back to article Jobs tells iPhone users to get a grip

iPhone users having reception problems are just holding the phone wrong, according to Apple, which have released an official fingering guide for those who want to be able to make calls. The problem is those pesky users who insist on wrapping their fingers around the phone, specifically touching the side at the bottom left …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. rahul

    We need a DEMO

    What all iPhone 4 users need is a DEMO: The CORRECT way to grip your handset. Let's see how many people line up for THAT.

    1. Marky W

      Apple: Hold Different

      And a nice wallpaper stolen from an Ars commentard:

    2. Vehlin


      Will there be a Playmobil demonstration?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      But steve already Demo'd it

      Didn't you see the Launch video clips? it worked perfrctly in front of all those journos.

      Er whadda ya mean?.. oops.. strike that. Don't hold it like StEve did.

    4. JaitcH
      Jobs Horns

      The Death Grip

      This problem has now got a name: THE DEATH GRIP!

  2. SuperTim

    It's not our fault

    "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."

    Newsflash..... It ISNT a fact of life for every wireless device, infact very few wireless device have an antenna you can actually touch, and most put them well way from areas that may be interfered with. I guess they went for a clever design, which was scuppered by idiotic users choosing to hold their devices in a normal comfortable way.


  3. Alastair Dodd 1

    typical (and slightly wrong as usual)

    "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."

    Well it's not actually the same problem on all wireless phones, it's the iphone aerial in the metal band at fault and their design of this. How you hold an handset will make a difference yes but a normal handset a case won't help at all. The issue is pretty much a sort of shorting out of the wireless signal when flesh bridges one of the gaps between the band sections. One fix a freind has done is putting some scotch tape up the side of the phone to insulate & break the circuit.

    Sorry steve it IS an design flaw.

  4. Chris Morrison
    Jobs Horns


    "But it mainly seems to come down to hand size, with the larger span finding an iPhone harder to use (but, if rumour is to be believed, they'll have less need for an iPhone in the first place)."

    Absolutely genius line!

    The man with the big hands..

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I was about to say that

      It is a genius line! And to continue along that line, I can see a situation where a right-handed male would need to hold the phone in his left hand, and would also require signal for that errr video stream. But that's perhaps not appropriate here.

      There's going to be a lot of frustrated iPhone4 owners out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        ...not appripriate here?

        ...I think you mean, no applicable. Didn't you hear? That sort of thing has been BANNED on the iphone!

      2. brimful


        Only if he's tickling himself at the very sight of the iphone and not the content displayed on it's screen as we all know he's forbidden from tickling himself by any other form of stimulation. Well I do guess that most apple fans are like that.

    2. Ammaross Danan


      "But it mainly seems to come down to hand size, with the larger span finding an iPhone harder to use (but, if rumour is to be believed, they'll have less need for an iPhone in the first place)."

      In order to get the most from this punch-line, I think it should be properly explained to those that don't have the mental capacity to operate a phone without big buttons and or those that require someone else to make it "just work." The rumor in question is the correlation (oh yeah, big "link") between large hands and a certain "male body part" being large as well. In which case, one would not need to compensate (oh big word again..."make up for") for being lacking in a certain "body part's" size, and thus, not have to own the fad fondle-slab.

      Hopefully that clarifies the joke, so more than just Droid owners can see the mirth in it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Ah Ah!!

    When Android phones fail, Apple users (specially) make a laugh about this problem saying it's a rubish phone/os...


    1. Jerome 0


      Shhh... don't tell the fanbois that Android phones fail too!

  6. Rob 101

    It's another nice market thing

    The left handed Iphone's will be released later in the year.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Greg J Preece

    More half-truths from Mr Jobs

    He just can't help talking shite, can he?

    "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone."

    Yyyyyeessss, sort of. But it's unlikely it would be to this extent. So your design is still crap.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Apple might correctly point out that every phone suffers from this problem to a greater or lesser degree"

    What's the word greater doing in there? I've never heard of any phone that suffers to the same degree, let alone to a greater degree.

    Apple have spent a long time making UIs that function in an intuitive way, but it looks like this time they've made up for all of those years of doing it right by doing it wrong in a big way.

  9. Mat

    What do people expect

    Typical response from a sociopathic pillock!

    1. John 104


      Don't you mean Narcisistic?

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick

        Matt and John

        Please guys. The important thing is that Jobs is giving the Market a FREE CHOICE between Sociopathic and Narcissistic.

  10. lglethal Silver badge

    You missed the best part

    Taken from BBC:

    "Steve Jobs responded to a query about the problem from one owner by saying: "Just avoid holding it in that way." "

    lol... His saintliness has spoken....

    1. Haku

      Old doctor doctor joke

      Patient: "Doctor doctor, it hurts when I do this."

      Doctor: "Don't do that then."

      Is Steve trying to become a standup comedian? because his replies regarding Apple products people are unhappy with are already jokes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Jobs again

      He added, "Not that big of a deal".

  11. Anonymous Coward


    While it is true that picking up a phone will interfere with the signal a little, you certainly shouldn't lose 3 or 4 out of 5 bars of signal strength.

    And isn't it normal to grip the lower left edge of the phone when using it? Left or right-handed it doesn't matter: either your finger or your palm will be there as it's the most comfortable way to hold the phone. Surely Apple can't be advocating getting some kind of RSI just to get better reception?

    List of phones I've had in the last 9 years or so that did NOT exhibit this problem:

    Nokia 6310i

    XDA II

    Nokia P900

    XDA Orbit 2

    Nokia E61

    HTC Desire

    List of phones I've had in the last 9 years or so that DID exhibit this problem:


    1. blackworx


      Interestingly enough, the 6310i manual does instruct users to avoid putting their fingers on the upper area of the rear (ooer missus etc.) and I have noticed a slight drop in signal when doing so, but not even remotely to the extent this iPhone 4 seems to.

      1. William Towle

        Re: 6310i

        "the 6310i manual does instruct users to avoid putting their fingers on the upper area of the rear (ooer missus etc.)"

        I had a girlfriend give me that advice once, after which the reception got worse ... and the same goes for my actual phone (crazily? *) ;)

        (* Well, maybe not. I have the same paragraphs in the manual [unsurprising, it's also a Nokia], despite which the signal reading *doubles* when held as shown how not to! I am in the Aire Valley right now though and I'd hazard that counts for something).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Design failure

    Ok, it may look "nice" having the aerial run round the outside of the device but if that entails the possibility/probablity of loss of reception if part of that aerial comes into contact with the person using it then it would seem pretty obvious that you engineer the design so that that part is in the least likely part of the case to be held and not the most likely place for right handed users.

    Maybe its a cunning plan to launch the new Iphone 4R designed for right handed people in a few months time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      #Design Failure

      >using it then it would seem pretty obvious that you engineer the design ...

      Give them a break. This is the first time they've actually engineered their own, up until now they've been relying on Nokia's designs. []

  13. Tim Spence

    Easy design mod/solution

    So the band around the outside is metal, the antenna, sure, but I'm sure they could find a way to put a tiny amount of clear lacquer or something on it, which still lets near 100% of signal through and looks the same, but crucially breaks the contact between skin and metal?

    I'm going to patent that, quick!!

    1. Annihilator


      I'd patent all you like, but Apple don't seem to mind patent and trademark infringements, so fill yer boots!

    2. Chronos

      Re: Easy design mod/solution

      At those frequencies, fingertip area is going to be enough to capacitively couple your mitts to the aerial, even with a thin lacquer "dielectric."

