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iPhone 4 reception issues, "grip of death" reports


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iPhone 4 reception issues, "grip of death" reports
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surjones
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: In the hands of Apple.
 
2010-06-23, 16:44

LOL the reception issue was my first concern and I posted it in y iphone 4 thread just makes sense!
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dmegatool
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2010-06-23, 16:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by surjones View Post
What do you guys think about the antenna and bluetooth being in the sides? I mean with your hands covering doesnt that just well block it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Only if you're wearing metal gauntlets.
Metal gauntlets aren't required. Wow...
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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2010-06-23, 17:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmegatool View Post
Pretty much every phone I've owned except my iPhone has come with a sticker on the screen or something telling me how to hold the phone for best reception. That's not something that's unique to the iPhone, despite ZOMG antennae on the outside.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 17:25

So...what do you make of that? Is that "normal"? And why were the comments disabled for that video? A bunch of Android dorks acting the role or something?

But seriously, is this some weird flaw or oversight. Or is that common to all phones? I don't know, I'm asking...

FWIW, I just did it to my iPhone and got the same results (but I never lost service...it just dropped from five bars down to 1-2). And when I set it back down on my desk, it went back up to three (but hasn't reached five).

Interesting.
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Robo
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2010-06-23, 17:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
But seriously, is this some weird flaw or oversight. Or is that common to all phones?
Even non-robotic hands can affect antenna performance. RAZRs, for example, came with instructions not to hold the phone around the "chin" microphone portion, and many phone manuals instruct users not to place their hands around the top of the phone. In other words, it's common to all phones.

Engadget's Joshua Topolsky -- you know, a professional reviewer, instead of a guy on YouTube -- claimed he saw a reduction in dropped calls, in real world usage, compared to previous iPhones. I wouldn't worry about it.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 17:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
Pretty much every phone I've owned except my iPhone has come with a sticker on the screen or something telling me how to hold the phone for best reception. That's not something that's unique to the iPhone, despite ZOMG antennae on the outside.
This.

I don't think most people cradle the phone in their hand, most hold it by the bottom, leave it exposed.
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rdlomas
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2010-06-23, 17:37

Anyone having the reception disaster that's gaining major steam on MacRumors forums?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...=947585&page=6
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Messiahtosh
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 18:06

Is this reception issue causing problems with the iPhones purchased by ya'll Novians?
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
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2010-06-23, 18:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlomas View Post
Anyone having the reception disaster that's gaining major steam on MacRumors forums?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...=947585&page=6
Yikes...kinda glad I'm having to wait another month (or more).

From Walt Mossberg's WSJ review:

Quote:
But, in my tests, network reception was a mixed bag. Compared with the previous model, the new iPhone dropped marginally fewer calls made in my car, both in Washington and in Boston, and was much louder and clearer over my car's built-in Bluetooth speaker-phone system.

Yet, in some places where the signal was relatively weak, the iPhone 4 showed no bars, or fewer bars than its predecessor. Apple says that this is a bug it plans to fix, and that it has to do with the way the bars are presented, not the actual ability to make a call. And, in fact, in nearly all of these cases, the iPhone 4 was able to place calls despite the lack of bars.

However, on at least six occasions during my tests, the new iPhone was either reporting "no service" or searching for a network while the old one, held in my other hand, was showing at least a couple of bars. Neither Apple nor AT&T could explain this. The iPhone 4 quickly recovered in these situations, showing service after a few seconds, but it was still troubling.
That would drive me bonkers, especially with an otherwise perfect, "nailed it!" device (that I just dropped $200-300 on).



Hope something gets figured out quick. The whole iPhone/AT&T thing is already a favorite target...if this is a legit issue and word gets out, it'll be ugly. That's assuming the calls are dropped/unable to be made (but if it's "searching" for a signal, then yeah...that's no good).

I guess all their employees were hanging out at bars, drinking beer, instead of performing hardcore field testing.
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Messiahtosh
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2010-06-23, 18:18

The folks at MacRumors are going crazy about the issue, saying that it's actually dropping calls...
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sunrain
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2010-06-23, 18:21

I'm having better reception in places I didn't as I went around town this afternoon. I can't comment on dropped calls, because I haven't had any.

"What a computer is to me is it's the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with, and it's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."
- Steve Jobs
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Robo
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2010-06-23, 18:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiahtosh View Post
The folks at MacRumors are going crazy about the issue, saying that it's actually dropping calls...
They seem to be convinced that it's a conspiracy theory to sell bumpers.

I can't wrap my head around the way they're holding the phone when they're trying to reproduce the issue. It's like they're playing Twister or something. "You can't touch every surface of the iPhone simultaneously and make a call! Ive sucks this is form over function rah rah."

I haven't heard a reliable report of the antennae design causing problems in the real world. I guess most people just don't hold their phone like that, when they call...?

