The Apple Press Conference – Antennagate: Notes, Stats, Reactions, Updates and more »

“If you don’t want an iPhone 4 don’t buy it. If you bought one and you don’t like it, bring it back.” boomed out the iPhone 4 Antenna video put together by Johnathan Mann who posts a new song everyday on YouTube, thus beginning the Apple Press Conference on Antennagate.

Held at Apple Campus, Infinite Loop 4, the event brought together close to 150 members of the press to reveal the truth behind a group of iPhone 4 issues collectively dubbed ‘Antennagate’ by the media. Beginning with a 30-minute presentation by Steve Jobs followed by a Q & A session with COO – Tim Cook, CEO – Steve Jobs and SVP – Bob Mansfield, the over 1-hour long event settled many questions and brought up new ones all the while provding lots of fodder for energetic discussion around the thinnest smartphone on the planet – the iPhone 4.

Image Credits: Ars Technica.

The following is a summary of the event mixed with reactions from competitors, latest updates(White iPhone delay cause and shipping date announced) and our own thoughts.

[Update: Our summary is the most accurate and the most up-to-date document on this issue, combining reports from Apple, trusted third party reviewers running the latest software version(iOS 4.0.1), corroborated by our own testing and observations. Please see comment no.2 here for more stats, thoughts and links to resources exposing CR’s flawed Radio Frequency testing methods.]

The Problems:

1. Bridging the gap with the on the bottom-left of the iPhone 4 with the ‘Death Grip’, a physically painful tight clench, weakens signal – both cellular as well as WiFi.

2.  Signal Bars drop drastically from 5 to 1 when ‘Death Grip’ is used.

3.  Proximity sensor triggers erroneously.


The Takeaway:

There is no problem with the iPhone 4’s antenna and Apple posted data to back that claim up. Number of Dropped calls has not changed from previous models and is around the same as any other smartphone. No one is returning iPhone 4’s as no one’s experiencing anything different from what standard performance expected from smartphones. 

Apple will provide FREE bumpers(cases) to all iPhone 4 owners(even outside the U.S) who want one, and refund all purchases of bumpers. With the back of the iPhone 4 being glass instead of plastic or aluminium as with the earlier models, bumpers are useful even when the phone is not having any signal issues. This offer is valid until Sep 30th, after which Apple hopes to find a better solution, failing which they plan to continue with the free bumper offer.


Some stats:


1. 3 million iPhone 4 units sold in 3 weeks. Supply cannot meet demand and as analysts had anticipated it seems to be hurting sales; the pace has come down quite a lot after the 1.7 millions units sold in the first weekend.

2. Number of iPhone 3GS units that were returned when it launched – 6%

Number of iPhone 4 units that were returned when it launched – 1.7%

Contrary to media reports, most people who got the iPhone 4 don’t have a problem.

3. Percentage of users reporting the Antenna issue – only 0.55% 

4. Dropped calls with iPhone 4 is about the same as with the iPhone 3GS . 80% of iPhone users use a case and as cases for iPhone 4 are just getting rolled out by 3rd Party manufacturers, the dropped calls with iPhone 4 will be even lesser than that of the 3GS.



Where Apple screwed up:

1. Jobs:

“If we were to fault the iPhone 4, it’s that we waved a red flag in front of the bull by putting a “grip me here” mark on the iPhone 4 (the black lines demarking the different antennas)”

2. The Algorithm for calculating the bars did not take into account the increased sensitivity of the new iPhone 4 antenna. So the drop in signal, that in reality were just 2 bars to 1, was displayed on the phone as 5 bars to 1 bar giving users the impression that the “Death Grip” problem was orders of magnitude more severe than it actually was.


Apple’s new Antenna – Pushing the State-of-the-Art:

Apple’s antenna for the iPhone 4 pushes the state-of-the art to a new level. As you can see in the graphic below, the sensitivity of the antenna has gone up considerably, with the iPhone 4 capable of holding a call even when the signal is as weak as -121 dB, while the iPhone 3GS, Nexus One and Droid can only hold the signal for upto -113 dB. iPhone 4 is currently the only smartphone capable of holding the signal even when the signal is as weak as -121 dB. To reflect this improved sensitivity of the antenna, the signal bars on the iPhone 4/iOS 4.0.1 have been updated with taller bars, which you can see below compared to the iPhone 3GS signal bars.

There is also a healthy debate on whether to ditch the Signal Bar metaphor altogether and display absolute dB values or go for a simple ‘Connected/Disconnected’ status symbol. Over at Anandtech, commenter and AT&T employee, rushbc, writes:

“…but since I do work for AT&T, and since I have talked to AT&T customers, I know that they DO care about the bars. I cannot tell you how many times people will tell me, “hey, I am only getting one bar on my cell phone at my office”.

and I say, “well, can you make and receive calls?”

and they say, “Yes”.

then I say, “well, can you connect to the internet on your phone without any problems?”

and they say, “Yes”.

then I say, “well, what is the problem, then, sir?”

then they say, “but I am only getting one bar!” then I just smile to myself and try not to scream. it’s almost like the famous old “who’s on first” routine, but in real life.”


Reactions to the Conference:

At the start of the conference, CEO Steve Jobs demoed test data showing competing phones like RIM/BlackberryOS, Nokia/Symbian, and Droid/Android, seeing as much signal attenuation from the “Death Grip” as the iPhone 4. While RIM, and Nokia did not deny that there was significant signal attenuation, they reiterated that RIM, Nokia customers don’t need to use cases. 

RIM’s co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsille told Britain’s Daily Telegraph:

“Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry to maintain proper connectivity.” 

Nokia responded, saying:

“We prioritise antenna performance over physical design if they are ever in conflict.”


Miscellaneous Notes:

1. Proximity Sensor bug will be fixed in the next software update.

2. White iPhone will start shipping at the end of the month. A worker with the company’s quality control department said that the company is still trying to work out the right balance of paint thickness and opacity, in order to ensure the panel allows enough space for the digitizer overlay, but also gives the level of white that Apple expects the product to have.

3. Media is to blame for making up an ‘Antennagate’ where there was none.

4. The allegation that Apple did not do sufficient Antenna testing was debunked. 

5. The allegation that Apple knew about the Antenna issues beforehand and issued bumpers to cover the flaws was debunked. This claim is contrary to the previous one which alleged that Apple was not aware of antenna issues as they didn’t do sufficient testing. (Basically, the press were caught trying to run as many theories as possible to bait people for visits and ad revenue. Steve Jobs said that after 34 years in the industry, it is a new phenomenon to him that Apple still hasn’t earned the trust to do the right thing. )

6. Apple has invested over $100 Miliion to build 17 anechoic chambers with 18 PhD scientists and engineers working in this area. (The labs are stunning and we’ll put up a post soon with pics of the facility.)

7. Jobs dislikes the practice of putting up his emails to customers on the net by bloggers looking for some easy pageviews and ad revenue; calls the practice ‘rude’. Although this is not the first time his emails have ended up in blog posts…

From — Sun Dec 24 07:49:08 2000
Received: by NeXT.Mailer (1.148.2)
From: Steve Jobs <—>
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2000 07:36:53 -0800
To: Cabel Sasser <>

Subject: RE: Audion 2: have you had a chance to see it yet?

I hear that your deal with AOL fell through. Any interest in throwing in with us at Apple?

Best, Steve

…the practice has certainly seen an upswing lately in the rush to make some easy money.

8. None of the Apple top brass use cases for their iPhones.

9. Jobs on AT&T and reception:

“when AT&T wants to add a cell tower in Texas, it takes about three weeks… when they want to add one in SF, it takes three years. That’s the single biggest problem they’re having. They’re spending a lot expanding their networks, and our data rates are way better on the iPhone 4, but AT&T has to expand its network, and that’s a long process. I know because we’re constantly asking about it. They’re trying really hard, and sometimes I think they should enlist the support of the users in the community.”


To sum up, Apple, with this press event, has done a good job of reining in the media and debunking many myths in the process. With free bunkers, customers are happy too. Now all eyes are on Sep 30th when Apple will re-evaluate on whether to continue with the free bumper offer or not, depending on whether they have updates on the disconcerting, but not show-stopping, drop in signal when using the “Death Grip”


About vijay

a netizen reaching out to other netizens.
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5 Responses to The Apple Press Conference – Antennagate: Notes, Stats, Reactions, Updates and more »

  1. DingoJunior says:

    Actually, Apple initiated more myths than the debunked. Compare with this analysis of the press conference:…>There were a couple of points where your summary does not accurately reflect what Steve Jobs said (though it does accurately reflect the false implications Apple were trying to convey):* A “physically painful tight clench” is not required (with the iPhone 4). See the Consumer Reports video:…* “Number of Dropped calls has not changed from previous models” – actually, this is not what Steve Jobs said. He said the number of calls dropped per 100 as increased by less than 1, compared to the 3GS. This doesn’t mean anything without knowing how many calls the 3GS dropped. If the 3GS dropped 1 call in 100 (which is a LOT of calls), then the iPhone 4 drops around twice as many. If the 3GS drops 1 call in 1000, then the iPhone 4 drops around 10 times as many.* “Number of iPhone 4 units that were returned when it launched – 1.7%” – this is iPhone 4’s sold through AT&T only. Oddly, Steve doesn’t comment on the return rate for iPhone 4’s sold directly by Apple.* “Percentage of users reporting the Antenna issue – only 0.55%” – this is only the percentage of users reporting the problem to AppleCare. Not all users have AppleCare, and not all users who have the problem will report it.* “The allegation that Apple knew about the Antenna issues beforehand and issued bumpers to cover the flaws was debunked” – On the contrary, Steve Jobs specifically stated that they knew their antenna had a “weak spot” during development.* “disconcerting, but not show-stopping, drop in signal” – the drop in signal is a lot more than just disconcerting if you don’t have great signal to start with, and as a result you drop a call or lose your internet connection.

  2. Wyth Tech says:

    Our summary is the most accurate and the most up-to-date document on this issue, combining reports from Apple, trusted third party reviewers running the latest software version(iOS 4.0.1), corroborated by our own testing and observations.1. a. CR video shows signal attenuation by 20dB, not a call drop. Their testing software is optimized for standard smartphone antennae and does not take into account iPhone 4’s increased sensitivity.1.b.CR video shows an initial tight grip followed by increased tightening to get the signal to drop by 20dB. at which point in time the camera has cut to the signal readouts on the testing equipment. Our own testing has been consistent with reports elsewhere – “Death Grip: This is the absolute worst case and involves squeezing the phone very tightly, like people are doing online in videos demonstrating all the bars going away. I squeeze the phone hard and make sure my palms are sweaty as well. You’d never hold the phone this way because it’s physically painful.” – Brian Klug & Anand Lal Shimpi, Anandtech Note that this review was done with iOS 4.0. With the latest updates iOS 4.0.1, it’s very hard to make all the bars go away even with the Death Grip, which Anandtech notes in a later post.1.c. CR’s RF testing method is flawed making their data inaccurate. CR is not using anechoic chambers in their testing. Mobile Analyst and RF Engineer Bob Egan has the more technical details – Consumer Reports iPhone Study Flawed Small Anechoic chambers are available for rent at rates as low as $5000.00 per week. CR should have used this facility if they wanted their reports to live up their claims of accuracy.1.d.CR is not using iOS 4.0.1 in their testing. Their reviews are no longer up-to-date.2. Which is noted in point no. 4 here – “4. Dropped calls with iPhone 4 is about the same as with the iPhone 3GS . 80% of iPhone users use a case and as cases for iPhone 4 are just getting rolled out by 3rd Party manufacturers, the dropped calls with iPhone 4 will be even lesser than that of the 3GS.” <1>3. 1.7% is accurate. Simply cross-check it with the number of discussions on online support discussing iPhone 4 return (53), and the number of discussions on iPhone 3GS return(250). The ratio 250/53 comes out to 4.7, which means there are 4.7 times more 3GS return discussions than iPhone 4 return discussions. iPhone 3GS return rate is 6 to 7%(supported by independent research from ChangeWave). We can arrive at the iPhone 4 return rate using the ratio 4.7, giving us 6/4.7 = 1.3% which is close to the number noted in the presentation. Independent research studies should come out in a few weeks. Apple has waived restocking fee for returns so we have no idea how this will affect return rates, but we don’t expect it to affect the return rates by much. 4. 0.55% is a pretty close to the actual number of complaints given that the even the return rate is only 1.7%. But with the free bumper offer this number has now been relegated to the status of a mere datapoint with not much real-life significance.5. “On the contrary, Steve Jobs specifically stated that they knew their antenna had a “weak spot” during development. ” – No, the Press alleged Apple knew the iPhone 4 antenna was ‘weaker than other smartphone antennae’ while Jobs stated that they were aware that, due its dependence on the laws of Physics, all smartphone antenna designs has weakness built in(the reason is the smartphone form-factor), but it is not a show-stopper for smartphones in general and neither is it for the iPhone 4. Simply put, the media’s allegation that Apple knew they had a problem with the antenna that other smartphones did not have, and designed bumpers as a work-around has been debunked. The ‘weak spot’ that Jobs said Apple knew about during development were the Laws of Physics which applies to all smartphones irrespective of OS and brand.6. We were wrong here. With the offer of free bumpers, the issue is no longer disconcerting nor is it show-stopping, even for those living in extremely shaky signal areas. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. DingoJunior says:

