Hold Different

Are you familiar with the iPhone 4 antenna death grip? Basically, when held with the left hand, connecting the two antennas, the signal drops significantly, often cutting off cell signal. It’s a big deal as many people reported experiencing this issue, me included.

Someone has been emailing Steve Jobs about this issue, who sent the most moronic email reply of all times:

If you ever experience this on your iPhone 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.

Ok, so you’re telling me to hold my iPhone a different way, or, to buy one of your cases? Seriously, is that your official statement? Anyways.

Now there are rumors that Apple might come up with a software upgrade to fix this issue. So why did Steve Jobs sent this moronic reply if it can be fixed with a software update?

As Mongstradamus pointed out to me, someone needs to call out Apple on this. Steve’s email clearly makes it seem like it’s a hardware issue and a software update wouldn’t change a thing.

Is it just me being too skeptical? What do you think?

  • said:

    I just wanted to know..if there is any jailbreak about 3GS iOS4 in WindowsXP…Or if it will be released sooner or later..

  • OH yes, this is a big problem, and I too have demonstrated that here in south Florida with humidity, when those two insulation bands have contact with your skin… There. Is electric conductivity that “short-circuits” the antennas, rendering them to the incorrect wave length, or worse not knowing the internal electronics. Simple solutions, one a M&M strip of 3M transparent packaging tape, while the Apple Geniuses learn about Galvanic Skin Response, which causes a conductive path across the “terminals”. The other solution is the bumpers…

    If you want to be really suspicious, Apple learned of this issue before the release date, encouraging everyone to buy them, which cxovers these conductive terminal issues. The temp fix for Apple is to give the bumpers away with each purchase until Apple resolves the matter, which I Predict is relatively HUGE. Could result in a major recall of the devices, with a redesign of the phones exterior… Ouch…

    Presently I’m using the “scotch tape” solution, and the issue is completely resolved… Isn’t it amazing that such a magnificent piece of technology can be taken down with a strip of Scotch Tape…

    Jim Wilson… I have mentioned my solution to Steve Jobs, no reply yet… It’s early in California.

  • I think it’s a hardware problem, some issue with the antenna..

    Let’s see what Apple has to do now..

  • Rip

    If this is a ‘mechanical’ problem then it won’t be fixed with software.

    Software can, of course, detect the problem and then prevent the signal bars from reflecting the issue. But surely Apple wouldn’t do that. Would they?

    And, IMHO, the ‘Bumpers’ were produced only because of the problem. In the UK they have been given away free if you complain about the issue in the Apple Store, according to BBC 5 LIve.

    This is really bad for Apple and Steve Jobs curt respones to emails aren’t helping any. If this is likely to be fixed by recall you better offload some shares now.

  • WeebSurfer

    I’m thinking Steve’s getting ribbed pretty hard because they’re answering e-mails instead of investigating and/or resolving issues first…. BUT, the “Bunker” is the thing that makes me suspicious. why is Apple getting into the business of making Cosmetic/Protective accessories? Likely ’cause they knew it was needed. that being the case, they really should have bit the bullet and come completely clean and included it in the iPhone packaging. (for the few bucks it cost to make it).

    on the subject of is it hardware or is it software – the “don’t do that” e-mail is only a quick fix. perhaps software CAN fix this, likely with timing for checking for signals on a small change.

    Meh. makes me happy to be Canadian. we have all these other countries as Proof of Concepts before we have to deal with the unknown. 😉 Thanks guys!!!

  • ghettocowboy

    yeah software is gonna physically shield the antenna strips away from the hand grip or tuck in the antenna. It is the physical location of the antenna that interferes with the problem. The only solution is using a case to cover up the antenna or send back to the manufacture and have the antenna reroute to a different location.

    4.01 is more like patching up jailbreaking or fixing some other problems that apple saw and no1 has ran into the problem yet.

  • Gene

    This is total bullshit .. especially steve job .. Wtf ? holding it in awkward position .. hell .. next thing you know.. they are gonna ask u to plug it up your ass to download

  • “Steve’s email clearly makes it seem like it’s a hardware issue and a software update wouldn’t change a thing.”