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Xaqtly
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 18:31

Regarding the reception thing - this might be a real issue. We have good AT&T coverage in Vegas, and I have 5 bars all the time. But with iPhone 4, if I hold it in my hand the same way I held my 3GS, I can literally watch the bars drop from 5 to zero. When I put it down on the desk, they come back up.

I have kind of large hands, and what's happening is that in order for me to hold the phone so it's secure and not falling out of my hand, my pinky is covering one of the "antenna bands", and the band on the other side is up against the meat of my palm, below the base of my thumb. Apparently this is enough to almost completely block the signal.

Or it's just the indicator going down without any signal actually being disrupted, like Apple claims, but I don't buy that. I don't know how this will work in real situations like talking on the phone, so I'll have to wait and see on that one.
  quote
pscates2.0
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 18:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
They seem to be convinced that it's a conspiracy theory to sell bumpers.

I can't wrap my head around the way they're holding the phone when they're trying to reproduce the issue. It's like they're playing Twister or something. "You can't touch every surface of the iPhone simultaneously and make a call! Ive sucks this is form over function rah rah."

I haven't heard a reliable report of the antennae design causing problems in the real world. I guess most people just don't hold their phone like that, when they call...?
To be fair, it's only been about 12 or so hours and only about 29 people have one , so let's see what tomorrow brings. If this is a legit, true issue - I think it could be something like shorting out, the skin contact to the metal? - we'll certainly be up to our eyeballs in evidence this time tomorrow night.

I'm not going to blow this off just yet. But I have a hard time believing this wasn't caught in the testing/prototype stage. So if it is a software issue related to the bar display/animation, why wasn't this fixed sooner and included in 4.0? Or already on the new iPhones? If Mossberg brings it up, and makes it sound like Apple knows about it, that's not a bunch of people making it up.

And you know what? Yeah, I don't manhandle my phone or grip it in some overbearing way. But I also shouldn't have to think about where my fingers are when I pick the damn thing up to answer or make a call, you know? I don't with my current iPhone. I just grab it and use it. If the "solution" to this winds up being some four-step "place your thumb here..." instructions from Apple, guess what? I'll "upgrade" to a refurb 3Gs from AT&T for $99 rather than sink twice that (or more) into something that you can't really use.

But that's assuming it's a real problem, and that Apple isn't quick with a fix.
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 18:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaqtly View Post
I have kind of large hands, and what's happening is that in order for me to hold the phone so it's secure and not falling out of my hand, my pinky is covering one of the "antenna bands", and the band on the other side is up against the meat of my palm, below the base of my thumb. Apparently this is enough to almost completely block the signal.
How is your pinky covering the entire "antenna band"? Or are you referring to that little black seam? Because that's not an antenna...it's the break between them (and I think one of them is simply there for looks or something, to balance out). There are two antennas, but three "seams". Block those seams shouldn't affect anything...it's the big metal band that is the antenna.

I think. I hope. At least that's what I took from the WWDC keynote and all the subsequent articles and reviews...

If it is those little three black areas, then we're screwed.
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BuonRotto
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2010-06-23, 18:49

FWIW, my original iPhone and my 3GS both do that thing when you hold it in your hand, but I've not had real reception problems, and the 3GS is much better than my original iPhone but does this trick much more, especially when you cradle the bottom of the phone. Methinks this is going to get blown out of proportion.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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2010-06-23, 19:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonRotto View Post
Methinks this is going to get blown out of proportion.
It's Apple, of course it is. Look for a breathless Gizmodo headline about it ("Why Apple Wants to Control Who You Talk To!") tomorrow.
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 19:05

I wouldn't worry about the reception bar thing as much as the outright dropped calls and "searching". That could get annoying...especially if, like I'm hearing a lot, people who had solid, reliable phone usage with the 3Gs and earlier models.

I don't think a bunch of people are griping about "lower reception bars" as much as the phone not working, or staying connected. That's kind of a major point for a phone. If it's happening to people, it's happening. And if it's worse than the iPhone they just upgraded from...yeah, that really kinda sucks. I wouldn't blame them for being a little frustrated and concerned.
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 19:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
It's Apple, of course it is. Look for a breathless Gizmodo headline about it ("Why Apple Wants to Control Who You Talk To!") tomorrow.
No, that would be CNN. Complete with the moronic comments section cranked up to 11.

Quote:
appel suks !!! HAHHAHAHAAA
and
Quote:
they're phones r no goood ... they disserve this!!!


But, yeah...there are people waiting to pounce, I'm sure. This time tomorrow night, Apple might have a small black eye. Just depends on how the next 24 hours go (because a lot more people will be getting their iPhones tomorrow and so I think we'll have a much bigger base to draw from on this stuff.

If it doesn't progress beyond what it currently is, then it's just some weird network thing or maybe some random flawed models. But if this is the only thing being talked about tomorrow evening...yikes.

Apple will get a small taste of how Microsoft must feel, every time they try to launch something and have it take a public poop right on their shoe.

