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back to article iPhone 4: Perfect for everyone, except humans

Apple's new iPhone doesn't seem to like being touched much, and the beautiful (if easily discoloured) screen scratches too. Dear dear. To be fair, the scratching issue only affects the more-clumsy user, and there are only a couple of reports about discolouration in the corner of the screen, but it seems that the majority of …

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FAIL

Not just the iphone4

Nothing new.

I got an iphone 3GS and sent it back for exactly this reason (having visited an apple store and swopped it just in case it was just mine that was duf), losing two or 3 bars when you pick the device up, same when I tested a mates 3G. Vodas answer was a sure signal, which is no answer as you then have a non mobile mobile, and can't max out your broadband.

A quick google search will confirm many similar cases, vodafone know about it and will admit it in the end, apple turn a deaf ear but are 'looking at it'.

Losing 2 bars when you only have 2 or 3 means its useless, phone rings, pick up, hello, hmm no signal.

Was hoping the new design fixed this issue. I guess they never do real world testing or only do it in full signal areas.

Not just iphones either!

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Jobs Halo

The Register..

..where anti-Apple fanboys roam freely!

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FAIL

Re: The Register

As opposed to what? Everywhere else on the internet where they get tightly herded like the unthinking sheep they are? ODFO.

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Anonymous Coward

Yves Kurisaki

Discuss the SUBJECT MATTER or bugger off. Infantile tribal flame-posts (especially more than one on the same board) just irritate people and achieve nothing for your cause, which apparently is tossing Steve Jobs' salad w/ reacharound.

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Gold badge

@Yves Kurisaki

You couldn't be more wrong.

The Register's beloved commenttards are most emphatically not anti-apple. They are anti everything. El Reg, and those who read her are equal opportunity cynics.

Speaking of cynicism...who do you work for, and are they connected to Apple? I would expect if you weren’t new here you would know all of the above by now…

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Thumb Up

RE: Yves Kurisaki

"Discuss the SUBJECT MATTER or bugger off. Infantile tribal flame-posts (especially more than one on the same board) just irritate people and achieve nothing for your cause"

If only El Reg could post that at the top of each comment page.

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Go

iPhone 4...

Could not replicate.

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Jobs Horns

Yellow streaks down your iPhone 4's screen?

That'll be Apples new Urethra display(TM).

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Coat

Not a Urethra display

That will be iUrethra, thank you very much.

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Silver badge
Jobs Horns

Cystitis?

Cystitis? There's an app for that!

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Silver badge

another totle

...Or indeed, iPss

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Thumb Down

Design Fail....

Just done some testing myself on this. I'm currently sat in a poor Orange signal area with 3 bars.

Hold the phone across the left and right of the screen and all is OK, but extend my little finger down to the bottom section of the phone (around the connector area) so my hand is touching all 3 areas around the phone and the signal disappears... Holding just the left or right with the bottom area is fine

Anybody else able to verify?

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Paris Hilton

Nuff Said

Whats the problem? Got mine this morning, looks the dogs, if I actually want to "speak" to someone I will use my Nokia 2323.

Paris cos sticking Diamonds all over it won't help the signal strength...

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iphone 4 issues

so the first issue of signal problems when holding it its new i must say i ant gonna bother with a iphone im not given my money to jobs end of iphone is just a play flash toy oh look at me i have a iphone with a bitten logo on it. and yet when thease problems are discovered apple fanboys egnore it because they dont like to hear the truth.

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Happy

Say wha'?

I see that James Joyce lives!

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Just don't use it left-handed...

ccording to Engadget, it's touching the bottom left-hand corner (where the GPS/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi antenna meets the GSM antenna) that causes the problem:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/some-iphone-4-models-see-signals-drop-to-0-when-held-left-handed/

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Silver badge
WTF?

@Just don't use it left-handed...

Easier said than done if you're not left handed.

Steve would no doubt say "it's not that big a deal" in one of his pithy e-mails before advising the sender that they re-train themselves to be right-handed.

Whereupon the sender could write back and advise that he re-trains his engineers so they know how to mount antennas in the phone chassis instead of making shiny screens, or if that's too complicated then hire some engineers from Nokia or HTC instead of getting his own to read and fail to understand their patents.

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Joke

Antenna

Steve: "Let's make the case part of the antenna!"

Drone: "Yes, my sire"

R&D Drone "Your worship, putting the stinking great capacitor that is the user in contact with the antenna is a bad idea"

Steve "No big deal. Everyone knows Apple users have very little capacity for anything."

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Joke

Re: Antenna

Completing the sketch...

Steve: "Said with my iMouth."

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Joke

1 Unread Message...

Change your sweats chemical composition.

Not that big of a deal.

Steve.

