Posted by: Chris Barylick
Date: Friday, June 25th, 2010, 02:26
Category: iPhone, News
Following a slew of well-publicized launch day complaints regarding the loss of signal strength when held a certain way, Apple has released official advice for iPhone 4 owners to overcome the problem of the device losing signal when held by the lower left corner.
Per the BBC, Apple CEO Steve Jobs responded to a query about the problem from one owner by saying: “Just avoid holding it in that way.”
The official advice is to “avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band”.
Alternatively, said Apple, customers could buy a case to shield the antenna.
In a statement, Apple said: “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.”
Steve Jobs issued his response in a message responding to an e-mail from the Ars Technica news site. Mr Jobs wrote that “All phones have sensitive areas”.
The problem is thought to be particularly acute for left-handed owners who naturally touch the phone in the sensitive area.
The casing of Apple’s latest phone is made of stainless steel, which also serves as its antenna.
Apple sells a rubber “bumper” that shields the sensitive area.
Richard Warner, one of the first to buy an iPhone 4, contacted BBC News, saying that he thought the phone was “useless in its current state”.
“Apple have created a phone that has an antenna on the bottom left-hand side of the phone.”
“This means that when you hold it in your left hand, the signal bars slowly fade until there is no signal,” he wrote.
A number of videos have been posted on video sharing site YouTube complaining about the reception issue.
One video had an American user running a speed test, with hands on and hands free.
In it, the user ‘awington’ says that, while holding the phone “it won’t even run the test when I am holding the phone… once I let go, it makes a connection and runs the test.
“Hold it a second time, and the upload test will not start.”
The issue might stem from the way the integrated antenna is constructed. One section provides mobile reception, while another is for wi-fi.
Some users have speculated that touching the bottom of the phone bridges this gap, affecting signal strength.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you’ve seen the issue on your end, please let us know.