iPhone 4 loses signal when you hold the antenna band

I remember when I was at University back in the year 1997, it used to be possible to disconnect at T-Mobile UK handset from the network by putting your hand over the phone.  Such was the quality of the transmitter and the TMO network, that almost any interference — a hand, a wall, a particularly large book — would turn a five bar solid signal into a ‘no signal’ message very very quickly.

Apple, it seems, has decided to pluck that feature from relative obscurity and integrate it directly into the new iPhone 4.  That’s right — touch the metal casing antenna band at the wrong point and the phone does the telephony equivalent of fainting.

Gizmodo has been on the issue all day and has posted video after video demonstrating and clarifying the problem.  Apparently if you use some scotch tape or mess about with nail polish, you can overcome it.  Or if you hold the phone with your fingertips …

Absolutely ridiculous.

Talking on an iPhone has always been a rubbish experience.  It is really annoying when people ask, ‘Are you on your iPhone?’ when they’re wondering why they can’t really hear me very well.

I haven’t yet tried the iPhone 4 yet and I will certainly purchase one despite this apparent issue.  I’ve no doubt Apple will publish a response shortly with a fix or some advice.

Have you noticed this problem with your iPhone 4?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

6 replies on “iPhone 4 loses signal when you hold the antenna band”

I have the problem… randomly the signal just goes away. Doesn’t matter if I’m holding the phone or it’s sitting on the table.

It just disappears. I’ve got 4 iphones next to it and they all have full service.

Called apple support, they acknowledged the problem… no help.

I really think this is a misleading headline, if it read “most phones” instead of “iPhone 4” I would have no issue with it. I think the issue is there, but will not affect a lot of the people much of the time, and it is too early to be making definitive statements about it either way. My own personal experience of this is here on my blog, and I speak about it on this weeks Phones Show Chat audio podcast with Steve Litchfield. (Blog) and (Podcast)

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