  14. Jim Coleman
    Jobs Horns


    ...everything the iPhone can't do, or does badly, is the customer's fault. In an apple-shaped world, the customer is always wrong.

    I hope all iPhone customers listen to the word of Jobs and start holding their phones the way Cupertino dictate, which shouldn't be hard as they're used to accepting the Jobsian dictats on where they must buy apps and whether or not they can run Flash etc.

    Suck it up, losers!

    1. hplasm
      Jobs Horns

      Does it work ok if

      you stick it up your arse? That's where the followers of Jobs usually have their heads, so maybe that's the correct way to hold it?

      1. 42

        of course

        Thats why they have round corners on apple products.

    2. John 104


      It amazes me that people continue to buy Apple products knowing that their disdain for their actual customers is unrivaled. This is a company with the worst customer service attitude in the entire technology sphere. Yet no one seems to care? Lemmings.

  15. Ian K

    Quantum Mechanics: Frequently Optional

    "the irritating habit of radio particles to act like waves makes things unnecessarily complicated"

    While bringing in wave/particle duality earns Brownie points for thoroughness, for all practical purposes you might as well regard phone handsets as emitting radio waves and have done with it.

    If you ever have so few photons in play that you need to consider them individually, you're so many orders of magnitude below having a usable signal there's no real point in bothering.

    1. Dale Richards

      Brownie points

      Brownian points?

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Actually, you have very MANY photons

      because of Planck's law

      E = h f

      with E the energy of a photon, H Planck's constant and f the frequency. Only at very short wavelengths (think visible light) do individual photons have a measurable effect (such as the photo-electric effect, explained by Einstein using Planck's law, which got him his Nobel prize (NOT relativity)). At radio wavelengths you have so MANY photons that the statistics of individual photons average out and only the wave behaviour is evident.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No sale

    I was already pretty doubtful because it was so overpriced, but this response from Apple confirms it for me - I'll stick with my 3G for the forseeable.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    What a wanker!!

  18. c-hri-s

    It's going back

    Here's mine doing its stuff:

    It's in its box, all packed up and ready to go back to O2.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      Oh my...

      That video shows it to pretty dramatic effect. Blimey, what a balls up.

    2. OrsonX

      oh dear!

      if a picture says a thousand words then that video says it all!!

      = iPhone4

    3. My New Handle

      The problem there ...

      ... is that it is on O2 mate. What a god-awful notwork that is. Only when my iPhone 3GS took its first breath of Vodfone 3G did it begin to perform for the first time in its short life! So absolutely no surprises there that the iPhone 4 phenomenon is even more expressed than it might be on any other network on this planet!

      Don't send it back - get it supplied on another network.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Seriously ?

        Measured signal quality (as opposed to signal strength) has little to do with the actual network and more to do with cell and antenna design (both at the cell and handset) not to mention environmental considerations.

        Even the slightest amount of digging will demonstrate that the issue affects all networks fairly equally; see for a demonstration on vodafone.

        Having access to both Vodafone and O2, I find O2 in the north of England (particularly in rural areas) performs substantially better then Vodafone on simlar hardware. I'm now using a Galaxy S which is performing (signal wise) far better than my HT Desire does in the same areas on the same network. Horses for courses I'm afraid - up here I prefer to be on O2 and count myself lucky I have two options in terms of network because of my work mobile.

    4. Mark Greenwood
      Jobs Horns

      Judging from that

      It's not just left-handers wo'll be affected. I'm right handed which means I always hold the phone in my left hand (just like you do in the video) because I use my right hand to dial numbers with. I don't then transfer it to my right hand just to have a conversation. Am I just wierd? Glad I didn't buy one of these things anyway, it's hard enough getting a signal where I live as it is...

      1. phen

        Two handed dialing?

        I'm interested to know if you're by any chance older. I (and most people I know) do one handed thumb dialing, holding the phone as one might a remote control. I know one girl who does two handed texting (ie two thumbs for speed), but the only time I've ever seen anyone use two hands as in index finger and and cradle, is in 80's movies when dialing land lines. Just wondering.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  19. gautam

    They will still buy it !

    For fanbois, it is the Saint's wish and diktat. Anything he says is gospel.

    SO what if the signal fades?

    Maybe it was designed for 4 fingered langurs with a tiny palm.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    oh come on, stop the Apple bashing

    Touching the left bottom part of the iPhone is a new magical user interface to turn an iPhone into an iPod Touch.

    And I am sure they have already patented it.

  21. Code Monkey

    Like the puck mouse no doubt:

    Pretty but painful for the larger handed gentleman (or gentlewoman) to use for any length of time.

  22. tony

    not apples fault

    blame the designers!

    i'm off to church on sunday to have a word about fingers being stuck in the wrong place

  23. Steve Crook

    Sinister Plot

    Don't understand how being a leftie is going to make this all right...

    Surely there's no difference if it's the palm of the hand or fingers that are bridging the band. If anything I'd have expected it to be worse for lefties as that side of the phone will sit firmly in the palm.

    Bit of a snigger though if Apple have made a phone that's basically unusable by left handed people. Still, expecting a new Jesus phone to work for those in league with Satan is probably asking a bit much.

  24. Neil 7
    Jobs Horns

    Antennae segments shorting is the problem, not blocking

    This video demonstrates the problem with just a door key - a paper clip would also suffice:

    Note that the antennae are not being blocked by a mass of flesh and bone (head/hand) - it's just a small electrically conductive object that is connecting the two antennae segments together. And when you have a sweaty hand holding the phone in that area I'm pretty sure it will do a fairly passable impression of an electrical conductor.

    The head and hands *do* block the radio signals on all phones, this is true, however the iPhone 4 is the only one designed with the metal aerials on the outside. The bluster from Apple about hands blocking the signal is pure smoke screen - it's not the problem, the design is the problem.

    However some lacquer on the exterior of the antennae would solve the problem - nail varnish would also do the job for those already with an iPhone 4 - in which case this problem should be addressed as a manufacturing flaw/defect.

    So Steve, be a good lad and replace the hundreds of thousands of devices affected by this flaw, it's not that big of a deal...

    1. paulf

      I call BS

      I think this whole video clip has been doctored and is BS.

      Firstly his iPhone is showing full signal strength on AT&T.

      Secondly you can't see the end of the key - he could be shorting it with his hand, and using the severed arm of a non-believer to block the signal

      Thirdly You don't see him lower a massive Faraday cage over the phone after he zooms in on the screen.

      Fourth - its all smoke and mirrors

      Joke Alert in case the rampaging pack of fanbois thinks I'm serious as I agree with OP "Neil 7" above :)

    2. John 104

      But it is...

      When you are unable to admit that you made a mistake. And sorry, putting varnish or paint or anything on the outside of your brand new phone is unacceptable. Its a cock up and a consumer shouldn't have to muck with the antenna to get it to work.

      Then again, thats what you (Apple consumers) get for running out like slavering idiots as soon as some new "life changing" device from Apple hits the shelves.

  25. Ragsnot


    How can it NOT be a design fault? I haven't heard about any other major mobile models having this issue! Maybe I'm just uninformed!!

    Just another reason NOT to buy the Apple mini tablet!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: WTF?

      I'll tell you why it's not a design fault - it's really hard to cover that part of the phone and still hold it in a usable way. I've had 5 mobile phones now and two of them have had similar problems - neither of them from Apple!

  26. Anonymous Coward


    you just don't get it do you.

    Apple are always right.

    If they design a phone which you can't use then that's your problem for being such a puny waste of human flesh.

    People like being told what to do and they are worthless - it explains why some people still vote labour.

    Really I think these people should go to a dominatrix every now and then and whip away their worthlessness so they can get on with life at other times.

  27. Soruk

    Here's how to do it

    Hold the phone the same way as L does in Death Note.

    1. John Bailey


      So his holiness is actually a Shinigami! I knew it!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Well L did seem to use a Mac

        So I'm guessing L is Jobs' secret Japanese love child?

  28. Annihilator

    Left handed

    As a left-hander (and I've just tried this with my blackberry and 3GS), my palm would lovingly embrace the joint just nicely, presumably meaning I'd always end up with dodgy signal. Epic fail Apple, epic...

    1. Stuart Elliott
      Jobs Halo

      As a leftie..

      I hold my 3GS in my right hand, and control the screen with the left, I would have thought it natural for any left handed person to do the same, I tried holding the phone in my left hand and using my right hand for screen control and it just felt weird.

      I guess I'll buy one of the current 4Gs when they're all recalled and worth £20, as it doesn't look as if it'll effect me \o/

      Or if anyone decides they'd prefer to swap their 4G with my slightly used 3GS, feel free to reply here. :)

  29. Anonymous Cowherder
    Jobs Horns


    So their design fault is now user error?


  30. NightFox

    Not Just the Phone Function

    It's not just about how you hold it to make phone calls though - most right handed people aren't going to be touching the 'bad' corner when they're using it as a phone, but conversely when they use it for anything else it's likely to be sat in their left hand with the dodgy corner well and truly securely wedged deep into the palm.

    I'm right handed and have had no problems making phone calls. However, if I type a text message then the phone's in my left hand, I lose all reception and have to transfer it to the other hand and wait for reception to return before pressing Send.

    And I'm also very aware that whilst I'm using my phone for anything else than phone calls, if anyone tries to call me they're unlikely to reach me.

  31. Blitz
    Jobs Horns

    And we thought Microsoft was bad

    I honestly can't ever remember Bill Gates coming out with zingers like "It's your fault, hold it a different way".

    All you Apple Fanbois will reap what you sow.

  32. ScioScio


    I would never buy an iPhone but this does happen a lot to other phones ... but not to the same extent.

    A few Nokia phones I have owned in the past have had diagrams in the manuals pointing out the locations of antenna and warning that touching these parts will reduce signal.

    The difference here is that the antennas in Nokia are placed in a non-stupid locations and even if you did touch them they didn't drop the call.

    What can you expect though? Apple have only been in the phone business for a couple of years, more established companies made these mistakes years ago. Yet more evidence to reinforce my opinion that the iPhone has a good few years to go yet before becoming a mature device.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Not so sure...

    "and being told they're holding it wrong isn't going to placate anyone."

    "The 4G iGrip" will very soon become an iBadge of iHonour amongst the iFanBois - with iRidicule being aimed at those who Just Don't Get It.

  34. Pavlov's obedient mutt


    so, apart from the Jobsian response being it's usual anti-end user, the question I'd like answered is:

    How real is this problem in reality. The iPhone 4 is supposedly got all sorts of schnarfy technologies to make the network handling better - so is it relative? is 1 bar strength on a 4 better or worse than, say, 3 bars on the 3G(S)?

    Are all network bars equal?

    1. Greg J Preece

      Going solely on YouTube vids...'s pretty bad. The video in the original article showed the signal dropping so far that service was lost completely. Another video posted elsewhere in this thread by a reader shows the same thing. The network switching tech - their non-standard method of trying to find a network with the least congestion - can't operate if it can't detect the networks in the first place.

      Apple or no Apple, and my usual iPhone sentiments aside, it's a pretty shocking design oversight, and you really wouldn't expect it of any company that huge.

  35. Miek

    Fact of life !?

    Doesn't appear to be a problem for my HTC Desire.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    the problem lies in ...

    How Apple / iPhone users handle themselves...

    not just the products!

  37. Monty Burns

    Has Jobs finaly flipped????

    Obviously all the joking is funny with "its not our hardware, its you" thats gone on in the past but now he's ACTUALLY gone and done it! The human body is wrong, NOT the design of the iPhone.....

    The mans rapidly approaching a raving looney!

  38. frog

    users not compatible with design

    Style over substance.

    nice pretty graphic.

    large palm users swim faster.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    mmmmh titles, drool

    so the oh so genius antenna placement on the iPhone is basically... not so genius.

    i LOLd

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    No one is safe!

    Cue lots of pictures of people holding it wrong...oh yes over at Cult of Mac, a prime shot of the saviour, Lord Jobs...holding the phone wrong!

  41. Rob 101

    All wireless phones eh?

    Well, we've just been round the office testing everyone's phones.

    We had and N900, an HTC Desire and HD2, several Nokias, a couple of Samsungs and some Sony Ericssons.

    We could not find a single phone where the method of holding it affected the signal. Even with one person surrounding the long perimiter with fingers and another covering the back and most of the front most did not drop at all and those that did were only by a bar.

    1. GingerMike


      I have an Iphone 4, a simple case sorts it out, which most people use anyway. It took me 10 minutes to get that, how long did it take for your "experiment" and then to post? Muppet

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Who is the Muppet?

        So you are happy to pay hundreds of pounds for the device and then had to spend more money on a case to overcome a design flaw to make it work as it should?

        You are calling the other guy the Muppet?

        If it were me, I would be seeking a refund right now.

        Obviously, exactly the type of customer Apple expects/relies on... ;o)

      2. John 104


        We are all laughing at you for being such an Apple lemming. Insted of being pissed at being insulted and handed a dodgy phone, you laud the extra $30 or whatever pound equivelent you had to spend just to get the phone to work. Who's the muppet?

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Genger mikey

        One post = shill

        Oh and if Apple had decided that their phone needed a plastic case then you/Apple would have supplied one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: All wireless phones eh?

      "Well, we've just been round the office testing everyone's phones."

      I've got a couple here that ARE affected by the problem. So your point is?

      Besides which, the one in the video is not an iPhone 4, it's a 3rd gen model. I've tested my 3rd gen model and it's fine, so maybe it's a limited problem?

  42. Daf L

    How not to hold it...

    Before it was release hundreds of shots were released by Apple showing you how not to hold it, so you only have yourself to blame...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Case closed

      Or just beginning.

  43. James 5

    I've just designed..

    ..this great car - called the AppleCarT ! Only downside is that the user MUST, just MUST, lean out of the open side window to see. The front windscreen is this really sexy black.....

    If they can't grasp this basic idea then they're too stupid to understand my "Design before practicality" concepts. And that really upsets the AppleCartT.

  44. Roger Stenning

    Someone wasn't paying attention in Signal Propagation classes...

    Mr Jobs would appear to have a bit of a problem understanding signal propagation, that is, the way in which radio signals can be effectively sent by means of antennae. Come to that, it's quite probably that his engineers might need a refresher, too.

    The ideal place for a radio antenna on a hand-held RF-radiating device is the top, that is the uppermost, part of the device. Why? Simpler: There's less chance of the antenna being obstructed by human flesh and bone (thus reducing the effective strength of radiated and received RF signals), the antenna is also higher as you raise the device to speak into the devices' built-in microphone (thus increasing the effective range, however slightly, of the device), and it also reduces the chances of RF burns in higher-powered devices (not that mobile phones or hand-held walkie-talkie style radios have much chance of that, they don't tend to generate enough power to do that).

    So, what do Apple do? They bury the antenna in the heel of the device, and add to their design error by ensuring that the human hand to come into contact with the shell-mounted wrap-around antenna as well. Um... oops?

    Could they have done anything more to reduce the effectiveness of the antenna? Well, yeah, they could have made sure that the transmitter and received weren't actually connected to the antenna, but that's probably a tad obvious, even to them.

    Epic Fail, anyone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FCC wont let me be ....

      I think you will find that most phones these days have the aerial in the base of the device. This is because the FCC dictates a maximum SAR level, and most manufactures have decided to move the aerial further away form the brain .... probably to ensure they pass ....

      So not really a apple specific thing

    2. Richard Sloan

      Signal Propogation

      Actually, on most handheld devices, your body acts as the signal's ground plane. Having the driven element in contact with the ground plane is going to cause problems with voltage standing wave ratios (the broadcasting power getting reflected back into the transmitter) rather than your hand itself blocking the radio waves.

      I've taken apart numerous mobile phones. All of them have their driven element at the top, back, usually towards the centre. Some of them may have had things like wifi or GPS antennas in wierd places but the cellular antenna has always been in the place where you are least likely to have your hand.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Someone wasn't paying attention in Signal Propagation classes..

      "So, what do Apple do? They bury the antenna in the heel of the device, and add to their design error by ensuring that the human hand to come into contact with the shell-mounted wrap-around antenna as well. Um... oops?"

      Err, "design error" is it? It's really hard to cover that part of the phone while also holding it to your ear. I just tried it.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Jobs Reality Distortion Field

    has now reached singularity strength.

    While proper mobile phone producers warn against shielding the antenna with the users body,

    Apple conveniently puts the antenna in an ergonomically to grasp place.

    The whole went through by a classic test cook up (think Mars Polar Lander).

    Answers Apple: Get your gritty fingers off or buy a case.

    Yeah, right.

    In our universe, with class action lawsuits and stern warnings not to touch the antenna,

    Apple would have a complete product recall disaster at its hands.

    Not holding the phone properly will lead to early loss / damage.

    Using a case will only lead your hand to be microwaved a bit slower.

    They have to go back to the drawing board.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Jobs Reality Distortion Field

      "Apple conveniently puts the antenna in an ergonomically to grasp place."

      Grammatical and syntax errors aside, I just tried to use my iPhone and cover the bottom left hand corner with my fingers - I couldn't easily hold it to my ear AND allow the mic to pick up my voice...

  46. Argh
    Jobs Horns

    Great feedback from Engadget here

    Showing all the official marketing media with people holding the phone "wrong":

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Design flaws...

    Its clearly a design flaw. My HTC handset doesn't lose signal if I hold it in my left hand or right hand.

    Can see an IPhone 4.1 already.

  48. Tatsky

    This affects all phones... with 2 antennas seperated by a black strip in the lower left corner

    "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."

    So I thought this antenna thing was a "reall cool bit of design" or some such statement? But now they are saying every wireless phone is like this? OK, I know that isn't what they are saying, but in one breath it's "all phones do this" followed in the next breath with specifics about "the black strip in the metal band"... so do all phones have this black strip in the left corner? No! So this problem is specific to the iPhone 4 then? Yes! so not all phones have this problem then?..... erm, no

    I think it is pretty poor to explain this away by "all phones experience a loss in signal when you hold them". That isn't the point here. The point is you hold the phone normally, which causes the 2 antennas to be shorted, and the reception fails completely.

    Only an iPhone 4 problem. Only an Apple problem.

    Or, it is a cunning way to sell more accessories?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: This affects all phones... with 2 antennas seperated by a black strip in the lower left corner

      "So this problem is specific to the iPhone 4 then? Yes! so not all phones have this problem then?..... erm, no"

      I've had the problem on a number of phones.

      "The point is you hold the phone normally"

      It's really hard to use a phone if you've got your fist wrapped around over the microphone end...

  49. Frank 6
    Jobs Horns

    Wait, what?

    You are supposed to use an Apple product when you hold it? I thought you just buy one and hold it for showmanship. Form over function boys. When will these people finally learn?

  50. Big Bear
    Jobs Halo


    Change your grip. Not that big of a deal.

    1. Slartybardfast

      Oh Dear

      There's always one isn't there - I hope he was being sarcastic, although I doubt it.

  51. Number6

    Wrong way up

    They should have put it top-left, so that it would be above the hand, and would end up top-right when rotated for landscape mode.

    You're also a bit wrong in the article about us sinister types - I hold a phone in my right hand, always have done. It makes it much easier if I need to take notes while on a call.

    1. Slartybardfast
      Thumb Up


      Good idea - I agree.

      However, it wouldn't have been so Preeety. Although it would have worked.

      Style over substance again.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Yeah, that's what it means, style over substance, always, you forgot to add always.


  52. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Happy Fat handed Lefty

    Firstly, I've got one and am keeping it. Secondly, I am left handed and have huge big hands. It hasn't been an issue for me as yet and I have the "bump strip" case on it's way anyway.

    That aside, I find it hilarious and quite shocking that this could have got through QA. WTF were they thinking? And labelling the concept as genius just makes Mr Jobs look even more ridiculous.

    This is surely an anti-fanbois wet dream...

    1. Mick F

      This is surely an anti-fanbois wet dream...

      no - just a massive design flaw

    2. John 104


      oh, it is. I just wet myself. Again.

  53. Gil Grissum

    "You're holding the phone wrong"

    WFT?? We designed a flaw into the phone that we somehow missed during testing but it is YOUR fault for holding the phone wrong because WE put the antanea in the steel band OUTSIDE of the phone which you were SURELY bound to touch while holding it? Give me a break!! Anyone who accepts this blame game is surely an idiot. I'm holding my Palm Pre Plus right now and despite changing the way I hold it multiple times in both hands, it's not dropping any bars and the signal is fine. So YES Steve it is a design flaw that YOU cannot cover by claiming that your fanboi flock is "holding the phone the wrong way".

  54. Joey
    Thumb Up

    I actually have one...

    Try as I will, I can't reproduce the problem. Even pinching the bottom left and right black lines together makes no difference to the signal strength whatsoever. Maybe I'm not sweaty enough?

  55. muttley
    Paris Hilton

    April 1st already?


    Paris, because she knows how to hold one.

  56. JMD

    Yes, but...

    Most iPhone owners use covers, cases or protective sleeves so it might not affect that many people.

    Seems Apple needs less Unicorn Magic Dust and more engineering. The Apple PR/Kool-Aid team can spin this as a manual Airplane mode thingy, I am sure.

  57. Rob 101

    Are others missing the point though or am I.

    looking at the vids, especially the one with the key where the design is clear this seems not to be an issue with signal propogation but one of bridging a deliberately non conductive gap with conductive skin.

    The key video above illustrates this nicely and posts around the web of people fixing the issue by taping up that corner of the phone seem to verify this.

  58. justkyle
    Jobs Horns


    It's just a bad batch in the U.K. I had no problem with mine ever since it arrived earlier this week.

    I have noticed occasional service issues (mostly indoors, and mostly with 3G) and sometimes I have to switch to GSM to make/take reliable calls, again, indoors on floor 30 of my office building.

    But, if I'd hazard a guess (I didn't look into too much of the take-aparts) I'd say both techs use the same antenna.

    It's almost time for me to pick an icon. I'll go along with the rest of the haters and choose Evil Stevil, even though I've had no major issues with the unit. Why? Clearly, he not only wants to have his pick of donated organs, but also thumbs as well!

  59. Adam 38
    Jobs Horns

    UK Consumer Rights

    Good luck bullshitting your way out of this one, Jobs. No matter how you spin it, it's not gonna qualify as "fit for purpose", and therefore you're gonna have to do a complete product recall. Hahaha!

