Verizon iPhone 4 still suffers from signal loss

The "death grip," as seen on the GSM iPhone 4, is alive and well on the CDMA version, a new YouTube video reveals. iLounge undertook a variety of loading tests, demonstrating a dramatic slowdown in performance while gripping the phone, both over CDMA and Wi-Fi. iLounge also confirmed the presence of a new signal attenuation position, the "death hug," where holding the phone in landscape orientation can also cause slowdown. 

The report contradicts previous statements from blogs such as ArsTechnica, who when placing a call in the death grip experienced "no noticeable signal loss." MaximumPC also heralded the repositioning of the antenna as being the end of any potential death gripping, proclaiming that "the antenna is fixed."

On discovery of the problem in the GSM iPhone, Steve Jobs famously responded by advising that customers "just avoid holding it in that way." "All phones have sensitive areas," Jobs said in an email, but following a slew of bad PR, Apple was forced to hold a press conference in July where they announced a free case programme lasting until the end of September, when the situation would be re-evaluated. Considering that not another word was heard from Apple, it's safe to assume that the situation was deemed satisfactory. Another wave of bad press involving the Verizon iPhone could force Apple into action again, but with WWDC a few months away, Apple may be shifting their focus on a fifth-generation iPhone that solves the problem.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 SP1 to land on February 22nd

Next Story

Verizon iPhone 4 now avaliable for online pre-order/reserve for new customers

64 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

A. You have to try to hold the phone this way. How stupid can you be to actually feed this whole issue further.
B. Most Phones suffer from similar issues. But since they sell a zillion times less is no worthy mention. As a matter of fact they are amongst the ones that are trolling the whole thing.
C. Iphone so last year, and a crappy device and over rated. I cant agree more. As a matter of fact Apple should not bother. And let all those idiots that call it **** to still play Snake and scroll down with a pen.

It really reminds me of those Linux loving ppl that are posting here and there about how microsoft and windows sucks while they are on windows xp.

The only notworthy competitor of Iphone 4 is the Galaxy S in terms of features. Still far inferior in terms of build quality Whatever else you own, its time to recycle. In general when IP5 comes out its time to recycle.

If one week neowin doesnt post some **** bout Apple, the world will collapse.


i work for an indirect cellphone retailer and the other day i had an htc evo shift and tried to recreate this antenna issue and guess what? the signal dropped badly also, but nobody makes a big deal out of it, but hey, if the iphone does it, is the end of the world!!

cope said,
My Sony Ericsson K750i has this issue. Hell any phone I ever had have had this issue.

Exactly. If you cover up the sensor, you lose signal. lol. If that didn't happen, they should get a medal for breaking the laws of physics.

ATT iphone 4's problem was an actual conductive issue and an actual design flaw. Not a signal attenuation issue. Every device will have signal attenuation. This is just a sensational piece to get hits.

I would have thought they would have moved the antenna or done SOMETHING before releasing to VZW. Oh well, the problem isn't as bad as people who have a chip-on-their-shoulder about Apple and the iPhone would like you to believe. You guys really need to find a new hobby and learn to just be secure with the phone you got as oppose to the relentless smear campaign against iPhone.

generalkhaos said,
Who gives a ****. So Many phones do this it's n

In regards to the initial iPhone 4, the fact it was very bad (compared to others), and Apple did EVERYTHING to blame everyone but Apple combined with the perception of Apple and Apple fan boys is what stirred up the bee's nest. "Fixing" an issue is also an admission of guilt.

Kinda different from the AT&T phone. With ATT, you had to just touch one area of the phone.

So to the same tests that were done on ATT with just touch one area and then I would be interested to see if its the same issue.

I just hope they fix all the antenna issues by the time they release the next iPhone in June (I'll be upgrading my 3Gs and my gf's)

OK, so this time around they need to grip it so hard that most slim phones would show some sort of problem, and it's still a big deal?

How is this still an issue?

