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Reception problems not exclusive to iPhone 4?

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Thu June 24, 2010

May back possibility of software fix

The reception problems people are experiencing with the iPhone 4 are not exclusive to the device, a new video suggests. A number of reports have said that when gripping an iPhone 4 in a particular way, namely with part of the palm over the lower-left corner, that signal strength drops or disappears. Apple has claimed that the issue is traceable to software, not hardware, and that a fix is coming.

The video may back this, as it shows an iPhone 3G losing signal with a similar (but reversed) grip. The one common factor is claimed to be iOS 4, released on Monday, which may be misreporting reception. Some iPhone 4 owners have noted that even the handset shows low levels, they can make calls without a problem. Other people, conversely, have observed that calls may drop if the wrong grip is used.

Apple has not said when it might have a fix ready.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Easy software fix.

    Just permanently make more bars show on the display. They don't need to actually fix the reception.....

  1. Uncommon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If I hold my 3GS like in the video, the bars start dropping. Yikes.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Easy software fix

    Didn't Apple do that once with their wi-fi indicator in OS X?

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Signal detection etc...

    What i think it may be, is sluggish signal detection, taking a while to reflect the actual level of signal being received by the phone, combined with the phone not compensating for lost signal strength automatically by boosting antenna power therefore not displaying the correct number of bars. Absolutely software.

    The external antenna issue is separate, and is indeed caused by a faulty batch of phones where the insulating varnish has not been applied. Typically this varnish will last the life of the device it's on, unless purposely removed by sanding/grinding or chemical means. I also think the spots on the screen are from adhesive that has not fully cured, being quite fresh off the factory line (often less than 24 hours) into the end user's hand can have this effect, in fact some watches and other high end engineered products have had "too new to use" issues like this in the past.

    I feel bad for apple that a software issue and a minor manufacturing issue is tarnishing an otherwise unprecedentedly good launch. 600,000 units sold in one day the first day it could be pre-ordered, that has to be some kinda record. I wonder how much they will end up selling between the pre-orders, 24th, and 29th.

    I can't wait to get mine, and if it has any of these issues i will simply go to an apple store and swap out for new, no biggie.

    - A

  1. facebook_Boyd

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2010


    I duplicated problem on 3gs

    Was testing it today and my bars went from full to zero so it may have been there all along and never noticed or could be the software update.

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