“The hot tech news on Friday is the exploding scandal that’s been dubbed the ‘iPhone Death Grip,’” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “Like everything else related to the iPhone, it’s turned into an overhyped emotional stew.”
“I must say, I was mystified at first. I’ve never seen it on the iPhone unit I’ve been reviewing. I can’t even reproduce it, no matter how hard I try. I’m sitting here right now. I’m wrapping my hand every which way — I’m even holding it with two fists, completely concealing the silver band around the edges — and my four-bar signal strength doesn’t waver. On Twitter, most of my followers seem to indicate the same thing; it’s a problem that just doesn’t exist for them,” Pogue reports. “But clearly, the problem exists for some people. PC Magazine, for example, has been able to reproduce the problem. For them, it happens only if (a) your hand is somewhat sweaty and (b) you hold the phone in such a way that your fingers are covering all three black gaps in the stainless-steel band around the phone’s edge. (For this reason, left-handers seem to be the most-affected population.) In that configuration, signal strength drops a little.”
Pogue reports, “If you do experience the iPhone Death Grip problem, one easy way to eliminate it is to put the phone in a case. Even a ‘bumper’ solves the problem — like the $30 one that Apple sells. It’s a thin rubbery silicon band, available in a range of colors, that covers the metal edge entirely… The paranoid might ask: Why is Apple introducing bumpers now, with this phone? Is it trying to profit from its own design flaw? Or, less conspiratorially: Shouldn’t Apple at least offer free bumpers to people who are having the Death Grip problem? I’ve asked Apple about the problem three times, and nobody’s gotten back to me…”
Pogue writes, “This doesn’t seem like a problem that Apple can fix with a little software update; it’s baked right into the design of the iPhone 4 itself. And considering the hysteria that surrounds the phone, combined with ignorance about the nature and probability of the problem, it could wind up being a huge black eye for Apple and the phone.”
Read more in the full article – recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Only time will tell if this huge black eye will go away on its own (not likely) or if Apple will have to “take a loss” on those 29-cent (probably even less) rubber bumpers for which they currently overcharge US$29 by including one in every iPhone 4 box as they should have been doing all along.