Apple Declares iPhone 4 Signals 'Totally Wrong'

Dennis Faas's picture

While the Applie iPhone 4 has sold tremendously well, its launch has been mired by complaints of poor signal reception.

It's been widely assumed this was due to the fact the new model is designed so that the antenna actually forms the perimeter of the handset itself. It appears that the hand, particularly if touching the bottom of the left hand edge of the phone, reduces the signal. One theory is that it isn't the physical blocking which is the issue, but rather than some of the energy in the signal is absorbed by the hand in the form of heat. (Source:

Apple Advertisements Attacked

Apple's initial response didn't go over too well. CEO Steve Jobs replied to one customer's email by simply suggesting they hold it differently. That led to online commenters gathering together numerous examples of Apple adverts where the phone was held in the same fashion as by those experiencing problems.

By the end of last week, at least four different lawsuits had been filed against Apple, with some also targeting AT&T. All the suits request class action status which, if granted, would mean every iPhone 4 buyer could add their name and share in any judgment, without the need to bring their own case. (Source:

Apple iPhone Display Blamed

Now Apple is claiming that all phones suffer a drop in reception when gripped and that this is not as much of a problem with the iPhone 4 as people believe:

"Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars."

"Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don't know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place." (Source:

To many online critics, this argument is completely inadequate. (Source:

Apple expects to rectify the issue by adjusting its iPhone software to display the signal bars according to AT&T's "recently recommended formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength." (Source:

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