iPhone 4: Are you holding it wrong?


July 2, 2010 at 2:02 a.m.
Updated July 3, 2010 at 2:03 a.m.

Apple launched the iPhone 4 last week, and since then an uproar has risen over the signal quality and reception of the phone.

So many consumers are upset, in fact, that various lawsuits against Apple were filed this week. The complaints reported in the lawsuits stem from issues related to the antenna design of the phone.

After the iPhone 4 was launched on June 24, many owners noticed that holding the device a certain way, now known as the iPhone 4 "death grip," caused the signal bars on the phone to drop significantly. The antenna of the iPhone 4 is a stainless steel band that runs around the edges of the phone. When holding the phone and touching the lower left hand corner, where the antenna is exposed, many owners reported seeing all signal bars disappear.

Apple's response to owners was to purchase a bumper case which prevents interference with the antenna, or to hold the phone another way. "You are holding it wrong," seemed to be the response from Apple.

But now comes news from Apple that perhaps this is not just an issue of people across the nation holding their new iPhones the wrong way.

On Friday Apple released a letter to iPhone 4 users, stating, "We were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them."

The letter goes on to address what some are claiming to be a faulty antenna design on the iPhone 4, which led to Apple's revelation that software used to display signal strength was wrong. Not just wrong, but "totally wrong," according to Apple. So sometimes when users see four bars, they should really only see two bars.

Apple goes on to explain how the bar signal system should work and how they will adopt AT&T's recommended formula to calculate signal strength, which will be released with a free software update within a few weeks. The software update will be available as well for owners of the iPhone 3G and 3GS.

However, despite the controversy around the signal strength, the iPhone 4 continues to sell in great numbers, with 1.7 million units sold in the first three days of launch.

So, will this new software update fix the dropped signal issue people are having? iPhone 4 users will have to wait and see. In the meantime, there's a joke just waiting to come out of this. Two signal bars walk into an Apple store and ... disappear?

CJ Castillo is the interactivity editor for the Victoria Advocate. You can contact her at cjcastillo@vicad.com. Please send all correspondence c/o Victoria Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.



Powered By AffectDigitalMedia