Apple's response to iPhone 4 antenna problem -- hold different

Engadget followed up with Apple regarding the issue of lost bars/reception when iPhone 4 is held with the left hand, connecting the two antenna bands in the lower left corner. Apple's response -- hold different:

Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.

Reports suggest doing either -- switching grips or putting on a case -- will let you avoid the problem, which Engadget reminds us is not isolated to the iPhone 4. But if previous iPhones and other devices like the Nexus One have similar issues, is that just a fact of life or an engineering problem that needs to be fixed?

What do you think?

[Engadget]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts

 

-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...

← Previously

iPhone 4 Jailbreak - when will it come and does it still matter?

Next up →

Switching from Windows Phone to iPhone 4? Here's what you need to know!

There are 145 comments. Add yours.

Max Bloom says:

This is why I buy Apple prodcuts. That is quite hilarious.
My phone has had zero problems with reception or this yellow blottage as some are getting. (knock on wood)

influenceuk says:

Don't get me wrong, i really like my new iPhone 4. However surely this should have been picked up during the test phases.
It makes me think that maybe Apple knew about this, thus released the "Bumper" cases which will add an extra £25 to the total cost of you new iphone.
Surely "Don't hold it that way" is not an acceptable response from a company that is respected for its quality in the past.

DoubleDown says:

What would happen if the lower left corner antennas were "connected" by something more conductive then skin ? Wet skin or a piece of metal ? Would that some how short out the antennas and make the phone useless ? I'd love to see some test videos.

talkin73 says:

Yikes. I saw the YouTube video of the phone consistently dropping when held in the lower left... probably more of a pain for all the southpaws but a bit odd nonetheless. Glad I held out on the first wave of these as I can't imagine Apple won't do something with the manufacturing to address this issue.

AndreaCristianoo says:

I have two new iPhone4 and neither exhibit this problem nor the yellow screen dots so I do not believe it is the way you hold it. I believe it's a software issue

Paul says:

Not had any issues with mine.

frozencloud says:

I find this hilarious. So it's my fault for holding my wrong, and not a build problem....hahahaha
Now in addition, now that almost everyone confirmed that the reception was much better on the iphone 4, is it safe to say that it wasn't entirely AT&T network problem with the earlier versions of the iphone, but rather how the antenna itself that cause for all the problems we had?
Whatever, I'm returning this piece of sh**...and wait for the droid x

JustinHorn says:

Are you ********* kidding me? I should return it, but I'm already selling my 3GS on eBay.

jazz1 says:

Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I move my arm. Don't move your arm. Thanks for the cure!

Chenzo5151 says:

It's doing it for me if I curl my hand around the bottom of the phone but my wife is having signal problems now with her 3GS when neither of us did in the past. Pittsburgh PA

firesign3000 says:

I can reproduce the dropping bar condition if I hold the phone in what to me is a really weird death grip. If i hold it normally, the way I've held every other cellphone I've ever owned (except for my first bag phone way back in the day) there is no issue whatsoever. Oh, and no yellow screen condition on mine either. Very happy with the 4 so far. Makes my 3G look like a piece of crap by comparison.

rob says:

look, everyone have looked at their phone and saw good signal, what ever the phone, then picked it up to find out the phone was lying to you. this is why people who are in good service have no problems.

DaJe says:

This is so dumb that they tell u how to hold your phone.

Troy Brown says:

I just love the hold it different or purchase our $30 solution to our known problem. Thanks

GinoDotCom says:

@Jazz1- LOL +1 how dare I use my new 2010 phone with my bare hands. I'm yet to pick up a 4, hopefully it won't be a problem for me. I'm a southpaw :(

excaliburca says:

Hold it differently? You shouldn't need to hold it differently; the phone should work whether you're right or left handed. That was a really inane response and Apple should fix the problem rather than deflect if it's being reported as a major issue.

excaliburca says:

And, by the way, my 3G can be held anyway you like and still gets great reception.

taylorh says:

Well, I always had to hold my iPhone 3G and 3GS a certain way to avoid losing signal. I don't see how this is any different than those. Those were more of a blocking signal issue, not a conductive/ground issue.
As long as Apple says there's nothing wrong with it an IT'S OPERATING AS EXPECTED then I'm happy. I always have or have planned to have a case anyway.

Webvex says:

Hold the phone delicately with your fingertips, at the top. That increases the chances you'll drop it and have to buy a new one. Ha!
In other words, for best reception, Apple recommends not holding your cell phone in your hand while using it.

Richard says:

That is an absurd response from Apple! Apple needs to recall the iPhone 4, mine will drop calls if I hold it in my left hand!

