There is lots of talk out there about the iPhone 4 and it’s problems with the new, external antenna. I haven’t had any issues because I bought the bumper, the iPhone 4 case from Apple, on the first day and always used it. Today, while at work, I took off my bumper because we have these generic iPhone and iPod cables that are too bulky to work with the iPhone bumper. I also thought it was a good chance to test out any signal problems with the antenna.
Later in the day, while sitting at a restaurant in a 3G area, I noticed I only had 1 bar. I thought that was a little strange and then I noticed something. I was holding it with my left hand and my palm was covering the slit between the metal of the external antennas.
After moving my hand, within about 20 seconds, my signal started to increase to 5 bars. I even did it a few more times and it was definitely having a problem. I took a couple screenshots to show the difference.
I also did a speed test and got half the speed when my hand was touching that part of the antenna system.
What’s happening is the iPhone has two antennas. One for the 3G & EDGE and the other for WiFi, Bluetooth, & GPS. When you touch that gap in the metal you are kinda connecting the antennas and there is a signal problem. It doesn’t happen on the other side because it’s actually connected over there. The right has the gap just to match the other side but on the inside they are actually connected. See below.
Now what are we going to do? Well, first, Steve Jobs replied to an email about the problem with, “Just avoid holding it in that way.” Then, Engadget posts this image saying, “Hey Apple, you’re holding it wrong.” These are screen captures from demos from Apple themselves.
Then Steve responds to another email about the problem with, “There is no reception issue. Stay tuned.” Some have suggested there will be a firmware update of 4.0.1 on Monday while others think iPhone Bumper Cases will be free to all iPhone 4 owners.