AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

Jobs responds to iPhone reception, Wi-Fi sync concerns

updated 09:45 am EDT, Fri June 25, 2010

Owners should 'just avoid' signal-killing grip

Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, has written responses to two important questions asked the public, reports say. Replying to an e-mail complaint about iPhone 4 reception, which at least appears to die if the phone is held with a particular grip, the CEO stands behind a recent company PR statement. "Just avoiding holding it in that way," the entirety of Jobs' message reads.

The problem may not be unique to the iPhone 4, as it has recently been observed with both the iPhone 3G and the 3GS. The only element in common is believed to be iOS 4, which may be misreporting reception or otherwise leading devices to operate badly. Apple has promised a fix at some unspecified point in the future.

Jobs has also addressed the matter of Wi-Fi sync, a common request from owners of Apple handhelds. The convenience has become a more realistic option with the increase of 802.11n-capable devices, including the iPhone 4. A third-party app enabling wireless sync was rejected from the App Store in May. iPhones will "someday" be able to sync with Macs over Wi-Fi, Jobs promises, without offering any other details.

by MacNN Staff



  1. FireWire

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wi-fi sync

    And what about sync via bluetooth? The only way to sync is by plugging the phone by USB, which wastes a charging cycle of the battery. The other day I was demonstrating my phone to a friend, and at the same time wanted to show him the usefulness of Bluetooth, and I was ashamed that the phone I just paid 300$ for didn't even support that feature, while my 50$ phone from 2001 did... WTF? And while we're at it, why not make the Remote app work with BT in addition to Wi-fi? I don't have a wireless router so I can't control my music from the living room.. why include Bluetooth standard with every product you make if you're not going to use it...

  1. tcphoto

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    The email responses from Jobs show an arrogant and elitist attitude. He obviously thinks that we are stupid and cannot perform basic tasks without his assistance. I have been an Apple customer for sixteen years and am embarrassed most of the times Jobs makes a comment. I guess it's a good thing I am left handed and usually hold my iphone with my right hand. Give me a break...

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How the h3ll am I suppose to hold the phone if I don't hold it squarely in my palm?! This is just a classic example of bad design....sorry, Apple. I've bought tons of your products which are wonderful but this is stubbed toe...I suggest you find a fix or repair option because asking me to hold my phone like a crystal glass slipper is not the way I want to make phone calls!


  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Internet sync

    WiFi sync would be nice, but I typically want to charge when I'm syncing anyway. So this is not a killer feature for me.

    What would be really nice would be the ability to update apps and podcasts through the internet while I'm away from home. As it stands now, I can update one particular podcast at a time by following the Get More Episodes... button, which completely takes me out of the iPod app and into the app store. For those of us with multiple podcasts this is seriously cumbersome.


  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    this is an outrage

    i want to ba able to put the phone on the side and balance a key on the edge of it will talking on speaker phone. when are we gonna get something that works?

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Antennas and WiFi

    Commentor pairof9s is right. Other cell phones with external antennas always insulate them and even the engineers who developed my cheap-as-dirt Nokia had enough sense to put the internal antenna at the top, where it's in the clear. Apple, on the other hand, puts the critical junction between two uninsulated antennas right where most people hold their phones--in the palm of their left hand. Perhaps Apple needs fewer artists on its design team and more experienced engineers.

    The same is true of WiFi synching. There's no lack of apps for the iPhone that instantly auto-sync to comparable apps on Macs via WiFi or cellular connections. Several of my favorites do just that. But they use Google services or Dropbox to do it. It's hard to believe that a single guy in a garage can do something in a couple of weeks that mighty Apple can't deliver after three years.

  1. gudin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This appears to be an example of people specifically looking for a problem. According to Engadget, the iPhone 4 is actually better than earlier versions at this, and in any event it only occurs with one very specific grip covering both antennae and in areas with spotty coverage. The antenna is better than earlier iPhones in this and other respects. Oh, and it can happen with any phone if you hold it in such a way as to block the antennae.

    Anecdotally, None of my friends with iPhone 4s can reproduce this, and in any event does not occur if you have any sort of case, bumper, etc on the thing.

    Yes, a one liner email from SJ saying avoid holding it like that if there is an issue seems terse, but it was, after all, a one line email. Perhaps an email from an Apple Marketing guru would have made the receiver of the email feel less put off.

  1. Uncommon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doctor, it hurts when I do this!

    Then don't!

    I think it needs to be stressed that, as the article mentions, this problem is NOT unique to the iPhone 4. I can make it happen pretty reliably with my 3GS. Hopefully Apple's right and it's a software problem, and we'll soon have iOS 4.0.1 to fix it.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AT&T network partly to blame

    People have been able to reproduce this effect on not just the new iPhone but also the 3G and 3GS as well as other cellphones with integrated antennas while on the AT&T network. Guess what? I was unable to reproduce the problem to the same extent. I was able to bring my Fido connection down one bar from full signal using two hands 50% of the time when I attempted to reproduce it.

    Chances are that there are some bugs in how the signal is being displayed and in how the phone attempts to determine when to use more power for a weak signal in iOS 4. Since I'm on a strong networks up here in Canada, the bug is not going to affect me much if at all.

  1. stevesnj

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I just may wait till september or whenever the next WWDC is. Maybe we will see Verizon as a fix to the issues.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented