The ‘really cool’ engineering responsible for the seams in the steel band around the iPhone 4 – seams that separated antennas – did not envision users holding the device in their palm. The bottom left seam, separating the UMTS/GSM antenna from the Bluetooth/WiFi/GPS antenna, when covered by your hand, causes a significant drop in signal reception quality.
This issue, when brought to the notice of Steve Jobs by a disappointed user, was countered with a Jobsian short, but very dismissive reply:
Apple then followed up this with a official response, one that defended the iPhone 4 by saying all phones will suffer a loss in signal quality, if certain spots of antenna sensitivity are gripped. It’s a pity that the very spot that causes a problem on the iPhone 4 is one that has been shown being held by innumerable Apple iPhone 4 advertisements, and Jobs himself held it problematically at its launch.
Possibly the most tragic (for Apple) part of the entire affair is that two (for now) of the self-developed technologies that it itself lauded, the Retina display and the marvel of metallic antenna body, are facing serious issues. This after all that testing; which in its long duration even resulted in some test units being lost.
A product recall is in order, especially after the flawed devices sold like hot-cakes, not a solution that asks users to cover one of the iPhone’s USPs. In the meantime, give out free cases.