iPhone 4 screen yellow tint may evaporate on its own; ‘reception’ issue likely fixed by software

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“Two main issues appear to be affecting new owners of the iPhone 4,” MacNN reports.

• 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’]

48 Comments

  1. 1. sorry but this is a serious issue and not likely a software issue – it was probably not well tested without a case because of secrecy concerns so it was not really noticed ahead of time
    2. why no white? because they are fixing the reception problem by redesigning the phone a bit and the white will have the problem corrected
    3. why so few black? shortages and missteps in the roll out are likely due to Apple’s awareness of the flaw and they are retooling to remedy it without scaring off everyone
    4. it is NOT just an issue with the bars on the display, it will literally drop a call or else make it impossible for the person on the other end to make out what you are saying – trust me I have experienced this first hand today – it is a real problem – so for that reason, thus far, the iPhone 4 has the worst reception of any phone I have ever used, unless you put it in a case or do not hold it

    hope this is acknowledged publicly by Apple – we all deserve to know what is going on with this – and Apple should not rush a product to market with an issue like this in the future

  2. I don’t think software will fix this. Have you seen the videos? It does drop calls. I know. I am left handed and it dropped a call twice. The person on the other end had an iPhone 3G with 4 bars. Mine showed one bar in my hand and three or four on the table. This is a design flaw. Apple needs to include a free rubber Bumper with every phone so users can insulate the phone from their hands.

  3. the problem really is a hardware issue? Atleast per this statement Apple would be:

    “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.”

    I think SJ is becoming too soft, too many errors lately from Apple, errors that Steve would never have allowed to happen just a few years back…

  4. No screen problems, but the reception issue is for real. I can reproduce it every time. If I hold the phone in the lower left corner I can get the phone to go from 5 bars to “searching” within a minute. What’s even worse, it that this signal loss doesn’t change even if I wrap the phone with a paper towel (electrical insulator). I don’t know what will happen with the rubber bumper. Lets face it folks, this is a major physical issue that affects EVERY iPhone 4 and I don’t see it going away with a software fix.

  5. I get 2 bars of Edge in my basement office. I can hold the 4G with 2 fingers near the middle, start a web page downloading and then move my hand so that I’m holding it like “normal” – yes, covering the antenna gaps – and instantly stop the download and my signal bars drift slowly to 1 or none. Move my grip back to 2 fingers and it takes off again. Also tried it on a voice call. 2 fingers, loud & clear. Normal grip and they say I’m breaking up. At one point I got “No Service” if I held on to a normal grip for a couple of minutes. As a final test, if I hold the phone with a normal grip but wrap the phone with a thin towel I get no signal loss whatsoever. So this effect is definitely real, at least for me. And at some point, the signal loss was great enough to cross the threshold of working to not-working.

    Kinda doubt that software can fix this. Apple should be including one of those $30 bumpers that they sell with every iPhone.

  6. Hey c’mon now…this is a friggin hardware issue, don’t even start with “it’s a software bug” I mean geez!

    I got my iPhone with a case so I don’t care, but this really “spoils the party” quite a bit I am afraid:(

  7. Apple has finally managed to design an antenna that detects and attenuates signal propagation from negative people. It is working just like it should. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

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