Apple enthusiasts plotted their shopping strategies for months, weeks, days and hours in anticipation for the arrival of the company’s latest coveted mobile phone, the iPhone 4. Much like the technology giant’s previous product releases, the phone’s launch was another huge success, as customers once again crammed retail locations in an effort to grab a phone before they were gone. Early reports claim that over 1.7 million units have been sold to date since June 24th; a time of only six short days of availability. Now that Apple has survived the massive wave of customers trying to get their hands on the new device, it may have another rush of consumers headed its way. Unanticipated reception issues, however, potentially plague the 1.7 million phones that now lie in the hands of customers.
Days after the new iPhone made its debut and became the latest must have gadget for over a million happy consumers, reports of signal loss problems arose from the masses. Users of the device discovered that when using the phone during a call, reception is degraded, or completely lost. Further reports revealed that the problem occurs when the phone is held in a certain position, particularly when the users hand covers the left bottom corner of the phone. Early responses from Apple stated that reception loss is common mobile phone. An official response from Apple states that “Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone” the statement then concludes by saying “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.”
Steve Jobs made news as consumer concerns for the problematic device grew. The online community is abuzz over his now famous email remarks in response to the problem, including “Non issue. Just avoid holding it in that way,” and “stay tuned.”
On a positive note, engineers from Anandtech, a hardware analysis and news group, stated even after testing and successfully finding signal degradation on the iPhone 4, that the reception is actually better than other phones.
For the time being, a solution comes in the form of a rubber bumper case that acts as a sort of insulator for the antenna. The case sells for a suggested retail of $29.99.
In related news, Apple has announced that it is on the lookup for full time Antenna Engineers.
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