Dan says:

So fake. Come on people.

Droidlover says:

Droid + Verizon = great reception, open source os, no network issues. Love apple but got rid of two iphones for droids. Oh and swype FTW :D

Will says:

Job's reply is unacceptable. It's like telling the doctor that your arm hurts when you move it, and doctor replies "Don't move your arm". It's just unacceptable.
I'd expect a CEO from a respected company to explain about the problem, and willing to fix it instead of saying "Just avoid holding it in that way"!

Droidlover says:

@ rf9 too much koolaid. seriously if apple says it your good? you should get out more.

behrlover says:

If I were Steve Jobs I would have answered the question the same way. Just put a case on the damn thing and you will be fine.

Noodles says:

Apple are basically telling iphone owners to suck it up and deal with THEIR (Apples) design flaw. The email confirms it is not software related, the email is not fake. However, the issue is very real.

India says:

Yeah I think that email is a fake! But I do question if in fact that's why apple came out with those bumpers.

Andy says:

I must say this is disappointing. I have come to love Apple products because of the reliability in the products. This is a blow to my confidence in the company and this particular product. Only time will tell just how big of a blow it will be. I would expect this from HTC or Palm…but not Apple.
P.S. I hope “Just avoid holding it in that way” makes an appearance on SNL soon.

Raul L says:

What the problem? I did not know that iPhone users actually liked making phone calls. I thought that that was too 2006 for them...

behrlover says:

If your having a problem, than make a genius bar appointment asap, within 14 days of purchase you can go back in and get a new phone out of the box.
Also, the ones with the problem.. did you buy a case? A case would keep your hand from making physical contact with the antenna on either side. I didn't walk out of Apple this morning unless mine was in a bumper type case. I have been reading the comments from other sites on this all morning and that was the number one solution for this problem.... Put a case on it, whats so hard about that, and if you have further problems, go back and stop bitching.

Nick says:

Steve wants you to hold it "L" style cuz you know, thats the cool way to hold it. If you get that, you are just awesome :)

Sjobs says:

That's like Toyota telling it's customers just throw it in neutral when you want to stop. I got mine today and threw a bumper on it ASAP and no probs. Also no yellow. Maybe that was isolated to the people who got theirs two days early.

John says:

This is exactly why Im holding out until next year's model (when they work out the kinks and improve on this new model).
Wait for the iPhone 5. 8 Pixel Camera from Sony and issues with FaceTime will be not confined to Wi-Fi by then.

Jomale says:

The first thing I thought of when I read about the antenna problem is "use a Bluetooth headset". II love my new iPhone 4. Puts all other models to shame. I have had no problems. Thanks, Apple.

Will says:

@Ben - I disagree with you. I wouldn't like a case in my iPhone 4 because it would make it look ugly and maybe uncomfortable. Apple shouldn't force every iPhone 4 owners to change the way they hold it or get a case. It's just ridiculous. What Apple should do is to FIX the problem. The hardware problem. Fix it! So there wouldn't be any signal problem when the antenna band is touched.

Ryan prior says:

I feel like smashing mine to bits and mines got the case and it still doesnt work :@

migs says:

I look forward to seeing this for myself. My current 3GS (and 3G before that) does the same thing when I'm in an area without a strong signal. When I'm in areas that I know have weak signal issues I make sure not to touch the lower half of the phone and the connection improves. I'm wondering if this is something that has been an issue even on the old models with the internal antennas. Keep in mind this only happens in areas with sketchy signal. Either way I was hoping for something better this time around.

Mark Lamb says:

This is not limited to a conductive issue. I put on thick insulated rubber gloves and held it with my left hand (which is more common for a right handed person) and BOOM!............... No signal

Fred Henderson says:

This is a serious question:
How many people who are here complaining about Apple not fixing the problem actually have an iPhone4 AND actually have this problem? Yes, it's not right of Apple to react like this, but on the other hand is this really a widespread problem or maybe it only effects a handful (relatively speaking) of phones?

Eric says:

I'm going to be returning my iPhone now. I've had every generation but this is unacceptable. Anyone know how the 30 day return policy works with the new AT&T contracts we had to sign to get the cheaper price? I'm assuming those are terminated if you return within 30 days as well?

Fraydog says:

Hold the phone lightly... like a bird in your hand. Tight enough it won't fly away, light enough you won't choke it to death. I wish I could make up comedy material like this, but Apple provided it all to me with these e-mails.
On another note, everything else about this phone is awesome. I just want them to move the antenna back internally, maybe also come out with a revision with both HSPA 14.4 and Ev-Do Rev. B/Sv-Do for both CDMA and UMTS carriers.

