June 25, 2010

iPhone 4: You're Holding Me Wrong

A product with a launch that's as insane as the radically new iPhone 4 is obviously not without its issues. Some could say that the phone was even rushed from the factory to market, so obviously, there could be a few defects here and there.

2 large issues plague the iPhone 4 right now, and one of them's actually a non-issue. Can you guess which one?

It's the yellow blots on the screen.

People have reported tons upon tons of yellowish screens over the past few hours and have obviously become up-in-arms about it. But the real thing about this is that it's just manufacturing residue that should've faded away long before shipment. Obviously, phones affected with the yellow spots were rushed from the factory, and people have almost universally been reporting that the distraction that detracted from the charm of the Retina Display has been fading over time. So yes, it is a non-issue, especially for countries that aren't receiving their iPhone 4's until next month.

But another issue could be a bit of a long-standing one that's due to Apple's new exterior antenna design. Basically, if you hold one part of the iPhone 4 (lower-left side), the service will worsen, and even drop calls at some point. It was first speculated as a display issue because calls were not dropped, but as the issue went out of hand, Steve Jobs issued a response to this phenomenon, saying that it too is a non-issue.

"Just avoid holding it in that way," the CEO said.

The phenomenon is now called the "iPhone Death Grip" apparently, and it only happens when you cover the iPhone 4 with your hand and block the lower-left side. It's easily alleviated by Apple's own bumpers or any third-party protective case, so hey, if you can afford an iPhone, you might as well buy something to protect it with.

Apologists have gone on record to explain that even other phones like Google's own Nexus One has these antenna problems, but they just aren't covered as much because, well, they're not Apple.

Apple has adopted Steve Jobs' e-mail as an official response, saying: "Gripping any 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."

So bottom line, get a case, or hold it ass-backwards.

But really now, if there truly are issues with other phones (Google Nexus One, Nokias, etc.) then this might as well be considered as an issue taken out of proportion (or just more noticeable).

I'm betting new shipments in the second half of July will have better performance, so suffice it to say, shipments to countries other than the countries that have the iPhone 4 right now will most likely have better antenna resistance, or whatever you call it.

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