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iOS 4.0.1 may tackle iPhone 4's antenna problems

updated 11:55 pm EDT, Fri June 25, 2010

iOS 4.0.1 could show early next week

Apple may already have a fix for the iPhone 4's allegedly overly sensitive reception as soon as next week. The company's support discussions have reportedly had mention of an iOS 4.0.1 update arriving at the start of next week that would fix the phone's baseband calibration by having it switch faster to the cleanest available cellular signal. Visitors to AppleInsider have claimed, however, that Apple has not only pulled the originating discussion thread but all other related talk for the upgrade.

A software origin for the hand position bug, nicknamed the "death grip" for its tendency to kill the cellular signal if the antennas are bridged, would explain how some have replicated the problem on the iPhone 3G and the 3GS. As iOS 4 changed the antenna's priority from the strongest possible signal to the most reliable, it may have changed that behavior for all phones, not just the iPhone 4.

Owners of the 3G MicroCell also support this through their lack of trouble; since the femtocell is always the most powerful cellular signal when nearby, iPhones always stay connected. The same behavior may likewise explain why some without MicroCells haven't had success replicating the problem, as any attenuation of the signal might not be enough to confuse the phone if the user is close to a good cell site.

Despite some speculation, Apple isn't unique in having attenuation hiccups as the Nexus One and even years-old phones have exhibited similar symptoms.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't have an iPhone 4, but I'd probably do

    some simple fix like cutting a small strip of duct tape to place over that area if it's a matter of touching the metal in a certain section if I was too cheap to buy a bumper case. Although, I'd probably just hold the phone differently in a pinch if it really was a matter of dropping calls. I still question how many users are having the problem to warrant such an outrage. I hope Apple is able to do some fix to appease the users if they really are having serious problems.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One batch....

    One batch of iPhone 4's left the factory without an insulating & protective varnish on the steel, i know several people with the device and they have no issues.

    - A

  1. OkieDoc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: One batch

    Then your friends might want to try freshly washing their hands, drying enough to not be frankly wet, and THEN trying the experiments all over youtube. I know that I tried over and over to reproduce it, and it was fine. But then when my hands were moist, it happens.

  1. duncang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes same problem on iPhone 3Gs with OS 4

    I have a 3GS and can confirm the signal drops when I hold the phone in my right hand. Seems fine if its in the left hand or if held very lightly - i.e. with fingers. Signal immediately returns when the phone is held lightly again.

    !! So it does seem to be an OS 4 thing not so much a problem with the physical nature of the phone itself.

  1. DeepDish

    Joined: Dec 1969


    had to exchange my new iphone 4 yesterday

    I had to exchange my shiny new iPhone 4 yesterday.

    I kept getting a No SIM Card error.

    I googled it and found other people having the same problem. Took the phone to the Apple store where I bought it.

    They acted like they never heard of the problem before yet exchanged my phone.

    I hope my error isn't too common and the new iiOS4.01 fixes this too.

    P.S. I don't know why I come back to this site so often. I am not sure why I post anything. I seem to always get down voted. I do miss the old original macnn site; those were happier days for me here.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Voted down...

    "P.S. I don't know why I come back to this site so often. I am not sure why I post anything. I seem to always get down voted."

    That's probably because you only post whines, rants, and complaints, like this very post which, by the way, is totally off topic.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah but....

    Apple will be certainly fixing this problem, whatever its cause. But will they be fixing the far bigger problems with iOS4 on the iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2g: the lack of music multi-tasking and bluetooth keyboards?

    The first president I remember well was LBJ and like many others I loathed him because his basic attitude was: "I'm lying, but that's OK. You're too stupid to figure it out." In three years him went from one of the greatest landslide wins in Presidential history to so little chance of winning in 1968 that he dropped out of the race. Nobody liked him because nobody trusted him

    I feel much the same about how Apple has handled the release of iOS4. There was big hype about what it could do, but a strange reticence to be clear about just what features would be available on which devices. Like LBJ, it appears they thought we were too stupid to figure out what would happen. iOS4 would be gutted for all but the latest and newest models to puff sales. Even the recently sold iPhone 3G and the low-end iPod touch still being sold wouldn't get much.

    And as with LBJ there was the lie. In LBJ's case it was the Vietnam War. For Apple, it's "inadequate hardware." iPhones have multi-tasked music since the beginning, but somehow the iPhone 3G, which handles iTunes quite fine as a background task, couldn't do the same for Paradox. The iPod touch 2g easily manages streaming stereo music to Bluetooth headsets, but somehow a few bits a second data stream from a Bluetooth keyboard would grind it to a halt.

    Yeah, sure. If Apple thinks we can believe that, then Apple really does think we're stupid.

    iOS4.1 needs to do what iOS4.0 should have done--provide adequate support for hardware a mere single generation back. If Apple can't do that, they Apple can't be trusted with our business.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Do you people really hold your iphone like that?

    When you are talking on the phone, do you really hold down at the bottom? I hold it up higher with my thumb on one side, index finger over the top and other fingers on the side.

    The picture shows someone holding it from the bottom but that would seem awkward when I'm actually talking into it.

  1. disturbo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Does anyone think that this could just be a stalling tactic that Apple is using to flush out the Dev-Team and their jailbreak?

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: had to exchange my new iphone

    Same here. 2 days ago, my iPhone 4 started stating that there was "No SIM card available". I'd hard reset and reinstall the SIM card which would help only temporarily. Finally I called Apple Support which stated that I should take it into an AT&T Center, which I did. They eventually replaced the SIM card. But 6 hours later, it happened again and now again this morning.

    I hate to have them replace the unit, which is my only phone, but it seems that will be the case... and of course, they have no iPhone 4 in stock until next week.


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