back to article Jobs tells iPhone users to get a grip

iPhone users having reception problems are just holding the phone wrong, according to Apple, which have released an official fingering guide for those who want to be able to make calls. The problem is those pesky users who insist on wrapping their fingers around the phone, specifically touching the side at the bottom left …


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  1. rahul

    We need a DEMO

    What all iPhone 4 users need is a DEMO: The CORRECT way to grip your handset. Let's see how many people line up for THAT.

  2. SuperTim

    It's not our fault

    "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 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."

    Newsflash..... It ISNT a fact of life for every wireless device, infact very few wireless device have an antenna you can actually touch, and most put them well way from areas that may be interfered with. I guess they went for a clever design, which was scuppered by idiotic users choosing to hold their devices in a normal comfortable way.


    1. Marky W

      Apple: Hold Different

      And a nice wallpaper stolen from an Ars commentard:

    2. Vehlin


      Will there be a Playmobil demonstration?

    3. Anonymous Coward

      But steve already Demo'd it

      Didn't you see the Launch video clips? it worked perfrctly in front of all those journos.

      Er whadda ya mean?.. oops.. strike that. Don't hold it like StEve did.

    4. JaitcH
      Jobs Horns

      The Death Grip

      This problem has now got a name: THE DEATH GRIP!

  3. Alastair Dodd 1

    typical (and slightly wrong as usual)

    "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 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."

    Well it's not actually the same problem on all wireless phones, it's the iphone aerial in the metal band at fault and their design of this. How you hold an handset will make a difference yes but a normal handset a case won't help at all. The issue is pretty much a sort of shorting out of the wireless signal when flesh bridges one of the gaps between the band sections. One fix a freind has done is putting some scotch tape up the side of the phone to insulate & break the circuit.

    Sorry steve it IS an design flaw.

  4. Chris Morrison
    Jobs Horns


    "But it mainly seems to come down to hand size, with the larger span finding an iPhone harder to use (but, if rumour is to be believed, they'll have less need for an iPhone in the first place)."

    Absolutely genius line!

    The man with the big hands..

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I was about to say that

      It is a genius line! And to continue along that line, I can see a situation where a right-handed male would need to hold the phone in his left hand, and would also require signal for that errr video stream. But that's perhaps not appropriate here.

      There's going to be a lot of frustrated iPhone4 owners out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        ...not appripriate here?

        ...I think you mean, no applicable. Didn't you hear? That sort of thing has been BANNED on the iphone!

      2. brimful


        Only if he's tickling himself at the very sight of the iphone and not the content displayed on it's screen as we all know he's forbidden from tickling himself by any other form of stimulation. Well I do guess that most apple fans are like that.

    2. Ammaross Danan


      "But it mainly seems to come down to hand size, with the larger span finding an iPhone harder to use (but, if rumour is to be believed, they'll have less need for an iPhone in the first place)."

      In order to get the most from this punch-line, I think it should be properly explained to those that don't have the mental capacity to operate a phone without big buttons and or those that require someone else to make it "just work." The rumor in question is the correlation (oh yeah, big "link") between large hands and a certain "male body part" being large as well. In which case, one would not need to compensate (oh big word again..."make up for") for being lacking in a certain "body part's" size, and thus, not have to own the fad fondle-slab.

      Hopefully that clarifies the joke, so more than just Droid owners can see the mirth in it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Ah Ah!!

    When Android phones fail, Apple users (specially) make a laugh about this problem saying it's a rubish phone/os...


  6. Rob 101

    It's another nice market thing

    The left handed Iphone's will be released later in the year.

  7. Greg J Preece

    More half-truths from Mr Jobs

    He just can't help talking shite, can he?

    "This is a fact of life for every wireless phone."

    Yyyyyeessss, sort of. But it's unlikely it would be to this extent. So your design is still crap.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Apple might correctly point out that every phone suffers from this problem to a greater or lesser degree"

    What's the word greater doing in there? I've never heard of any phone that suffers to the same degree, let alone to a greater degree.

