iPhone 4 issues begin mounting up prior to launch

Apple's latest gadget, the iPhone 4, is due to go on sale on Thursday, but early adopters are reporting display discolourisation bands or spots and major reception issues.

Gadget blog Gizmodo has two stories regarding early issues. The first is that some iPhone 4 Displays have yellow discoloration bands and spots across their screens. Gizmodo says it has 27 reports so far.

Image Credit: Gizmodo.com

The second issue seems far more widespread and appears to be a major glitch. Multiple reports suggest that the new iPhone 4 loses reception when you hold it by the antenna band. Several videos have popped up across the net explaining the issue and it appears that if you hold the device, as soon as you connect the left side with the bottom, that's when reception starts to drop. The issue appears to be widespread with most early adopters able to reproduce the problem.

According to Engadget, Walt Mossberg's spotted the issue in his review. Apple has acknowledged the issue as something that has to do with "the way the bars are presented, not the actual ability to make a call," and that the company is working on a fix. Some readers suggest this could also be an issue across iOS4 and affects iPhone 3G and 3GS devices too. Another video shows how it affects a 3G device and many others are reporting similar issues on the 3GS.

There has been no official word from Apple on these findings but with the official launch of iPhone 4 only hours away there's bound to be a lot of noise shortly.

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dave164 said,
So, I don't see how this can be software...?

What I've been hearing is that the actual signal strength isn't affected. Just the bars displayed on the phone. But then I've heard of users covering the phone with their hand and causing the iPhone to lose reception completely.

There needs to be an update to this story as the screen yellowing issue goes away after a couple days of use as the screen bonding agent dries. And some users are saying that the use of Apple's bumper accessory prevents the signal issue. That probably means that the issue is caused by static from users touching bare metal.

Hope some of these thing are solved before it's released here in sweden...
But this issue is said to be the software, and the yellow spots on the screen aren't anything new, i had that with my old lg phone, it got them after half a year though...

I would be more worried about that new report on gizmodo where the glass on the back was broken by a 1 foot drop sure i will use a case and i have the strange ability to not drop my phone or such device but anyway...

Is this new iPhone made/assembled over there by Foxconn? If so, sounds like some people over there got some vendetta against the world over recent issues with them lol.

The only issue (along with MANY other people) I am having is the ios4 update for my 3gs made it so it will not work with my car stereo any more! I hope this gets fixed soon.

Just noticed that issue on my 3G. Covered the sucker up while typing and web down from 4 to 1 bar. Before postins this post I uncovered it and boom!! 4 bars!

I am pevved the iOS4 removed my contacts and I can't get them back!! backup won't restore them. They were not Gmail contacts!! I was updating to iOS4 to get rid of the phone!! APPLE SUCKS MORE SO THAN EVER!!
Did you see the processing scores between the 3GS and 4? nothing spectacular. Although the video and camera of the Iphone 4 is really sweet! I give them credit for that.

I'm not getting any issues on my 3G with iOS4.
I've covered the phone more or less with me hands and im still getting a full signal.
I'm in the UK on O2

Matt Hardwick said,
Apple probably would not have noticed the signal issue because every device they tested was in a case?

Or, the QA crews think the signal quality issue is on the network provider side.
You know how good the network quality of the bundling network provider is.

Or its a bug that got slipped into the firmware later in the dev cycle. There wasn't exactly news stories of 3G and 3GS users complaining when they had the beta builds on their handsets.

Can't really get my head around how this could be a software issue, maybe i'm wrong here but i wasn't aware the iphone's were able to detect how you were holding them? And on that basis it makes little sense to me how a software glitch could be caused by an action it can't detect whether or not is happening o.0

I'd assume theres code in there to help sort out interference and the like in conjunction with the hardware and something here is being overly sensitive when the signal strength changes at all. A fair few reports of dropped bars said calls werent being dropped so who knows.

The fact it happens in older models but wasn't raised until the last day or so kind of makes it sound software related.

