Very OT: attention iPhone owners, have you noticed any signal problems?

Submitted by wolverine1987 on July 13th, 2010 at 10:10 AM

I am an iPhone 4 user and Apple fan, so am following the news about a supposed flawed antennae design and resulting dropped calls, which Consumer Reports, in an otherwise very positive review, has just said is a real problem which causes them to retract their previous recommendation. Question to iphone users: have you noticed anything wrong in this area? I have actually tried to prompt a dropped call, on a couple of occasions gripping the phone tightly in the exact area that causes problems, and have never had a dropped call or, according to the people I called, any loss of call quality. I'm not doubting the reports, just saying I haven't had an issue--in fact, my call quality is much better than my previous iphone. Anyone had problems with theirs?


Darrens Pet Turtle

July 13th, 2010 at 10:19 AM ^

Do you have a case for yours?  If so, this should take care of any problem you might have.  The antenna is wrapped around the phone so, without a case or bumper, a hand may block the signal.  Obviously something that wasn't thought through all the way, but who would get one of these babies and not protect it with a case anyways?

Love the phone.  Anybody smart enough to take the reins on an MGoBlog app?


July 13th, 2010 at 10:26 AM ^

This is such an unimportant issue that amounts to apple bashing.  As DPT mentions if you buy a case, put a piece of tape over it, buy a rubber band, etc, the issue goes away. 


July 13th, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

That's not the point. If you're spending that much money on something it should work as advertised.

Imagine you bought a car where the horsepower was cut in half if you grabbed the steering wheel wrong, but could be fixed with a rubber band or a piece of tape. No big deal right? 


July 13th, 2010 at 10:40 AM ^

It's not a big deal, but it's a design flaw. When you spend that much money ($200-600 depending on the contract) you want something that will work perfectly every time, not need a fix. Steve Jobs' (fake?) response of "well don't hold it that way" would work... but you should also have a robust design go to market, not something that needs any fixes


July 13th, 2010 at 10:46 AM ^

my wife and I have always had trouble with 3G. On EDGE, call quality is great with my blackberry and her old iPhone 3. On her iPhone 4, sometimes the EDGE drops a call by going to zero bars for ~5 seconds or so and then shoots back to 5 bars, so it drops calls more than her old iPhone 3.

We don't have a bumper or case, so I don't know if that will help. I'm putting on a skin to cover the aluminum part today. I'll report back if it helps (it's a very thin clear plastic skin, so it may/ may not be thick enough to block interference).

Also, the issue with Apple is the same as everybody/ company that has made a mistake. They are hiding and denying. If they just told the truth, they would be in better shape.

EDIT: This is what I mean:

After a negative report from Consumer Reports, Apple has apparently deleted all threads about the findings from its popular Support Discussions forums.

Blue Ninja

July 13th, 2010 at 12:06 PM ^

There is currently an 8 page thread on the forum about the Consumer Reports story. So that story would be incorrect about them taking them down. Also that forum is not run by Apple although I'm sure they do have some say in it.

Blue Ninja

July 14th, 2010 at 10:43 AM ^

All I know is I went to the Apple site (I post in their community forum so am familiar with it) and found this thread....


If you look the first post was made on July 12th at 6:05 PM. The article linked here was posted after this thread was started at the Apple community.Now is it possible some threads before this one were deleted? Absolutely, but the fact is this thread was allowed to survive before the article was even posted.


Next, as I said before this forum is not ran by Apple directly. I know this because I use the forum. Not saying Apple doesn't have some say because it is linked directly from their site and is the "official" Apple community forum, but Apple employees are not running it.


July 13th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^

I waited in line the first night for the phone and absolutely love the phone.  Ive had enough service to make calls and send texts. Internet on the other hand was a problem sometimes but besides that nothing major


July 13th, 2010 at 12:18 PM ^

[1] A problem with the signal strength indicator, which can indicate a less tenuous hold on the signal than is actually the case. So in that video, it looks like he has full strength, but that may not be the case. This is a fixable software problem, although I think Apple has suggested AT&T has to change something on their end first.

[2] A definite design issue (at least at tenuous signal strengths), as demonstrated in that video. I doubt Apple will do anything about it, since there are easy fixes the user can implement.

03 Blue 07

July 13th, 2010 at 2:09 PM ^

Cosign. I own the Iphone 3, and am getting the 4 shortly, and have been following this story on Engadget and Gizmodo, and, basically, Rasmus has it right. If you hold it on the lower left side, connecting the two metal pieces over the little line, it has some issues. This is obviously a design problem. It is taken care of by any number of easy fixes (you can even put a Livestrong-type band around the outside and cut a slit in it for your power cord, for example), but still, it is a design problem which should not have happened. The "bars" issue is a software glitch-- the display shows more bars than it should sometimes. This either has been fixed by a software patch or is supposedly going to be fixed by such a software tweak which will come through iTunes and update automatically.

