updated 11:00 am EDT, Thu June 24, 2010
Signal drops may fixed by Apple update
Two main issues appear to be affecting new owners of the iPhone 4. The most critical of these, hinted at in early reviews, involves poor or completely absent reception when holding the device. In particular, covering the lower-left corner of an iPhone dependably forces 3G and even voice reception to disappear. This may make the handset especially hard to use for left-handed owners, at least without a case.
Apple has claimed that reception issues involve a software bug wrongly indicating bad signal, and that a fix is enroute. Because the iPhone 4 uses a new antenna design integrated into the edge, however, and covering part of the edge kills reception, concern has been raised that the flaw is inherent and could require a hardware revision. Cases, such as the bumpers sold by Apple, may provide a stopgap solution by preventing the interference caused by a hand.
Some owners are also reporting discolored screens, tinted yellow in spots, typically towards the bottom corners. The exact cause is unknown, but one person claims that the problem may be related to a chemical called Organofunctional Silane Z-6011, used to bond glass layers together. Units may be shipping so quickly after finishing production, the person suggests, that the Z-6011 has not completely evaporated. If so, the yellow spots should disappear after a day or two of active use.