    Fascinating response. Thanks.1. Consumer Reports video: Yes, the video shows a drop of 20dB. Which is potentially enough to drop a call. And, the fact is, people ARE dropping calls and losing internet connectivity.But the Consumer Reports video does NOT show “an initial tight grip followed by increased tightening”, at least not if you’re showing the video at the link I gave. It shows a single finger on the gap – no other part of the hand is touching the phone. This is not the practically complete smothering of the antenna required for other phones, as shown on YouTube and Apple’s own “smartphone antenna performance” site (where it disingenuously shows the same grip, unnecessarily, for the iPhone 4 as well).And the narration that goes with the video confirms this: “Our engineers found that when you place your finger on the gap between the two antennas on the lower left hand side of the iphone 4, signal strength can drop by about 20dB”.Consumer Reports data may not be perfect, but it is clearly indicative of the actual issue (bridging the two antennas, rather than signal attentuation caused by obstructing the signal with your hand). The testing was at least performed in a shielded room.And as I’m sure you already know if you have the “most accurate and up-to-date document”, iOS 4.0.1 would not have made any difference to the Consumer Reports test, because they were reporting actual signal dB drop, not the change in bars. Heck, they don’t even show or mention bars. And, as I’m sure you are well aware, iOS 4.0.1 has no effect on the actual signal strength or reception, just the number of bars that are displayed.2. Yes, once everyone gets a case, dropped calls rates with the iPhone 4 MAY be less than with the iPhone 3GS. Which would of course just prove the calls are being dropped for the reasons I describe above, otherwise a case wouldn’t help. You can’t have it both ways (if simply touching the rim isn’t what is causing the dropped calls, then a case wouldn’t help).But we won’t know until we get additional data, will we?Regardless, as I stated previously, your assertion that the “number of dropped calls has not changed from previous models” has no basis in fact. Certainly you cannot ascertain that from the data Steve Jobs gave us at the press conference. You can’t even say they’re “about the same”. We simply have no way of knowing, as Steve didn’t tell us how many calls per 100 the iPhone 3GS drops, in order to make a valid comparison. Consider this: If, for arguments sake, the iPhone 3GS drops 1 in 1000 calls, then based on Steve’s figures the iPhone 4 would be dropping somewhere around 1 in 100 calls, or roughly 10 times as many.But we’ll never know, as Steve Jobs didn’t give us the information that would have given his figure meaning. He says AT&T didn’t want to give out actual dropped call rates. Fair enough. He could have given the information in a meaningful way without revealing actual dropped call rates. For example, he could have couched it in terms such as “The iPhone 4 drops twice as many calls as the iPhone 3GS”. The fact that Apple didn’t express it that way, but instead chose to express it in a way that SOUNDS GOOD but MEANS NOTHING suggests they had something to hide.3. I don’t doubt the 1.7% figure is accurate, as the percentage of iPhone 4’s returned to *AT&T* (as Steve very specifically points out). My question is, why did Steve mention THAT figure and not the number of phones returned to Apple, or the total of both (both of which he would know)? As I am sure you are well aware, when significant information like that is excluded, there’s always a good reason.4. According to Steve, 0.55% is the number of complaints to *AppleCare*. Therefore, based only on what Steve said, it does NOT represent the actual total number of complaints to any channel, and it certainly does not represent the actual number of people experiencing the problem.5. If Apple DIDN’T know that the iPhone 4 had that unique flaw, then they have major problems with their testing process. But I don’t think that’s very likely. You can bet they knew full well that bridging the two antennas with the touch of a single finger was enough to cause a significant drop in signal reception, but clearly they decided that was acceptable. BTW, I’m not one the conspiracy theorists who thinks that is why they developed the bumper case – I think it is more likely they developed it because they knew there would be no other case options available at launch time (though it *is* very interesting that essentially all it covers is the antenna).The assertion that none of this is relevant anymore since the offer of a free bumper is laughable. Users shouldn’t *require* a case on their phone in order for it to function properly – that is a joke. I appreciate Apple’s offer in this regard, and don’t see any realistic alternative they could have done, but it doesn’t remove the significance of the underlying problem, nor does it absolve the misinformation given out at the press conference and on Apple’s “smartphone antenna performance” site.My point of contention here isn’t primarily with the iPhone 4’s flawed antenna… It’s unfortunate, but that’s life, and as Steve rightly (for a change) says, everyone has a choice. Rather, it is with Apple’s continue denial that they have a unique problem, specific to their antenna design, when they obviously know otherwise. And, in this specific case, with your inaccurate reporting of their misinformation.

