Apple iPhone 4 users report reception problems
Avoid covering the metal strip or buy a ‘bumper’ to break direct contact with the antenna, advises Apple
Apple has responded to reports of reception issues on the new iPhone 4 by advising users to hold the device a different way.
The company’s chief executive, Steve Jobs, replied to an email sent by one user who was experiencing problems.
The user, Aram, asked Jobs if there were “any plans” to fix the problem. Jobs responded by advising Aram to “avoid holding [the phone] in that way”.
The problem seems to occur when the iPhone 4 is held in the left hand, with the palm covering the lower left part of the stainless steel band that houses some of the antennae.
Users have reported seeing the number of signal bars drop dramatically when the device is held that way, although the problem does not affect everyone.
“Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas,” said Apple in a statement.
“This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. 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.”
Apple has issued a range of ‘bumpers’ – coloured bands of rubber and moulded plastic – that clip over the stainless steel band on the iPhone 4, ostensibly to help protect the device from knocks and bumps.
The company said these cases could also help maintain signal strength, by preventing the palm of the hand from directly touching the antennae.
The bumpers, which cost around €30 and are available in a range of colours, will not be shipped until at least July 16, according to the Apple website.
Hundreds of people queued for hours to ensure they were among the first to get their hands on the iPhone 4, which went on sale yesterday.
Alex Lee, who had flown over to London from Dubai specifically to buy the new iPhone, was first through the door at Apple’s flagship store on Regent Street.