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iPhone 4 Signal Problems?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Lexor, Jun 23, 2010.

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Do you drop signal on iPhone 4 when holding with left hand?

  1. Yes

    132 vote(s)
    56.2%
  2. Only intermittently

    39 vote(s)
    16.6%
  3. No

    64 vote(s)
    27.2%
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  1. spookster

    spookster Member

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    Anybody would think Apple were the only guilty manufacturers out there.

    And no, I'm not a fanboy. I think people who buy iphones tend to get bored with the amount of patronising people who hate Apple do. I've had people jump down my throat over this, and I don't even own an iphone 4 (3gs currently).
  2. stoomc

    stoomc Active Member

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    This is the Apple iPhone forum... we are speaking about a very big flaw. It is the people that stick up for Apple regardless are the problem, not the other way around.

    For the record. I am not in a fluster or anything, I will just be careful about the way I hold it etc. but as soon as there is a recall/ software update/ new batch in the shops, I will be the first one there, and I don't see any problem with that. What we have at the moment is not good enough. Simple.
  3. spookster

    spookster Member

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    I don't think someone who says they are pleased that Apple are finally doing something about it (even though calling it good customer service was a tad silly) qualifiers as 'I want to send my panties to Steve Jobs'. It's all fairly ridiculous that a company like Apple would allow this to happen and then dismiss it in the manner they did and now (it appears, though not sure how official) that a software update will fix it.

    But if another device from another company had similar issues, you'll find people who bought it will respond in the exact same fashion. i.e. - some will send it back and demand a refund, others who love the device will wait and hope it gets resolved so they can continue to use it.

    Apple, IMO, get the grief they do because of their arrogance in the way they market products and with the way they tell people what they want rather than give them what they need. But people who buy their products have a choice and do so because they're quite content with what's on offer.

    It's no big deal.

    I find it all quite interesting how fanatical things get.
  4. ramdrive

    ramdrive New Member

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    Sorry but that email address is not Steve Jobs it is maned by a PR person, who I hope has lost there job...



  5. tdenson

    tdenson Member

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    With those typos I don't think you'll be replacing him :)
  6. TehStiggles

    TehStiggles Well-Known Member

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    As i said in another thread, how can a software update fix a hardware fault?

    More than likely what's will happen here is the new update will trick the OS into thinking it has a higher signal than it does thus when call drops happen users will go back to blaming the networks.

    Fact is this is a design fault whether people want to admit it or not.

    Apple have ok customer service. I wouldn't call it great at all though.
  7. neily1970

    neily1970 Member

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    Financial Reasons :confused: As opposed to choice or other mobile options...Is maybe what you meant to say.

    i own an iphone but the complete **** that some of the fanboys dish out (even when something is clearly wrong and unnaceptable) is just alarming at times.

    Like a kind of cult mentality:suicide: that makes me slightly ashamed to use the phone in public for fear anyone would group me with the fanboy nutters :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2010
  8. TehStiggles

    TehStiggles Well-Known Member

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    And this is why people don't want to become apple users and see them as completely arrogant.

    Anyone can afford an apple product. I myself can if i wanted to but i prefer not to as i normally can find a better device much cheaper. Apple tech is always behind the times yet they charge way over the odds for it.

    I went into the o2 shop the other day to look at buying the iphone4 but when i played with it i still say my Desire apart from the screen trumps it.

    Have you never though that people may just want other products?

    Not really hard to grasp is it?
  9. TehStiggles

    TehStiggles Well-Known Member

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    All in the same place?
  10. hutch

    hutch Active Member

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    This thread is getting dangerously close to being closed unless people calm down.

    It is not acceptable to start dishing out the "fanboy" label to people that think this issue is being blown out of proportion, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I wont have people being shouted down if it doesnt agree with your own thoughts.

    At the end of the day some people think there is an issue and others dont think its an issue, any more name calling or taking this off-topic and i'll close this thread and start dishing out the appropriate infractions.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  11. Inked

    Inked Active Member

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    My iPhone has (so far) worked flawlessly, my brother got one yesterday and says he has lost 3 calls already.

    So I'm pretty sure that there is an issue with some phones, just as you get faulty phones from any manufacturer. The only reason this is making news is because it's Apple and people are more likely to shout about faults when they have paid a lot of money for something.

    If this had happened to a 'free' phone from nokia on a contract, people would have just taken it back for an exchange and it wouldn't have made news in the first place because they knock out a multitude of different phones every year that are not as desirable as the iPhone.
  12. Buckster

    Buckster Moderator

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    Inked have you tried in same location ?

    ie some believe it "could" be do do with starting signal strength

    same network ? if you are both on same network, and meet up if one dropped and the other didn't - then that would be a very interesting investigation indeed :) !
  13. chelsea.tone

    chelsea.tone Active Member

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    [​IMG]
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  14. Dazo

    Dazo Member

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    Completely agree although it is just as unacceptable for people to dish out the "unable to afford" label to those who complain about the new Iphone. I look forward to those people being warned about their conduct also. :rolleyes:




    On the subject I think it is pretty obvious this is a lot bigger problem than some people are admitting but maybe not as big as others suggest. I think the problem is bigger for right handed people who normally hold the phone in their left to email/text/game etc etc. At home I get a full signal that drops to 1 bar when I hold the phone normally in my left hand. No problems at all when making calls but that does not make this issue in anyway acceptable. I look forward to Apple releasing some sort of fix.
  15. gkpm

    gkpm Member

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    There's not ever going to be a replacement for any mass-market modern piece of electronics, inc the iPhone.

    That would be madness, we're not talking about big stuff like Toyota here who can just faff around with some pedals, microelectronics like the iPhone are not meant to be repaired in the large. They would need to disposed of and a new one produced, and by now we're talking well into the millions of units. It would be an eco nightmare as well, no matter how recyclable Apple says their phones are.

    The only option for any IT company these days is to release new firmware ad eternum until the next model comes around. Maybe Apple in this case will give out some bumpers, or lower cost skins (like the nintendo wiimote) or whatever they can get away without creating a massive hole on their finances.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  16. akki007

    akki007 Member

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    And yet here you are in the iPhone forums? Hmm.
  17. akki007

    akki007 Member

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    Whch is what I wa trying to say, albeit in a more drunken manner!
  18. funkyspider

    funkyspider Active Member

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    I can't see how this could possibly be fixed in software as it's physical contact on the antenna which is changing the signal strength.

    The only possible thing I could think of is that the software could be tweaked to be more tolerant of signal fluctuations so it doesn't drop calls as quickly, but if you haven't got a signal because of external interferance, you haven't got a signal.
  19. hutch

    hutch Active Member

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    Sorry I missed that comment, of course comments like that will also be treated in the same way. This is a place for sensible discussion and the minute that stops we will have no choice but to close the thread and let everyone cool off.
  20. JonStatt

    JonStatt Active Member

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    I have a "faulty" iPhone. However I have now found 2 locations where the problem does not occur. One was a mobile phone shop. I suspect that a picocell was providing such a strong signal, that it cancelled out the problem.

    A mobile phone network employee who remained nameless, tested and found it directly related to the distance from the mast but not related to the displayed signal strength. However I have also seen reports of people who claim they are in line sight of the mast and still get the issue.

    The thing that we have to understand here, is that all mobile phones are at risk of attenuation via human shielding. Put a hand, a foot, the side of your body..anything at all that has density...and you will attenuate the signal.

    But with the iPhone 4 comes a new dynamic. The exposed antenna when in contact with human flesh, has the risk of of being compromised. The physics are simple.....the resonant frequency of the antenna becomes changed and its efficiency drops like a lead balloon.

    I cannot emphasise enough that the iPhone 4 introduces more than just a shielding concern. And this can be seen by the fact you just use your "pinky" finger resting gently on the side of the phone to make this happen. This is not just about shielding.

    It is entirely possible that Apple's algorithm for choosing the right base station, frequencies etc, is currently wrong. And possibly there is a significant improvement that can be made. However, this will only affect the results of shielding and NOT the effects of antenna compromise that can only happen with the iPhone 4.

    Therefore if Apple do release an update, I expect it to improve things, possibly significantly, but not entirely.

    Questions have been asked, could a special non-conductive coating have been used on the metal. Perhaps a coating was missed at the factory. I have been doing some research on this. The answer is a bit unclear. It appears that at the frequencies we are talking about here, and as the primary effect of human contact is capacitance, it looks like this would not help unless it was a very thick layer. The effects of a coating seems to directly relate to the thickness, in microns, where its effects diminish as frequency increases.

    So if there was supposed to be a coating, unless there has been some technical breakthrough I didn't find in my research, it would be an obvious thick lacquer. No phone I have seen yet has such a coating.

    This is why the bumper works. It provides an effective thick enough insulator from the human hand. Note it is still possible to attenuate the signal through the human shield aspect I mentioned earlier.

    Bottom line. We need to see if Apple's fix for the software issue, which does appear to be evident as well, is enough to compensate for the effects of capcitance and "loading" on the exposed antenna. I suspect it will go part of the way but will probably still leave many unhappy.

    To trivialise the issue as non-existent would not be wise. Look at the poll results. There are as many who want to show Apple as being flawless as those that want to show their upset. So I think the poll is a fair reflection of reality. The problem is real. The solution may be non-trivial. Name calling is not productive. But I think empathy (not sympathy) for those that have spent a lot of money on a product that is not working as it should is entirely deserved.
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  21. chelsea.tone

    chelsea.tone Active Member

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    Great post Jon :clap:
  22. mwomwell

    mwomwell Member

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    Well, I have just been messing around with my iPhone 4, which has the signal issue after having fitted a bumper and to my suprise, whilst holding the phone in my right hand still exhibits signal drop off. The lower left corner of the bumper pressed against the base of my palm under my thumb and my fingers clasped around the LHS of the phone. So the bumper DOES NOT cure the problem, it may minimise it but it is still there. I'm not sure that in real use the problem will raise it's head all of the time though as you tend to move your grip of the phone around. In saying that though I could and can repeat signal drop off, with the bumper, easily. For your info I'm on O2 and the phone normally displays full signal strength. :(
  23. muffins

    muffins Active Member

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  24. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

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    Firstly I have to say I'm quite surprised at the amount of hysteria that this has caused. Yes, I have occasional signal problems with my iPhone 4 but the signal in my house is crap anyway and always has been.

    It appears that a number of people simply wait in the wings to rip apple apart at the slightest glimmer of a fault whether they own the product or not.

    As we all know, new technology evolves at an amazing rate and software and firmware is very difficult to get right when a product is released simply down to not having the capability of mass testing in a real world environment. Updates are bound to increase the performance, mobile phone tech is much more complicated than a simple antenna, transmitter and receiver with software playing a huge part.

    Does my iPhone have problems? Yes. Is it a major flaw? Sometimes. Is it enough for me to go on the internet and rant about how apple are a global evil hell bent on selling us overpriced old tech? Of course not.

    I have a 12 month warranty with my iPhone, if the problem gets so bad I can't use the phone or apple don't fix it within a month or two the phone goes back. Simples.
  25. hybridtheory

    hybridtheory Active Member

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    Hi

    I'd fit my bumper on Friday and still the signal dropped. I haven't had any dropped calls yet though. I've seen the videos on You Tube with the same problem on the 3G/3GS since updating to iOS 4. We just have to play the waiting game for iOS 4.0.1. Hopefully this week, if the rumours r true.

    Baz
  26. mwomwell

    mwomwell Member

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    Well, I'm not ripping the i4 to bits, yes it has a signal issue, does it cause me problems at the moment - NO. I think the phone is great and the display is magnificantly sharp. I certainly will not be returning the phone unless anything significant goes wrong. Software will always have a bug in it somewhere, especially in new product even after extensive testing - the ability to find it is challenging though. I'm not saying the signal issue is software related but who knows, I'll let Apple sort that one out. Incidentally I'm not on Apple fanboy or hater but they do seem produce desirable products.
  27. JonStatt

    JonStatt Active Member

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    There is an easy way to see what effect (or not) the bumper is having.

    Take it off. Rest the phone on its side. And just put one finger across the left side of the iPhone such that it bridges the two antenna. Does the signal drop? It probably will.

    Now put the bumper on..and repeat the experiment. Do not hold the phone, just place a finger there. If the problem does not occur, you have eliminated the conductance of your finger as a contributor.

    Then if you are still having issues, this is due to shielding and a possible software fault...which should be hopefully improved with the update.

    If you can just rest your single finger with the phone on its side and bumper on..I will be very intrigued.
  28. mwomwell

    mwomwell Member

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    I have the signal issue without the bumper and can get signal drop off with the bumper on but only if I am grasping the phone fairly tightly. If I just hold it with two fingers across the phone when the antennae is then I can't get signal drop. The bumper does appear minimise but not completely eliminate it. I think that most people with a bumper fitted will not experience a problem.
  29. JonStatt

    JonStatt Active Member

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    Yes...this was exactly my findings too.
  30. bigbaz

    bigbaz Member

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