“The ‘iPhone Death Grip’ is somewhat real, but it’s more subtle than a lot of people have been putting on. It’s not a deal breaker and it’s not a reason – by itself – not to buy the iPhone 4,” Sascha Segan reports for PC Magazine. “But the nearly hysterical online reaction to the death-grip news reveals what people are really thinking.”
“First, Apple has issued an official statement, with which I completely agree,” Segan reports. “‘Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone,’ Apple said. ‘If you ever experience this on your Phone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.'”
“If I hold the phone in a slightly sweaty left hand, with my fingers covering the three black lines on the phone’s edge and the bottom left corner in my palm, signal strength is somewhat reduced. If I had to pick a number out of the air, I’d say it’s by 3 to 5 decibels per milliwatt (dBm). Feel free to correct me if you have the appropriate lab equipment. The hand involved has to be a little sweaty to encourage conductivity, or the trick might not work,” Segan reports. “This doesn’t have any effect on connecting voice calls in areas with a strong signal, but it can make the difference between connecting and not if you’re already in a fringe signal area.”
Read more in the full article here.
Arnold Kim reports for MacRumors, “Several readers have pointed out that, as per Steve Jobs statement, other mobile phones also suffer from similar signal degradation while being held tightly. In fact, a support thread for Google’s Nexus One described a very similar issue back in February:”
If you go to Settings -> About Phone -> Status you will see a display for “Signal strength”. When my phone is sitting on the desk, the signal stays consistent. However, the second I touch my phone, the signal drops up to as much as -20 dBm. I am able to replicate this test every single time, whether the signal is incredibly strong or weak.
Kim reports, “Another user filmed this video of his Nokia 6230 showing the same phenomenon:”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Joshua Topolsky reports on an email Engadget received from Steve Jobs in which Apple’s CEO rather ludicrously states, “Just avoid holding it in that way.”
Bzzzt! Wrong answer, Steve. Try again.
Check out how Apple employees from Steve Jobs on down held the iPhone 4 in demos and videos here. Funny, they didn’t “just avoid holding it in that way.” They all do seem rather entranced by something, though. Maybe it’s the disappearing bars?
iPhone 4. Not only does it disappear in bars when it’s put down, but its bars disappear when it’s picked up. Talk about “magical.”
So, it looks like our source was wrong (wouldn’t be the first time) about a software fix for this issue and this is the way the iPhone 4 will operate. Therefore, if the iPhone 4 requires a “case” or rubber “bumper” in order to operate properly, then Apple should provide one in every box free of charge.
And, no, a 29-cent (if that much) piece of colored rubber marked up 100 times to US$29, however nicely-packaged it may be, simply doesn’t cut it, Mr. Jobs. We’re willing to pay for quality, but we don’t appreciate being ripped off.
All that said, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone/pocket computer we’ve ever used. We wouln’t give our units up even if they had to held with salad tongs.