Dimwit says:

Droidloser, go away and troll at palm central. When you can surf the web over cellular data while making a phone call you can talk trash about how your network is better. I have not had any more or less dropped calls or network coverage with my iPhone than any other phone/network combo.

Dimwit says:

And now from the company that taught you to "Think Different"...
"iPhone 4: Hold Different"

cardfan says:

No problems here. I'm seeing better reception.

Droidlover says:

Call me when you have signal...better yet you can skype me or even give me a video ca .... Oh thats right, theres not an app for that on 3G

Rod1403 says:

I haven't had any problems with my iphone 4. Maybe I should go on the fandroids fourm, and say I'm having problems with a droid that I don't even own.

Fraydog says:

Dimwit,
That's nice to know but not much help for those in non 3G areas or those in bad AT&T areas (NY, SF ring a bell?) You cannot talk and surf at the same time on GSM, you can only do that on UMTS. I don't appreciate Fandroids using this as an opportunity to attack Apple, but let's not defend a bad UMTS carrier who cannot properly deploy anyway.

Dimwit says:

Maybe you have trouble reading. I have no problems with network service. And I can see my screen outside. And I can recieve an email while I'm talking to the person sending it to me. And there will be plenty of apps to send video over the net. And I can edit video without having to use a computer. And you're still a loser.

Fraydog says:

Droidlover, you may as well shield yourself with Verizon, that's the only thing you really have going for you anyway. I doubt you've even seen the iPhone 4 up close yet.

Crayolaboi says:

I don't have an iPhone 4 myself but a woman at work has one. I had to see if I could reproduce this. She got her phone on 23rd so early batch. I couldn't get the phone to lose full signal for the life of me. My 3gs which I got in OCT of last year gets perfect signal except when on my hip at my friends house. My friends phone acts the same, her fiancé on the other hand has an old 3g that sometimes GETS signal. Pretty much has to rely on skype over wifi.

Pinny says:

This is really annoying - the normal way I hold it totally shuts down the antenna. My case is coming tomorrow, so hopefully it will fix the problem. I LOVE the new iphone 4, but I can't keep it if it doesn't work.

Blaque says:

I found a solution. Lay the phone on a styrofoam block and do multiple touches on the screen while talking. Oh wait thats the awkward mess somebody went through to try and find a problem with an Android superphone. Nevermind.

green says:

i'm surprised it didn't occur to people earlier then this. when apple release the spec aspect stating that the steel band would be around the iphone and act as an antenna didn't this thought come up? i'm sure thats why apple made the bumper phone cover..imho they should have included it in the box for free like how asian cell phone store places would throw in a free cell phone cover with purchase and contact.
and of course the antenna is on the bottom, the top would be closer to your head.

Dimwit says:

Fraydog, I agree that AT&T MUST get better. I'm just tired of all the fandroids acting like V* is so much better. Edge is only slightly slower than V's 3G. My point was simply that I haven't noticed a service difference between AT&T, Sprint, verizion, or friggin' Boost for that matter.

migs says:

Just did this on my 3GS and same thing... solid grip around the bottom half of the phone for about half a minute leads to no bars. Release the phone and again wait about 30 seconds and once again full signal. I think a lot of us know this is how its always worked but it still sucks that it wasn't fixed with the new design. I learned a long time ago if i want to talk on my iPhone not to hold it with a solid grip but rather just thumb (left side), index (top), and middle finger (right side). I'm not defending Apple but this isn't a new thing in my experience. I've had several non Apple phones which required me to learn special techniques of holding in order to improve reception in areas of weaker signals. Again this sucks, but I don't think its something specific to this model iPhone or mobile phones in general (even though many phones do get much better reception).

Fraydog says:

Yes, but that argument can be made redundant with LTE. Verizon, to their credit, has really promised to open things up and accelerate 4G deployment. I thought their newfound commitment to GSM and LTE was vaporware but they're seriously pushing forward here. Long term, they hold more spectrum and offer a better path forward. Short term, the implementations of CDMA suck but Verizon has won big investment bets before like FiOS for example.

Dimwit says:

I wonder if black electrical tape over the steel band would be enough to solve the issue. Ot would be easy enough to trim to fit well, wouldn't be as bulky as a case, would be cheap. The only downer in this whole thing is I like the way the iPhone 4 looks nekkid.

behrlover says:

@Will - Well that will not happen, the phone is out to the public and this is it. If your unhappy you have 14 days of purchase to return the device.
As for cases on the phone, I believe I want protection on my phone other than feeling it it will, "look ugly". Good luck to you with it, but this too just shows that not everyone will be happy.