    Hardware issues often can be mitigated or fully compensated for with software fixes.

    Intel did not recall those millions of Pentium processors with faulty FPUs back in the late 90s. They told Microsoft about it and Microsoft released a software fix.

    When the replacement lens in the Hubble Space Telescope was determined to have a flaw in it, the team on the ground compensated for the flaw with software.

    The problem as I have gleaned from various articles is that iOS 4 attempts to determine where the strongest signal is being received by the antenna, and it uses that portion of the antenna. When a user bridges the gap between the two antenna, the lower left end of the antenna suddenly receives the strongest signal, because your skin transmits the wifi signal straight into the phone signal. If this is indeed iOS 4 utilizes the antennas, then a simple and effective software fix would be to ignore the lower left portion of the antenna entirely.

    I don’t know if Apple’s rumored software fix will cure the problem entirely, mitigate it so calls are not dropped, or only improve matters marginally. However, a 75% or better improvement would not surprise me at all.

  • Z

    This does not seem to be the software problem that can be fixed with an update. Seems like apple is going to have to come up with a new phone very quickly in order to satisfy soon coming replacement demands. Best iPhone ever manufactured, yet not the best yet lol

    I encourage each buyer of an iPhone 4 to demand a better phone. And once everyone starts expressing their dissatisfaction, apple with come up with a solution fir all – they’ll include the case in the box with the phone lol

  • Thefallen

    I’m not a hatet but it’s incredible how some people reply to this posts asking for things that has NOTHING to do with the topic. READ FIRST!!!

  • James Katt

    This is much to do about nothing.

    Every cell phone has their antenna at the bottom. This is FCC mandated. Every cell phone’s antenna can be blocked by simply holding it at the bottom.

    The same problem occurs with the Google Android phone. It also occurred with the very first generation iPhone 2G.

    Big deal.

    Creating separation via adding a case or adding tape solves the problem.

    Big deal.

  • @james

    So if it’s SUCH a small deal and such an easy fix, then WHY didn’t Apple fix it?
    That is why it’s a big deal, and although it happens on other phones, it doesn’t happen as severely.

  • Don’t Really Care

    No, it really isn’t a big deal and it’s never going to be a big deal and it’s “severity” is completely immaterial to anything other than your desire for it to be a big deal. Does it sound like a software issue? No, no it simply doesn’t. You’ve been made aware of the issue, albeit after the fact. Sontake steps to mitigate your damages so that it doesn’t cause you an issue.

    The phrase mountain out of a mole hill comes to mind. I waited 11 hours in line fortune thing, and while I was not and am not happy about that, I’ve nothing but great things to say about the device. No, it won’t save humanity by it’s still super sweet ass. If apple can “make it right,” I’m positive they will. In the interim, while a flippant response, “don’t hold it that way” seems appropriate. It’s not like it HAS to be held that way to operate. Settle down.

  • tino72

    My issue is i do not like wearing cases on my phones..i have a Zagg on front and back to prevent scratches..if i have to case a phone to give me average reception then i will return and go back to android..My wifes 3g is sitting here on the table with 3 to 5 bars and mines got one..

  • Peter

    It’ll be a software update that provides a mild electric shock if you hold the iPhone wrong.

  • thefallen

    LOL @ Peter

  • MajorAppleFup

    This is a major problem and needs to be resolved…I really hope the firmware update resolves the issue….I don’t want a damn case…I haven’t used a case on any of my previous iphones and don’t want one for this.

    If this isn’t resolved via software I will definitely be singing on for what ever class action law suits may stem from this. Absolutely ridiculous, and the thought of this j@ck@ss saying hold it differently.

    I don’t care how big a fan of apple products you are…if this is something you’re willing to just say oh well…put a case on it….I’m sorry….you are an idiot.

    Next thing you know they’ll say if your wifi doesn’t work on your mac book pro don’t sit so close to it….WTF!

  • Imango

    oh. It is no wonder that upgrade the ‘iOS’ so quickly.

