• Covering the lower-left corner of an iPhone dependably forces 3G and even voice reception to disappear. This may make the handset especially hard to use for left-handed owners, at least without a case. Apple has claimed that reception issues involve a software bug wrongly indicating bad signal, and that a fix is enroute. Because the iPhone 4 uses a new antenna design integrated into the edge, however, and covering part of the edge kills reception, concern has been raised that the flaw is inherent and could require a hardware revision. Cases, such as the bumpers sold by Apple, may provide a stopgap solution by preventing the interference caused by a hand.
• Some owners are also reporting discolored screens, tinted yellow in spots, typically towards the bottom corners. The exact cause is unknown, but one person claims that the problem may be related to a chemical called Organofunctional Silane Z-6011, used to bond glass layers together. Units may be shipping so quickly after finishing production, the person suggests, that the Z-6011 has not completely evaporated. If so, the yellow spots should disappear after a day or two of active use.
Full article, with links, here.
MacDailyNews Take: We can reproduce the issue of diminishing or disappearing AT&T bars on our units by blocking the lower left corner completely with our hands on iPhone 4 units without cases, but do not believe it to be a hardware issue. In fact, with 3+ bars, we don’t notice any loss of reception, even if we make the bars go away. According to a trusted source, there are multiple points on the iPhone 4’s frame for antenna reception. Our source says that the issues “can and will” be addressed by tweaking, balancing, and/or redistributing antennae reception and/or signal strength display via software. When asked if it could be a hardware issue, our source said, “Don’t be silly. It’s not the hardware. Apple’s too smart for that. In fact, most any handset maker is too smart for that.” As for the screen tint issues, we do not see them in any of our units – all of which arrived via FedEx yesterday, so maybe they were manufactured earlier than units showing the yellow tint. We’ll continue to follow this issue to see if it – ahem – “dries up” or not.
[UPDATE: 11:24pm EDT: Apple has issued a statement: Apple responds to iPhone 4 reception attenuation issue: ‘A fact of life for every wireless phone’]