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< >

Rumor: Apple releasing iOS 4.0.1 next week?

iPhone 4 hold different

Apple Insider is reporting that, before being removed, a thread in the Apple Discussion Forums confirmed iOS 4.0.1 was being readied for release next week to address bugs -- including the dreaded antenna "hold different" issue (or "death-grip" if you prefer).

iOS (iPhone) 3.0.1 was released July 31, 2009. 2.0.1 was August 4, 2008. 1.0.1 was was July 31, 2007. So next week for 4.0.1? Unusual.

If real, that's good news in that 1) Apple is moving quickly and 2) the reception problem is software related, which means its much easer to fix.

Meanwhile the New York Times Bits blog has a theory as to why Apple didn't discover this problem before the iPhone shipped - at Apple HQ the signal was strong, and when it was taken outside HQ for test, it was in that case that disguised it as an iPhone 3GS -- and insulated the antenna. Ironic much?

So in the spirit of hope we're keeping our eyes -- and mouse-clicks -- peeled for updates... You?

[Apple Insider, NYT Blogs]

Rene Ritchie

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

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Rumor: Apple releasing iOS 4.0.1 next week?

99 Comments

"If real, that’s good news in that 1) Apple is moving quickly and 2) the reception problem is software related, which means its much easer to fix."
Not necessarily. They may just release an adjustment that alters how the status bars react to signal drop - not actually fix the problem itself - just the display of the problem.

First...I have no problem with the antena issue. I think the media is blowing it out of proportion.

I don't think the death grip is software related. Would be interesting to do a test and see how reception is in both strong and weak areas with both versions of software once 4.0.1 is released. What's the best they can do? Disable one antenna? Might compromise quality???

man i havent even got the iphone4 yet an there is a new software update comming next week......

I wonder if this will also help out the 3G users who (like me) upgraded to iOS4 and were severely disappointed in how sluggish it made the phone. I've got a two year old 3G and iOS4 basically turned it into a brick. Slow texting, terribly slow app launch, several crashes to home screen, nearly every problem in the book. I finally was able to downgrade back to 3.1.3, but I do miss folders. Considering jailbreaking (since I never have) until my parents decide to upgrade me to the 3GS.

I've noticed signal issues since updating to iOS 4. I'm using 3GS. Perhaps it is software related?? Or just could b AT&T Ho-hum network! Lol

I can produce the exact same signal loss with my 3GS, so I think that it effects every iPhone not just the new iPhone 4.

Im definatly having the antenna issues, im up in the air on trying to return phone , any ideas , suggestions, or opinions on what to do?

Aka the Placebo patch wherein people will actually believe a software update can fix a hardware issue, and will believe Apple did it- and trust it does work even while it doesn't. Seriously people will disbelieve things they can see if an authority tells them they aren't seeing it

Favorite comment at tech crunch:
I see a whole new marketing campaign for Apple.
Dropped calls in San Francisco?
Avoid going to San Francisco.
Playhouse Disney (or other flash site) doesn't work in the browser?
Avoid going to that site.
Screen gets smudged?
Avoid touching the screen.

I too doubt they can fix this with software. Antennas are hardwired to the radio modules.
Ture, that radio module has more than one one antenna. The radio chip might be re-programmable to switch to a different antenna, but this would be sub-optimal.
How did this phone get out of the lab?

Again, using 3GS, sitting in the exact same spot holding phone the exact same way and my signal will go from full bars to 1 little tick of a bar...back and forth. Not sure if it's AT&T or the software, either way it sucks. I'm starting to think software cause I can't recall it doing this until I upgraded to iOS 4.

They'll probably release GameCenter (Removed from GM->Full Version) to the general public aswell.

Hey Dave, it's real. Mine does it and I can reproduce it 100% of the time. I'm talking about dropped calls and "No service" being displayed. I met a guy as Starbucks today who is in the same boat.
Not having the problem yourself doesn't mean we're "blowing it out of proportion". Count yourself lucky and stay out of the way of a fix.

personally I think it is software related and I also think that iOS4 couldv'e been rushed due to all the software issues people are experiencing. I myself included. I love what iOS4 has done to my iPhone 3GS but i also hate it. It has made my phone also somewhat sluggish and I have noticed many glitches when going through my day to day. I hope that apple realizes the flaws within there "miraculous" OS and fix it with iOS 4.0.1. im praying to say the least.

Is anyone having issues with their Mail on iOS 4?????
I am using Yahoo mail and when i receive an e-mail the icon will show the indicator. When I read the e-mail it will stay mark it as unread and the indicator will stay.
Or, I will receive an e-mail but no information will show. It'll show that there is an e-mail and blue dot to indicate that it is new...but the date shows 00-12-31 and there is no text. I am unable to delete it.

Beavis says:
June 25, 2010 at 8:13 pm
Calling all engineers. How in the hell could this be a software problem? Someone enlighten us please.
The way in which the software handles a temporary blocked signal. If it's not going to ramp up power or look for other cells, it's going to give up until the interference goes away.
However, I still believe it's a twofold issue. Yes, I think there are some funky antennas but I think they can up the radio power in lieu or battery life and actually fix this with a patch and not a recall. It HAS to be software because it makes the 3GS do it too. Block the same area, see the same result.

do you really think apple would release faulty hardware? i don't. this definitely could be a software issue. when holding the phone in that location, the antenna signal is transferred to the users body and the antenna becomes as large as the person. the phone's software doesn't know how to interpret this and thus the decline in signal bars. the fact that the 3GS has the same issue since iOS 4 proves that its not an iPhone 4 hardware issue.

All in all this is not a software issue. They need to recall all these phones. And this also means no jailbreak for atleast another weak.

They forgot the IgnoreHandOnAntenna = True in the phone's plist file.
You can't control interference from skin contact with a software patch.

Has any one else noticed ( just around when iPhone 4 was announced) that their 3G would go on and off? Even bars would suddenly disappear? I would txt other friends and fam members with the iPhone and they also told me they were having the same problem and I just thought "oh maybe AT&T is getting things ready for the iPhone 4" and so I just didn't think much of it after that. Now I'm thinking that maybe AT&T network has something to do with this prob the new iPhone is having about the dropped calls/ loosing service.

This issue has probably already been addressed. But is anyone else experiencing severely shorter battery life since the 4.0 update? Do you think it's possible that an update could fix this?

I agree that it could be software issue. I am not having any issues but it could be just sporadic. Not enough quality assurance.

I'm having problems with my SYNC in my Ford Fusion '08. Not picking up the bluetooth consistently and not downloading my contacts for voice dial. Not sure if it's Microsoft or Apple. I'll have to check out the SYNC website too.

perhaps they'll use just use the software to strengthen signal by sacrificing the battery

in my country (Croatia, no AT/t) nobody jet had complain on that issue, eider iphone 4 or 3gs users. i cover my with hand (ios4) and no dropping signal. it seems to me that's even better.

I noticed it with my 3GS when I downloaded the GM candidate for ios4 and my bars kept goin up in down if I held it a certain way. Weirdly my iPhone 4 doesn't do it

i dont get what all the issues are. sure it displays the bar drop but has anyone actually dropped a call / lost call quality / dropped data speed?
I sure havent. Im confused at this point.

now we know the reason for the new design, flat design. It's meant for us to solve this problem, so that we don't hold it, it can be put on table very stable, and it solves the problem, LmAo... I truly admired apple now for their clairvoyant engineering..

@Tres - I noticed a tremendous battery drain on my 3G before I upgraded to the 4. I intend to downgrade to 3.1.2 before I ebay it.

It is very old they came out with the Bumper at day one of iPhone 4. Have they done this with any other iPPhone? And oddly enough, they Bumper only covers the metal antenna. I lose all signal when holding the phone normally

Listen up folks - I've been posting On every site I can, like other 3GS owners - ours are doing the same thing since upgrading to iOS 4. So it is either purely software run amuck OR the software is now registering the attenuation problem the iPhone has had from the beginning (and we've all been complaining about AT&T). Pick your poison Apple!

Man I hope the fix this soon. I'm so tired of the forum being flooded with endless threads by people crying about this problem. And then there's the Fandroids who think they've finally found a chink in Apples phone, so they pile on like a bunch of 30-somethings living in their parent's basement.

@phoreal Why bothering telling these people that the same problem with the signal drop is in the 3GS. This can be a software update if there a problem with the radios in the phone.

@macboy15...I felt like telling them because I care!! Lol. No really just letting others know it doesn't seem to be an isolated iPhone 4 issue or hardware issue. I'm betting my 2 cents on software fix.

If there will already be update this fast apple is aware there is a problem and they are addressing it. And right away everybody is a electrical engineneir and knows for a fact that it's not a software issue. Lol I love you people. No body blows right for the upper cut.

I'm an engineer and a HAM radio operator (remember those?). I've been working with RF for a very long time.
Asking whether this problem can be "fixed" with software depends on what you think the problem is.
If you think the problem is that the number of "bars" drops significantly when the antenna is touched, there will probably be a software fix. The signal strength meter algorithm can simply be changed to show more bars with a weaker signal. The "bars" are just a visual demonstration of signal strength, and can be easily manipulated for cosmetic reasons.
If, however, your concern is that you are really, actually, physically losing received (and transmitted) signal strength when you touch the antenna, there is no such thing as a software fix for that.
When you touch an antenna of any sort, you change the physical properties of that antenna. "Grounding it out" in the lingo. Software cannot correct for this -- it is a physical phenomenon of radio energy. It has been happening to radios long before there was even the concept of software stack involved. Software can't change physics, even under the influence of the RDF.
In this case, regardless of what the "bars" tell you, physics will neatly ignore all that and quietly drop the caller from the connection. That's the ultimate measure of signal strength.

I like it how people are perplexed on how it can be a software problem;
ask yourself this: "have I worked with rf transmitter hardware (circuit level, and r&d), along with programming the software to control the sophisticated equipment?", I bet the answer is 'NO'... Just a bet.
Secondly, I bet alot of the interfearance distinguishment and data interpretation in the software may not be quite up to par.
People with a 3gs have reported the same odd shotty reception.
I'm not ruling out a hardware issue, but honestly, I have owned cells with exposed antennas (missing covers) and never once seen massive signal drops from touching it, on or off call. At the very most I see this being a problem with data Tx power vs reception of the tower.
Keep your panties on; they obviously are workin on figuring it out.

As soon as I read that people had problems with the iPhone 4 I did the same hold on my 3GS. And it did the same thing. I right away posted on several blogs that is not just an issue with the iphone 4 but the 3GS as well. People are claiming there new phones were doing this. For some odd reason not everybody is having this problem with the new iphone 4 including myself. I'm sure apple is all over it.

This may be fixable software. This iPhone differs from the early models because it is programmed to associate to the clearest signal (less radio noise) instead of the strongest signal. A few tweaks of the scanning and associating protocols may result in better reception. If you grab the antenna ears of an old tv you can interfere the signal BUT you can also enhance the signal. It's a frequency thing.

How can it be a software problem? It is related wth the stainless steel strip. It's completely hardware related. Hw can a software upgrade help it? I feel sorry for Steve. He had a major embarrassment during WWDC 2010 and now the worst apple phone launch.. Hope iphone5 comes out fast and even better!!!

I’m an engineer and a HAM radio operator (remember those?). I’ve been working with RF for a very long time.
Asking whether this problem can be “fixed” with software depends on what you think the problem is.
If you think the problem is that the number of “bars” drops significantly when the antenna is touched, there will probably be a software fix. The signal strength meter algorithm can simply be changed to show more bars with a weaker signal. The “bars” are just a visual demonstration of signal strength, and can be easily manipulated for cosmetic reasons.
If, however, your concern is that you are really, actually, physically losing received (and transmitted) signal strength when you touch the antenna, there is no such thing as a software fix for that.
When you touch an antenna of any sort, you change the physical properties of that antenna. “Grounding it out” in the lingo. Software cannot correct for this — it is a physical phenomenon of radio energy. It has been happening to radios long before there was even the concept of software stack involved. Software can’t change physics, even under the influence of the RDF.
In this case, regardless of what the “bars” tell you, physics will neatly ignore all that and quietly drop the caller from the connection. That’s the ultimate measure of signal strength.

