Is the new iPhone 4 antenna design causing signal issues?

by Justin Horn on Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

UPDATE Add me to the list, same problem!  Got a bumper though, hopefully it helps. …and it does seem the bumpers help though. Further investigation into the iPhone in hand signal issues.

When I first heard of the new antenna system on the iPhone 4, I thought it would increase the signal by getting the antenna out from behind all the other electronics. It later crossed my mind that by actually touching the antenna, with conductive skin, it could cause a weaker signal. I figured Apple wouldn’t have gone with this design if it was a problem, so the thought left my mind.

Things changed today…I’m hearing reports from a few different users that this is actually an issue. Not a big enough sample group to call it a major issue, but we should find out soon enough tomorrow when a ton more iPhone 4s hit the street.

Jeremy Sikora tweeted to let us know that Apple is claiming it’s a software issue. When I asked where he heard that and if there was an official press release he replied:

@justin_horn no but WM talked about same issue in his review. Apple claimed a software patch is coming.

NOTE: Jeremy isn’t just some random guy on Twitter, when he says something Apple related he is usually correct.

In response to our tweet earlier about the issue a little while ago, Loyal Moses tweeted:

Same Problem!

Loyal posted some videos of the problem on his blog.

Joe Wilcox tweeted earlier:

iPhone 4 first impression: Delightful device. Network sucks worse. I had better 3G on iPhone 3GS. “Searching” frequently.

Later, Joe Wilcox confirms this is an issue:

@justin_horn LOL, my mistake. Flat down on my desk, I see full bars. I hold the phone in my palm, bars slowly go down, like video.

Further evidence is one user who posted a video of the issue in action

Gizmodo is all over this, guess they are mad they didn’t get a test unit

(via @tarungangwani)

Follow me on Twitter @justin_horn

View 6 Comments
Featured post, iPhone 4, Speculation


  1. Jeremiah
    June 23rd, 2010 10:49 pm

    I’ve heard it’s actually a manufacturing defect in the entire first batch of iPhone 4 antennas.

    Remember when Steve Jobs had signal problems during his keynote introducing this phone, and asked everyone to get off wifi? Faulty antenna design in the phone.

    I was told by a friend supposedly in-the-know to avoid the initial release, and wait for later phones which should be fixed.

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  3. Tamara
    June 24th, 2010 3:07 am

    If the antennas are faulty in the first batch, why wait? Enjoy the initially released device, when the new batch with fixed antennas are out, exchange it for one of he new ones. Great part about being among the early adopters is that replacements are new, they haven’t been out long enough for refurbs…

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  5. [...] my attention. I had complained about “searching” behavior on Twitter. He posted: “Is the new iPhone 4 antenna design causing signal issues?” Gizmodo has crowdsourced the story, getting readers to confirm the declining bars scenario; [...]

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  7. [...] some tests this morning, it looks like the bumper case helps with the antenna issue we reported on yesterday. Keep in mind that I used the main 5 bar signal indicator as a reference, not sure how to get into [...]

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  9. [...] looked into how the bumper case effected the signal loss problem earlier. It helped lessen the signal loss, but still lost a couple bars. I’ve been thinking [...]

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  11. Michael
    August 12th, 2010 9:59 am

    I could not help but agree with Tamara. I guess we should just enjoy the initially released. A friend of mine actually told me about solving this antenna issue by purchasing a skin cover. I thought of just choosing a bumper but she made me realize the benefits of having a skin protector instead of the bulky bumper cases. The first thought that came into my mind were BG and InvisbleShield, never have I realize how costly they are in comparison to what she got. has that which costs only about $6.99 with the same materials used with the other skin covers. It actually works and help resolve the antenna issue by covering the antennas on the side. At this point, it will lessen the conductivity from the skin into the phone. Other than that, I find it easier to install and with their free shipping, I can’t wait to have it.

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