The ‘grip of death’ problems with the Apple iPhone 4 might be a software problem. The ‘grip of death’ is what the signal problems with the Apple iPhone 4 have been dubbed when users grip their new iPhone’s. It’s being called a grip, but really, the problem seems to exist when people hold the outside edge of the phone, where the external antenna was built into the iPhone 4. This ‘grip of death’ as it has been coined, kills the iPhone signal, and makes it so that not only are calls dropped, but sometimes users can’t even get a signal with their phone. CNN reported on the situation brewing between Apple and the users of the new iPhone, and even the explanations from Apple might not be what users are going to be looking for in this instance.
So what was Apple’s response to the dropped calls and lack of signal during use? The response in the Apple statement on Friday read as following:
“Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display 4 bars when we should be displaying as few as 2 bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.”
The obvious question that comes next from users might be universal. “Is Apple serious?” It almost sounds like they are trying to write off the problem with the external antenna by stating that the phone is just in a bad signal area. This contradicts quite a bit of the users out there complaining that they cannot get a signal anywhere when holding the phone a certain way. It almost seems like common sense that obstructing the antenna of a cell phone would disrupt the ability of that phone to make a call, and raises serious questions about why Apple decided to make this antenna external. The internal antenna on the Apple iPhone 3G seemed to work just fine, but Apple really wanted to sell a phone that could get a better signal in the iPhone 4.
So what is the big fix that Apple has in mind to help all of their users of the iPhone 4? Well they are going to offer a free software update within the next few weeks that will incorporate a new formula. This new formula will “help” show users what the correct number of bars should be on their phone, and the down side for users could be that they can’t even find bars anymore. Think it ends there? Wrong. The software problem is reportedly on every iPhone ever made. Sounds more like Apple needs to take the next iPhone back to the drawing board to figure out a better way of dealing with their inherent signal problems.
Maybe the question that users should now be asking Apple is if the “grip of death” is the hold that Apple has over all of its users.
CNN; David Goldman; “‘Stunned’-Apple-to-fix-iPhone-signal-bug”