Apple on iPhone 4 glitches: ‘Hold it this way!’

25 Jun 2010

Apple has responded to criticism that the iPhone 4 is beset with technical issues by telling consumers they need to hold the device properly.

Reports flitted across the world last night of signal degradation on the iPhone when users held the device in their hands. Theories abounded about how the human body acted like a strange conductor that affected the signal coming from the metal band that encircles the lower half of the phone – the metal band being an extension of the antenna on the device.

Other complaints centred on yellow dots and streaks that appeared on the middle right HD Retina screen while others said the pristine and tough screen was prone to spider-like cracking if the device was dropped.

Apple has come out in response to the reports on the antenna problems which pretty much insinuate users don’t know how to hold a mobile device properly.

“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,” Apple said in a statement.

“If you ever experience this on your Phone 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.”

Personally, I’m not sure there is any other way to grip a phone unless I want to copy an aristocrat sipping afternoon tea with the device perched precariously between my index finger and thumb with my little finger pointing out and up to the heavens.

The “many available cases” Apple is referring to are rubber bands that encircle the phone, making them impregnable to smashing and are no doubt an added cost for consumers.

For what has been one of Apple’s most hyped products yet it has been an inauspicious beginning. At the same time, it shows consumers of smartphones are more discerning than ever and that the internet is the fastest gauge of consumer satisfaction.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years