ZC says:

Hurry, buy this "magical and revolutionary" case to make more money for Apple based on Apple's own problem. Talk about a cult...

Droidlover says:

In all seriousness I have seen an iphone4 up close and I can't say its bad at all and there is room for everyone at the party. What I like the most besides big red ischoice and apple/iOS4 doesn't give enough options for me. Themes...yep, tether w/o jb...yep, unltd data...yep, swype...yep, regular updates...yep, last but not least NFL network 24x7 and sling over 3g...yep! All about the choices for me.
Think about it

Dan says:

god , droid fanboys are by far the worst of all kinda. first off even tho the bars are representing dropped signal , my call quality / dropped calls have been perfect.
when the droid fixes the what looks to be 10 hz refresh rate on their handsets they will be worth talking about.

brian1269 says:

So let me get this straight. Did the main guy at Apple just respond to an obvious major design flaw in the new $300 phone I just bought by implying that it was my fault for holding it the wrong way? Are you serious?
"Just avoid holding it in that way." You know, the casualness in which he says that makes me want to ring his scrawny little neck.

WaLky ChaLky says:

It's funny to see the android fanbois argue with the iPhone fanbois as if they actually have a shot at changing each other's mind. Who cares what phone everyone else has? Buy the phone YOU like and stop worrying so much about everyone else.
P.S. Droid fanbois automatically look more pathetic for actually coming on an iPhone blog for the sole purpose of bashing. Sam goes for the iPhone fanbois on the devoid blogs...

Dawn J Majors says:

Why is everyone complaining so much? Apple made a nice promo video showing precisely how the iPhone 4 should be held! http://bit.ly/ThatsWhatHeSaid

irish2509 says:

i havent noticed any dropped bars or signals on mine, calls are clear as they were with verizon

Hodgez says:

My signal is great no matter how I hold the phone. That might be because I'm homeless and live underneath a cell phone tower.

Josh says:

I haven't got my 4 yet. My buddy got his today. I held it in my left hand as normal without a case. Lost all bars within 30 seconds . I then held it from the top and all 5 bars came back. I could not get my 3GS to do the same. The 3GS is also on 4.0
The way I hold my phone is the precise way to lose all bars on his iPhone 4
Not impressed. I'll keep my 3GS and sell the 4 on eBay and wait until a new phone comes out. Apple should be ashamed......

kmichalec says:

I'm sorry, but F*ck You Steve, you arrogant a$$! I wanted an iPhone 4.0 to replace my current 3G, but not anymore! Not after seeing your response. The absolute disdain you hold for your customers to treat us like we're dumb children is shocking. I guess living in your ivory tower has gone to your head, and you forget who's paid for all that wealth you have. Us. Your customers. Or should I say, former customers.
I was able to reproduce this issue 4 times in a row, on my friends brand new 4.0 that he let me play with today. It is an issue. It doesn't do it instantly all at once. It takes about 10-15 seconds to start reducing the signal, and then it goes down about one bar at a time each 3-4 seconds, so after about 30 seconds, is when it's down to 1 or no bars, but it does do it.
Please, people...don't let him get away with this crap. Teach him a lesson. Hold off on your purchase of a 4.0 until they recognize that it's an issue and that they need to do something about it. I'm not saying don't buy one (as I think it's a great device otherwise), but it obviously needs to be fixed, and if we just keep accepting the flaws from their obviously less than stellar QA team, and we buy it anyways and "settle" for the flaws, then he has no reason to do anything about it. But hold off on purchasing it, and hurt their profits, and I'm sure it will suddenly become an issue worth fixing.
Remember, he's the one who made the claim that with the Antennae on the outside, the signal would be BETTER. We didn't make that claim. The reviewers didn't make that claim. He did. He should be held accountable for that...

Tim says:

I can't see how people can still believe that this could possibly be a software issue. Its quite obviously a hardware issue, and one that seems to have existed even in the 3GS, (though probably easier to inadvertently cause with the exposed metal bands of the iPhone 4). OS Software cannot behave differently based on how you hold a phone... it may exaggerate fluctuations in reception, but given people seem to be reporting call drop outs, not just loosing bars, it seems pretty obvious to me this can't be a software issue....

Icvos says:

Uh-oh. It's happening with a thick case as well!!! This will be the end of the iPhone reign just like Toyota. What a shame. :(

mediyoga#IM says:

I agree. Steve is arrogant. They think everyone will buy their products. For once I think we should show solidarity and not rush for the phone. I have a 3gs and will wait to see how things resolve. Customer is king- we should stick to this as we are justified. After all , we are not asking for the cloud- only give me a phone that works!