I agree that it's b.s. that this design flaw happened, and Apple's response has been really stupid, IMO. That being said, I'll still buy it, because I love the phone (I've used a couple friends') and will put a clear poly case on it anyway.

All in all, though, Apple has done a piss-poor job of handling the PR on this issue, though.


July 13th, 2010 at 11:02 AM ^

I have the 3Gs and although I love the phone, I cannot stand ATT service. The phone is absoultely worthless in the Big House. I cannot send or receive calls for an hour before the game until about 2 hours after the game. Too much traffic???

I also have a Verizon phone. The Verizon phone goes to Michigan games with me and the iPhone goes everywhere else. My friends know that if there is a Michigan football game they have to call me on a different number, but it works for me.

Blue Ninja

July 13th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

I ordered an iPhone the morning they were released for preorder and have loved it from the moment I got it. I have had one dropped call due to how I held it the very first call I made. But I quickly changed how I held it and bought a bumper for it which cured it. I love the bumper but the USB cable opening is too small for some of my 3rd party cables so I bought a case for it.


With all that said I love the phone except for the reception issue and the fact I have to use ATT. I waited 3 months to get this phone and it was worth it (I was with Verizon and could have upgraded to Droid in April).

Blue in sec country

July 13th, 2010 at 11:28 AM ^

I just got the iPhone 4 and it's much better than my 3G iPhone. I haven't dropped any calls as of yet and neither has my brother in-law. Now my wife has a 3GS and her call quality goes down from time to time but she also has an otter box, which could contribute to that.


July 13th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

I live in S/E Florida and am able to make the phone drop service at my office.  At home however, no such signal loss.  I just put a bumper on it and no problems.  I will say that I have had many different smart phones, including BB's and all model iPhones.  This is by far the best of all of them.  I do find Android intriguing though.


July 13th, 2010 at 11:41 AM ^

The iphone 4 is my first smart phone. I finally decided to give in when I kept going to Verizon to view their phones that don't require a data plan, and they seemed much worse than the 3 year old phone I had.  My wife was moving away from her 3 year old blackberry that had horrible internet that she hardly ever ended up using.  So we switched to AT&T and got the "best" smart phone on the market.  I have had 1 or 2 dropped calls, but they were with my wife on the same iphone 4.  Since we are new to AT&T I am not sure how often this occurs with any of their phones.

That said, I have had a blast with the new iphone 4. It is really easy to use and I really love using it. I am happy to finally have my itunes with me at all times, and have used the maps to get me places already. I also think face time is really cool even though I've only used it with my wife in the same room. We have had trouble finding cases, but will get them soon.  I am definately suprised that Apple didn't just solve this mess by giving a free bumper with every purchase. I can't imagine they are that expensive, and would save them a lot on PR, but oh well.  I was planning to buy a protective case for it anyway, so that was in the budget. I do recommend this to anyone who doesn't use the phone for business (or important calls) but wants a device that works well as an MP3 player, phone, camera, internet device, video game system.


July 13th, 2010 at 11:51 AM ^

Those cases are around $29 retail, so giving people a credit or something will not cut too deeply into their profits. It depends though I suppose, on how many people complain or whether their sales get hurt. They should just do it--in all the tech reviews, this is the only substantial flaw that was found.  Wired, Engadget, WSJ, NYT, PC World--all have said this was the best smartphone out there now. If they just were proactive they'd get lots of praise from their consumers.

Blue Ninja

July 14th, 2010 at 10:48 AM ^

A coworker just told me Monday that she had dropped her brand new Droid Incredible on a sidewalk and shattered it. To her dismay she had not gotten insurance so will have to pay $600 to replace it.

Gotta love how these phone companies subsidize phones, she paid $150 for it originally to upgrade but to replace it she has to pay $600. My iPhone only cost $300 and would be the same if I broke it and it had to be replaced. Why is the Droid so much more expensive?


July 13th, 2010 at 12:43 PM ^

I had one and returned it. The death grip problem was pretty severe at my office and at my new house, which are the places I use a phone 99% of the time. My 3GS works just fine in both locations so I had AT&T reactive it. Just not worth spending $300 on a phone to be told I am holding it wrong or that I would have to spend an additional $30 to get a case to make it work as advertised.

Jayme in MN

July 13th, 2010 at 1:38 PM ^

My 21-year-old got one on the first day.  I don't want to jinx her, but she's had no problems and is loving it.  She mostly uses it in St. Paul, MN, a little bit in Minneapolis and the western suburbs.  She's having no reception problems of any kind. 

We are taking a family trip for 2 weeks to the Pacific NW next month, so that might be a good test of the phone and we'll see if there are issues or not. 


July 14th, 2010 at 12:44 PM ^

The Droid isn't more expensive. They would both cost $600 to replace if are buying an unsubsidized phone. (assuming new phone and not a year or 2 old model).


July 14th, 2010 at 1:00 PM ^

Can someone explain why a phone, again, A PHONE, creates such a fanboy culture? I swear people care more about defending the honor of their phone than they would if someone called their spouse a whore.