updated 09:25 pm EDT, Thu June 24, 2010
Attenuation common to all wireless phones
Apple has released a statement defending the iPhone 4 against claims of poor reception if the phone is held a certain way. The company suggests that gripping any phone, including the new iPhone, will "result in some attenuation" of antenna performance. The effect is said to be more pronounced in certain places, depending on the positioning of the antennas.
"This is a fact of life for every wireless phone," the statement reads. "If you ever experience this on your Phone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases."
Quickly after the handsets landed on the market, a number of users noted a significant drop in signal strength when the device was held in the hand. Further experimentation appeared to concluded that the problem was worsened if the fingers covered each of the three black bands on the frame.
The issue may be exaggerated due to an issue with iOS 4 that reportedly misrepresents the signal strength, causing the number of bars to suggest a weaker signal. Apple has promised a software update to address the issue, although a timeframe has yet to be announced. [via Gearlog]