iPhone 4
Photo Credit: CC by Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr

The ongoing drama of the Apple iPhone 4 antenna reception continued Friday. The company said that the iPhone 4 antenna issue can be remedied with just a simple iPhone software update. As outlined by Apple, there isn’t a reception problem; signal strength is being shown inaccurately because of defective software. The screen shows that there is more reception than there actually is. Since the reception is already weak, gripping the phone by its lower right side further obscures the signal. However, not everyone is buying that.

A catch to the software update for iPhone

A media firestorm ensued when complaints multiplied from iPhone 4 owners devastated that their greatest gadget lost reception when held a certain way, which became referred to as the “death grip.” Apple dismissed the complaints initially. Then, after Apple/AT&T class action lawsuits started rolling in, Apple officially admitted there was, in fact, an iPhone 4 antenna problem. The business assures an iPhone software update in a few weeks will help — but there’s a catch. Even though signal strength may be more accurately represented, it won’t do anything about the reception issues that angry iPhone 4 users are going through now.

Apple to vend iPhone covers

At first, Apple issued a statement saying that $30 protective cases can lessen the reception issue. The problem occurs each time a user’s bare skin bridges the two main antennas embedded in the edge of the phone. However, you will find a few other covers that cost much less. Ign.com reported that for $14.95, a product called GelaSkins is effective in preventing the iPhone 4 death grip issue. Engadget also reports that the yellow Lance Armstrong Livestrong rubber bracelet works just as well, and it is only a buck.

AT&T thrown under the bus by Apple

Apple’s official position is detailed on its website. Rob Pegoraro from The Washington Post reports that Apple “gracefully throws AT&T under the bus,” insisting that the iPhone 4 antenna reception issue isn’t a hardware problem. Apple said the company was stunned to discover that AT&T’s formula to calculate how bars display signal strength is “totally wrong.” The iPhone software update also applies to the earlier iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G. Apparently the AT&T bug affects all of them, although none of those iPhone owners hired lawyers to file lawsuits about it.

Tests question wisdom of iPhone software update

Some don’t agree with Apple’s explanation of the iPhone 4 death grip problem or its solution. It was reported by Apple Insider that a New York business owner said just touching the bottom left of the phone would cause a call to drop within 10 seconds, in clear view of the cell tower. The same article reports a barrage of tests found that the iPhone 4 gets the best reception of any iPhone. The tests also determined that cupping the iPhone 4 tightly can result in a loss of 24.6 dB of signal. The tests also proved that the iPhone cover lessened the effects of the iPhone 4 death grip.

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Rob Pegoraro at The Washington Post


Apple Insider


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