AppleCare acknowledges iPhone 4 signal problem, provides known solutionsAri Robbins - Contributing Editor
It's difficult at best to try and avoid reading or hearing about the iPhone 4's antenna problems and the magic dead spot on the bottom left portion of the phone. Last week Apple issued a statement to iPhone 4 users concerned with the problem, suggesting that the issue they were experiencing was really false hope. Yes, Apple wants you to know that they are sorry for having used the wrong algorithm for calculating signal strength from the very beginning (dating back to 2007). Basically, if you're an iPhone user, whether it be the most recent iPhone 4 or the original iPhone, your signal has never really been as good as you may have thought. But don't worry, Apple plans on fixing it, the software issue, that is.
What isn't being fixed? The actual problem people are concerned with, the fact that due to a design blunder, when you hold your iPhone 4 the way that probably feels the most comfortable, you yourself are causing the signal degradation issues that are likely driving you mad by now. What's even a little more troubling is the fact that AppleCare is aware of the issue, and aware that the update Apple intends to send out "in a few weeks" won't fix it. According to Gizmodo, who on three separate occasions called AppleCare to discuss the issue, the solutions provided by the company are to hold the phone "differently," or to purchase a bumper which will put a stop to the interference, and coincidentally, a $30 dent in your wallet. Here is more of what AppleCare told Gizmodo regarding "voice quality problems and call drops, as well as problems with internet access:"
- There is an antenna interference problem when you hold the iPhone 4 in a certain way (the tests by Anandtech and many demonstration videos in the internet show that the signal drop will happen every time when you touch the phone's dead spot, on the left bottom corner).
- One solution is to hold the phone differently, avoiding to touch the left bottom corner of the phone (coincidentally, this is how models hold the iPhone 4 in most of Apple's promotional material).
- The other other solution is to buy a case or one of Apple's $30 bumpers (we are hosting a petition to ask Apple for free cases. You can sign it here).
- The incoming software update will not fix this antenna problem, only change the way the phone displays the available signal, make it more accurate.
As the saga continues, one begins to wonder if Apple itself (not AppleCare) will choose to publicly acknowledge the problem, and how they intend to fix it when/if they do. Until then, if you're having problems feel free to get them off your chest in the comments, and know that we will update you the second we know more!