By now we all know the story about the iPhone 4’s reception issues, specifically those involving a dramatically reduced signal if you hold the phone in your left hand, with the lower portion of your palm covering the bottom left quadrant of the iPhone’s bezel-based antennae.
In fact, the problem can be replicated by simply holding the phone on either side, just where the bezel gaps are.
The reception problem is frustrating enough. But what’s more annoying is that Apple is treating the problem not as a hardware issue –– one that needs to be fixed –– but rather as a communications problem, one that requires gently prodding disappointed customers into the false realization that this is a non-issue.
Recently, when one customer emailed Steve Jobs to complain, Jobs famously replied, “Just avoid holding it that way.”
Apple has since added slightly more finesse to the company line, but the bottom line remains the same: customers should shutup and be happy with what they have:
Gripping any mobile 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. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 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.
But note that even Apple’s own commercials depict users holding the phone in the exact opposite way Jobs and Apple say you should. Absent from the iPhone 4 commercial are cases or bumbers, with nary a glitch or a slowdown in reception.
See my screenshots below from the latest Apple iPhone 4 FaceTime video.
Apple’s own marketing depicts the phone being used incorrectly, and in a way that compromises voice and data performance: