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View Poll Results: Have you been affected by iPhone 4 reception issues?
Not to any significant extent. 8 53.33%
Yes, but I can live with it, or I've got around it (eg with a case). 4 26.67%
Yes, and it makes the phone unusable for me. 3 20.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-13-2010, 07:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I'm left handed, and I always hold a phone in my right hand, so I can use my left hand to press the buttons.
well there ya go. the issue doesn't occur when holding the phone in your right hand, only in your left.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:02 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by scottjl View Post
well there ya go. the issue doesn't occur when holding the phone in your right hand, only in your left.
It would be interesting to know, Scott, if other people produce the same loss of signal in your phone that you yourself do. Have you tried asking anyone else to hold it? It may genuinely be that you have a faulty phone.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:38 AM   #18
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It would be interesting to know, Scott, if other people produce the same loss of signal in your phone that you yourself do. Have you tried asking anyone else to hold it? It may genuinely be that you have a faulty phone.
well yes i have a faulty phone. so does everyone else. take yours out of your case and bridge the bottom left side, the two metal bands, with your finger, palm, thumb and you can watch your signal drop too.

if i put my phone in a case (i have an old 3g case lying around), cover it in duct tape (too messy) or "hold differently" i don't experience the signal drop. if i bridge the antenna i can watch it sink like a rock. clearly a design flaw and not "media hype." the fact that i hold my phone in my left hand means it affects me more frequently.

makes me wonder if ford thought the pinto should be "driven differently"..
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:46 AM   #19
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well yes i have a faulty phone. so does everyone else. take yours out of your case and bridge the bottom left side, the two metal bands, with your finger, palm, thumb and you can watch your signal drop too.
Yes, but you've said that yours entirely loses the signal and drops the connection every time you pick it up. If I hold mine in my left hand, in the way that you describe, I see a small loss in signal, but I have to SQUEEZE the phone really, really hard to make it drop away to nothing as you've described - holding the phone in any normal position certainly doesn't do it for me. That's why I'm wondering if it's your phone that's abnormally "sensitive" or whether it's something about you that's causing it.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:06 AM   #20
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there is no need to squeeze hard, you just have to conduct between the two bands. if i hold my phone "normally" the bottom corner rests right in the pocket of my palm. everyone conducts electricity at a different level and i guess i am unfortunately enough that i do it pretty well (i'm practically a lightning rod in the winter months with static). my primary residence also is in a very rural area so i don't have dozens of towers showering me with a signal.

now apple's "signal bar" issue certainly plays a part in the display, and this has been proven by a few sites who noted the measurements between bars, it's the quality of service and disconnected calls that i have the problem with.

i travel frequently with my job and have bounced between midwest usa, eastern canada and the east coast us since i've picked up my iphone 4, and while i don't lose my signal in every location i have observed lower bars in every location if i hold my phone "normally."

i have tried holding my phone in my right hand and no, i don't have the signal issues then, but that feels as normal for me as i'm sure holding your phone in your left hand does for you.

as the engineers and antenna experts agree, this is clearly a design flaw. bridging the two antenna results in a signal issue. the fix is to "hold differently" or put it in a non-conducting case. it affects some people more than others. apple's handling and denial of the whole issue is worse than the issue to begin with. they could have given away their $0.25 ($30 MSP) bumpers with the phone and it would have all blown over, now it will haunt them for years.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I'm left handed, and I always hold a phone in my right hand, so I can use my left hand to press the buttons.
Pretty much same here. I noticed the drop in reception percentage when holding the phone in my right hand. I don't think I normally hold my phone in my left hand as I'm doing other stuff...
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:46 PM   #22
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really it doesn't matter what you hold it with, if you bridge that tiny strip of black plastic on the lower left side, you're going to have the issue. it's easier to cover it holding it in your left hand, since the corner fits into your palm. if you hold it with your right hand and your fingers bridge that gap you'll have a problem.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:16 PM   #23
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Engadget's report on the odd issue:
http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/13/y...is-not-broken/
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:47 AM   #24
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Engadget's report on the odd issue:
http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/13/y...is-not-broken/
That very much agrees with what our very unscientific poll here shows: that while there undoubtedly is a problem, the vast majority of people aren't having a real-world problem with it.

Quote:
we've collected reports from every member of the Engadget staff who's using the phone, as well as reached out to a variety of tech industry colleagues for their experiences. As you'll see, it seems like most of our peers seem to be doing perfectly fine with their iPhone 4s, but the people who are having problems are having maddening issues in an inconsistent way. ... for now we can say with some certainty that not everyone is affected, and those that are seem to be in the minority.
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:15 AM   #25
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My uncle has bought one in the States (I'm in Italy, here it isn't sold yet) and when he came back home he did experience problems when holding it "not the apple way".

To be precise, he did notice the signal drop when he still was in the USA, but it wasn't really troublesome; when he showed it to me here, though, holding it "the bad way" made his iPhone show the "no carrier" warning.

It's no surprise to me: I work with antennas everyday and I knew that placing the antenna where it could touch the skin could prove troublesome. Also, the mobile network we have in Italy is different from the ones used in USA, and uses smaller frequencies and lower power, that's why here the problem is "enhanced". It was to be expected.

Anyway, there's one thing I want to point out: this is one hell of a stupid mistake made by Apple's engineers, sure, and probably it was caused by the fact that the team who designed the iPhone 4 was composed of electrical engineers and designers, with noi telecomunications/antenna engineers in it, but the iPhone 4 isn't the first smartphone to suffer this problem.
I'm not saying this to say that Apple is justified or anything: in my point of view (that of a telecomunications engineer), they should reclaim the "faulty" iPhones and move the antenna INSIDE the case, where it can't be bridged by skin contact (like every mobile phone should do these days), but to be honest the same should do (or should have done) several other smartphone producers.

For example, the Nokia N97 mini, if held with your right hand, and with the base of your thumb touching the lower-right corner of the device, shows the same problem. If you measure the loss in antenna gain, it's about -24 dB. It's not common to hold the phone that way, but it can happen. The HTC Hero, if held the same way as the iPhone 4, loses 2 signal bars (loses -13 dB of antenna gain). The Nokia E75, if you cover the whole keyboard with your hand, loses almost completely the signal. And there are other cases, but at the moment I don't remember them all.

People is complaining more about the iPhone 4, though. And I can't blame them: there have been complaints to Nokia too, and even though Nokia never replaced the "faulty" phones, they acknowledged the problem and modified the devices built after the problem was discovered; Apple is keeping a "deny everything" policy right now. Also, in many cases the "death grip" on other phones was a grip that was actually seldom used on a phone, like placing your whole hand on the keyboard or holding just the base of the phone (making it easy to fall); in the case of the iPhone, it's an uncommon grip but not a rare one.
I just hope that now, thanks to the noise that people is making around the iPhone 4, smartphone producers will not repeat the same mistake AGAIN, and stop thinking that any electrical engineer can design antennas and will consider for the future hiring more people whose field of experties is radio signals and antennas.
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:20 AM   #26
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I really think the biggest problem here is Apple’s reaction. Personally I don't own an iPhone 4 (yet), but I can imagine it to be a punch in the face to constantly lose signal and then read Steve Jobs’ comment about not holding it that way. That's just not how you should tread a customer. It's not only disrespectful, it's also dishonest, because in the PR videos everybody is holding it that way.

In September, there will be new iPod Touches. Maybe, just maybe Apple will also release a slightly modified iPhone 4? Do the antennas really have to be inside or could they just, say, be painted over with some non-conductive paint? And everybody who has an original iPhone 4 and experiences this problem (not everyone seems to be affected) should at least get a bumper for free. Or a real case. And maybe some iTunes vouchers like in 2007 when Apple reduced the iPhone’s price shortly after release. If Apple doesn't solve this problem quickly I believe it could become the RROD* of cell phones.

*@all non-gamers: high failure rate of Xbox 360 due to a design error

@Lo Zeno: Thanks for sharing this expert opinion!
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