    Apple have spent a long time making UIs that function in an intuitive way, but it looks like this time they've made up for all of those years of doing it right by doing it wrong in a big way.

  9. Mat

    What do people expect

    Typical response from a sociopathic pillock!

  10. lglethal Silver badge

    You missed the best part

    Taken from BBC:

    "Steve Jobs responded to a query about the problem from one owner by saying: "Just avoid holding it in that way." "

    lol... His saintliness has spoken....

  11. Arkasha


    While it is true that picking up a phone will interfere with the signal a little, you certainly shouldn't lose 3 or 4 out of 5 bars of signal strength.

    And isn't it normal to grip the lower left edge of the phone when using it? Left or right-handed it doesn't matter: either your finger or your palm will be there as it's the most comfortable way to hold the phone. Surely Apple can't be advocating getting some kind of RSI just to get better reception?

    List of phones I've had in the last 9 years or so that did NOT exhibit this problem:

    Nokia 6310i

    XDA II

    Nokia P900

    XDA Orbit 2

    Nokia E61

    HTC Desire

    List of phones I've had in the last 9 years or so that DID exhibit this problem:


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Design failure

    Ok, it may look "nice" having the aerial run round the outside of the device but if that entails the possibility/probablity of loss of reception if part of that aerial comes into contact with the person using it then it would seem pretty obvious that you engineer the design so that that part is in the least likely part of the case to be held and not the most likely place for right handed users.

    Maybe its a cunning plan to launch the new Iphone 4R designed for right handed people in a few months time.

  13. Tim Spence

    Easy design mod/solution

    So the band around the outside is metal, the antenna, sure, but I'm sure they could find a way to put a tiny amount of clear lacquer or something on it, which still lets near 100% of signal through and looks the same, but crucially breaks the contact between skin and metal?

    I'm going to patent that, quick!!

    1. blackworx


      Interestingly enough, the 6310i manual does instruct users to avoid putting their fingers on the upper area of the rear (ooer missus etc.) and I have noticed a slight drop in signal when doing so, but not even remotely to the extent this iPhone 4 seems to.

      1. William Towle

        Re: 6310i

        "the 6310i manual does instruct users to avoid putting their fingers on the upper area of the rear (ooer missus etc.)"

        I had a girlfriend give me that advice once, after which the reception got worse ... and the same goes for my actual phone (crazily? *) ;)

        (* Well, maybe not. I have the same paragraphs in the manual [unsurprising, it's also a Nokia], despite which the signal reading *doubles* when held as shown how not to! I am in the Aire Valley right now though and I'd hazard that counts for something).

    2. Annihilator


      I'd patent all you like, but Apple don't seem to mind patent and trademark infringements, so fill yer boots!

    3. Haku

      Old doctor doctor joke

      Patient: "Doctor doctor, it hurts when I do this."

      Doctor: "Don't do that then."

      Is Steve trying to become a standup comedian? because his replies regarding Apple products people are unhappy with are already jokes.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Jobs again

      He added, "Not that big of a deal".

    5. John 104


      Don't you mean Narcisistic?

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick

        Matt and John

        Please guys. The important thing is that Jobs is giving the Market a FREE CHOICE between Sociopathic and Narcissistic.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      #Design Failure

      >using it then it would seem pretty obvious that you engineer the design ...

      Give them a break. This is the first time they've actually engineered their own, up until now they've been relying on Nokia's designs. []

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. Chronos Silver badge

      Re: Easy design mod/solution

      At those frequencies, fingertip area is going to be enough to capacitively couple your mitts to the aerial, even with a thin lacquer "dielectric."

    9. Jerome 0


      Shhh... don't tell the fanbois that Android phones fail too!

  14. Jim Coleman
    Jobs Horns


    ...everything the iPhone can't do, or does badly, is the customer's fault. In an apple-shaped world, the customer is always wrong.