I got my iPhone 4 yesterday morning and was glad to see that I did not have the yellow spots but then as I looked closer I noticed I have a few other issues with mine. The first being a few specs of dust under the screen. I also either have a small hair under the screen or my glass was already scratched before I even started using it as I noticed a small S mark towards the right side as soon as I pulled off the plastic protection sheet from the front. So with all these other issues people have been having, it does seem quality control at Apple is not so great recently as the iPad I got last week also has some screen problems like light bleed and a dead pixel.

Yet another chance to slack apple
Where is the QA here? Nobody noticed yellow lines on the screen? Nobody noticed the reception drop in ios4? I guess it could be a marketing scam to get you to buy a handsfree

Yup, definately a iOS4 issue, just tried the same trick on my 3GS and the bars disappear, does not seem to affect calls though, not sure why I never spotted it before, I tried all the Beta's and installed the GM Seed as soon as it was available as I'm in the Apple Developer Program for the iPhone and I have had no issues connecting to data, voice calls or my home WiFi, must be some sort of reporting bug? Very looking forward to my iPhone4 coming via courier this afternoon but will be checking my screen over very closely to see if I have the yellow issue, hopefully not.

Was it an issue in all the betas? Could be the result of a recent code change. I'd have thought after two or three months something like this would have been picked up if it was a bug from day one.

Could you imagine this when you go to answer a call.....

Hello, oh Hi................ beep beep beep call disconnected.
So I take it apple want you to use the phone on the desk and wack ya head on it, because obviously if you pick it up it's gonna drop the call lol!

tunafish said,
Could you imagine this when you go to answer a call.....

Hello, oh Hi................ beep beep beep call disconnected.
So I take it apple want you to use the phone on the desk and wack ya head on it, because obviously if you pick it up it's gonna drop the call lol!

Sounds like my iPhone 3G with 3.1.3 on O2

So for the first issue, it will be possible to exchange the iPhone for another one, and for the second, it will be fixed in iOS 4.

Someone already tried to exchange his iPhone and they kinda accepted but they wouldn't want right now as they're badly in need of stock. But mid-July, people suffering from this will be able to exchange it obviously...

My 3GS appears to be working fine here in Canada that I just bought .. however my battery is being drained super fast and I have almost everything that could be turned off off.. so anyone know of a solution to this .. Ahh Iphone 4 I knew it was too hyped up

djstar8 said,
My 3GS appears to be working fine here in Canada that I just bought .. however my battery is being drained super fast and I have almost everything that could be turned off off.. so anyone know of a solution to this .. Ahh Iphone 4 I knew it was too hyped up

Yeah, battery is quite an issue with me too. With the iPhone 4 it's pretty much the best deal they could do with the battery, but it still IS a problem.

Companies need to develop loooooooooooooong-lasting batteries and ship them to Apple ASAP

The connection issue doesn't seem too bad ATM, despite the drop from what I read most people weren't dropping calls and the fact it happens with the 3G and 3GS hopefully indicates its a software issue that can be patched. I'm sure Apple wouldn't have let a hardware flaw like that through.

The screen issues sound worse and hopefully thats just a bad batch.

Get the same on my 3G. I am kinda of glad tbh, I said when I put iOS4 GM on that my signal seems all over the place.

Makes you wonder if this was rushed out the door...these seem like obvious issues that would have been picked up in QC

bdsams said,
Makes you wonder if this was rushed out the door...these seem like obvious issues that would have been picked up in QC

After the issues I saw with my Sprint HTC Hero after release... I'll believe that there really is no QC. That costs money and time.

Waiting for the Apple apologists to chime in and say it's all good, nothing to see here, move along now. Unless the issue(s) [such as the display one] are attributed to say certain batches, there sounds like possible QC issues. If that's the case, so much for that higher quality product huh? LOL

ccoltmanm said,
The 3G OS doesn't know if you are holding it with all your fingers, that's just stupid.