Man I sure hope this fixes all the lag issues. My 3GS struggles like no tom after the update. Even did a restore as new. It seems like the OS wants to keep all my apps running in the "background". When I have 8+ apps down there everything lags!!! Maps has become so much slower!! This was the worst hardware/software release for an iPhone. I don't recall so many things go wrong in such short period of time. Glad I didn't upgrade to ip4. Hopefully ip5 is a more sturdy piece of hardware.

All they'll probably do is change the code so that the signal bars are not as sensitive and react slower to changes in signal level. Thanks my guess. If you no longer drop calls after the patch then great but I doubt this will fix the problem. Touching an antenna changes it's characteristics and this can't be fixed by software..

@JT
same here man. Didn't upgrade 2 ip4. It's design is soo weird and why did they need a redesign now? Waitin for ip5 nw.. Steve u didn't do ur JOB so well this time !!!

No problem here on the iPhone 4, I guess I'm lucky I haven't seen one issue out of all the problems that have come up in the last few days. Not one dropped call or hang up, buttons are on correctly and no screen discoloration.
As for the 3G slowness did you just update or restore? I have heard that with the 3G you need to restore, I also wouldn't restore from backup. I guess you could try a restore from backup first, if it doesn't work restore and set up as new phone.

I bought the bumper case as well and can still get the signal to drop to one bar or even lose the signal altogether on the 3G network. However, has anyone else noticed that this problem doesn't occur over the Edge network? I can cover the phone with both hands and not drop any bars on Edge. I hope Apple can come up with something within 14 days, otherwise I cant see hanging on to a phone with such an obvious design/software flaw. May have made a mistake not waiting for all of the bugs to get ironed out.

I work for one of the big networks in the uk and we are not getting this issue on the handset we have sold in store possible an AT&T issue

I'm getting the problem and can reproduce it anywhere. I've been all over the city today and am averaging 2mbps and when I kill the signal with my hands I actually can't access anything data related. Letting go and it'll shortly return. Ouch.

We'll have to see what the software update does. Ill record a before and after video with speed tests over 3G as those will show if it's a real or cosmetic fix.

@ChrisW I am having similar issues with my facebook app. I get a new notification I open the app check it and it goes away then it shows up a few minute later and it shows up as unread.
I am also using a 3GS with ios4. Also one time today I was listening to Music and it paused without me even being in the app.
I want to get the iphone 4 but I am going to wait to see if my friend from work has any issues and I start to see apple make moves to fix all these problems that are "software" related.
Also how cool is it that verizon doesn't want the iPhone. What a bunch of dumbasses. Red map can go to hell

Firstly aren't the antennas positioned differently on the 3GS then the iPhone 4??
Secondly I live in Toronto Canada on the Rogers network and can't seem to duplicate the problem on my 3GS no matter how hard I try. I even get full bars when on my elevator now when I didn't before upgrading to ios 4.
I think we have to investigate what's happening with the other countries who were involved with the launch. If they aren't having the same problems then we can narrow it down to an AT&T problem.
If they are having the same problems then it'll enable us to atleast pin point the issue to hardware or software.
I'm thinking it may have something to do with AT&T.
What do u all think about that?
Please someone from France...UK....Japan respond...are u guys having the same issues???

Doing some tests in my own house it defiantly seems to be a software issue with the frequency changing lag. Why? well I'll tell you.
I switched off wifi and all that stuff, and began doing some tests with At&t 3G. When I gripped the iPhone with the "Death Grip" the bars began to drop along with the ability to use the internet as expected. However as time went on, still keeping my hand in the grip, the bars began to go up again, along with it came speedy internet, ect. So yes, at first using the "Death Grip" can cause you to loose bars, but then wait a minute and the signal will some back as the phone changes frequencies.
Some food for thought for those worried about it being a hardware issue.

I'm with JamesDamon - I have absolutely no problem with my 3GS running iOS4. I can completely cover the phone with my hands and squeeze with no signal degradation.
Now - my 2006-vintage iMac is CHOKING on the 10.6.4 update. I probably need to do a clean install, but eeep. How scary.