Since this "issue" was announced on the GSM iPhone 4 I've had an iPhone 4, a BlackBerry Torch, a Samsung Galaxy S, an HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon and a Droid X. All of the phones do this... the Droid X is the worst. If i hold it horizontal and cover the bulge where the camera is I instantly lose all signal... Wi-Fi and cell service.

I've had so many phones because it took me so long to realize that my service issues had nothing to do with the phones... it all had to do with AT&T's service sucking badly in Central NJ and NYC.

Well THAT I would call holding it wrong, seriously. Who's going to hold a phone like this.
The AT&T iPhone does have a problem though.

Your holding it wrong ... your holding it too tight ... blah ..blah ..blah ...
Waste of time ... iPhone is over rated .. over hyped ... a toy ... next ...
Verizon ... AT&T... ... drop your prices ...
Landlines cost $25-$30
cellphones $70-$170

Cells should be cheaper ... no copper lines to fix or maintain compared to a cellphone
that connects to cell towers. That are very low maintenance compared to copper lines.

GenBlood said,
Your holding it wrong ... your holding it too tight ... blah ..blah ..blah ...
Waste of time ... iPhone is over rated .. over hyped ... a toy ... next ...
Verizon ... AT&T... ... drop your prices ...
Landlines cost $25-$30
cellphones $70-$170

Cells should be cheaper ... no copper lines to fix or maintain compared to a cellphone
that connects to cell towers. That are very low maintenance compared to copper lines.

I've had every SmartPhone OS with the exception of Symbian and Windows Phone 7. You want to see a toy? Pick up any android phone. I hate my droid x and the fact that I have to reboot it 5 times a day doing a battery pull because it freezes up and the touch screen won't respond. I don't drop calls anymore, I just can't get them because the call screen doesn't show up since the phone is processing whatever it's processing. I got the most work done with my iPhone... even if it dropped calls.

GenBlood said,
Cells should be cheaper ... no copper lines to fix or maintain compared to a cellphone
that connects to cell towers. That are very low maintenance compared to copper lines.

You really don't have a clue what you are talking about here do you? By your reasoning, wired networking should be much more expensive than wireless networks as well.

Well you can't blame them. A fix will come in the iPhone 5, but if they change the design of the iPhone 4 you'll immediately have a tirade of current iPhone 4 users demanding theirs be fixed.

"You're holding it wrong" can live on for a few months yet.

JamesWeb said,
Well you can't blame them. A fix will come in the iPhone 5, but if they change the design of the iPhone 4 you'll immediately have a tirade of current iPhone 4 users demanding theirs be fixed.

"You're holding it wrong" can live on for a few months yet.

It was redesigned for VZW. http://goo.gl/J9eZc

They can get away with it here because it's a CDMA version and not a GSM version.

Xerax said,
as much as i hate iPhone.. Who the hell holds their phone like that. lmao.

Haha yeah, the most interesting videos back when this was first big news were the ones where people were holding it naturally with the edge of their palm against the antenna, just like in the Apple commercials. This is just weird.

The issue that was brought up when the iPhone 4 was first released, and that seemed unique and new, were the videos of people simply placing a finger at the insulation point and having the signal drop significantly. The effect of squeezing the phone with your whole hand (They even used both hands in this video) to the point where you hand is even covering the screen is something that you can do with most any phone. I know that my 3GS would do the same when I wrapped my hand all the way around it and squeezed it to death.

Let's build the antenna on the outside! Nevermind that human beings are very good conductors and touching the antenna will technically alter the length of it, rendering the required frequency useless.

Coming soon, the new line of Mac Book Pro's, now with the Processor sitting on the middle of the trackpad!

Benjy91 said,
Let's build the antenna on the outside! Nevermind that human beings are very good conductors and touching the antenna will technically alter the length of it, rendering the required frequency useless.

Coming soon, the new line of Mac Book Pro's, now with the Processor sitting on the middle of the trackpad!


If one is to wear a tin foil hat, that could work just great!