Mom of Naax2 says:

Took my case off and tried it. Sure enough bars started dropping left and right, however the page I was downloading still came up just fine. Curious.

mediyoga#IM says:

The beginning of the end of Apple?

brian1269 says:

I agree with Kevin 100%. I have never been a big Apple fan, but when I got my 3G two years ago, there was nothing better so I bit the bullet and got it. And although there are multiple issues and the lack of simple current features that are maddening, I have overall found it to be excellent.
And even though the 4 is not everything it should be (no 64GB, no HDMI out, no way to modify the way certain things look like those ridiculous stupid SMS talk bubbles) I think it compares favorably with the best Android phones. So I re-upped with AT&T and made the $300 purchase.
And now we find out that a simple thing like holding the phone in your hand causes it to lose signal? How could Apple not discover this in testing? And how is it going to fix the problem? These are questions that have to be answered, beyond an insulting response to an e-mail telling the user to hold the phone differently. Better make this right, Apple.

mediyoga#IM says:

It only shows what respect Apple has for its customers. None at all I guess. I hope Apple is reading these comments.

John says:

I lose signal when i hold the phone as well, but it only happened to me today in on city, when i went 50 miles over to my home the it was an issue. If your not experiencing this now, it may come up when you go to a different city.

mediyoga#IM says:

In India we have a saying" Guy fell down on his face but yet says the mud did not stick on to his mustache"-----
Maybe Apple does not have a mustache---

Karen says:

Wow... the sky is falling!
Overract much? It's an effing antenna.
Just don't hold it that way.

iPhone4GPlanet.com says:

LOL - 'uh, hold different. solved.'

Dunpizzle says:

It's 2010 you shouldn't be holding phones no more.....
In all seriousness, it sucks and is kinda cool in a way. Now whenever I'm trying to get off the phone I have the ultimate technique. Too bad I'm left handed and almost always hold it lefty.

dloveprod says:

I wasn't expecting that answer, they need to take the price of that bumper down to 9.99 or include them with the phone

Justin says:

I have an iPhone 4, cannot reproduce the problem, and have better reception than ever.

John says:

It doesn't matter which way you hold it man, the fact is it lose's reception when you pick it up. Nintendo used to work too, you just had to blow in it 100 times, spit in it and try over and over again than pray it didn't freeze half way through, but this ain't no Nintento and we aren't in the 1990's.

grat says:

Well... obviously, Apple will release the Apple 4G, with the band rotated around so that the gap is at the top of the phone-- and they'll claim it has improved signal reception for fewer dropped calls.

Dorito says:

Rene, reading your bio and then reading sjobs@apple.com email...I am confused. Because in your bio you stat "embraced the convergent future with the iPhone." Is this the future? Lost of signal because you hold the phone in your hand? Maybe crAPPLE will come out with a bluetooth that you all can buy. Maybe bluetooth is the future...no wait...we have had bluetooth since 1999...just like flash. Enjoy your wonderful iPhone with ZERO bars. HA

mediyoga#IM says:

This is what is called unethical business practice. They dont have a conscience-------------they only have an iphone----

kmichalec says:

Sure Karen. You're right. How should I hold it? Care to show me? Maybe I should hold it with one index finger on one side, and my thumb on the other, and all my other fingers sticking up and out like I'm having "a spot of English tea". Then, when it slips out of my hand, and drops on the ground and cracks, I can email Steve, and he can tell me that it's true that I was holding it differently, but it still wasn't the "correct" way that he meant, and he can then tell me not to drop it next time, since it's obviously my fault.
Sorry, I shouldn't have to change the way I hold a phone (the way I've held one since I first got a mobile phone back in 1995) just so that this new version works correctly. It's just asinine to tell someone to do that.

xianshell says:

Has anyone tried to see if print or TV media would pick up this story and perhaps compel Apple to respond?

keynatl says:

Blah blah blah that's all Apple is hearing from you guys.... they are still making money off the iphone 4 as we type these useless complaining comments.... suck it up and buy a bumper! although I do think they should come down on the bumpers tho but even that would be a problem because the people who previously bought one would complain about the price drop

Dorito says:

You iSheep people make me laugh! You just got the best product the world has ever known…EVER! AND all you can talk about is how to hold the phone so you don’t drop a call. Really? 600,000 pre-sales. Best product ever and we are talking about how to hold the phone. Maybe you should give Android a try. At least you would drop a call and you would be talking about how cool your new Android phone is. Enjoy your wonderful state of the art device by crAPPLE.

Andy says:

...I'm gonna have to agree with Kevin (post #19) 100%.
It's really sad that all the Apple iSheep keep following this guy without holding him accountable to crap like this... it's like all the iSheep trade in their spines when they purchase an iPhone.. people, wake up and grow a pair..