    I feel a bit guilty about owning an iPhone 3G now, seeing as some of the money for it went to such a prick!

  60. NX1977

    Advertisers will fix it

    They'll airbrush out the issues and still make the sheep feel they need one.

  61. Fluffer

    iPhone 5

    how glad am I that I took out a 24 month contract with the 3G S?! Come back Nokia, you tried and tested manufacturer of well designed handsets.

  62. Tristan Young


    Of course, Apple never does anything wrong, right?

    Apple is really trying hard to discourage people from trusting them to develop products that they can feel 100% positive about.

    This might explain why I've seen an increase in the number of received calls that mysteriously get dropped by people like, say, my employer, an iphone convert.

    Of course, this is perfect for those phone companies that dropped per-second billing - every dropped call means the caller looses the balance of their minute, and has to waste another minute.

    Holding the phone wrong... yeah. Tell us another one Apple. How about designing a better antenna, and placing it in a more appropriate place like, say, along the top-edge of the phone?

    1. Doug Glass

      Uh Huh

      Their employment test is quite original. The only people who get hired are those who can drive to the place and make only right turns getting there. Keeps out the riff raff.

  63. shade82000

    Lame blame

    Maybe he thought of the 'right' way to hold the phone while he was enjoying a bit of time to himself.

    He has realised what type of person owns an iphone and now wants them to hold the phone like they are having a wa...

  64. Neill Mitchell

    How did this get through testing?

    I wonder if the guys in the QA department were told they were just holding in wrong during the testing phase? This should not have gone out like this. Someone surely must have spotted the issue. In the US they'll no doubt try saying it's all AT&T's fault.

    Surely they won't get away with trying to shrug this one off as the users fault. It's going to affect too many people. It's not like its going to a rare event triggered by a weird incantation.

    Eagerly waiting for to report this so I can enjoy the squirming in the comments :)

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just love it

    If something goes wrong, it's Steve's fault. If something goes right, sometimes Apple might credit, but Steve doesn't.

    Fucking hypocrites.

    1. Slartybardfast

      Just hate it

      You say Tomaatoo

      I say Tomarrto

      It's still the same fruit!

  66. Matt_payne666

    not the first time...

    its not the first time that an apple product has shown malevolence towards its fleshy owner...

    at least its only dropping signal (well, even though that is totally unnaceptable!)....

    Many years back I bought a Ti-book the paint on the carbon surround was water soluable so soon ust flaked and peeled off, exposing the carbon fiber... this carbon had the unfortunate side effect of discharging electricity into any wrists that came into contact with it! the effect made much more apperent in the summer with nice salty, conductive sweaty wrists....

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ive just held my iPhone 3G in every way I can think of and it didnt lose any signal whatsoever.

    This is rather funny now, they've buggered it!

  68. F'tangF'tang

    Stop Complaining

    And get yourself down to the Apple store and buy yourself an insulated iGlove...

  69. Eponymous Howard

    Some who seems to....

    ...understand the subject comments:

    Caution: contains clear reasoning.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      Pretty reasoned but...

      But at the end he says

      "So, what's an iPhone lover to do? Well, I voted with my dollars. I ordered my iPhone 4 to replace my Original. I already know how to do the Vulcan Antenna Grip on the iPhone, and I am wearing out my current model.

      And sometimes an antenna that's not great, but good enough, is good enough."

      I bet he'll regret saying that when his calls start dropping. You simply can't expect a user to hold a phone in a certain way every time they use it. They might be unlocking their front door, be hanging onto a hand rail on a train, holding a pint. Heck, I defy anyone who can say they always hold their phone in exactly the same way each time they use it.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        RE: Pretty reasoned but...

        "Heck, I defy anyone who can say they always hold their phone in exactly the same way each time they use it."

        Here you go then:

        I hold my phone in exactly the same way every time - in a usable position.

        Covering up the lower left hand corner of an iPhone means:

        a, your fingers partially obscure the microphone

        b, you can't hold it comfortably...

  70. Cornholio
    Jobs Horns

    Re. "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone."

    I've just tested my antediluvian Nokia nk402 and my cheap 'n' cheerful Samsung E1120. Strangely, there's no change on their signal meters no matter how I hold them.

  71. Tom 35

    Antenna protectors

    All the companies that sell screen protector stickers, can now start selling antenna protector stickers.

  72. JaitcH
    Jobs Horns

    Job is a liar!

    I have never thrown away any cell phone I have bought and that includes a 8-year old Mitsubishi cell (which perfectly fits WITHIN my four fat fingers) and an even smaller Panasonic which is completely covered when in my hand and, proving Jobs is a liar, they work perfectly WITHOUT signal reception signal level dropping. Ichecked them just before writing this.

    Given today's snatch your phone and run social environment, Jobs proposition that hand phones be treated as some British hold a cup of afternoon tea is TOTALLY impracticable. And risky.

    The answer for fools who bought Jobs latest iCrap is for Apple software writers to change the software so that increasing signals are IMMEDIATELY displayed but decreasing signal levels are only displayed after 5 or 10 seconds so no users know what is going on.

    This is why they are called IDIOT LIGHTS.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Job is a liar!

      Two things:

      1, Two of my old mobiles had problems when you held them certain ways (my iPhone doesn't)

      2, If you hold the iPhone in a way that covers the bottom left hand corner then you're holding it in a way that's going to make speaking on the phone difficult and probably a little uncomfortable too.

  73. John Parker

    official fingering guide

    lol @ official 'fingering' guide :)

  74. kode
    Big Brother

    Maybe it's the patents

    Maybe Apple tried to avoid using the patents of Nokia and others this time (since the earlier exploits didn't maybe go as well as Apple had planned and they were sued), and they just couldn't find a workable solution.

    It sounds that Apple must've been aware of this for some time already, which really brings out the nature of Apple's PR bullshit. Maybe they decided to risk it and hope that people wouldn't mind. During the 16 years I was an Apple user I became well aware of the extent Jobs talks shit, so nothing really surprises me about the company. As Jobs gets older he really seems to become more entertaining as his true nature (the God complex) is coming out more and more.

  75. Neill Mitchell

    Classic example of form over function

    Let's make the worlds coolest looking phone and not worry about it actually working well as a phone.

    The big news for Apple here is that if there is one thing people will not accept with a phone it's poor reception. Doesn't matter how cool the phone is, it won't wash. They must have known there was a potential problem. Hopefully the lesson will be learnt.

    What makes this doubly funny is that Jobs expects you to cover up your uber cool phone with a case to get round the problem. So even the form is lost. LOL.

    It will be interesting to see where Apple goes from here.

  76. My New Handle

    I dunno what the fuss is all about

    It is shiny. What more could anyone want. And yes, I actually do have one. I'm polishing my feeelthy handprints off of it right now.

  77. Simon2


    If someones hand can short both metal antenna strips together, that person will also be conducting them to ground, especially if standing outside on wet grass or metal. No wonder the signal drops.

  78. Cunningly Linguistic
    Jobs Horns

    What about us...

    ...right-handed, but left-eared users?

    Looks like an iPhone 4 is not for me, not that I'd even consider buying one. Looks like a HTC Desire for me... when my 4 year-old Nokia 6300 eventually dies that is.

  79. MarkOne

    "you know how to use it"

    grip it like Apple owners grip their cocks...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "grip it like Apple owners grip their cocks..."


    2. Doug Glass

      Obviously ...