GS:mac

This isn't a problem with the iPhone 4, Verizon customers are just holding it wrong

Realistically though, this isn't a technical experiment and who actually holds a phone THAT tight and hugged around the whole damn phone? Sounds like click hits for iLounge here.

Tom W said,
This isn't a problem with the iPhone 4, Verizon customers are just holding it wrong

Realistically though, this isn't a technical experiment and who actually holds a phone THAT tight and hugged around the whole damn phone? Sounds like click hits for iLounge here.


Actually one could say that's true...

I mean: I don't know if you have to hold it as aggressively as in the video, but if yes, then it's miles away from a real world issue... If it's like with the AT&T version, then I'll say yes, r/w issue.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

If it's like with the AT&T version, then I'll say yes, r/w issue.

Yeah indeed, that was a real issue because you just held it in the bottom corner and it went loopy. This seems like someone desperately trying to reproduce the issue. "Oh hey look guys if I cover my whole body over my phone then the signal drops!! Weird huh?!!"

Tom W said,

Yeah indeed, that was a real issue because you just held it in the bottom corner and it went loopy. This seems like someone desperately trying to reproduce the issue. "Oh hey look guys if I cover my whole body over my phone then the signal drops!! Weird huh?!!"

reminds you of that time when Apple tried to prove that other phones also suffered signal loss using that same technique...

DreadBoat89 said,

reminds you of that time when Apple tried to prove that other phones also suffered signal loss using that same technique...


Ha indeed, that was totally silly too.

Tom W said,

Yeah indeed, that was a real issue because you just held it in the bottom corner and it went loopy. This seems like someone desperately trying to reproduce the issue. "Oh hey look guys if I cover my whole body over my phone then the signal drops!! Weird huh?!!"

If you hold the phone (ok not like a ****) but normal grip in the left hand and put it up to your head (as you would on a call) then yes you would cover the entire phone in a similar fashion.

Unplugged said,

If you hold the phone (ok not like a ****) but normal grip in the left hand and put it up to your head (as you would on a call) then yes you would cover the entire phone in a similar fashion.

I doubt anyone will hold it that tight, this is just overplaying the problem now. Although I still think it is a rather silly design.

The old problem was easy to reproduce and was easily done in general use. I went into a few phone shops to test it out myself and you hardly needed any pressure applied.

presence06 said,
Isn't this an issues with about half of Smart Phones though? HTC/Motorola and Samsung phones have this "feature"

Yes, other phones do have the same behaviour but on most phones it's not nearly as bad as on the iPhone 4.

Well yeah of course it will be. It's not a bug it's a feature! The Signal was never their to begin with so theirs no problem to fix.

Unplugged said,
Well yeah of course it will be. It's not a bug it's a feature! The Signal was never their to begin with so theirs no problem to fix.

The signal was there. that's what attenuation means. However if you are in a strong signal area, the attentuation will have little practical effect. If you are in a mid to low signal area it will have an effect of significantlylowering the signalyou get(lower net speeds) or cutting you off completely.

It was more sarcasm at Apple's playing down of the entire issue by claiming it was a fault in the algorithm for calculating signal strength and the signal was never their.... hmmmm yeah right.

Attenuation is going to be their and is in most phones however the fact the problem is so massively present in the iPhone simply by holding it in a certain way shows a design flaw pure and simple. The fact it hasn't been corrected yet is also shocking. Luckily im not to bothered by the plastic bumper case on mine but the fact the issue disappears with it is further proof that this is a problem that should have been dealt with for future models.

HawkMan said,

The signal was there. that's what attenuation means. However if you are in a strong signal area, the attentuation will have little practical effect. If you are in a mid to low signal area it will have an effect of significantlylowering the signalyou get(lower net speeds) or cutting you off completely.

Unplugged said,
Well yeah of course it will be. It's not a bug it's a feature! The Signal was never their to begin with so theirs no problem to fix.

+1

Edited by Jose_49, Feb 9 2011, 6:40pm :