Dorito says:

HTC Evo the only phone with 4G is a better phone than you iPhone

Macboy74 says:

Lol like I said in other posts. The same thing happens when you hold the 3GS in the palm of your hand and grip it around the whole phone the single goes from 5 to 0 bars. And when you release it or not hold it like your crushing it. The signal goes right back to 5 bars. No matter I don't have this problem with the phone 4 or no yellow spot either so whatever.

Shrike says:

Can you guys grow up a little? Actually, take this opportunity and learn something?
This is just the basic fact of reality. A person's will degrade signal quality in virtually all modern cell phones as they all have embedded antennas. When you have it against your head, the antenna is basically enveloped by the big bag of water that is your head and the small bag of water that is your hand. This will degrade signal quality a few decibels.
Most phones will have an optimum way to hold for good signal quality. Yes, even Android phones must follow physics and its signal quality will degrade if you cup it and place it against your head.
If iPhone 4 buyers can't live with this fact, their only choice is to get a cell phone with a downward telescoping antenna which don't exist in the market, or deny reality.
For example, I've got a Speck case for my 3GS which by itself degrades signal quality by about one bar. It's a trade off I make to protect the phone vs having better signal quality. All hefty cases will do this.
Some of you are acting like you just learned Santa Claus doesn't exist and are mad at the world.

Ray says:

Pathetic. Thats the worst response i have ever read. Mine is having the same issues.

kmichalec says:

That's cool, Macboy15. I'm glad yours works for you (not being sarcastic, I'm being serious!). However, one thing to keep in mind, is Apple changed the feel of the phone, made it heavier, made the front and back out of glass, and got rid of the rounded edges on the back. So, actually, in my opinion, it doesn't feel as secure in my hand as my 3G does. So, naturally, I'm going to hold it a little tighter (at lease at first), to keep from dropping it. Hence, another reason I would want to hold it more securely with my entire hand, and therefore, causing signal issues. It's a catch 22, really. Hold it looser, and you might drop it. Hold it tighter, and you lose signal.

kmichalec says:

Shrike. I understand your position, and I agree that some signal degradation is expected. I could accept losing a bar, maybe two. But this goes from 5 bars to 1 or 0. I'm sorry, but that's not acceptable in my opinion.
And what do you mean Santa Claus doesn't exist???!??!?! Who's been leaving me all those lumps of coal all these years? ;-)

Macboy74 says:

Lol like I said in other posts. The same thing happens when you hold the 3GS in the palm of your hand and grip it around the whole phone the single goes from 5 to 0 bars. And when you release it or not hold it like your crushing it. The signal goes right back to 5 bars. No matter I don't have this problem with the phone 4 matter of fact I get better reception then my 3GS or no yellow spot either. So whatever.

Dorito says:

Kevin, you could drop the phone let it break and then buy an HTC Android phone. This you wouldn't have any issues and be enjoying life! Think about it. What has Steve done for you lately?

dloveprod says:

It does the same thing with my 3gs with the case off, except I gotta cover the whole back of the phone

Walky Chalky says:

Found this over in apple forums:
Yes, the signal degrades to the point that I lose all connectivity, rendering my iphone 4 useless until I set it down. I have also been informed that I am missing calls. I called Apple and they set me up with an appointment to get a new iphone 4 on Friday. They believe that when some of the phones were manufactured...some of the antenna's were not properly seated. Hopefully the swap out will resolve the issue. Otherwise we have a HUGE blooper.
Wonder if this could be the issue...

Gabriel says:

Annopen letter to Steve Jobs:
I am a person Who lives on a fixed income. I have full blown AIDS. Who knows when I will die. The slightest illness could kill me. Apple products are one thing that in love. I resign a $100 a month 2 yr contract with ATT and pay 209$ for ur new phone, to be told to hold it different way!!! Yoru kidding me! What happens if and when I lose the ability to use that hand?! Oh and the other option, by a case. Like your over priced one, that seems like you knew about this issue before releasing the phone. This is appalling! I lose all bars every time I have put this to the test. FIX THIS! Maybe give me that "bumper" to fix it. This phone is going back if something isn't done and I'm not paying ur restocking fee!!! 
Gabriel Schroeder
    
Sent from my iPad

Chad says:

Who holds their phone like that anyway?

David says:

they should test with other phones..but still the iphone 4 made it so you can easily affect its reception.