      ... you're talking about holding fowl. As in choking the chicken! Oh yeah, and rthem that's just with thumb and pointing finger.

  80. Gareth 18
    Thumb Up


    Engadget has probably one of the best articles I have seen in a long time

  81. Happy Camper


    So they save costs or build times to make an antenna so weak at broadcasting it can be stopped dead in its tracks by human flesh and a few centimetres (depending on the fatty hands) of skin, bone, tendon etc.

    What next, the ipad can't get rid of heat if put on your lap, or held flat etc. You can't get itunes to sync if it is stored next to the PC becaue of the metal case interfering with the cable?

    Jobs really is a tool. But as I don't own anything apple related, I can just sit back and grin.

  82. maccy
    Jobs Horns

    Apple: reinventing ...

    ... the way you hold your iPhone.

  83. Downside

    industrial design

    Make the strip break in the middle of the top and bottom and no one would hold it wrong...

    As for cases, FFS, I pay for a beautifully designed phone, not to ruin it's look by putting it in a thick silicone condom making me out to be Mr Clumsy.. you do the same with your car incase it gets scratched in the car park??

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A saw a picture of an iPhone being shown off by Jobs

    It was being used by president Demetri Medvedev,

    the oligarch seemed very happy with his phone, and so did the Russian.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Best Joke in Class Award

      And in the face of very stiff competition.

  85. Anonymous Coward

    Revelling in an error?

    It takes a seriously sick and twisted mind to think that revelling in an error is anything but disgusting. The world would be a wholel lot better without people like that in it.

    Not much more to say really.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      I think you'll find...

      That people just don't like smug gits and find it funny when they get bitten in the ass.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        Not that you know him at all, mind you, so who's the smug git?

        Regardless, however, you've just justified in your own mind abominable behaviour. Nice one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 14:22 & 15:53

          Is that you Jobs?

          It is, isn't it?

    2. Doug Glass

      So Your Willing ...

      ... to accept every design deficieny and flaw. As in Toyota gas pedals? Cribs that choke infants? Things like those?

  86. Alex 79
    Jobs Horns

    Just use your flipper

    I always maintained that Apple Mice were designed for people without opposing thumbs - those of us with the use of all our digits can handle more than one button. Obviously Jobby is continuing with his secret eugenics program to reshape humanity in a more Apple-friendly form.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    oh good old steve and his nonsense

    As he gets older, his character seems to get even stronger.

    Anyways, I just picked up one yesterday, and I have no problems, but if it was doing it I would return it too. As soon as palm gets it's stuff together I'm going for webos.

  88. Zippy the Pinhead
    Thumb Down

    All mobile phones do not have this issue

    I've never owned an iphone but I have owned quite a few different smartphones. never once have I have an issue with signal dropping because my hand came close or in contact to the antenna... 3 fails on that article.. 1 for the author for not pressing the issue with Apple, one for the designer of the device and one for the person who blamed the users!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: All mobile phones do not have this issue

      I've had two mobile phones that did have this issue. Neither were from Apple.

      Yeah, the researcher could have pressed the issue further. They could have mentioned how stupidly you'd have to be holding the phone to cover any corners of it at all...!

      1. Galidron

        Slightly off topic

        One troll to rule them all.

        Who takes the time to reply to almost all of the comments on a single topic?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slightly off topic

          LOL, relieved to see that it's not just me that noticed this guy! He must be on some seriously super-strength Kool-Ade to make that many fanboi posts in the space of 5 minutes.

  89. Anonymous Coward

    sorry - trried every way

    ... and I can't make it do that at all - signal strength remains at Oxford O2 normal - p*ss poor!

    I could be very paranoid here and note that we don't actually see WHAT the chap is doing with the lower half of the phone while we're watching the bars go down. He could have wrapped the lower half in tinfoil for all we know. Somewhat less likely if the Jobs has deigned to comment though...

    It will all become clear over the next few weeks


    1. Richard Vivash

      Same here...

      I find the same thing. No matter how long I hold the device covering the bottom left, I do not lose signal. However, if I short it with a paper clip I do (unsurprisingly) lose some bars. Maybe my skin is just not very conductive? I don't really suffer with sweaty hands, so maybe that's why it seems OK for me?

      I also agree that you have to hold the phone in a very weird way to cover that spot while making a call, however when I am surfing or checking email I always hold the phone in my left hand and always cover that spot, so i can see it would be a big problem if it effected me.

      I'm sure I'll get marked down for not agreeing with the screaming mob, but I'm just relaying my experience. Do I think it's a big problem? Yup. Will I send my phone back if they issue a recall? Yup. Will I be asking for a refund now? Not sure yet, I'll wait to see if the problem effects me, so far it seems OK.

  90. alphaxion


    I popped into the Apple store after work to see if this happens with the on display models.

    It didn't happen for me, though I felt an uncomfortable tingle in my hand while I was covering both aerials.

    A guy next to me commented "just buy the bumper, then"... I responded with "But you shouldn't have to do that just to get basic functionality out of it!". To this outburst, he offered this nugget of wisdom "you have to have a license in order to drive a car".

    Analogy Fail Alert!!

    It's closer to "you can't start your car until you've had this entirely optional tinting applied to your windows".

    Also, remember when Nintendo had a problem with their Wiimotes? They issued free rubber grips to their customers, then packaged them in with all new Wii's... can we expect Apple to bundle a free bumper case with every phone to address their design flaw?

    Thought not.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: heh

      "can we expect Apple to bundle a free bumper case with every phone to address their design flaw?"

      It's not designed to be held with your hand over the corner. In fact, it's hard to do it without partially covering the microphone AND holding it at an uncomfortable angle. Which is the crux of the matter.

      So not really a design flaw, unless you consider your cars inability to perform well underwater to be a design flaw. If it's not forseeable that someone would want to use it that way, it's not likely to have been something that was factored into the design.

  91. Jesse Dorland

    Apple defending/bashing its customer?

    Nothing new here. They defended the battery thing the same way, and then brought the same "feature" to laptops.

  92. Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution

    Simply cut off your hand and araldite the unit onto the stump thus avoiding contact with the edge strip..

    Not that big of a deal.


    1. Neill Mitchell


      You'd have to araldite it on upside down surely or you're going to hit the same problem?

      Man, can you imagine how pissed you'd be!

  93. Shazback


    App store, "magical device", touchscreen, "best web browsing experience", designed in Cupertino...

    I guess it really is an iPad Nano then.

  94. Anonymous Coward


    "The problem is those pesky users who insist on wrapping their fingers around the phone, specifically touching the side at the bottom left corner - doing so will significantly affect reception."

    I tried holding my iPhone like that - it's retarded - your hand ends up being in a position that stops the mic working properly AND it's hard to hold it to your ear.

    So yes, if you don't plan on being able to be heard and don't mind holding the phone in a strange position then you can cover up the bottom left hand corner all you like!

  95. Ian Yates


    EVen HTC suffers from this.

    I put my Hero in a Faraday cage, and it got nothing!

    On another note, what happened to the so-called software fix Apple mentioned about this yesterday? It seemed unlikely then, and a lie now. Maybe they just wanted to respond to complainants with "There's an App for that!(tm)... but you can't get it"

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So glad I have gone to an HTC Desire

    Nuff Said

  97. Feldspa


    Given that your average iPhone 4 user has just spent all their savings on the phone, a very heap solution to the ariel problem (are youlistening Steve) would be to put a rubber band around the outside edge, thereby preventing contact with the problemaic metal ariels.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns


      Ah yes and isn't it a bit coincidental that such a rubber band was already advertized for sale on the Apple site before the product hit the shelves.

