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The iPhone 4 antenna problems are not as bad as we feared

Anandtech has looked at this stuff in incredible detail.

The fact of the matter is that either the most sensitive region of the antenna should have an insulative coating, or everyone should use a case. For a company that uses style heavily as a selling point, the latter isn’t an option. And the former would require an unprecedented admission of fault on Apple’s part.

Apple’s dropped a bollock here. But – and it’s an enormous “but”:

reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 [compared to the 3GS] in actual use.

If you’re in a place with patchy reception – some people know it as “Scotland” – then the way you hold the phone makes a difference to the number of bars you see and the speed of your data connection, but the iPhone 4 gets a signal and can download data in places the 3GS can’t.

5 replies on “The iPhone 4 antenna problems are not as bad as we feared”

The colleague of a friend of mine in the mobile industry has figured out how Apple allowed this fuck-up through testing. They’re so obsessively secretive about their designs that every model actually tested in the field will have had a case to make it look like a 3GS in case someone saw it. So Apple probably never tested the 4 out-and-about without a case.

It’s not been an issue for me at all, really. My iPhone 4’s reception is just so massively better than my old one that I’ve never really noticed this “problem”. I think I once saw the 3G symbol disappear when I was browsing the web, noticed I was touching it on the dividing line, moved my finger, and it came back. Other times I’ve noticed that I’m holding it “wrong” but there’s been no ill-effect. Far fewer dropped calls than with the old one. The display is just brilliant, I’m still marvelling at it. Amazing phone.

It seems to be most pronounced in low signal areas, like where I live. I think I may hang on until it’s completely clear what’s going on.

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