  4. Wyth Tech says:

    reg: CR video 20 dB Signal drop:1. 20 dB drop shown by the equipment is not only inaccurate as it is not tested in anechoic chambers but also as Egan points out -“unless CR connected to a functional point inside the iPhone that number is fantasy. Even the way they seem to have tested the change – by varying the base station simulator levels – seems to assume the iPhone receiver and/or transmitter operate in a linear fashion (the same way) across all signal strengths – bad assumption. Bottom line. From what I can see in the reports, Consumer Reports replicated the same uncontrolled, unscientific experiments that many of the blogging sites have done.” The actual signal drop is thus unknown.2. iPhone 4, as noted earlier has increased sensitivity. As shown in the chart above, standard smartphone antenna drops calls at -113 dB but iPhone 4 will hold the call until -121 dB. So the difference between the standard antenna and the iPhone 4’s antenna is 8 dB, meaning that iPhone 4 can hold calls even when the signal intensity is 8 times lower than the signal intensity at which a normal smartphone will drop the call. 10 dB = signal is 10 times stronger in intensity than a 1 dB signal. -10 dB = signal is 10 times weaker than a 1 dB signal. Standard smartphones will drop calls when the signal becomes 20 times weaker than the ideal level. This is the 20 dB drop – 20 times weaker. Since the iPhone 4 antenna can hold a call that is 8 times weaker than the signal at which normal smartphones cut off(121-113 = 8 dB), unlike normal smartphones where a 20 dB drop will cut the call, iPhone 4 will need the signal to become weaker by 20 + 8 = 28 times weaker than the ideal level. This means while normal phones drop calls due to a 20 dB signal drop, iPhone 4 will drop the call only when the signal drops by 28 dB. but the CR video shows only a signal drop of 20 dB and uses that incorrect data as proof of call drops. To sum up:Standard smartphone: Lowest signal intensity it can detect = -113 dB Drop in signal attenuation due to atmosphere, walls and obstructions = -94 dBMaximum additional signal drop to reach the weakest signal the phone can detect = (113-94) = 19 dBAmount of drop in signal intensity needed to make the signal weaker than what the phone can detect = (19 + 1) = 20 dB. This means, original signal weakened by 93 times further weakened by 20 times = signal weakened by 114 times. But the antenna can only detect signals that are weakened by 113 times so when the signal gets weaker by 20 dB in addition to the standard attenuation the signal goes through due to air, walls and obstructions, signal has become weaker than what the antenna can detect(-113 dB) and the call drops.iPhone 4:Lowest signal intensity it can detect = -121 dB Drop in signal attenuation due to atmosphere, walls and obstructions = -94 dBMaximum additional signal drop to reach the weakest signal the phone can detect = (121-94) = 27 dBAmount of drop in signal intensity needed to make the signal weaker than what the phone can detect = 27 + 1 = 28 dB Put simply, CR video showing 20 dB drop is not only inaccurate reading due to flawed testing methods, but also their assumption that 20 dB drop is sufficient for the iPhone 4 to drop the call renders the results meaningless. This is why it was noted in the earlier comment that CR has not updated their testing equipment for the iPhone 4. 3. CR engineer gripping the iPhone in the video » will not drop 20 dB, phone will still make calls. Normal holding will not drop 20 dB, phone will still make calls. Clenching tightly will drop 20 dB, phone will still make calls. In areas with low signal strength, 20 dB drop is sufficient to drop the call.This is consistent with standard smartphone behavior which drops calls when signal strength is weaker than normal, thus giving us these stats for dropped call percentage by carrier: AT&T:4.5% – T-Mobile: 2.8% – Sprint: 2.4% and Verizon: 1.5%4. iOS version is relevant here. In v 4.0 weakening the signal by 20 dB will drop the bars down to zero giving the impression that calls will drop, which is why CR engineers were showing the 20 dB drop in the video(CR can show the bar drops but people are already posting videos with that phenomenon and showing numbers lends better credibility to the result, flawed or not.) Version 4.0.1 adjusted the bar algorithm to take into account the increased antenna sensitivity, so had CR done the test today with version 4.0.1, the 20 dB drop will only drop the bars down to 2 or 1 showing that the phone is still capable of making calls and thus CR will have to adjust the test and gripping strength to show a drop of 28 dB which is when the bars would be down to 0. reg. the rest of the discussion – AT&T at 4.5% has twice the number of dropped calls than Verizon at 2.8%. With iOS devices crossing over 100 million total, a large percentage of which are in the U.S, AT&T has not been able to cope with the network demands. This is the reason why Antennagate is a U.S only phenomenon. Dropped call comparison between iPhone 3GS without case and iPhone 4 without case will show the iPhone 4 as the winner. Put a case on both and again the iPhone 4 will come out the winner, which is understandable given the increased antenna sensitivity.As noted above, simply bridging the antenna with the normal hold does not drop the signal by 20 dB, and the call does not drop until the signal drops by 28 dB which requires a significantly strong hold. reg. Antenna design – As analyst Yair Reiner wrote a couple of days back… “We believe the iPhone 4’s antenna problem is comparable to that of other smartphones, but in the court of public opinion, perception is reality. And the perception — created by a scoop-hungry media and Apple’s newly emboldened wireless adversaries — is that the 4 is faulty.”…perception is everything and putting that black line de-marking the antennae is where the problems began for Apple even though all smartphones since the dawn of time have had this issue. If every smartphone maker put a dot where the weak spot was, we would be seeing a different story where people have gotten used to the fact that antenna design for the smartphone form-factor by default has weak spots and it isn’t a flaw that affects a certain design only. The next step for Apple would be to remove that black-line or put it in a spot not reachable by hand and thus remove the perception that the black line is an End Call button.In conclusion, as we have stated here, there is sufficient data and reports from a wide variety of sources to show that Antennagate is a catastrophe made up by, in Reiner’s words, ‘Scoop-hungry media’. It’s a perception problem and will live and die as a U.S only phenomenon. Just like us, our family and friends, customers who look beyond the overblown reports and wish to determine the truth for themselves will discover the new advanced antenna to be the most responsive in the industry. The only mystery left to solve is the exact number of people who actually believed that Antennagate was a real issue specific to the iPhone 4.

  5. DingoJunior says:

    Hey, thought you totally unbiased guys might be keen to know the results of my testing an iPhone here in Australia, now that they’re finally available here.Regarding calls… Well, you’ll be happy to know I’ve not been able to drop a call yet. The touch of a single finger on the side of the phone drops it from 3 to 1 bars (this is a phone with 4.0.1 installed), but I’ve not been anywhere with low enough signal to cause it to drop yet. I have a friends place I plan to visit where I get just enough signal to make a call – we’ll see how the iPhone 4 handles it, and I’ll be sure to let you know!Data is a whole different story, and it is a real life issue. With wireless turned off, using the iPhone app, I get the following results if I am not touching the phone:Download: 2214 kbpsUpload: 1534 kbpsPing: 1835 msIf I touch a single finger to the “spot of death”, I get the following results:Download: 32 kbpsUpload: 8 kbpsPing: 3837 msBrowsing is essentially useless.To be clear here: No “grip of death” is involved. This is lying on a table with a single finger touching a single spot on the phone.Unfortunately, when I browse the web on my phone, I tend to hold it in my left hand and browse with my right. The flesh of my thumb covers the “spot of death” and browsing the web is impossible.But this is all fixed with a case, you cry! True enough. But… What case?Free cases from Apple won’t be available here for a month or so. The carrier was nice enough to provide a freebie cheap bumper knock-off case with the phone. I appreciate the thought, but the case is pretty horrible. Looks horrible, and doesn’t stay on with day-to-day usage of the phone. In other words, essentially useless.Regardless, this clearly demonstrates, despite your denials, that the problem is real, causes real problems in day-to-day use of the phone, and is unique to the iPhone 4 (it is completely unrelated to the “signal attenuation” issues encountered on other phones, as I have always maintained and you guys seem to go to great lengths to deny). No tight grip is required – just a touch on a single point on the phone. Show me another phone you can do that with?Interestingly, the fact that it *is* fixed with a case clearly demonstrates that this is unrelated to the “signal attentuation” issue it is possible to reproduce with other phones. You can’t have it both ways. It’s a design flaw unique to the iPhone 4, not a problem common to all smartphones. Apple should just come out and admit it. What a shame they won’t.

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