--

Sent from my iPhone

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Alien

Proves Steve isn't from this planet

I think it's obvious that iPhone users with iron in their blood will cause signal problems as they wrap their little Faraday-cage digits about the case-tenna. Copper, however, doesn't introduce quite the same affect, and as such I offer this proves that SJ is actually Vulcan or Romulan. Or something else.

"Zed, we have a bug..."

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Happy

Problem sorta solved?

Use yr iPhone 4 with the supplied earbuds/mic?

No aerial degrade, no scratchy/fingered surfaces and good fone quality too.

Works for me.

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Jobs Halo

Nothing to see here

OMG! Apple products are the best!!!!!

Steve Jobs owns it so must be good, however pleased to repirt that the iPhone 5 will have a much improved range! :)

Love from Apple fanboi #309587 (i.e the ignorant public)

The video was made by Nokia, Commandant Jobs will be creating a fair rule in the USA and promptly be renamed the U.S.S.A (Union of Soviet States of America)

Oh just thought of another joke! Whats worse than finding an antenna in an apple? Finding half an antenna in a Apple! :)

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Jobs Horns

It's a stitch up..

You need that iGlove thing with the one conductive fingertip

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FAIL

Case Cover Up

I think that what has happened is that they discovered this design flaw after it was too late to change production tooling. As a workaround, they offer this nifty bump case as an accessory in order to mask the problem.

That being said, it amazes me that engineers could be so idiotic as to not know basic antenna and conductivity principals.

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Jobs Horns

Apple Bristol Chart Roadmap

If you want details of the iPhone development road map just consult the "Bristol Chart".

It has been spot on so far.

Personally I don't fancy buying a Type 4. Each to their own.

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Coat

Any one know...

where I can get a mobile phone?

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WTF?

Umm

I couldn't get the video to play here but can someone answer me this:

If you've got a finger over the bottom of the phone - how can you speak into the microphone to ahve a conversation anyway?

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Anonymous Coward

Cell breathing

Can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet, but 3G cells kick out a lower radius when they are under load (aka cell breathing) to theoretically allow other less congested sites to pick up the slack.

Since 3G sites don't come cheap, there aren't always enough around to double up and provide this backup coverage/capacity and so signals can drop to zero. 2G doesn't do this so variations in signal there are more often atmospheric or vegetation related.

It sounds like the iPhone4 may have some antennae issues (but not having held one myself I couldn't confirm) but this does explain a lot of people's complaints about other handsets; any network seeing heavy data use (especially likely on iPhone launch day) will have some seriously variable 3G signal levels for anyone not close enough to the mast - cell breathing can reduce coverage by at least 30% radius ...

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Well really.

If you buy Apple kit for the functionality rather than the style, then you are so missing the point. And if you complain about the cost, you should be asking yourself whether you really deserve to be an Apple user.

If your screen touches are causing signal strength issues, then you most likely haven't got the right sort of fingers and are unlikely to be invited to the better parties when word gets out.

Your screen will discolour if you use generic wipes. This is a security feature not an issue. Get some proper Apple wipes, the version 4 ones of course, colour co-ordinated, with the Apple logo ($49/£49 for ten). Remember you can't flush them down the toilet or throw them in the bin after use.

And don't forget, should you use your iPhone to arrange an extra-marital assignation, you are breaching your EULA. Because Apple cares.

Of course you could just save yourself a fortune and get a £20 PAYG phone.

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WTF?

Big Deal

Both my first Nokia phone and one of my Motorola phones had similar problems.

Solution - hold the phone at a slightly different angle.

Easy.

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Thumb Up

Same here

My old SE w910 would lose signal if I touched the top with my finger.

Having worked as a lab assistant for a company designing and manufacturing military antenna (during my Gap year -- woo hoo!), I can confirm the fairly hit'n'miss process of tuning an antenna using various capacitors and resistors. You could get most of the way there using science, the last bit was really a black art!

Antennas do weird stuff. Some people are more capacitive (and resistive) than others. YMMV.

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Silver badge
FAIL

iPhone

Reality check - its just another Foxconn sweatshop made disposable. Yes, its more desirable than most (well to some people at least) but it's still just a piece of overpriced crap like everything else! It's not magical! Unless you count the amazing disappearing signal as magic of course!

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WTF?

my body as antenna

To the Antenna guy who knows more than the other Antenna guy. If my body acts as an antenna with the new iphone is that not little bit worrying? We have enough electromagnetic signals anyway, not sure if I want to receive calls with my body acting as the antenna (not expert with antennas but sounds bad).

Has anyone listened to speakers or other electronic devices when a phone is about to receive a call or receiving data? It doesn't sound very healthy.

