Friday, June 25, 2010

The iPhone 4 Grip of Death

Fraser Speirs:

For all the supposed design refinement of the iPhone 4, this is a near-showstopper. It’s very surprising that the device shipped with this kind of flaw. If the fix is to add Apple’s £29 rubber bumper on top of this £600 device, that will be a very poor show indeed.

He has videos demonstrating the problem. Unfortunately, the bumpers don’t fit in docks and would probably make the phone stick in your pocket. Better to use tape. Perhaps some black electrical tape wouldn’t be so unsightly. Apple’s response is not encouraging, nor do I think it makes sense to blame the FCC. This is something that should work out of the box without accessories or instructions not to hold it in the normal way. Maybe they can add a clear coating or something.

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This is hardly a show stopper. After a few tries of holding the phone in an odd way and get the signal meter to drop by one lousy bar. Meanwhile I'm enjoying coverage in areas of my office that were previously black holes for cell phone reception from a variety of vendors. The feverish desire to find a flaw with the new iPhone is a bit ridiculous.

"The feverish desire to find a flaw with the new iPhone is a bit ridiculous."

Meh. Apple seems to be doing everything in their power to encourage a backlash.

If you create feverish hype and then act weirdly, capriciously, and vaguely evilly, the feverish desire to find flaws follows naturally. It's human nature. See Lady Gaga for a similar phenomenon.

Steve-o's "just don't hold it that way" is of a BP-level tone deafness in PR terms.

Apple has created an atmosphere where the iPhone 4 could cure cancer and folks would still be feverishly seeking to find flaws.

@Donavan That looks like the normal way that I would hold the phone when using it two-handed, and there have been other reports of the signal totally dropping out. AT&T service is already poor in my area, so I don’t have any bars to spare.

I handed my phone around to a few friends today trying to test this. I was surprised to see a couple of them drop the signal meter down to nothing from 4 bars. If I do the same thing I can occasionally get it to drop by one bar.

So, yes it's real for a seemingly decent group of people ( 1/3 of the people who I tried it with). So I apologize for calling it a non-issue.

I still want them to fix the darn proximity sensor first.

Daniel Jalkut has the winner on the topic...

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