    I hope all iPhone customers listen to the word of Jobs and start holding their phones the way Cupertino dictate, which shouldn't be hard as they're used to accepting the Jobsian dictats on where they must buy apps and whether or not they can run Flash etc.

    Suck it up, losers!

  15. Ian K

    Quantum Mechanics: Frequently Optional

    "the irritating habit of radio particles to act like waves makes things unnecessarily complicated"

    While bringing in wave/particle duality earns Brownie points for thoroughness, for all practical purposes you might as well regard phone handsets as emitting radio waves and have done with it.

    If you ever have so few photons in play that you need to consider them individually, you're so many orders of magnitude below having a usable signal there's no real point in bothering.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No sale

    I was already pretty doubtful because it was so overpriced, but this response from Apple confirms it for me - I'll stick with my 3G for the forseeable.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    What a wanker!!

  18. c-hri-s

    It's going back

    Here's mine doing its stuff:

    It's in its box, all packed up and ready to go back to O2.

  19. gautam

    They will still buy it !

    For fanbois, it is the Saint's wish and diktat. Anything he says is gospel.

    SO what if the signal fades?

    Maybe it was designed for 4 fingered langurs with a tiny palm.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    oh come on, stop the Apple bashing

    Touching the left bottom part of the iPhone is a new magical user interface to turn an iPhone into an iPod Touch.

    And I am sure they have already patented it.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Jobs Horns

      Does it work ok if

      you stick it up your arse? That's where the followers of Jobs usually have their heads, so maybe that's the correct way to hold it?

    2. Neill Mitchell

      Oh my...

      That video shows it to pretty dramatic effect. Blimey, what a balls up.

      1. 42

        of course

        Thats why they have round corners on apple products.

    3. OrsonX

      oh dear!

      if a picture says a thousand words then that video says it all!!

      = iPhone4

    4. My New Handle

      The problem there ...

      ... is that it is on O2 mate. What a god-awful notwork that is. Only when my iPhone 3GS took its first breath of Vodfone 3G did it begin to perform for the first time in its short life! So absolutely no surprises there that the iPhone 4 phenomenon is even more expressed than it might be on any other network on this planet!

      Don't send it back - get it supplied on another network.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Seriously ?

        Measured signal quality (as opposed to signal strength) has little to do with the actual network and more to do with cell and antenna design (both at the cell and handset) not to mention environmental considerations.

        Even the slightest amount of digging will demonstrate that the issue affects all networks fairly equally; see for a demonstration on vodafone.

        Having access to both Vodafone and O2, I find O2 in the north of England (particularly in rural areas) performs substantially better then Vodafone on simlar hardware. I'm now using a Galaxy S which is performing (signal wise) far better than my HT Desire does in the same areas on the same network. Horses for courses I'm afraid - up here I prefer to be on O2 and count myself lucky I have two options in terms of network because of my work mobile.

    5. Mark Greenwood
      Jobs Horns

      Judging from that

      It's not just left-handers wo'll be affected. I'm right handed which means I always hold the phone in my left hand (just like you do in the video) because I use my right hand to dial numbers with. I don't then transfer it to my right hand just to have a conversation. Am I just wierd? Glad I didn't buy one of these things anyway, it's hard enough getting a signal where I live as it is...

      1. phen

        Two handed dialing?

        I'm interested to know if you're by any chance older. I (and most people I know) do one handed thumb dialing, holding the phone as one might a remote control. I know one girl who does two handed texting (ie two thumbs for speed), but the only time I've ever seen anyone use two hands as in index finger and and cradle, is in 80's movies when dialing land lines. Just wondering.

    6. Dale Richards

      Brownie points

      Brownian points?

    7. John 104


      It amazes me that people continue to buy Apple products knowing that their disdain for their actual customers is unrivaled. This is a company with the worst customer service attitude in the entire technology sphere. Yet no one seems to care? Lemmings.

    8. This post has been deleted by its author


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