      Apple knew about this problem as did Foxconn and that is why certain Foxconn employees were driven to suicide.

  98. Sarah Davis

    new feature of future iphones

    i've an old Samsung U600. Covering all the edges with fingers and palms has no effectc on signal strength whatso ever, so i'm guessing this 'feature' must be one of those Apple Innovations that you hear some people go on about.

    Maybe for the iPhone5 (released 6 months after release date) they'll extend this as an 'energy saving' feature whereby it turns itself off whenever you touch it. The iPhone6 (released 1 year after release date) will update this with proximity detection so it will turn itself off if anyone is within 3ft of it. Finally by the time iPhone7 comes out (2 years after release date) they will have embedded rudementary sentience (with low self esteem) which will turn itself off anytime anyone looks at it. The iPhone8 feature will be so advanced that even if you buy one you will not be allowed to actually have it or see it, you will be allowed privelaged access to view a high quality jpeg of it, once a month and you bill will be assumed.

    Apple - Admire but Don't Touch

  99. Sarah Davis


    just hold it upside down yer eejut !!

  100. Lord Lien
    Paris Hilton

    So if......

    ... I go out now & get a nice new shinny Iphone. Put it in a protective case like I have all my other phones (non-iphones included) does this problem still exist?

    Paris because she wants one too... only because its new, shinny & drop dead gorgeous...

    1. Oz

      Re: So if

      No, the two parts of the antenna will be isolated from the moisture from your hand, and will work fine. Hence the demand for Bumpers!

  101. Paul Swindlehurst


    Is the AC who's posted the same response to a load of posts on here, commenting on contorted hand positions and microphone covering, an Apple employee or just a rabid fanboy? Or maybe even the great jobs himself?

    Every video, or picture, I've seen of this phenomenum occurring seem to show the userholding the phone in a perfectly reasonable position.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  102. Cannop
    Thumb Up

    This made me laugh.....

    Saw this comment posted on one of the numerous iPhone4 signal videos on YouTube.


    "First the iPhone gets lost in a bars get lost in the iPhone "

    The original poster should make headlines for the Register. Or perhaps he/she does?!?!

  103. Stuart Halliday

    Odd no one discovered this before launch

    So if you're right handed, then you hold it in your right hand?

    As I'm left-handed I can see it's useless for me.

  104. Daniel B.

    Dear Jobs,

    I'm left-handed. Does this mean I'm forsaken from the iPhone?

    Errr... I'll stick with my Blackberry then.

  105. DrXym

    Every Apple product has issues

    People seem to think that because it says Apple it means quality. Far from it. Those days have long passed although you wouldn't know it from the price tags.

    Yellowing cases, expanding batteries, cracked cases, overheating CPUs, burnt power cables, cracked ear plugs. The list of defects go on and on yet people still fork out for something which is little different and often worse than the "cheaper" brands.

    At the end of the day most consumer products come out of Foxconn or a similar factory and people who think Apple products are imbued with some magic "quality" really need to cop on. They might appear slicker but its the same old crap.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Not so much quality

      They do give user satisfaction, their customer service is generally good. You get a replacement phone or can book an appointment to let a 'genius' help you out.

      Try doing that with HTC or other makes.

  106. Stuart Halliday

    Next Add-on will therefore be...

    Now that the aerial is available to the outside world, how long before the first dumb 'external aerial' add-on is put on sale?

    Bad enough seeing 2dB external Wi-Fi aerials on sale for wi-fi dongles (hint for those not blessed with a technical education, 2dB is practically nothing). So no doubt Apple Fans will be conned into buying add-on aerials soon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Db values

      2dB is about 60% extra.

      Wireless routers are about 100 mW (20db ) , 22 db is 160 mW

      if working in absolute terms

      In radio 0 db is 1 mW, 3db is 2mW

  107. Eeep !

    Apple products are only for people in the Apple mold

    Apple don't want to sell to people, they want to sell to the people who can afford their products and the upgrade addiction.

    If you make it harder for Apple to churn out another overpriced product then it is you who should change to make the product a success.

    Apple isn't about meeting customer needs, it's about creating customer demand, if you are negative about what Apple's talented (splutter!!!!) designers tell you is the correct view then it's YOUR FAULT ! Only the true target market can get an Apple product to work properly, so the fact you can't means you aren't worthy and must use a case or tongs to fool it.

  108. Anonymous Coward

    8 steps to ensure perfect reception!

    1 - Hold it firmly in one of your paws, mittens, tentacles, or by whatever means you name your upper limbs;

    2- Stay close to other Apple devices that have the same poor reception, but keep at least two arms length distance in any direction;

    3 - Rotate your arm, clockwise or anti-clockwise is not important. But it is important that you feel the bloodstream rushing toward your arms as result of high rotational acceleration. Some bleeding form fingernails is expected if you reach 40 or 50Gs, it is normal and expected;

    4 - Release your grip from the iPhone, preferably when your arms are moving upwards, for better results;

    5 - Watch it smash into ground, walls, ceiling or other crappy Apple products at high speed;

    6 - Be sure it was destroyed and follow step 7, otherwise repeat steps 1 to 6.

    7 - Go to a decent store and buy a Nokia. Any Nokia will do.

    8 - Repeat procedure for all your friends as necessary.

  109. gruffrey

    More complicated than a design flaw

    Had a play with a random blokes new iPhone and try as hard as I might couldn't get it to lose bars. Dry hands sweaty hands fully cupped - no drop. This is more than a design flaw otherwise it would be replicable on every phone. Not being a single identifiable problem on all handsets is probably more of a nightmare for apple to sort out.

  110. Doug Glass

    So? What's Your Point?

    It's a feature designed to prevent overload from a nearby signal. It allows the fanatical juvenile user to adjust receiced signal strength via simple hand jesturing. Apple should list it as such and be charging extra for it. The FJs would hush immediately just like they do when nanny corrects them.

  111. David McMahon
    Jobs Horns


    there an app that measure skin resistance (or whatever the tech behind it is?)

    I can squeeze my Nokia E51 and still gets signal two hands though (as if it was very heavy) and yeah signal drops

  112. A 31

    and ....

    I just bought one .... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh

    I shall have to always hold it with my right hand and scratch me balls with the left

    this is going to take some getting used to !!!

    Steve ... you change us ! for the better !!

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real reason for Foxconn suicides

    I suggest to you that Apple and Foxconn have known about this design fault for quite some time and it is the real reason that Foxconn employees were driven to suicide recently.

    Were they really suicides at all?

  114. Richard Scratcher
    Jobs Halo

    Not a flaw, a feature

    No more navigating to settings and selecting airplane mode. Simply swap the phone to your left hand.


  115. Ahg

    Don't think in problems, think in solutions

    Why is every-one so crazy about this antenna thing?the solution for apple is very easy. What they should do is to split the antenna (the metal frame) into two separate pieces wired and connected from the centre. If you place one hand on the left and one on the right, there will be no connection, hence no problem with the reception. Because the wirering is done from the centre of the phone (one wire to the left, one to the rigt) there can never be a "tough" of the antenna which causes the connectivity to decrease.

    Does it really need a Dutchman to come up with this?

  116. Nordrick Framelhammer

    I have big hands and big feet

    I don't have an iPhone? Co-incidence?

    Of course not.

    And now back to typing with something above my waist.

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I just tried one out in the Vodafone shop...

    ... and I could not make the signal drop even slightly no matter how I held it. This is quite pleasing as I'm really keen to buy one. Some of the Android alternatives look pretty good but none of them match up to the iPhone 4 IMO.