  • iphonerulez

    This antenna outrage is so lame. It takes all of a few seconds to re-adjust one’s grip on a cellphone. You know how much this reception uproar is going to affect iPhone 4 sales? Not a single bit. Most iPhone 4 users won’t even know that this condition exists and they’ll just think the reception problem is some AT&T bandwidth problem. Sorry fAndroids, but posting FUD on all the Apple forums and boards is basically a waste of time. If the problem does exist in any overwhelming numbers, Apple will have a fix in a short while. But meanwhile, for those that can’t afford a decent case or bumper, use a little duct tape, masking tape, electrical tape, some clear fingernail polish or some Elmer’s glue on the affected area. Of course, if you really want to go all out to fix the problem, just keep your finger away from the affected area while using the phone. It sure seems simple enough for me.

  • AdamC

    A protective cover will solve the problem.

    No I know why America is screwed the people love talking about the problems and not forthcoming with solutions.

    Sorry guys your day in the sun is over, the guts on the other side of the world who are more interested in solutions will be replacing you.

  • Burge

    Being told to hold it a different way, put a case on it, best of all put fucking tape on it. It’s a phone and I should be able to hold it how I wont with or without a case and as for the tape it’s not a home made Christmas card. Apple fucked up big time and If a update carnt fix it. Then a defective product us being sold so what will apple do about that ?

  • Wow… Lots of emotion here… It is agreed that folks that invest up front $300 and $100/month usage charges, having to use a 6mm strip of Scotch Tape should not have to be… It’s just a simple solution until Apple makes good on the problem. For me personally I want the Bumper anyway to raise the back of the phone when resting it on table tops preventing
    micro-scratching.

    Rest assured Apple is all over this issue because the signal drop is dramatic and can occur by simply holding the phone with two fingers covering these two insulation joints. So in weak singal areas communication can be secerly hampered. Death Grip is Not needed.

    Apple has demonstrated over many years, the production of very high quality products. Apple will make good on this issue. With Apple having 50 million iPhones in the market, with Apple wanting everyone to update to the iPhone 4, this problem most be resolved, not by “Grip Guidence” training, not by scotch tape, and not with bumpers… If Apple delays, gives lip service, and does not solve this issue, the Lawyers will have a field-day with class action suits, sorry to say. Bottom line, for all what’s said above, everyone should relax and give the Apple folks time to evaluate the nature and extent of the issue, and develop an action plan for resolution. There is already plenty of “Pressure” for Apple to deliver. Jw

  • Brian

    This is just pathetic. I’ve had almost every phone known to man…do some have issues with the antenna not picking up a ggod signal? Sure, some phones simply dont have that great of an antenna. But give me a break. I’ve taken CHEAPO phones and had them in rubber waterproof bag, inside another waterproof bag (for when on the water), inside a soft refelective cooler, inside another large back pack…and the damn phone will ring anytime somebody calls….so even on a cheapo phone, I dont experience the antenna issue that the new iphone has.

    Somebody commented that the problem was not bad and is not effecting many people. WHAT?? Are you asleep at the wheel…This IS effecting people..many, many people…..I doubt all these people talking about their issue are doing so because they have nothing better to do…but the simple fact that STEVE JOBS HIMSELF has said THIS IS AN ISSUE…And has said to ‘hold the phone a different way’ and now ‘A possible fix is coming via an upgrade’….Proves this is an issue. APPLE would not even address this ‘issue’ if it wasnt effecting that many people!!

    The thing that really ticks me off..well, many things do ;>)….A) Such an awesome device and very expensive..but as somebody said “scotch tape it to fix the issue”. Pretty lame that apple engineers could have missed this B) A brings me to B..What the heck do these engineers at apple actually do? Why is it almost evertime they put out a new FW update or a new device, it causes so many issues forcing them to put out even more upgrades? I mean do people really need to spend hours updating, re-syncing, getting everything back the way it was only to find out your device is not working and a week later you have to do this all over again? And then keep rinsing and repeating and completing the same endless routine?

