Customers are flocking to Apple Stores and other iPhone retailers to pick up the new iPhone 4 and to partake in the excitement of the crowd. But some users are finding that excitement is quickly dissipated by reception problems on the new iPhone.
Reports of user complaints appeared on MacRumors’ forums: a user posted a video on the forum (available on YouTube) apparently showing that the reception bars on the iPhone 4 decrease when hands cover the antennas. A video posted on Insanely Great Mac isolated the problem to the lower left corner of the iPhone 4 and readers of Gizmodo were allegedly able to replicate the loss of reception on their iPhones.
A worried user went so far as to email Steve Jobs about the issue, and received a reply: “Just don’t hold it that way” was the response. In a later email (there were three in total), Steve responds further: “every phone has these areas of sensitivity, depending on the location of the antenna. Some phones even ship with labels warning customers to not cover certain areas with their hands.
According to GearLog, Apple has made a similar official statement:
Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your Phone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.
Only time will tell whether this is an issue for the majority of users, and indeed whether it will be necessary to use one of Apple’s bumper cases to avoid reception issues.
The iPhone 4 went on sale on Thursday in Japan, Germany, France, the UK, and the US, and is due to be released in Australia by the end of July.