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iPhone 4 software update will not address poor reception

updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue July 6, 2010

Update will only adjust the signal meter

As many iPhone 4 owners wait for a software update to address the handset's antenna reception issues, AppleCare staff have reportedly informed customers that the release will not provide a comprehensive fix for the antenna problem. As promised, the software revision will only modify the method for calculating signal bars in the iOS interface.

The AppleCare admission corroborates earlier reports suggesting the update will only provide a cosmetic change, rather than an increase in actual signal strength. Although the update is claimed to bring a more accurate system for representing reception, it is not expected to affect data speeds or voice calls.

Customers are still urged to hold the phone in a way that avoids contact with the black band on the bottom left corner of the frame. Using a case is also said to minimize signal attenuation, regardless of the preferred grip.

A leaked document suggests Apple is prohibiting its support staff from giving out free cases to frustrated customers, however the company has dropped its 10 percent restocking fee for the new device. Several law firms have initiated class-action lawsuits over the problem, each accusing the company of misconduct for releasing a defective product without fully resolving the problem. [via Gizmodo]

by MacNN Staff





  1. Donevan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Nothing here but retreaded old news with an added, uncorroborated anecdote from a Gizmodo. An anecdote that smells from the sour grapes stacked high in their offices.

  1. BigIslandMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Please get the story straight

    What exactly constitutes "many"? 10,000? 100,000, out of 1.7 million. The fact is you have no idea how widespread the problem is. However, given that most users seem to have no reception problems, and given that there have been few complaints in overseas markets, the issue is likely with ATT, and not the phone. Yes, I've seen the videos showing the bars going away, but if the signal is weak to begin with and, as Apple has admitted, the signal strength meter in faulty, then it is likely the effect of the so-called "death grip" is amplified when used in an area with poor reception. Many iPhone 4 users report that reception is far better with the new phone than with previous models, especially in areas with spotty ATT coverage. Finally, please stop reporting the nonsense about Apple dropping the restocking fee. Apple hasn't charged a restocking fee for iPhones since the release of the iPhone 3g, i.e., for two years. This has been pointed out by readers before, so there's no excuse for your sloppiness.

  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    heheh those are..

    expensive ipod touches :)

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Finally the truth.

    If you want a toy that can play thousands upon thousands of games, far7 apps, flashlight apps, beer apps,.... NOTHING CAN TOUCH THE iPHONE. IT HAS 300,000 APPS AND GROWING!!!!

    But if you want a REAL phone so adults can communicate reliably, GET SOMETHING ELSE.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The problem could mainly be with a faulty batch

    of iPhones combined with users that are in bad reception areas. It may not even be more than a couple of thousand iPhones that are having problems. But I'll still bet it has to do with some AT&T cell tower problems in the extreme cases. Out of the 2 million iPhones sold I'd make a guess there's only a small percentage of consumers that are suffering complete dropouts of calls. It's probably too early for Apple to come up with a precise answer. None of the negative blogging is going to have any effect on iPhone 4 sales.

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No problem here

    I just got my iPhone 4 today and try as I might I couldn't replicate the vanishing signal phenomenon. I use the diagnostic tool to give me the actual signal strength and I'm at about -79 everywhere in my house. This is about the same or better than my 3gs. I've made 10 calls so far and the quality is great with one dropped call to my daughter in New York as she walked through Union Square. That call lasted 14 minutes and the call quality was fine up to the point we got dropped.

    I think iphonerulez has it right. This is probably a problem with an early batch from one supplier. Apple should take some time to find the exact cause and replace any defective units. I'm sure that's what they'll do in the end.

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Saving pennies ...

    As someone has pointed out before, Apple is making a big mistake by not providing a free bumper to the people who have experienced the problem. The bumper costs Apple less than 10 cents to make (crazy that they charge $30 for it), so they should be giving them out to all those that are affected. This would be pennies spent upfront, to save millions in negative publicity. I don't care how bogus the complaint is, or how unreasonable the customer; Apple should show goodwill and some decent reactionary PR by giving out free bumpers; it'll pay big dividends in the long run.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can only sit back and sigh as the relatively small number of people, manly launch day & pre-order customers, are made out as a majority of customers having this issue.

    The truth is, that less than 10,000 units, all shipped to the US, have a missing coating on the steel case parts, all from one factory that apple hired last minute to fill demand and reduce reliance on 2 other factories, one of those being in the headlines recently. The same factory also shipped units with improperly calibrated proximity sensors.

    All of the problem units were manufactured before the june 24th launch date, no one has received any problem units since, so i suspect they fixed the issue right after the incomplete batch was let to ship.

    If you have one of the bad units, chances are you all ready returned it for a new one that works.

    Can we all move on to the next story, this one is stale.

    - A

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Sigh

    And where are you getting your information about 'only 10000' units?

    Amazing how stories of a problem need citation and proof, but you can respond that there is no real problem by just stating 'facts'.

  1. bamalady

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone 4 Sensor problem

    I haven't seen any press about the iPhone 4 sensor issue. I am very sure I am not the only one with the problem where the phone jumps from a blank screen when talking to mute or speaker or starts dialing another number.

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