iPhone 4’s Reception Issue Could be a Non-Issue

Evan Selleck - Jul 2, 2010
iPhone 4’s Reception Issue Could be a Non-Issue

Since the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4, it’s been plagued by one thing or another. Most common of all, though, is the device’s ability to lose service based on the position the device is within your grasp. There’s been all sorts of claims, from it being the external antenna to the software inside, and it’s lead to several different situations. The first of which, was the response from Apple stating what they believed to be obvious: hold any phone in a certain manner, and it will lose reception. But now they are saying a simple software upgrade will fix the issue.

Companies have to cover their bases, and it looks to us that’s exactly what Apple is doing. Making sure that people realize phones are fully capable of losing signal/reception simply based on how you’re holding it is a good way to take some of the focus away from the iPhone 4. It actually wasn’t too long ago that phone manufacturers used to put stickers on their devices, explaining that blocking a certain section of the handset would degrade your reception. In today’s day-and-age, apparently, those issues shouldn’t exist.

And yet, on the other side of the coin, Apple claims that it may not be a hardware/antenna related situation at all. Based on their internal investigation, they’ve found that they’ve done some miscalculations, and the way the iPhone 4 represents signal strength, by those bars at the top-left of the display, is actually “totally wrong.” Fortunately, that update actually corresponds to some early reviewers saying that when their bars reflected poor service, they were actually able to make phone calls just fine. Apple suggests the iPhone 4 will tell you you have plenty of service, when in all actuality you’re sitting in a poor-service area.

But, as Consumer Reports suggests, this issue may actually be a non-issue altogether. Why? Because just about any part of your body can degrade the signal on your device. In the report, they suggest that your hand, and even your head can degrade the handset’s reception, just by coming in between the antenna itself and the nearest cell tower. Of course, this is true. But, what’s noteworthy is that most reports are saying you have to “squeeze the phone hard, in an unnatural way.” And from the exertion of this, your palm gets sweaty, which only increases the problem.

So, what’s the point of all this? The point is, that there are fixes. The point is, that there have always been ways to hold a mobile phone and degrade your signal, just by getting in the way. And, ultimately, the point is that Apple isn’t ignoring the populace. They’re offering up solutions — even if they are solutions people don’t like to hear. Should there be stickers on devices again, telling customers where not to hold their handset? Maybe. But, if you’ve been thinking about getting an iPhone 4, this is certainly not a deal breaker.

[via Consumer Reports]

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