Jason says:

Yea man, thats a shame if this is a persistent/permanent hardware flaw. All that R&D and Apple couldn't catch something like this? Like damn, and to bring it to the public. Not coo' Apple, not coo' at all. I guess i will be returning it tomorrow and thinking of heading to android central

Skylersapp says:

I have a 3GS and have ALWAYS had it in a case. I therefore never have had dropped call issues. As of all of this iPhone 4 business, though, I decided to take it out and try it naked. Sure enough it does the EXACT same thing. I tried it a few different times throughout the day and in different levels of coverage and EVERY time I held it a certain way, I'd drop signal. Maybe it's a bit more prevalent on the iPhone 4, but if you'll take a naked 3G or 3GS you'll see it does the same thing. And maybe Apple shouldn't try to make people buy cases or whatever but how many of you iPhone 4 owners that upgraded and aren't using a case actually never had a case on a previous iPhone? Something that expensive that lacks insurance surely isn't just bouncing around in your pockets/purses unprotected. I really don't think this is as big of a deal as it's being made to seem. But that's just my personal experience and opinion.

Nerdalot says:

That is seriously messed up! What a lame answer from Apple! Ugh!

logesh says:

Note to Apple:
Instead of "Just avoid holding it that way" - how about "Just test it properly"?

Adam says:

It"Hold it differently, or buy one of our many available cases"
Wow. Thanks, Apple. It's Nintendo all over again. "It's the Wii! It's awesome! Here's the remote. Oh wait, you need the analog stick to play 95% of the games. Don't worry, we have that. Just give us $25 more."
I mean, really? Give me a gd break. I paid $300 for the thing, is it so horrible I want it to work? Thanks, but I'll buyh a MyFI and use my 2-year-old ipod touch.

zero credibility says:

this is the first time i can't see apple point ... i mean wtf ? couldn't they have just covered the antennas with a transparent covering to fix this ?

Michael Denney says:

I do have an iPhone 4 - got it this morning around 9 am and I can go from 5 bars to 1/0 with holding it by the lower left corner or using something metal.
I'm going into the apple store tomorrow to get a bumper to see if it helps and if it does I'll be happy because my finger is getting sore from the sharp edge anyways.

sting7k says:

Unfortunately this is not acceptable. Now they tell me how I have to hold the phone to use it!?! I can hold my 3G anyway I want and it does not display the bar dropping/data connection loss that the iPhone 4 does.

Ojabe says:

Does someone smell a class action law suit in the air?? And why is it that other companies would have listed the "wrong way" to hold the phone due to the antennae placement in their manuals? I dont see it anywhere on the apple website. Doesn't everyone remember seeing diagrams in Nokia manuals depicted "don't touch here". ?

Henry. L says:

I'm a huuuuuuge fan of apple I have iphone 3g, 3gs and ipad. and going to buy iphone 4 and macbook as well. I love apple product veeeeeery much. But this issue is apparently Apple's mistake that they didn't test iphone 4 properly. If they want to go through it, they should recall iphones or give customers "bumper" for FREE to prevent this stupid problems. HOLD DIFFERENT? MAKE DIFFERENT!!!!!

Fraydog says:

When I get my iPhone 4 I'm testing it at the Apple Store and making sure that I do not have a defective unit. If you can reduce your signal from 5 bars to 0 and you have issues sending and receiving calls, you have a defective unit. Don't buy a bumper to fix it, make Apple replace the unit to get it right. After all, for what we pay, we deserve to have a device that, at the least, works.

bergman says:

Lower left? Lower right? I see the same gap in the lower right. Are they really saying that left handed vs right handed makes a difference? I'd like to hope that this was just a manufacturing issue and we'll get replacement like the one earlier comment. using bumpers or a case is unacceptable. I like my iPhone naked. It fits in an in car holder without a case.

Kate says:

Interesting enough, I just checked my 3GS and it does the same thing. I would have never noticed until someone told me though...

DaHui623 says:

New iPhone 4 owner: Steve, I love this phone! But whenever I hold it in my left hand I lose 3G signal and drop calls. There must be something wrong.
Steve Jobs: Impossible. The problem lies with you.
Owner: But this is happening to everyone else, too.
Steve: The solution is simple.
Owner: Really?
Steve: Yes, hold it in your other hand.
Owner: But I like holding it in my left hand.
Steve: Not any more you don't. Now get out of here before I send the police to raid your home.

frozencloud says:

It's funny how many android ppl on here bashing the phone, they are partially right. I'm left handed, so this naturally affect my uses of the phone.
With that email posted, im starting to think what has been mention for months is true....all reception/signal problem with my 3gs was prolly due to a hardware error rather than AT&T signal. My co-workers have the same service but a blackberry. while their phone have service mine dont. of course, att service isnt the greatest, but it's possible that the iphone hardware design added more to the problem.
So with iphone 4, i gave it another chance. but after this signal thing started to happen, and the best Steve job could say is hold it a different way....i had enough of it. I dont see why i should cough up more money for a bumper when it's the company flaws.
but I’m returning this thing and wait for an android phone, no point putting up to this bs. and if other user could put up with this bs, then find a way to make ur phone work, but i had enough of this bs.

Luc Richard says:

Just talked to the CEO of GM about my car slowing down randomly and braking, here's his response,
"Don't hold the steering wheel"

Calculus II says:

The reception bar is definitely affected by the way you hold it but for the most part I dont have any problems performance wise. This is Apple and AT&T were talking about. Get over it.

Andrew says:

Hey guys i just wanted to let you know i dont think its the phone. My reason is if your outside you cannot get it to drop one bar. If you continue holding the phone and walk inside then it starts decreasing. All the tests out there are done from inside there house. I think att's network is weak or haveing trouble with all the activations. I just wached a video that showed a nokia doing the same thing on att. What you think?

RagedUSMC says:

Andrew....You said exactly what i was going too...I was having the same issue indoors, when ever i held the phone i would loose bars..but not the quality of the call, that was always clear. But when i am outside, i do not loose any bars what so ever, unless obviously i am in a bad area, not because of how i am holding the phone!

Ed Mann says:

Oh I see . . . It's our fault.

Drunk says:

I have this problem too, waiting for a fix... or a rebate or something.

Hammer says:

Some of you claiming it's only the signal bars, or it's AT&T, or it's only inside, and that the actual call quality is unaffected are DEAD WRONG according to my personal experience.
I have seen this signal problem in every conceivable situation EXCEPT for when I am in a VERY STRONG 3G area...otherwise without my case, the iPhone would be useless in any fringe area holding it in my left hand cradled like I have done for a decade!

Christinschu says:

What! I never noticed on my 3G, but I always have horrible reception, maybe it IS becuase of the phone/holding it situation. I'm gunna find out. I've been blaming att's coverage this whole time.

FlapiPhone says:

I just got a Gelli Case from Casemate and it does appear to eliminate the fading reception issue when the iPhone 4 is hand held around the antenna band. This sounds like a clever Apple trick to get people to invest in cases for their devices, (i.e. Apple iPhone 4 bumpers) when has Apple ever offered a case for their devices?

TX Mike says:

You can buy an expensive bumper case from Apple to cover the edge antenna.

  • or -

Cheap man's solution: use the thick blue rubberband from a broccoli bunch and stretch it over the stainless steel edge!

The real truth says:

@droidlover. U are the biggest form of a loser there is. just use your droid and be happy. That being said, shouldn't this be happening with every phone? I don't have one though a friend does and neither of us can seem to recreate this.

jimbo says:

Maybe Steve should update, um, every marketing picture and ad Apple has, since virtually all of them show the phone being held with the lower left corner covered.
http://i.imgur.com/zAJ0y.jpg

Irish Charlie says:

I'm so glad Steve could come down off of his "High Horse" long enough to scold his consumers for holding his phone the wrong way.
Heil SJ!!!

aurelgrd says:

Like Steve Jobs (and Wozniak), I'm left-handed, and thus hold it the "right" way, unlike pairs of scissors or can-openers.

Darrkman says:

Sprint Evo and Verizon Droid Incredible don't drop calls. Oh and I'm sure the Motorola Droid X won't drop calls either.
Better phones on better networks, stop being iSheep and upgrade.

the real truth says:

@darrkman
Why do you even care what kind of phone anyone else uses?

Jeff says:

Why does the public need to change the way they hold their phones? Should a phone make not keep that in mind when designing one? And what is this business about spend more money and put it in a case? If that is the answer then why put so much time into designing the phone if it is going into a case. Why not just build one around a case.

Jeff says:

I also like how apple disabled their online chat support. Why would you do that if your products work as they should?

The real truth says:

@Jeff
Can u please put your posts in English as opposed to gibberish? It would help. Thank you.

Amit says:

I am planning to buy iPhone soon but now it wud be better for me to wait. One think we don't understand why apple not accepting their manufacturing issue and just tell people true facts and accept it. Give people assurance of their product quality and come out with solution if they want to maintain their status as a great company with excellent product range. Else, people will easily start moving to other side which i beleive apple don't want. Thank you.

bjj says:

Walky Chalky did replacing the phone fix your reception problems because i have the same issue.

Baby says:

There is always perceptibly a good bundle towards realize about this. We suppose you've made various attractive points inside characteristics as well.

PRWeb Alternative says:

I have to say that for the last few of hours i have been hooked by the amazing articles on this website. Keep up the great work.