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Alien

Re: my body as antenna

You might want to go and read some ZOMG MOBILES CAUSE BRAIN CANCER fud site instead of the Reg.

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FAIL

That decides it. Serious Apple fan NOT buying Gen 4.

I've looked at it. My old 3GS is fine, lit has lots of life left. And this new phone has more issues than I want to deal with and I'm tired of ponying out for new cases for the Glass Primadonna.

I was going to get a new one but I'm going to wait for my AT&T contract to expire, and my next phone will probably be a Blackberry since they seem dedicated to providing solid, licensed OSX/iTunes synch. "unlike what Palm was doing' OR maybe by then the Android market will have standard Mac synch support.

I Love my Macbook Pro, my 160 gig ipod is my constant companion. But another fussy, fragile trendy phone that takes surgery to replace a simple battery....... I found myself thinking of standing in like like a fool and stressing over it. No, not going to happen. No. This isn't what I want Steve, not at all.

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Happy

What is iPhone

iPhone is thin

iPhone is shiny

iPhone is a million apps in the palm of your hand... just apps

iPhone is a phone... on the table

At least you'll never hit your data cap :)

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Bronze badge
Dead Vulture

dear Register

I am hugely disappointed that you are yet to refer to generic iPhone and iPad devices by a combined but appropriate moniker of iPhad.

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Pint

Software issue

Its just a software bug. apple forgot to uncomment "if (antenna = touched) bardisplay += 3"

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Headmaster

Another bug I think

if (antenna = touched) bardisplay = 3

Otherwise pretty soon you'd have filled the screen with bars.

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FAIL

Yet another reason not to buy Apple crap

The phone you can't use as a phone. Brilliant idea there,. Steviepoos.

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FAIL

Ha...

...ha.

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It's not just the 4G!!!

Funny, my 3GS does this too (I just tried it!) as did my last 3 Nokias (since they removed the external antenna!)

I sometimes daydream of the days when phones had a plug for an external antenna in the car so I could actually have an unbroken conversation (using a hands free kit, of course!)

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FAIL

Yep - I saw the same thing with my own eyes.

A colleague has a new iPhone 4. He brought it in today pleased as punch. I held it in my hand and it went from 4/5 bars of signal to "No Service" in a few seconds.

Epic Fail, Apple.

Software fix? I'm not sure, looks like a hardware problem when your hand bridges the antennas.

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Jobs Horns

It's

Shiny,

It's better, It's faster

It's awesome,

Its has really nice graphics,

it's ... not working!

Can I borrow someone's phone?

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Jobs Horns

Quote from BBC News

"The problem is thought to be particularly acute for left-handed owners who naturally touch the phone in the sensitive area."

Dirty, dirty lefties. If you will insist on inappropriate touching, you don't deserve a phone signal.

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Stop

A very interesting article from an antenna design blog explains

My boss saw me reading this and forwarded me the following:

http://www.antennasys.com/antennasys-blog/2010/6/24/apple-iphone-4-antennas.html

There's a good brief history of mobile antenna design in there. Basically, FCC safety requirements mean antenna positioning is in the least effective position — away from your brain, at the bottom, where any humanoid user's hand will be.

Hands-free, MyFi router? Surely what everyone wants anyway (short of a telescopically extensible antenna)?

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Solution

Just stick a little bit of gaffa-tape around the edge, bit unsightly, but hey, it works, and that's the main thing, isn't it? ....?...... It isn't???

Right....

Back to the drawing-board then.

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Anonymous Coward

WWDC: Steve Jobs' iPhone 4 launch glitches

Looks like apple have known for a while...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoqh27E6OuU

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Stop

Killer app

"the killer application for a mobile phone remains the ability to make phone calls, and it seems possible that in all the excitement Apple has forgotten that."

Please. Apple threw THAT design requirement out of the window with the first version of the iPhone.

"iPhone bad at being a phone shocker, more at 11"?

I experience probably a 50% or higher failure rate in calling most of my colleagues who have 3GS model or earlier, even if they have full signal and are sat on a desk unmolested. They're just not good phones. Fantastic dicking around gadgets, games, apps, and whatnot, and good for data when the data works (equal parts o2 overload and handset fail there), but if you actually place any value on making and receiving calls, get yourself an old Nokia (by which I mean pre-smartphone era, or some of their new 'budget' handsets). You'll get a week's worth of standby and it'll work for months without needing a reboot.

After that, if you need or desire (aha) smartphone functionality, an HTC Desire, provided you don't mind being tethered to a charger most of your time.

If phone calls are of no significance to you, then by all means get yourself an iPhone, but don't pretend that this is a new phenomenon. Even WinMo devices are better (and I hated my WinMo by the time I ditched it early for my Desire).

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