I'll say this...if it is a touching or grounding issue and those rubber/plastic bumpers prevent it, the least Apple could do is give one away - white or black, depending on your phone - with every purchase. If you want one of the colors, you can buy one. But nobody should have to pay $29 so their phone will work right (if that's kinda what's going on here).

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2010-06-23 at 19:17.
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Robo
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2010-06-23, 19:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
No, that would be CNN. Complete with the moronic comments section cranked up to 11.
Yes, but if it were CNN we'd at least have Anderson Cooper.

"Tonight, a CNN Special Report -- Phone in Peril. With an hour of me, Anderson Cooper, in hurricane-force winds, which may press my shirt to my chest in an attractive fashion. This is CNN."

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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scratt
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2010-06-23, 20:00

On the signal loss thing, the guys at Gizmodo might have had their other hand earthed out to a ground plane or something! Wouldn't put it past them!

But Apple coming up with their Bumpers all of a sudden does tend to suggest that they knew about this issue. Be it a major issue, or a non-issue.

Expect a glib email from Steve Jobs, replying to a rabid fanboy, saying...

"Well buy a Bumper then. Educate yourself about radio signals dude.

Steve.

Sent from my iPhone4 with a Bumper."

... any minute now.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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ShadowOfGed
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2010-06-23, 20:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt View Post
On the signal loss thing, the guys at Gizmodo might have had their other hand earthed out to a ground plane or something! Wouldn't put it past them!

But Apple coming up with their Bumpers all of a sudden does tend to suggest that they knew about this issue. Be it a major issue, or a non-issue.

Expect a glib email from Steve Jobs, replying to a rabid fanboy, saying...

"Well buy a Bumper then. Educate yourself about radio signals dude.

Steve.

Sent from my iPhone4 with a Bumper."

... any minute now.
Perhaps more importantly, your hand shorts the two antennas together. I mean, your hand probably has a resistance of several megaohms, which starts approximating an open circuit. However, the dynamics might be different at those frequencies—I hated transmission lines / antennas.

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 20:18

This is gonna suck if this is a true, legit issue. Jeez-louise, Apple...you couldn't catch this?

Or were they so hell-bent on having a "glass wrapped in metal"/old Leica look that they pushed ahead with a less-than-sound design? I surely hope that's not the case.

Friggin' bumpers...kinda makes you wonder, huh?

"Hoooooly crap...we did something a little dumb, but we've already manufactured gazillions. Quick, come up with an accessory that we can sell that might cancel this out!"

If this is the case, they deserve any and all black eyes they get. I won't even defend them.
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scratt
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2010-06-23, 20:21

Be interesting to see if anyone has tested this during a call. I mean, and this is pure speculation on my part (i.e. I have no idea what I am talking about), but what if during a call the iPhone lowers the power on the other radios, and visa versa - to reduce the effect of signals on each other?

Oh, what have I said now! People are gonna start complaining that WiFi drops out during calls.....

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Messiahtosh
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 20:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
This is gonna suck if this is a true, legit issue. Jeez-louise, Apple...you couldn't catch this?

Or were they so hell-bent on having a "glass wrapped in metal"/old Leica look that they pushed ahead with a less-than-sound design? I surely hope that's not the case.

Friggin' bumpers...kinda makes you wonder, huh?

"Hoooooly crap...we did something a little dumb, but we've already manufactured gazillions. Quick, come up with an accessory that we can sell that might cancel this out!"

If this is the case, they deserve any and all black eyes they get. I won't even defend them.
If what you just said is actually the case, then that would be even worse than a 1995-era Microsoft kind of thing to do.
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Miko
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2010-06-23, 20:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman View Post
They seem to be convinced that it's a conspiracy theory to sell bumpers.
If they want to sell bumpers just show this video while waiting in line tomorrow!
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 21:25

The disheartening thing is even if you think the reception bar story doesn't mean much, there are growing numbers of users with splotches or yellowish lines across their otherwise gorgeous Retina Displays. That's not subjective, or "normal" or due to the way their holding/using the phone.

What happens to them? Returns/exchanges? When? It'll take everything they have to just cover all those initial orders in the coming days.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-06-23, 22:40

I'm definitely experiencing the "signal bars/strength" phenomenon. No idea if it affects calls yet.

And 5GHz WiFi doesn't seem to be showing up.

Edit: that's probably because it doesn't support 5GHz, duh! Just 2.4GHz N wireless.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
  quote
Jason
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Join Date: Oct 2004
 
2010-06-24, 05:50

So are any of you seeing these purported display and reception issues

Last edited by Jason : 2010-06-24 at 06:57.
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Brave Ulysses
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Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2010-06-24, 07:28

Man, these reception issues are NOT good. It has definitely scared me off, I was prepared to go and buy one today but this is really bad. It definitely seems like a hardware issue and its clear it has a very negative impact on calls and internet speed.

Uhg.
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