I have not yet received my iPhone 4, but I have upgraded my iPhone 3Gs to iOS4. At random intervals, the upgraded 3Gs displays the SAME fading of signal bars as the videos circulating on the internet about the iPhone 4. Once placed on a flat surface away from your hand, they reappear at the same rate they disappeared. This does not happen every time, but I know it NEVER occurred before iOS4.
I have been posting to many sites about this problem, and it is often dismissed as “impossible” because this cannot be just a software problem, it has to be hardware related. I am no engineer, but I suspect it is both and my intuition tells me that attenuation of the antennae may be a pre-existing problem that the OS software has not been accurately reflecting BEFORE iOS4. That would also explain the dropped call problem on AT&T using all my prior iPhone models (2, 3, 3Gs) when my wife's Blackberry and the kids LG/Moto phones held calls. Perhaps AT&T is NOT the only party at fault in this voice quality mess. What if the prior versions of the OS were incorrectly reporting signal strength and performance, and this has been fixed in the current iOS4? Even more importantly, if the imminent 4.0.1 is released and the problem (as reported on screen) is resolved. Has it just been hidden again?
I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it is IMPOSSIBLE for my 3Gs, with its internal antennae, to exhibit the same behavior as an iPhone 4 supposedly “bridged” by holding it wrong. This deserves an honest answer, and even perhaps a few apologies to AT&T.

Even I'm happy wth my iPhone 3GS with ios 4 update :) my friend got an iphone4 from Singapore and he is having the same damn issue. I guess it's not with AT&T. It's with that weird design.
@phill dude I am using 3GS and I'm happy wth it. Mine Is also a smartphone. So chill brother !!

@Deepak We get it dude. You didn't get an iphone4. You're so smart (aka probably couldn't get one). Get over it. I have it, love it and haven't had any problems (knock on wood). Camera and screen are worth the upgrade from 3GS alone. Now go under another bridge ya troll.

Now, back to the actual story, as people have said even with NO BARS people are not dropping calls, so it appears to be a software issue -- ie: the signal strength algorithm. As far as other problems, yellow screen or backwards volume controls -- these things happen when you send out 600,000 of ANYTHING. If it weren't for the media, no one would even think there is a problem, but since every channel did it's local news teaser with some 'BIG IPHONE4 PROBLEMS' headline, everyone automatically shifts their thought process. People are drawn to bad news, makes them feel better about themselves or in this case makes them feel better about not being able to get their hands on an i4.

If I cover the stainless steel on my 3G my signal drops to "searching" too. Think of all the bad press that AT&T endured over the years because of dropped calls on the iPhone. It just goes to show that if you wait long enough- the truth always surfaces.

iTunes now says "Your iPhone software is up to date. iTunes will automatically check for an update again on 6/28/2010."
Does it normally give a date like that? I was curious if that was an indication that there will be an update on 6/28/2010 or whether it always just picks a date in the future.

I have the same issue except even though the screen says no service I can place a call and not get dropped. It does seem to effect the Internet though. Overall I can't complain, I upgraded from an iPhone 3G and my iPhone 4 experience has so far been immaculate.

@T0M waaw good u have a problem free iPhone 4. Well bro, there r 2 reasons for me not having iphone4. First one is it's not yet launched here and secondly I have a brand new nokia n8.. I love apple and I'm not against anyone's feelings or sentiments :)
So stop actin smart and hop along in my ship, which I'm sailing under that damned bridge ;)

Simply put:
This is a bigger problem then the public (and everybody blinded by their shiny new toy) realizes. It's beyond a software fix, folks.
I didn't get on that pre order list as much as I tried.. On second thought I'm glad I haven't purchased a 4 yet. I want to see how this whole dilemma unfolds.
I love Apple, love my 3gs and love my ipad even more. However If you don't think that this is whole antenna issue is NOT an issue, you need to really open up your eyes with thisn oj

Simply put:
This is a bigger problem then the public (and some 4 owners who seem blinded by their shiny new toy) realizes. It's beyond a software fix, folks.
I didn't get on that pre order list as much as I tried.. Now I'm glad I haven't purchased a 4 yet. I want to see how this whole dilemma unfolds. There could be a hardware fix back at the mfg plant at foxcon to be rolled out to the public by late July, if Apple chooses this route.. but what about all the current iPhone 4 owners?
I love Apple, love my 3gs and love my ipad even more. However If you don't think that this is antenna issue is NOT a potential huge problem, you need to really open up your eyes this time.

Apple spent so much to time and effort releasing the iPad that the iPhone 4 suffered in the works. Shame on them!!!! It's so obvious!