  118. Neil 7
    Jobs Horns

    Leftties only b0llox?

    What's this nonsense I've read (on the BBC) about this being a problem only for lefties (7%-10% population)?

    Surely it's a problem only for RIGHT handed people as they would hold a touch screen phone in their left hand and prod away at the screen with the fingers from their right hand - that's 90%-93% of the population!

    I'm the cynical type and generally suspect the BBC to be in Apples pocket so the BBC saying it's a problem only for lefties is massively downplaying the scale of this problem.

    Signal strength may also be a factor in demonstrating this problem - if you're in a location with a very strong signal (ie. close to a cell tower or Femtocell) then you won't see any noticeable drop, apparently.

  119. Piggy and Tazzy

    Is it a ploy?

    A ploy to make customers spend another £25 on a 'bumper' that's probably worth 2p?

  120. Robert Grant
    Thumb Down

    @ Anonymous Coward "RE:heh"

    "So not really a design flaw, unless you consider your cars inability to perform well underwater to be a design flaw. If it's not forseeable that someone would want to use it that way, it's not likely to have been something that was factored into the design."

    Sorry, but this is absolute, unmitigated rubbish. Catastrophic analogy fail.

  121. John Fielder
    Gates Horns


    Gone are the days when tools are designed for people, now we have to redesign people in order to use the tools. Only Apple could think like this.

    Oh, just remembered the ancient greeks, who worked out how the universe worked, and if reality did not agree, it was the fault of reality for being imperfect.

  122. AlexS


    Well for the first time I attempted told hold my Blackberry Bold II with the left handing position with the thumbs facing upwards.



    After having this phone all year I've decided to DEMAND a refund. How DARE THEY!!! If I want to hold the phone in my left hand I should be allowed. Radio waves - pipple. I EXPECT my phone to be able to transmit 60,000 feet underground and IN SPACE.

    I do not think I'm being unreasonable.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... You're not supposed to USE the iPhone 4, why, you should not even be TOUCHING IT! The latest Apple creation is a THING OF BEAUTY, visual BLISS, eyeotic MAGNIFICENCE! To be ADMIRED whilest worshipping and pondering the BRILLIANCE of the Apple Head: Jobs!

  124. Oscar

    iPhone 3GS

    When I showed my boss the original video he proceeded to show me the exact same issue on 4 iPhone 3GS. You don't fully lose signal but you will drop from 5 to 1 bar. So all those feeling smug about owning a 3GS give it a try ;)

  125. serenityprogram

    iPhone recall hare running, fools the Daily Mail, 'This I did not expect'

    Looks like the Daily Mail were caught believing the spoof CEO SteveJobs Twitter account, going so far as to put out a story about an impending iPhone 4 recall!

    The following link now being inactive Pity I didn't get a screenshot LOL

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't life simple,39029453,49306011,00.htm

  127. Winkypop Silver badge

    Ahhhh Steve must have his little jokes....

    OK, now tell us how to get HOLD of the REAL iPhone....

  128. chriswakey

    Nicked from b3ta

  129. Mr Young

    iTape anyone???

    Comes in any colour you want! Easy to install! Only costs $12! *

    * Arrives in packing bigger than your letterbox with a CD containing an EULA. Online registration is required to activate this product.


  130. ShaggyDoggy

    Huh ?

    You mean people actually try to MAKE PHONE CALLS on this thing.

    Did they run out of Apps to buy ?

  131. bruceld

    There's one way to kill the signal strength...

    If you have any doubts that it is a design flaw due to sweaty skin grounding the wireless signal, then stick it in Steve Ballmers armpit during one of his keynote talks. Gotta love Monkey Man to prove a point.

    Yes. The antenna comes in contact with moist skin, the skin envelopes the human body and the human body is on the ground making it "grounded". The iPhones electro-magnetic signal is then diverted in to the wet flesh through the human body and in to the ground.

    Elementary radio/electrical physics.

    Any knowledgeable engineer/physicist understands this, but apparently Apple's paid henchmen had completely forgotten about this. I'm expecting lots of "umm duh" and *facepalms* at Apple, and their PR people quickly instructing Steve Jobs to act like it's no big deal. Steve Jobs tells fanbois to hold it differently and it's no big deal, and they comply and all is well.

    Jobs knows he has it good; he speaks, fanbois spend their money and they fall in to line every single time.

    "In soviet Cupertino, iPhone holds you"

    1. Doug Glass

      It's Called ...

      ... inductive coupling. And any ham radio operator ubderstands it too. And they're, well .... amateurs. Stevie needs a few drones well versed in antenna theory in place of the wire benders he has at present.

  132. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Dahak


      And here we have it. Iphone 4s can't be used as remote controlled dildos. Apple can't have people taking up the Taiwanese Vice.

    2. Doug Glass


      "If he had made mention of any one particular mobile phone then his statement would have been a direct commercal libel"

      That depends on the law and the law depends on which country you're in at the time. And they just ain't all the same as where you live.

  133. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Its the moisture sensor

    Its the moisture sensor silly.

    And now the warranty is expired. ;)

  134. M 6

    Holding it wrong?

    This evidence was provided by engadget is just showing an email between a guy and 'Steve Jobs'. It's clearly a fake. Firstly SJ wouldn't have time to reply to an email that quickly himself and secondly if he did reply, it would be far more polite.

    Steve Jobs twitter annoucement anyone?.....

    Journalist fail.

  135. Shonko Kid
    Jobs Horns

    Use it in speakerphone* mode...

    and hold it the same way the suits do on The Apprentice, then iPhone4 users can look doubly self important, and avoid the problem altogether!

    *It does do speakerphone doesn't it? Or has His Steveness not invented that yet?

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I think Apple have actually got this right......(ducks out of the way)

    The reason that the signal drops when you touch the antenna is because the antenna is actually working, and lots of RF energy is actually flowing through it. With most other phones you can put your hand over the antenna with little effect because the antenna isn't actually doing much; the rest of the metal in the phone (copper on PCB, sheilding etc.) is radiating too because the antenna is too small compared to a wavelength. This results in poorer performance from the phone because the RF interferes with the electronics, and vice-versa.

    Think about it - when mobiles used to have big telescopic antennas atop them, would you have complained that the signal dropped when you held the phone by the antenna?

  137. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    iPhone 4.01 in the make

    Needs to be installed in place devoid of sunlight for optimum reception.

  138. Neil 7
    Jobs Horns

    @I think Apple have actually got this right......(ducks out of the way)

    Then it's a design flaw to put the antennae in a position where it can be touched - other mobile phone manufacturers insulate their antennae, hence they don't have this same problem (or at least nowhere near this extent).

    And isn't it funny how Apple blame the users hand for blocking the signal, yet if you put the phone in one of their $29 rubber Bumper cases the same hand no longer blocks the signal... suggesting the hand was never blocking the signal in the first place, and the phone just needed some insulation on it's antennae - which again brings it back to being a design flaw, pure and simple. The facts are quite hard to argue with, really.

    Apple: Cop to your mistake, put some lacquer/insulation on the antennae and replace the (now) 1.7m phones sold (well done on that figure btw, very impressive).

  139. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Jobs Horns


    Hey, you bought an iPoop so just be grateful that those of us who are laughing hysterically at you and your overpriced toy are generous enough to let you use our phones when you need to make a call. <LOL>

  140. Peter York 1

    Nokias have the same problem... so what???


  141. Doug Glass


    Methinks Stevie should visit The Wizard and get himself a heart. Seemingly Rev. 0.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like