    No matter how ‘awesome’ the iphone is, NOTHING is worth the grief apple puts people thru and this is a recurring theme with them. Most smartphone owners lead a normal life..a life not consumed by their ‘phone’…Yet iphone owners lives revolve around their phone and the countless hours they spend online researching stuff, fixing stuff, talking to apple techs, going to apple store and etc….. NO PHONE, NO MATTER HOW ‘AWESOME” is worth this crap!

    I’ve been playing with some htc incredibles the new 4g evo, and a bunch of others and they are AWESOME PHONES as well…..I mean incredibly awesome….And, as an owner of one of these better non iphone smartphones, you dont spend half your life trying to get the phone to work right or fix issues that pop endlessly…..

    The iphone is an awesome device…but There are plenty of awesome devices that wont consume your time and life like the iphone does…..My buddy had an iphone since they forst came out..he is a diehard apple fanatic…..He finally threw in the towel and said ‘it just aint worth it…I have a life…I need my device to work..I cant find out I have new problems popping up weekly..I dont have time to waste gluing myself to the net looking for answers or having to upgrade and re-sync so many times….’….He got himself an incredible and is absolutely in love with it….nary a single issue and he said he would never go back to an iphone ‘now that he has seen the light’…Most of the people I know are coming to the same conclusion….Far too many EXCELLENT devices out there so no reason to go thru the non stop B.S. of owning an iphone.

    I must agree.

  • Juan

    I find the amount of emotion over this reception issue quite funny. It’s just a phone, it’s not a life support system. If it has failed you, you have 2 choices: A) take it back to place of purchase and get your money back or B) get a case.

    Bottom line… do something about it. Take your phone back. Tell them about the known issue and refuse a “bumper” case (if you’re returning to Apple). If you’re on an AT&T contract, you have 30 full days to change your mind to return device and null your contract. If they want you to pay the 10% restock fee (either AT&T and/or Apple), refuse while reminding them the issue is a device defection not just you wanting to return it for no good reason.

    We know the issue is there. A software update likely will not cure anything but that’s to be seen. I, myself, paid $500 for my device, renewing my contract. I’m perfectly happy with my IP4 (except the continuing poor battery life) because my first order of business for me was to buy a case. Not because of the recpetion issue but becuase I’m a clumsy chode. I’ve already dropped the phone twice on hard surfaces. It’s not that I don’t care about the issue, it’s just that I don’t have time to let it bother me when I have a remedy.

    An oddity I’ve noticed about this issue is even when I have one bar, my calls are crystal clear and have yet to drop. My 3GS was notorious for dropping calls while I was talking and walking around my house. Has yet to happen with my IP4. I’m not saying this to poke fun at anyone, just an observation concerning my device and this reception issue.

    I really hope there isn’t a recall. I don’t want to deal with dumping my Apple stock. =)

  • VnABC

    Got a chance to check out my friend new iPhone 4, yes the antenna problem does happens. I see it drop from 5 or 4 bars to 2 or 1 bar. It even lost signal if we hold for a few mins. This is BS if Jobs told u to hold in different position. Only idiots agree with this! My iPhone 3GS never this problem and clearly they. Have to do some this about this flawed design!

  • I have heard that in the UK they are giving out the “Bumpers” free for those that are complaining about poor reception. Until a solution is forthcomming I’m using my Sotch Tape solution until my Bumper arrives…

    Apple MUST address this issue as it is an obvious design flaw… Let’s face it 4G should not stand for Grand Garilla Grip Giudence… Truth there is no need for garilla griping nor left handedness. In south Florida with high temps and humidity, any reasonable grip on the device kills the cell signal and Apple knows it… So stop with the BS and fix it or redesign it appropriately. Give out Bumpers until replacement redesigned devices are distributed. Otherwise Apple risks not converting 40 million of those that will be upgrading. JImW.

  • Lucifer

    so in a case of an emergency i have to hold my phone a certain way?!? iPhone 5… new feature… can make calls holding the phone upside down !!!

  • Paul

    How can you avoid an hardware problem with a software update? Telling the iPhone to transform the GPS antenna in a UTMS/GSM antenna if the finger covers both sides of the black strip?!?!?

    Steve Jobs is drunk!