@Abe, that is a normal message. iTunes will sometimes pop up with a new update, or you have to check for new update manually.
@Jack, what a great fix. No need for an update. Apple should send you a coupon for a box of special scotch tape.

Waaw!! What an amazing prediction.
This is what I've been tryin to tell to some kids who couldn't understand. Nice link btw :).
It's very logical and makes sense and trust me friends, a software upgrade can't help it. I know it's frustrating, but sometimes u gotta take it.
If all u guys return iPhone 4 back, Steve might atleast do something abt it. But the best thing is to not keep the phone. I love apple. I just buy their products. In fact I chose iPad over iPhone 4 and bought a new one. They do an amazing job. No doubts. But sometime u just can't buy a product for the heck of it. Cmon think guys. Think..
Once again if I had hurt anyone's emotions or feelings, I apologise for that.

Unless Apple can 100% fix the antennae problem, with either an update or a hardware fix (and not a damn bumper), I believe I will be returning it within the 14 day window, leaving AT&T and getting the Droid X. The specs look impressive. Love the HDMI out, the SD memory slot and the wifi hotspot/tethering -- all things Apple refuses to put on its devices. I love my iPhone, love the screen, camera, HD video, etc. but such a colossal failure in design and engineering like this antennae fiasco is unforgivable.
Apple, you have about a week to make this right. Good luck.

@(Copy of) Dev: What that Dutch Prof is talking about is NOT what is happening here, otherwise touching any part of the GSM antenna would cause significant signal loss but it DOESN'T.
The only time there is an issue is if you bridge the gap between the GSM antenna and the Wifi/Blueooth/GPS antenna with something conductive (including your skin) at the bottom left of the phone. Cupping the whole of the bottom and right side of the phone without touching that bottom left seam has no effect on the signal. So the issue has nothing to do with the antennas being exposed per se.
What is probably happening is the new firmware that tries to do clever things by switching cell towers and frequencies when it detects congestion is getting confused by some noise or interference that occurs when the two antennas are shorted and it freaks out causing it do the wrong thing, resulting in loss of signal. Or something to that effect.
So there is hope that this can be fixed in software.

If it's not a software problem with the iPhone 4. And the 3G and 3GS are doing the same thing. Then the 3GS and 3G have been messed up from the start. The antenna is connected to the inside of the phone. Something is messed up. My iPhone 4 don't do it. And it seems like it's a minority of the people with this problem so I'm lost.

For all those who are returning ur iPhone 4, u r smart.. Good..
For those who r depending on software upgrade, u r acting smart..
Well there is not much difference but the effective result is really worth it..
If u know, what I mean..

Sheesh,
I can totally understand that if you short the antenna to ground you loose reception... But not just with your skin.... Only maybe if you are in a 55gallon drum full of water and it is hard grounded.
It IS software related. The software determines signal strengths and sorts out data packets...
People are making these determinations based upon what they think, or what others tell them.
I can see how it could be hardware related, but that seems a little far fetched considering people have also reported the 3gs doing it...
Funny.... Very funny.
Btw: a ham radio is in the low MHz spectrum, gsm is in the higher ghz spectrum comparatively. Interfearance is a whole different ballpark between the two. Like the comparison between grand physics and quantum mechanics.

@Jaredkaragen:
WRT HAM radio, you may need some education.
I am licensed to operate on EHF bands that go up to 250GHz, which in fact is well above the cellular range.
I typically operate in the UHF bands which include frequencies smack in between the common cellular frequency bands.

Hey I don't know if you guys remember the heart ache of updating the OS on the 3g and a short time later they updated it again because of more dropped calls. Well I think this is all the fault of the dreaded "Carrier Flaw" virus. I think ATT convinced Apple that they would have the 3g or "Lack of 3g" coverage fixed and Apple made the software that controls the antenna more aggressive in finding the 3g coverage. Well that's my two cents.

These are incredible little cars...fun, economical, go fast and not even bad looking to boot. I always liked the looks of the little LTD.

I had the same experience. After lot of talking to AT&T support, they finally have taken the request and said the case would be solved by 17th Apr. I paid full payment of $600/- and never had AT&T contract. Hope they will provide the unlock code.