I got an iPhone 3G today to restore because of some bad jailbroken app and once 4.0 was back clean, connecting to WiFi was a BIG ISSUE. It could not find networks after scanning no matter how many times I reset the network settings, restored on 2 different computers, etc. I tried manually typing it in only to say could not find "SSID HERE"

Karo - 323z IT said,

I got an iPhone 3G today to restore because of some bad jailbroken app and once 4.0 was back clean, connecting to WiFi was a BIG ISSUE. It could not find networks after scanning no matter how many times I reset the network settings, restored on 2 different computers, etc. I tried manually typing it in only to say could not find "SSID HERE"

No issue with connectivity after upgrading here (3G) but tbh no better either (call-wise)

Berserk87 said,
Just tried out the antenna glitch on my 3GS running iOS 4, yep its true.

You must be seeing things because the antenna issue is with the iPhone 4 not the 3GS running iOS4. The issue is with the steel trim that has the antenna built into it. Holding it with your hands causes interference. I've seen it a few times on my iPhone 4 but it's not a deal breaker. I love this phone.

blachole said,

You must be seeing things because the antenna issue is with the iPhone 4 not the 3GS running iOS4. The issue is with the steel trim that has the antenna built into it. Holding it with your hands causes interference. I've seen it a few times on my iPhone 4 but it's not a deal breaker. I love this phone.
People have reported it can be reproduced with the older models too...the article above states that also and one of the videos is about it.

blachole said,

You must be seeing things because the antenna issue is with the iPhone 4 not the 3GS running iOS4. The issue is with the steel trim that has the antenna built into it. Holding it with your hands causes interference. I've seen it a few times on my iPhone 4 but it's not a deal breaker. I love this phone.

try reading the article next time.
this is a software issue that effects all iphones running iOS 4.

blachole said,

Holding it with your hands causes interference. I've seen it a few times on my iPhone 4 but it's not a deal breaker.

So having a phone that gets interference and possible dropped calls simply by being held isn't a deal breaker? The minute they announced this idiotic antenna I smelled trouble. Seriously though, if this isn't a "deal breaker"...what is?

bigpeeler said,

So having a phone that gets interference and possible dropped calls simply by being held isn't a deal breaker? The minute they announced this idiotic antenna I smelled trouble. Seriously though, if this isn't a "deal breaker"...what is?

"Some readers suggest this could also be an issue across iOS4 and affects iPhone 3GĀ and 3GS devices too. Another video shows how it affects a 3G device and many others are reporting similar issues on the 3GS"

Not an iPhone 4 issue, get it?

Berserk87 said,
Just tried out the antenna glitch on my 3GS running iOS 4, yep its true.

Ditto, this is an iOS4 issue, it happens on my old 3GS, If I dont have five bars, and something is blocking the signal even a little it completely drops.

Going into any retail store, mall, etc... it will be fine, the moment I walk in the door it drops on both phones.

Your body conducts electricity, so when you touch the two antennas together, they short, why do you think those gaps are there

I hope they both could be fixed via patches else iPhone 4 owners are gonna be so angry..

Speaking of which, i guess if it would have been a MS product, people would already been have.

chorpeac said,
Yep, confirmed here, I definitely have the antenna glitch on two iPhone 4's.

+1. If I put my finger on between the ringer silence switch and the headphone jack I can make my data connection disappear. If you have the "Speed Test" app, run it an while it is clocking you run your finger up the left side. When put my finger on the corner the signal dissapears. My guess is that the bumper may actually help reception.

Shadrack said,

My guess is that the bumper may actually help reception.

I guess that's one way to sell them

chorpeac said,
Yep, confirmed here, I definitely have the antenna glitch on two iPhone 4's.

Me too but it's difficult to hold the phone like that. I guess I'll never run into this problem in real life situations.

0sm3l said,

Me too but it's difficult to hold the phone like that. I guess I'll never run into this problem in real life situations.

If I pick it up and hold it with my left hand, the signal just goes to 1 bar or to no service. If I hold it with my right hand it isn't as bad. I wouldn't doubt that the salinity of your skin plays a roll. Some people may not experience any problems what-so-ever because of their skin's electrical characteristics.

Honestly though, this is a bad enough design flaw for me that I may have to return the phone. I noticed the problem right away, and this represents a gross oversight on Apple's part. I'm hopeful that it is widespread enough for Apple to have to take action. But, there is a limited return window. If there isn't better news regarding this issue sometime next week I'm going to be asking for a refund.