all the screens clear up. Certainly, Apple should have caught the problem and handled it better. They deserve some sort of rebuke. But in the end, these problems are just temporary, sensational headlines. Next week, when the headlines are gone, people will still be in line for a new iPhone. The line for the rest will be considerably shorter.
  18. #18  
    Apple has given the definitive word on the issue. It seems that both sides are correct. It IS a hardware issue. And it is an issue common to many phones to some degree. It was in previous generations of the iPhone, not just ones running iOS4. The iPhone 4 is not subject to any more dropped calls than another iPhone, less in many cases. It is still little more than a tempest in a teapot.

    I will say that if placement of the gaps is the issue, then Apple should have designed it differently to avoid the appearance of a problem. With so many people looking for something to complain about, Apple should have known better. Still, owning one of these and making lots of calls in my house that never has been able to hold a signal, I can say that the bars go down when I hold the phone, but calls do not drop any more often than before. In other words, it is a hardware issue common to many phones. But the issue only effects the perception, not performance in the real world. This story dies inside of a week.

    Apple responds to iPhone 4 reception issues: you're holding the phone the wrong way -- Engadget
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    #19  
    Oh my.. some much for phone iSex
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by dandbj13 View Post
    Still, owning one of these and making lots of calls in my house that never has been able to hold a signal, I can say that the bars go down when I hold the phone, but calls do not drop any more often than before. In other words, it is a hardware issue common to many phones. But the issue only effects the perception, not performance in the real world. This story dies inside of a week.

    Apple responds to iPhone 4 reception issues: you're holding the phone the wrong way -- Engadget
    The problem is, when the signal is way down in some areas, and this issue pops up, the call that's riding on an already weak signal will probably drop. Or you may not be able to make reliable calls. Of course this will affect some more than others (especially those in areas with weaker signal strength) but it is a rather serious problem nonetheless.

    With one bar wavering in and out, my Droid can hold a call with my hands all over it. I do it all the time at work as my office gets a very weak signal.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
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